Thought For the Week – Dealing With Hurt

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How many of us have had an adult say something along these lines to us? “You are so young, you really have no idea what it means to truly be hurt by someone.” Well, I don’t know about you, but I would care to differ on that. In my 17 years of existence on this spinning ball we call earth, I have experienced my share of hurt, loss, betrayal, and heartache. I have lost relatives whom I loved dearly, I have been picked on and bullied by the very people who you would expect to show love, and I have been betrayed by my friends. And when young people go through these type of things, it can often be hard to discern what the correct response to the pain is. Do we numb ourselves and bottle up our feelings? Do we take out our pain on everyone else, even God? If someone hurt us, do we confront that person? And do we allow that experience to scar us? There is no easy answer to these questions. But there are a few things I do know, things to do when you are hurting.

  • Talk to God. He knows the pain you are experiencing, and He wants to comfort you through it. If you are angry at Him, tell Him so. He wants you to do as the Bible says and “cast your cares upon Him, for He cares for you.” Often times when we go through pain, we have a habit of blaming God. I have known people who were hurt by Christians, in a church setting, and allowed that to change the way they viewed God. They turned their backs on Him and had a hatred for everything that a Christian stands for. But we should NEVER do this. By turning our backs on the One who understands our pain, we are leaving behind the greatest source of comfort and hope that will ever be.
  • Don’t hide your feelings. Doing this is a great mistake, and it can cause us to become bitter, numb, and angry. Even if you don’t want to share with everyone you know, it is a good idea to share with someone. Your parents, a sibling, a best friend, even a trusted adult. Hiding your feelings will cause you more pain in the end, and not always just for you. If you are going through something in your life, experiencing feelings that no one else knows about, it can hurt those closest to you to discover that you hid it from them.
  • Don’t take it out on others. While it is GOOD to share your feelings and pain with others, NEVER take out your pain on other people. This is something I have to work on often. When I am hurting, I have a habit of becoming easily frustrated with my family, often shouting at them or making snarky comments. This can hurt you and the people around you. When you are going through pain, always remember that the pain and hurt does not control you. God gave us control over our emotions, and He expects us to use that gift. Again, this is where it is good to talk it out with God.
  • If you have been hurt by a family member, friend, or other person, don’t immediately confront them. Give yourself time to think. If the first thing you do, in the midst of your pain, is confront them with anger and high emotions, chances are you will end up hurting them and hurting yourself more. Take time to think about the right time, place, and way to confront them, and definitely consider what you are going to say. Again, talk to God, asking Him to give you a Spirit of forgiveness and grace, even though that person may have hurt you. And take time to see that person’s side too. Many times, broken relationships are the result of a misunderstanding or lack of proper communication. Which leads me to my last point…
  • If you have been hurt by someone, be careful of the medium you use to confront them. Many people, myself included, find it so much easier to express how they feel in the written word. Sadly, too many people use the written word to convey how they feel to someone who has hurt them, which often leads to misunderstanding. Written communications take away the nonverbal things that are needed in a conversation, such as body language, facial expressions, tone, etc. This is why it is wiser to talk to someone in person, where the full range of communication can be used. If it is not physically possible to speak to this person face to face, then try Skype or on the phone. Email, Facebook messaging, and text should be last resorts.

I am dealing with a situation in my own life where I have been hurt by someone, and I have been doing my best to do all of these things. I am daily reminded of God’s mercy however, even in the midst of my hurt.

“Cast your burden upon the Lord, and He will support you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.” Psalm 55:22

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in Spirit.” Psalm 34:18

“The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.” Psalm 9:9

If you are hurting, I pray that God will comfort you. If you do not know the wonderful comfort and love of God, then I pray that you might find it, and find peace in it.

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