When I was eighteen and in the hospital with a serious bone infection, the doctor told me “the pain you’ve experienced is on par with the pain of giving birth.” I remembering feeling kind of proud of that. Brave. I felt a similar rush of bravery this past year, having survived the trauma of heartbreak. But in the past few months, that bravery has thawed and melted away. I see the potential for pain everywhere.
Of all the idols that have sprung up in my life since my divorce, one of the hardest to exterminate is the idol of no-pain. Because I now know the excruciating suffering the Christian life can hold, I sometimes fear the future. And when I do, I let that fear confuse my theology, viewing blessings as false-security, and good days as a tease. I dwell on future pain instead of present hope and brace myself for the next storm.