Brittany's Advice

  • Dec. 9, 2014
  • #8507

Listen to Joni's friend Brittany talk about finding hope even when pain or difficult emotions make you want to withdraw from life.

Brittany's Advice

Joni: Hi, I’m Joni with encouraging words from a dear, young friend. Welcome, Brittany, to the microphone.

Brittany: Thank you!

Joni: It’s good to have you back. I’m so glad you could join me, because Brittany, when I am struggling with chronic pain — which is often — I look to you for encouragement, I do. You may only be in your 20s, but through your battle with complex regional pain syndrome, God has given you a keen kind of wisdom, because you’ve been strongly tempted to sometimes just ‘withdraw’ from life entirely, right? Do you want to talk about that?

Brittany: Yea, I think that pain and disability, whether it be physical or emotional, these sort of things are kind of a great unequalizer. People have a hard time relating based on whatever you are going through. You may have limit in your activity. I found this quote by Paul Brand and Philip Yancey. They said that “Pain is the loneliness most private sensation.”

Joni: I read one of your emails earlier this summer in which you said everybody was out barbequing, going to the beach, doing things. What were you doing?

Brittany: I was not doing much.

Joni: You were curled up.

Brittany: Yea, the Lord was faithful, though summer wasn’t as productive as I would have wished, but the Lord carried me through. There is a somewhat of a desire to just turn away and curl up and be done, but you can’t be done, because this is it. This is our race.

Joni: You were saying that when you curl up in that fetal position and don’t move that is the most comfortable position you can get in, but yet that’s not a position to live in, is it?

Brittany: No, it’s not and so I feel when I get into that place, my mind and my thoughts just kind of follow suit. And so it’s kind of just a process of not feeling good and then your heart doesn’t feel good and then you don’t feel good...

Joni: …Your mind doesn’t feel good. How do you break out of that?

Brittany: Well, Piper says, “When the darkness does not lift it is utterly crucial that in our darkness we affirm the wise, strong hand of God to hold us, even when we have no strength to hold Him.” And so I think that sometimes it is a surrender, recognizing my smallness and God’s greatness.

Joni: Brittany, many of your hopes — the sort of hopes that any young woman your age have — have changed, haven’t they? Can you speak to the biblical hope that keeps you going?

Brittany: Yea, I think that Biblical hope is one of God’s mercies. In this life we look to what’s going on and we long for restoration and joy and that broken hearts would be comforted. And then we also have this hope of this excitement and awe of one day meeting Christ. And so this hope serves us well because it’s comforting and encouraging.

Joni: You know, I look at Revelation and for me that’s the source of so much hope. I look to that day where the Bible says there will be no more night, no more tears, no more death. And in Isaiah 35 the sorrow and sighing that we experience on earth will flee away and everlasting joy is going to crown our heads. Well, thank you for hanging on to hope, Brittany. Pain is a wearing and so discouraging. It’s such a difficult burden to bear.

And for you, friend listening, it could be back pain, or pain in your knees or ankles, your neck, or migraines in your head. Oh, friend, remember that although pain can be the companion that guides you to the Man of Sorrows acquainted with grief — that makes it a companion, although a dark and sometimes disturbing companion, right Brittany? But a companion nonetheless because it pushes you into your Savior’s arms. So, friend, if you struggle with pain, I pray that God will be your comfort and consolation, and may God be your hope, huh Brittany? The God of all hope! And Brittany, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and especially for opening your heart today.

Brittany: My pleasure.

© Joni and Friends


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