Pain has a way of getting our attention and forcing us to slow down, sometimes it even forces us to take a serious break from our normal routine and rest. I’m a curious girl and I’ve often wondered if there may be a deeper message to our pain. In fact, a poster in a chiropractor’s office once confirmed my curiosity and peaked my interest. It was a picture of an iceberg and the poster said that our physical symptoms are only the tip of the iceberg – signaling deeper internal pain. What if pain is an external signal to deeper unresolved issues? What if it were possible to use the time presented by our external pain to explore deeper internal issues?
I have recently been given an opportunity to explore this fascinating theory. I have been struggling with a bulging disc that is pushing on my sciatic nerves, causing i
ntense pain that runs down my leg. This pain has forced me to rest and in that rest, I have listened deeply, wondering if this could possibly be more than just a physical ailment, but perhaps connected to some emotional pain, giving my pain a purpose. If nothing else, wondering if there may be a purpose to my pain has made the pain more manageable – and I have indeed discovered some interesting things. When I tuned in and listened closely to the pain, I heard it saying, “it hurts, it hurts real bad!” I allowed myself to explore the emotional connection and I discovered that inside of me there is a wounded little girl that is still carrying a lot of emotional pain – and I was able (with help) to help her process through her pain. I gave her my undivided attention and in that sacred space of time and attention, Jesus had some special words of comfort for her.
My external pain forced me to rest and in that rest I was able to connect to a deeper place of emotional pain. It seems as though there was purpose in my pain and somehow, in some mysterious way, Jesus used my back pain to heal me on multiple levels. Dare I say that I have even experienced joy in the pain as the little one inside of me is rejoicing at being heard and attended to?!