Sometimes pain jumps out and scares us.
It could be a pain we experienced years ago. A pain we have long forgotten and even escaped. The hurt was deep in the moment, but with time, our insides healed.
Truthfully, the situation still makes us squirm when we think about it, but it’s just our scars talking. Or perhaps seeing or thinking about the person who hurt you still makes your heart drop straight to your stomach.
“That was forever ago,” you gently remind yourself.
Then something seemingly harmless stops you in your tracks one afternoon. It hit you in your blind spot when you least expected it, much like a fender bender in rush-hour traffic.
You’re looking through your pantry or running an errand when something cruelly reminds you of the past. The reminder invokes strong emotions you thought you’d buried inside. A stream of tears begins to fall on your cheeks. Or perhaps a fist clenched in anger pounds on your steering wheel before the anger turns to sadness.
The unlikely trigger
For me, it was this box of crackers. I was pouring my children a bowl of these crackers when I felt my chest tighten.
“They are just crackers, Jordan,” I assured myself. “This is nothing to get upset over today,” I chided.
These aren’t just any crackers you find on the shelf at your local supermarket, though. When my husband was going through surgery and chemotherapy for stage 1 cancer, these were his favorite crackers to eat.
I had never seen these crackers before that day. A wonderful family friend had brought us dinner the evening after my husband’s surgery. Among the fresh chicken salad, fruit, and brownies sat this box of crackers neatly in a box.
My husband loved them and asked me to keep adding them to my weekly shopping list. So I did. Throughout his recovery, I kept the pantry stocked with these crackers. It was a small ask of my husband, but it was a big deal to me.
I would have done anything he asked of me if I knew it would keep him going during that time.
So as I poured the crackers into plastic bowls and placed them back in the pantry, I wiped away the tears sliding down my cheeks.
The crackers reminded me of the doctor’s visits, 2 am wake-up calls giving my husband medicine, and nights spent crying and begging God to please get us through.
Yet, God is faithful
But they also reminded me that God is faithful in every situation. When life knocks us down, He picks us up and carries us. It may not always turn out the way we want. We don’t always understand the why.
But I am thankful for His mercy and that He carries us when we don’t think we can go on.
My husband is one-year cancer-free, and I am thankful. The fear of it happening again may jump out at me from time to time, but I remind myself that God is in control. He gives us peace when fear creeps in.
So when your pain jumps out to scare you, let the tears fall. It’s okay to be sad about it. Wipe your tears and take your pain to God. Thank Him for His provision, and let His peace fill your soul.