Getting Through Hell

hell_headerI just got a call from a friend that made my day. He told me that his son was in treatment at Sierra Tucson for drug addiction. I had lunch with this man last week and had recommended that the son go there. I shared with him how my time there, for trauma treatment from childhood sexual abuse, in 2005 had been life changing. Shortly after I returned home from ST, a friend took me to breakfast. He presented me with a refrigerator magnet that says, “If you’re going through hell, keep going”.  Better advice I have never been given! Thankfully, I have made my way to the other side and now I have something in common with millions of others who have  taken the same advice. The key to any recovery or even life in general is to simply “keep going”. As a pastor and former hospital chaplain, I have ministered to hundreds of dying people.  They pretty much always fall into two categories: quitters and folks that “keep going”. There is no comparison to the quality of life of the two.  Regardless of the struggle you may be in right now, the key is to “keep going”, because when you do, you always make it through.

When your “hell” is rooted in actions done to you by others, the best means of propulsion through it is forgiveness.  Without it, we become frozen in our hole of misery, victims trapped by our own bitterness. That is a hellish way to live! When you hold on to your security blanket of hate, you automatically stop moving.  At that point all you are doing is slowly squeezing the life out of your soul. You never get on with your life unless you let it go. Without forgiveness, sooner or later you are toast. That is the reason the Bible tells us not to keep a record of wrongs (I Corinthians 13:5).  Every time you recall the hurt you immediately make a willful choice to “keep going” by reminding yourself anew that you are once again going to give up your right to get even. Instead you mindfully pray that God will bless the very people who have hurt you. One of my “ah ha moments” was the day that it occurred to me that life never happens in a vacuum. By that I mean, that as a rule, other things are going on because people do not wake up one day and decide to hurt you. It is only hurt people who hurt people — understanding that truth has been a healing salve in my own journey. Never forget that as bad as things may be, they are never as bad as they seem and there is always a bright light when you make it through.

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply