Every road to healing requires sitting on the couch of life and talking about real pain and real hurt. Processing circumstances we’ve walked through is perfectly normal. It is absolutely understandable to have a need to process and assess the wreckage left by pain and hurt. But the problem comes when we don’t get up from the couch. We learn to live there. We get comfortable talking about the wrongs done to us, re-living the details of every negative experience over and over, and nursing our pain. Then, we plan another party…yep…it’s called a PITY PARTY. Yes, the one where you’re the guest of honor. All things must be directed to and about you. Sadly, time flies when we’re sitting on our self-pity couches. We get absorbed. We miss out on so much.
The problem comes when we don’t get up from the couch.
Our thoughts and daydreams find themselves dwelling in the past, re-living each unhappy ending in our head. Sometimes we give ourselves too much permission to sit on the couch of life and throw a pity party. Maybe you find that your deep conversations end up reciting past failures and disappointments?
One of the greatest traps of doing HARD THINGS is the “Why Me?” trap. It’s a place where the enemy wants us to believe that God somehow actually gave us more than we could handle. He wants us to believe that instead of God being a good Father to us, we are left to depend on ourselves. The enemy tries to convince us that God is not a present Papa but rather a forgetful Father. That He is someone who likes to give us more than we can handle, only to watch and judge us for our lack of ability to follow through and do them well. It’s a lie that we can easily buy into! The enemy likes us to stay in our pit. He will try to get us to buy into any lie he can in order to keep us bound, never victorious, and always feeling defeated. The enemy knows that if he can get us to take these HARD THINGS as a personal assault from God, we will no longer believe that He is a good God but a lying and deceitful God, who likes to punish His people. If we believe this lie, we will stay in the pit and our inner lives become dark and cold without hope. We have to identify the “why me?” lie and understand it is a trap that will try to keep us bound. Once we recognize it as a trap, it empowers us to no longer nurture our fallen souls with “why me?” but empower our spirits with “why not” and to climb out of the pit and move forward.
Part of the seduction of “why me?” is that we expect a reward for our suffering. It’s like we expect our families and friends to turn around and feel sorry for us and somehow ease the pain and make it all better. We expect people and God to rescue us from our pain and helplessness. But God is not trying to spoil you, He’s trying to raise you. He’s looking at you face to face, saying, “Come on! You can do this! You’re the only one that can climb out of this pit. If I come and rescue you from where you are, you’ll stay there!” In fact, it’s His kindness that is trying to coach you out of your pit. If you feel like He is not near you, I would suggest it’s because He wants you to come after Him and the only way to get you out of the pit is to remove His tangible presence to cause you to run after Him and climb out of the pit.