Hey guys! This article is part of a blog series about the lies chronic pain tells me and the truth I use to fight back. Follow these links to my first article, 4 Lies My Pain Tells Me, and my second article, 4 Lies My Pain Tells Me about God.
Doubt is a stepping-stone between knowing the truth and believing lies. Pain often acts as a miserable catalyst for doubt, making even the simplest truths seem unbelievable.
You might find that pain in your life has the power to make you question what you believe about the world, God, your relationships, and even your very self.
When we recognize these doubts that have turned into the lies we believe, we can take the power back from our pain and recognize the ultimate power of truth— God’s truth.
These are four specific lies my pain has told me about myself.
1. I have no purpose in life.
I was a kid with big dreams. I had a huge heart for international ministry. I always looked past what I could see and reached further than my arms could grasp. I knew my purpose as a believer was to know God and make Him known to other people, and I thought I had a pretty good idea of what that would look like in my life.
Now, as a young adult, I spend a lot of my time housebound because of fatigue and debilitating pain. The days where I dreamed of full-time international ministry were forgotten during the days I could barely get ready to attend a church service. The hours I spent laying in bed started adding up and whispering lies to my heart about my purpose.
I felt useless. If I just had more energy, more time, and less pain, I thought I would be able to see my purpose once again. What I really needed, however, was a new perspective about purpose.
My purpose is not defined by me or what I accomplish, so it’s okay if my purpose in life looks a little different than what I originally assumed it would. Since I have been sick, God has really opened my eyes to my true purpose and the ministries that are right in front of me that I would have quickly overlooked before. I have learned to see purpose in the small things and recognize value in accomplishing what is in front of me instead of dreaming of what could be.
2. I have no worth.
Before I got sick, I would have never recognized a deeply seated lie that I was subconsciously believing. I believed that worth came from accomplishments.
Although I never would have believed that about anyone else, I held myself to an insanely high standard of excellence and productivity. When I quit my job and dropped out of school because of my pain, I was heartbroken. I genuinely felt worthless because of how little my body was allowing me to accomplish.
I must remind myself on a regular basis that my worth comes from God and God alone. The lie of worthlessness is so incredibly disheartening, but this simple truth brought has me so much freedom.
On my own, I am entirely unworthy, regardless of what I can or cannot accomplish. With my heavenly Father, I am made worthy. He spoke inherent worth into my soul and died to make me His own. Remembering His love and His dedication to making me worthy allows me to recognize my true value.
Regardless of my pain, my sin, or my accomplishments, I am worthy because of Christ.
3. I have no hope.
I know what it feels like to lose all hope. I have walked that dark and lonely road on many occasions.
When there is no relief, when a new therapy fails, when a doctor tells me more bad news, when my days seem to only become harder and more painful, hope can drain so fast.
That is why I cannot hope in relief or doctors or therapy. I must hope in Jesus.
I know how empty that can sound, but I still believe it to be true. Hope in Jesus, hope in heaven, and hope in salvation are not at all like any other hopes in my life. Earthly hope for potential healing can be disappointed. Hope in God’s promises is hope in a 100% sure thing.
You may come to a point in your life where you have no earthly reason to hope anymore. That is why it is so critical that your hope in God is steadfast and sure. When you have nothing else to hold onto, you can cling to His promises.
4. I cannot be grateful.
My life is characterized by constant pain. As much as I would like to use this as an excuse to never be grateful, that’s not how gratitude works.
We always have the freedom to be grateful for the good things we have that we don’t deserve, despite the bad things in our lives.
If you are still breathing, you have the ability to be grateful.
Many Christians before me have skillfully written about gratitude in suffering. They recorded their personal journeys to being grateful for their pain as they learned to recognize the hand of God in suffering. I cannot honestly say that I am grateful for my pain today, and I think that’s okay. It’s a process. But I believe an important part of that process is learning how to be grateful for the good things regardless of the pain.
Pain is no excuse to ignore the beautiful ways God is working in my life.
What lies are you believing?
If you find yourself relating to these struggles, I want to encourage you to fight back. You don’t need to let your pain have this power over you. There is freedom in the truth, and it’s worth fighting for. Even when it’s hard.
What lies are you believing today?
What truth will you replace the lies with on your journey to freedom?