Wednesday, May 15, 2013

God's Plans Are Bigger than My Pain

Talking with two friends at school one day, I heard myself say, "God's plans are bigger than my pain." It was a startling realization in the midst of an intense discussion about being confronted, challenged, and hurt by someone I hadn't expected to hurt me.

What this person said almost doesn't matter. What matters is that it felt like someone took a cheese grater to my heart. They said things that weren't true and made assumptions about the person I am. I was bewildered, wondering who I really was. If I wasn't a caring, emphatic, safe person... then who was I?

I talked to close friends and said, "Is this true?" And the overwhelming response was that it wasn't. Did the person have some good points about ways I could grow? Definitely. Did they articulate them well? No. And then I got smacked across the head when somebody else I respect, but who doesn't know well basically said they have concerns about my ability to connect with people on an upcoming missions trip. (By the way, the best way for you to ever get proven wrong is tell me you don't think I can do something.)

So, I am sitting in the student lounge with my heart shredded and before I know it, I am spilling my guts. And in the process of this discussion, I shared how much I wanted to pull away and build up walls to protect my heart. Yet, I knew that wasn't really a possibility. It hurts to live with my heart in the open, but it is something I have to do. God's plans are bigger than my pain.

The reason why I closely guard my heart is that I am easily hurt. I might never tell you that you have hurt me, but I am a deeply sensitive person. I feel like I am always offering my heart to people on a platter and saying, "Please, treat me with care." And people often don't. And I turn inward out of self-preservation.

But I don't want to live like that anymore. I want to experience things that I am usually too afraid to because I know that I will get hurt. I want to make new friends and have new adventures. I want to learn how to live with a shredded heart because that is how I feel right now. Like I am sitting here, with a heart that honestly physically feels bruised. I feel vulnerable and I feel scared. That heart that I offer up? People won' t treat it with care. They will bruise it more. They will make me cry and doubt myself. But if I want people to know me better than I have to be willing to show them more of who I really am. Will there be pain in that? Obviously, but there is also great joy.

And ultimately, I love the person I am and the person God is shaping me to be. I love the plan that God has for my life. And if I have to spend my days laying out my shredded heart for people to stomp on in order to live His plan out, then I that is what I need to do.

Because God's plans are bigger than my pain.

P.S. Shout out to those two people in the Seminary Student Lounge. Your words that day mean more than I can ever express.


Brie said...

Very honest and real - thank you for sharing Jess! Your thoughts reminded me of Brené Brown's TED talk on vulnerability ( My qualification, and I know you'll agree, to that video would be that we cannot be vulnerable based on our own steam or on other people's support - it must go beyond humanity. Christians know that our lives go beyond humanity and then include humanity. :)