Cattle grazing on wide, open fields remind me of a bad time in my life. Because of what someone had deliberately done to me, I was hurting. I wanted to run away from the pain, but couldn’t.
But then, one day, I was driving past a huge, sun-drenched field of grass and cows, and I got the wildest urge to pull off the road, drive across the ditch, and stop by the fence. I thought about slipping under the barbed wire and running to the middle of the flat pasture. I wanted to sit in the grass, wrap my arms around my knees, and shut my eyes. All I needed was to stay there with only cows meandering around me—the sun on my back and head. The scene spoke of total peace—warmth, safety, comfort, and healing. I almost couldn’t push the urge away.
When I shared my crazy thoughts with a cousin, he reminded me of what I might sit on. Ha. But I didn’t care. Even now—though years have slipped by—if I pass that field, the thought still tugs at me. It doesn’t call out with the desperate pull it did back then, but the calmness still beckons.
Karen Campbell Prough
Copyright © Karen Campbell Prough 2017
Any type of pain can make its presence known, and it will demand attention. It will fight attempts to silence or eliminate it. Emotional pain will “sneak in the back door” or wait for the darkest spot in your life. Pain seems to gain strength when life beckons. It blows up, pitches a tantrum, and cries for a front row seat. It does not slink off somewhere and pout.
What we need is comfort and the means to find what works for us. But how can we reject the types of comfort others suggest?
We must give ourselves permission to say, “That doesn’t work for me.”
Emotional, mental, or physical pain can keep you wide-awake, dreading the fast pitch coming your way. And most of the time you will not see the projectile, until it knocks you to your knees, breaks your heart, or makes your body tremble.
Fighting back is permissible! But how should you attempt such a task, when comfort is what you seek? Not everyone’s method of dealing with chronic or even temporary pain is the same. Always try to remember that.
Allow yourself the right to find what comforts you.
Not everyone responds the same to basic ways of comfort. Some people need permission to walk their own path to healing or calmness. So, try what soothes you and do it in your time frame. Ignore the ones who say, “You should be over this by now.”
Proverbs 3:6 holds a tiny clue to life and perhaps, to comfort. “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
Thy paths? Could that verse also include walking a path toward comfort?
Psalms 22:24 tells us God hears our cries. And think about it . . . he knows how different we all are from our neighbor or family members. Not everyone fits in the same mold.
After we have passed through a time of pain and stress, mental or physical, the Lord gives us the ability to comfort others who are hurting or in trouble. So, we shouldn’t lump everyone together and put a tag on them, declaring, “Thou must be healed by now”. We can talk about what helped us the most and offer it, or encourage someone to consider other methods.
In today’s society, pain medicine seems to be the only way to cope with physical pain, emotional trauma, mental anguish, or general fatigue. Down the pills and keep up the pace! We don’t give ourselves the right to pull away from society’s “treadmill of treatment”.
Comfort buffers the pain. So, what is comfort to you?
Ask God to guide your search and provide the special touches you need.
“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation (affliction), that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 KJV
Wow! Sure is a lot of “comfort” in those verses? Go, receive, and do likewise!
Thank you for reading!
Copyright © Karen Campbell Prough 2015
Would people, who know you best, identify you as upbeat and a giver? But have you ever felt hollow and empty inside? Have you sometimes decided that you have nothing more to give to people around you?
I’m sure we have all felt that way during some point in our lives. The feeling may catch us by surprise, sneak up on us, and leave us unable to get up and face the world. Or we may recognize the sensation of emptiness after a challenging event in our life—the birth of a baby, the care of elderly parents, the breakup of a marriage, the accumulation of stress, or the loss of a job and career.
But what if there is no specific cause? What if we can only shrug our shoulders and say, “I don’t know why I’m feeling this way?”
Sometimes we give of ourselves until the reservoir runs dry. To be born a giver can be uplifting but challenges can sap inner strength. A well doesn’t replenish itself. There has to be an inward flow.
Anger and depression can take up residence where once there was joy and vitality. We are human and we all need to feel an inflowing of comfort and a time of renewal. It’s not a sin to pull away from things, including people and loved ones, when constant demands deplete layers of our inner stability and stamina. Even Jesus had to disappear and seek renewal.
We should never feel guilt while stepping out of the picture long enough to gain replenishment. Givers must understand that a time away or hiatus actually helps them continue with the giving lifestyle, which is an intricate part of their personality. They love to give. A Giver can’t be happy if they totally forsake what God has implanted in them—the desire to help and provide for others.
So, keep on giving but don’t cheat yourselves out of a time for renewal. It’s okay to take that little trip, head for the woods, climb on that horse, and ride into the sunset. Run off to the beach, hide from the world for a week … a day … an hour, or go eat at your favorite restaurant in another town. Why not call up an understanding friend and take them to lunch? Totally change your daily routine and do something different. Take a long drive, stop at some quaint diner for lunch, or stroll through a local park.
Remember the scriptures. “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” Proverbs 17:22 KJV
Be a happy giver and prevent breakage of spirit by taking time out for yourself. God understands you have physical, emotional, and mental needs. A giver shouldn’t feel guilty about slipping away and finding time to mend. So … run away, if only for an hour. Gain strength to fly.
© Karen Campbell Prough
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