One of the dynamic benefits of living in the country are car talks with kids. Lately, we have been listening to Bob Gough, Love Does. His stories and the truth about love settles deep in our souls. But, last week we were a bit chatty about everything. In a thoughtful moment, Levi gazed out the window and said, “Mom without pain a lot of things would not exist.” His words rang like a dinner bell calling hungry cowboys to the table. I couldn’t resist feasting on the thought more, so I replied, “Son, what do you think exists because of pain?” His list was mostly related to physical pain. It included band-aids, doctors, medicine, and even moms.

You see, I could relate so well to what Levi was saying. Experiencing a traumatic event sent me to the doctor. There was a chart on the wall to indicate my current pain level. You know, the one with progressive smiling to agonizing faces. While my physical symptoms were certainly disturbing and concerning, it was the emotional pain that really made me sick. I was broken, confused, afraid and vulnerable. I communicated the best I could and left the office with a prescription that was going to help me not feel the pain. It worked for the first couple days, but I quickly developed tolerance and before I knew it the agony of pain made me sicker than before.

The medication was short-lived, as it darn-near killed me. However, through the support of wonderful counselors and coaching I learned there is no other way to deal with pain than to go through and lean into it! Think of a time when you experienced excruciating emotional pain and wanted it to stop. We are programmed to avoid pain. We will stop it at all cost with drugs, alcohol, sex, television and technology. It’s our default mode.

It’s hard work going through pain. Allowing yourself the time and space to grieve is necessary. It was a 2 year, full-time job for me. I’m so happy to share, there’s a gift in pain. It’s called, post traumatic growth. Few people talk about it, but it’s very real. Post traumatic growth is the positive psychological change that occurs after a traumatic life event. It implies that after finding a way to endure through significant suffering you can actually have meaningful development of personal character and elevate yourself to a higher-level functioning.1 “After trauma we grow, we get more joyful, more appreciative and know the true meaning of gratitude.” says, Sheryl Sandberg.

Everyone has pain. It’s unavoidable. So let me ask you…

What’s your current level of emotional pain?

Does your heartache?

Has something happened in your life that you need healing from?

If so, take a step toward healing and growing. I love what Austin Eubanks, who’s a survivor of the Columbine shooting, says, “Whoever you are…in order to heal, you must feel it.” I share this in hopes to eliminate the stigma of emotional pain and give you courage. Going back to Levi’s profound understanding of what exists because of pain…I’m incredibly thankful we have a Savior who carried our sorrow, was bruised for mistakes and took healing upon Himself. He’s enough friends to get us through the darkest days.

We can truly find our lives, In-Him:

“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to

his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”

1 Peter 5:10

1TedXtalk: Austin Eubanks https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SP_q3cW672s

The pain of loss can often make it difficult to transition into looking ahead. If you need someone to take this beautiful journey with you, please reach out to friend, counselor, or life-coach. You can connect with me as a coach on my Facebook page @DeniseDietzCoaching or at www.seedsoflifecoaching.com I’d be honored to take an adventure into new life with you!

Denise is a lover of good ground, good food and most radically God! You’ll often find her knee deep in the dirt digging up something for dinner and digesting inspiration deposited in her heart. Her blooming ideas are born in the soil of God’s love for all mankind. Her most precious seeds are the three children entrusted to her through adoption; Mycheal, Levi and Nathalie. She also cherishes a beloved daughter-in-law, Lisa.

Denise Dietz