What to Do When Unexpected Hurts Hit

A friend hurt me deeply and the level of pain was unexpected, but I wanted to use the opportunity to seek the healing only Christ can bring.

Excerpted from
By Christine Caine

I remember when the initial shock of my friend hurting me began to subside, and I slowly realized that I had to work through all my hurt without her. It was a defining moment in my healing, a moment of reckoning, of turning my attention from how deeply hurt I felt, to how I could get better. But I really wasn’t sure I could do it alone—and be as healthy as I wanted to be—and so I decided to get help.

When we get a hit that comes out of nowhere that threatens to knock us out, we need wise Christian counsel. I’m a big believer in going to Jesus and to safe people who can help us process unexpected wounds. Because of my past wounds—like those from my childhood—I knew I was vulnerable in this area, so I reached out to a Christian counselor who could help me. I knew that ultimately Jesus is the only one who can truly heal our deepest hurts, but I also knew the value of having someone help me sort out my perspectives and my heart.

Unexpected hurts often reveal unexpected pain, and, as strange as it may sound, I wanted to take advantage of this opportunity to be healed of anything lurking under the surface that I might not have been in touch with. I’ve been on this journey long enough now to know that when I feel a certain type of heart pain, it is an invitation from God for a deeper healing he wants to do in me. I have been so broken, wounded and fragmented that I am a constant work in progress. I’ve learned to lean into this kind of pain when it happens, even though I know that doing so will hurt, because I so desperately desire the healing I know is on the other side.

From Outreach Magazine  This Year’s Best Book on Counseling and Relationships

I knew that God sometimes uses relational fractures to show us where we are out of alignment with him—that maybe we’re more of the problem because of where our affections are focused. It’s so easy to have unrealistic expectations of others—to inadvertently want them to love us as only God can—and to set our friendships up for failure. We can’t expect people to be Jesus to us. It’s too unfair. Jesus is the only true friend who can love us unconditionally and really stick closer than a brother.

So, it was then, with a counselor’s help, that I slowly quit asking, Why? God, why?—because honestly, sometimes we may never know, and because that question usually just spirals us into a dark hole that leads nowhere. So I began to revise my questions and ask instead, Jesus, where are you in this? What can you show me through this? What can I learn from this?

It wasn’t the first time I’d been unexpectedly hurt, so I knew there was always something God wanted to do in me. He didn’t cause the hurt—my friend did—but God is always eager to use our circumstances to bring more wholeness into our lives, if we will let him. God is good, God does good and God uses all things for my good. These are truths I believe with all my heart. So, as I invited him in, I knew he would use this for my good somehow.

Reframing my questions changed my perspective. It turned my focus back toward Jesus—where real answers come from. It reconnected me to hope—which meant I was looking forward now and not backward at all the emotional wreckage in my wake. It also set my heart in a direction of letting Jesus mold me further into being the kind of friend I had always wanted.

From Outreach Magazine  Jesus is Bigger than Our Wounds, Our Wars and Our Words

Only Jesus could heal me completely, so I took the time to tell Jesus of the loss I felt—like part of my life was missing—and he walked me through the sorrow of how much all of this had hurt me. I grieved the loss of someone I had come to love dearly. I grieved the loss of not having to second-guess my words or filter my responses. I grieved the loss of having a friend who understood me implicitly and let me be myself. I missed all the time and space she filled in my life. I missed all the laughter we shared. I missed all the deep conversations we used to have. I missed the random texts and jokes and prayer requests. And I told him all of this. I allowed myself be in touch with how I truly felt by being honest with God and myself. And as I did my part, God began to do what only he could do—heal my heart.

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Excerpted from Unexpected by Christine Caine. Copyright 2018 by Christine Caine. Used by permission of Zondervan. Zondervan.com.