I don’t feel like I deserved to be exempt from pain while others suffer. I simply have to accept what was and what is. My abuse was my cross. It was my burden to bear. I know others who carry crosses. Some crosses are big and some are small but they are crosses no less. Some crosses are laden with cancer while others have the death of a child strapped to them. Others have disease, handicap and sickness nailed to their cross. Nevertheless, each of these crosses represents immense pain. I can’t say I know your pain if your cross was cancer or a terminally ill child or some other tragic circumstance. But I can say I know pain. And it is through our familiarity with pain that we speak a common language. It is the language of hope, surrender and healing.

Hope, surrender and healing are all verbs. They are action words. They are a part of doing and being. They all require something. And when you are weary and worn, “doing” and “being” sometimes seems like a bit much. So in those moments when simply breathing is too much to ask close your eyes and see Jesus. See him waiting with arms stretched wide. Not just stretched wide because he waits to embrace you, but stretched wide because he too carried a cross once. He too endured an inconceivable pain. And he knows pain like no other. He knows his pain, your pain and my pain. Fall into his arms and let him receive you, let him support you, let him carry you. Let him give you rest. And then tomorrow, or the next day, or the next, you will be strong enough to get to the business of healing. You will have the energy to begin to do and be all that God has called you to.