I don't like discomfort. Pain is something I try to avoid at all costs. Sometimes I think I would enjoy a life of "vanilla peace". You know, the kind where nothing bad ever seems to happen and things move along smoothly. However, as nice as it sometimes sounds, that sort of life is not really the pattern for growth.
I have slowly been learning to face my pain, rather than run and hide from it. It has been uncomfortable for sure, but it has also been remarkably healing. And I've learned several things.
First, the pain is not unbearable. The same God who promises that I will not be tempted above that which I can bear also does not allow me to suffer pain beyond what I can bear (although sometimes I wish He didn't trust me so much).
Second, I've learned that the pain passes. In some ways, it is like a large wave of water in the ocean. The wave will wash over me, and then it passes, and I have some moments of calm before the next wave comes in. In the past, I was afraid that the pain would be overwhelming, and it wouldn't leave me. I'd be stuck in it. But it turns out that is not the case.
Third, I've learned that there is peace on the other side of the pain. This point was the one that I did not see coming. I figured that working through pain would leave me exhausted (which it indeed does on many occasions). But there is also peace from the Spirit once the pain has passed. In some ways, there is more peace on the other side, because the pain, having been heard and felt, no longer blocks the flow of the Spirit.
Finally, I've learned that as much as I enjoy the white threads in the tapestry of my life, the black threads are just as valuable in creating the entire picture.