Paying attention to pain

Lately, I’ve been surrounded by conversations about pain and struggle.  Conversations about choosing the narrow, difficult road, even when there’s an obviously easier path in sight.

Everywhere I go, the conversation seems to lead back to the idea that the struggle IS the gift.

We’re in the middle of a series at our church called “The Road Less Traveled” taken from the “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost.  Every, single, Sunday I’m hearing the full poem read to begin the message.  You know the one, that ends like this:

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.”

Our pastor John McKinzie is continually reminding us  “The narrow road is the wisdom road, and few find it.”  (Matt. 7:14)

The narrow road is worth the struggle.

An early morning chat with my friend Holly on a particularly dark day, led to the question, “If you quit HeartStories, what else would you do? Would you go back to medical device sales, for the money?”

No way.  This struggle is worth it.  

At the Moxie Matters tour, Jen Hatmaker shared this words, “Pain focuses our attention on our most broken, injured, or endangered part, and requires a course correction.  Pain is our way out of suffering, back to wholeness.  The only way through pain is through.”

Only to be followed by Nichole Nordeman singing these words in her insanely beautiful song “The Sound of Surviving”

These pieces, the ones that left me bleeding

Intended for my pain

Became the gift You gave me

Then in my reading this morning, this was the last line of Seth Godin’s blog.

“Finding the long, difficult way is worth the journey, because it’s the best way to get what you deserve.” ~ Seth Godin

Okay!  Okay!  I am listening!  I’m paying attention!

Knowing that the struggle is the gift, doesn’t make it less painful. But it gives it purpose.  Pain’s purpose is the healing, growth, direction and wisdom we can’t find any other way.

Don’t stuff it down and pretend it doesn’t hurt.

Pay attention to it.  Sit with it.  Sort through it.

That, will make all the difference.

to more love,


P.S.  That broken shell on the red ribbon in the picture has been hanging from my rear view mirror since Melissa Blair was with us for GNO in August.  It’s my constant reminder that the imperfections and pain in my life are what make me beautiful.  I hope it reminds you today too.  XOXO

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