Blog posts geared just for pastors
and their congregations
Recent Pastoral Blog Post
Pain has a funny way of sneaking up on us when we least expect it.
So I’d like to say that I’m always a professional – and I am. But I’m human too. One of my hobbies is playing cello for our church worship team. It’s nice. I show up – coffee in hand – unpack and tune my gear, play four songs for practice, rest, play the same 4 songs again (usually differently from how we practiced), and then call it a day.
But the other day, one of the songs caught me deep in my soul. I mean caught. My eyes welled with tears from the emotional flooding as I read the lyrics:
And I know it’s only for a moment
And everything is working, for Your glory
But I need Your perfect love to hold me
Safe within Your promise ’til the storm has passed
-For a Moment, Elevation Worship
Remember, I’m professional: minister, counselor, and musician. But in the moment, I was also feeling a flood of pain. This counseling venture I’ve started has taken a lot out of me – or rather stirred up a lot in me. There is a voice – a constant reminder of my past failures and shortcomings. There is doubt – a nagging present feeling of uncertainty of whether I can do it. But mostly there is pain from all of this and more thrashing around in my soul.
Am I alone? I feel like it.
But I’ve done this job enough to know that I’m not alone. We all have those moments whenever we attempt to accomplish something worthwhile.
At Covenant, our approach to dealing with pain is not to ignore it or deny it – which a lot of counseling theories can do. We intead embrace it and remember some keys to dealing with pain:
I know… “Duh.” But every time I touch a hot stove, stub my toe on the bed, or don’t guard myself when my son jumps on my lap, I’m always surprised about how it feels. None of those hurts last long – but in the moment, they are excruciating. There’s always a variety of emotions that tag along with the pain – anger, frustration, helplessness, etc. None of them last. I just need someone there with me to help me through that burst.
Pain has a purpose
I can look back on a myriad of valuable lessons I learned in my life, but the ones I remember the best have pain attached to them. I know to avoid floating rings in pools, low riding screen doors, and toddlers running head first. At its base level, pain reminds us not to do that again. But pain also helps us to empathize with others. I don’t have to be experiencing active hunger to know what it looks like.
And for those of you who watched The Replacements (2000) you probably read that in Keanu Reeves’s voice – and that’s okay. I need to remember that “Pain heals, chicks dig scars, and glory lasts forever.” I need to know that pain is only a moment. Because when we’re suffering, it feels like an eternity, but before we know it scabs have formed. There may even be scars, but coming out the others side, we are changed.
At Covenant, we can’t fix the pain. But we will stay with you through it. The online platform lets us be there with you while minimizing other stressors (feel free to schedule a free consult to find out if this works for you). We will do everything we can to stay anchored to whatever you have that is stable – and if you don’t have it, we will either find it or make it. And we will take your pain and work to redeem it – transforming it into something glorious. I know when I’m going through my difficult times, I need an injection of faith to say that it’s going to be okay. Or as I often quote to my wife in her times of uncertainty: “As Buckwheat says, it’s going to be ‘Ooooo-tay.'”
Or as God says it:
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they will not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched,
Nor will the flame burn you.
-Isaiah 43:2 (NASB)
What about you? Where is your pain today? Can we take a moment and pray with you through it? What are you doing that redeems it? What’s keeping you holding on and remembering that it’s only for a moment? If you need a reminder, take a moment and listen to Elevation Worship’s song.
For A Moment
Take a moment and listen to Elevation Worship’s song that inspired this blog post.
Matthew E. Morgan, MA, LPCC
Owner / Therapist
Matthew is the owner and founder of Covenant Family Wellness. He’s a counselor, a licensed minister, and a coffee connoisseur – and has spent his life working to help families come together, whether through education, ministry, or therapy.