There is conflict. Run.

There is pain. Run.

There is anger. Run.

Run away from the emotions — from the discontentment.

Be sure to run fast. Don’t let those emotions catch up.

Run to the busyness. Run to the work.

Run to into being productive to cancel out avoidance.

Anyone ever hear these a version of those words? Anyone else a people pleaser? Anyone else rather make others happy than speak up that they are hurting?

I am sure I’m not the only one who runs from pain. Who shuts down on purpose. Who is a master at not processing things.

So here are words for ME learned by me over the past year but they’re also for you. For anyone else who is a master at staying “cool headed” when the pain hits because they avoid feeling it at all through staying busy and disconnected.

God doesn’t want us to feel pain. But He knows that on this side of heaven we will. He knows that we will face hardships and trials that honestly just aren’t fair. But I’ve learned that it’s not His desire for us to run from them.

Sometimes I watch the news and I honestly think, “My goodness, people suck.” It’s honestly easy to think there is more pain than beauty on some nights. But one world tragedy strikes and one beautiful movement or group of people rise up with a passion to help.

It makes me wonder — If I’m running for the pain, am I also running from the passion? The passion to help people who are in their darkest days, the passion to help families who can’t afford clean water, the passion to help the lady sitting in her car at the gas station weeping.

Compassion is born through passion and passion is born through pain. Why would we ever feel the conviction to help people in pain if we had no sort of inkling of what it was like to be in our own pain?

I don’t want to be the kind of person who runs out of conflict and into comfort. I want to be the person who can say “I’m having a hard time and feeling it to my core and want to make sure no one else feels that pain either.” To me, that is strength and compassion. To me, you can’t shut of half of your pain and empathize with your neighbor’s pain.

To help, you have to feel. Feeling is scary. For some it’s easy and for some it’s easier not to. But what I do know, is that it is necessary and as God’s children it is required so that we can support and hurt and empathize together until the day where we don’t have to anymore.

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