I have discovered something about pain. It is a common fiber that can knit two hearts together. Someone that you never suspected would be in your life, and share your heartache with you, is often the one who knows your pain because of enduring their own pain.
Through troublesome times God has given me a voice that confesses and he has made me silent at times. And that's a task because I have never been silent. But He has caused me to have a hearing ear and a sensitive heart and listen out for someone else's pain. It's having walked through my own pain that makes me so in tune when I spot others in pain. And I have been blessed by friends on the other end of the phone or computer who bear their heart and soul to me and in turn allows me to bear mine.
I don't think that is by coincidence. I believe that we are designed to walk through life together, bearing one another's burdens. Someone who has been a great mentor to me and a huge inspiration is a man who himself has endured difficulties in his life. Having him share his experiences with me and then guiding me based on his own experiences has literally changed the path I am on. And sometimes I don't know if he is truly aware of what an impact he has made in my life. It is through his obedience and through sharing his heartache and recovery that I was able to make sense of my own pain.
I come from a proud family, one that didn't always disclose their hurt or dysfunction. I learned very early in life to have a stiff upper lip and at least pretend like everything was "fine". A friend of mine the other day told me that when he was going through a difficult time in his life, something that was very public, that when someone would ask him how he was he would say "never better". Yet he admitted to me that inside he was dying.
A verse that I have literally clung to comes from Psalm 32. David wrote of his turmoil while refusing to face his sin. Psalm 32:3-4 says "when I kept silent, my bones grew old through my groaning all the day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me". I remember a time when I carried so much with in myself that my body literally ached. I suffered from anxiety and insomnia. And I was so afraid of someone finding out what I was going through. Sometimes freedom comes when we release what we are so desperately holding onto and we confess our heart to God and even to a friend. There is "relief " in being discovered.