by Kolleen Lucariello | September 26, 2017
In December of 2003 my youngest sister was injured while playing with her family on a trampoline. She suffered damage to her C5 Vertebrae in her neck as well as neurological damage to her spinal cord. At the time, her husband was serving in the military and they were stationed in Hawaii. Within days, my mom and I were on a plane so we could be a support system to them.
While in Hawaii, we sent email updates to our support system back home; family and friends who became faithful prayer partners during that season. A few weeks ago I received a note from a dear family friend letting me know she had saved all of the emails from that time. She would have them ready for pickup if I wanted them. Oh, my goodness—would I ever!
As I read through them I revisited all of the emotions I experienced while there: a little-lighthearted laughter over sisterly teasing, some hope over a toe that moved, concern over a fever, and plenty of heartache and sorrow following the news she would never walk again. Emotions that could be high on hope one day were crushed the next when reports came back negative. The days were long and hard, especially for her two kids who were 14 and 10 at the time.
In one of the updates, my sister had been sharing her concern over her son when she said, “I was the source of his comfort and now I’m the source of his pain.” My heart sunk and tears flooded my eyes as I read her words and transported back to the moment she spoke them. It was unbearable, as a mom, to fathom her children were suffering as a result of her suffering and she was unable to comfort them.
Before I knew it, my mind was drifting off to thoughts of my own comforts that became the source of pain.
Food has always been a big one for me. I always seem to find my way into the kitchen whenever I’m in need of a little comfort. This also has been a source of pain as my clothing shrinks and the number on the scale increases. Many addictions begin as a source of comfort only to end up a source of pain. Relationships can initially be a source of comfort but turn into a source of pain when wounds are inflicted.
I also recognize that my faith has been a source of comfort, but sometimes, has become a source of pain. I’ve been involved in the church for a long time; I’ve seen some pretty unholy behavior in the house of the Lord. God is a great comfort to me, but He has also been a source of pain when His answer has been different than what I was hoping to hear. I’ve never been one to like to be told “no.”
I’ve discovered when God is the source of my pain; there is a greater purpose behind the affliction. Psalm 119:71 is confirmation, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes” (NKJV). When the source of my comfort is in anything other than Him, it also becomes the source of my pain as I set myself up for self-destruction.
As I allow God to change my identity – one letter at a time – I become more convinced that regardless of the source of pain, He is trustworthy. When He says, “I, even I, am He who comforts you” (Isaiah 51:12, NKJV) we can believe Him.
C-Comforted in His care.
Visit Kolleen’s website for more inspiration and encouragement: http://www.speakkolleen.com/