How Can I Deal with this Emotional Pain?

wounded heart


Remember that line from “M*A*S*H? Margaret was terrified by the shelling and she said, “I don’t like being afraid. It scares me!” I think we can all relate to that!

We can also relate to something like this: “I don’t like pain. It hurts.”

Yes, it does. And it also scares us.

Children are understandably frightened by pain. They don’t have the logic skills yet to think, “Hey, this hurts! Where is this coming from? Oh, I have a diaper rash.”

We adults don’t fare much better when it comes to emotional pain. Even when we know the origins, such as having a terrible argument with a spouse or friend, we often don’t react well. The pain scares us and that fear can be paralyzing. Worse yet, it can cause us to isolate from friends, family, even God. And He is the only one who can heal. He is the only one who loves us all the time, 24/7/365 as they say. I sure don’t know any person who can do that. But God IS love, he doesn’t just act with love.


hidden knives to attackEveryone has their own tweaks on how to deal with pain, some good and some not so much. Here are a few suggestions on what NOT to do:

  • Don’t isolate yourself. Sure, you might need some time to process what happened. You might be at work and unable to contact a trusted confidant. But please resist the tendency to pull into yourself and lick your wounds. Isolation just makes it all seem worse.
  • Don’t fall into the trap of catastrophizing. Assuming the worst case never helps. You had a terrible fight—so the marriage or friendship must be over. You lost your job—so you’re going to end up broke and homeless on the street. You feel like a fool over something you said—so everyone hates you.
  • Don’t judge yourself harshly. It’s easy to tell ourselves how lazy and stupid we are. If we did (fill in the blank) then we are horrible people with no hope of change.

trustSo, how about some positive ideas on what TO do? Here goes:

  • Approach God, don’t pull away from Him. Hint: you can even do this when no other friend is around! He will never push you away. If you feel that happening, it’s often a sign of self-judgment.
  • Die to yourself. Lay down your expectations and opinions of yourself before God. Ask Him what He says about you. Then accept and receive the truth. He says you’re beloved, the righteousness of God in Christ, child of the Most High God. And there’s a lot more.
  • Let the barbs that cause wounds go on through you and to Jesus. He took your pain on the cross, and He is still willing to take it. But He can’t unless you let Him.
  • Be strong and courageous; tell someone you trust about your pain and fear. James 5:16 tells us to confess our faults (some translations read “sins”) to one another so we may be healed. There is an old proverb that declares “A burden shared is a burden halved”. That sounds like pain relief to me!

Love lifts a lot of burdens and heals emotional pain. Allow love in.

Especially the perfect love of God.



this is part 4 of a series on pain and the Christian

part 1| Should a Christian Have Pain?

part 2| Separation from God

part 3| Why Pain?

part 4| How Can I Deal with this Emotional Pain?

all illustrations courtesy of