Pushing Through The Pain To Get To The Healing


Hello Bravehearted Beauties! Has it really been two weeks since I’ve sat down with you? Hard to believe considering all the posts I’ve written in my head over the last few weeks! If I could download my brain on any given day, I’m pretty sure the words would stretch from here to Texas. And during this season of healing…double that!

I’m 11 weeks into this broken ankle recovery and am finally walking with only a small brace. I look almost normal, but the pain, swelling and stiffness are daily reminders that more time, therapy and ice packs are needed. My doctor says it’s a four month recovery at best. I’d pay him big bucks if he could say the same for my heart! {Wink!}

In the last 11 weeks, I’ve discovered countless parallels between physical healing and emotional healing. Unfortunately, a timeline isn’t one of them. Heart healing happens on its own time. There’s no clear end, precise protocol or predictable trajectory. No wonder heart healing can be such a pain! But here’s what I’ve learned about both the body and the heart through physical therapy in the last few weeks: there comes a point when you have to push through the pain to get to the healing.

Here’s the deal: I want to walk. And not just well enough to go grocery shopping or make a Target run. I want to hike. I want abundant life! I want to follow a trail through the fall woods, scramble up and down the hills, and hear the leaves crunching beneath my feet. I want to hunt for God’s love and glory all along the way!

{Remember this heart leaf I found last fall?}


But to walk in a way that allows me to enjoy life and beauty to the full, I have to do the work and push through the pain of therapeutic exercises. When my physical therapist gave me a new exercise last week, I couldn’t do it. Not only because it hurt, but because my ankle wouldn’t flex or bend enough to let me step down. I was frustrated. Was it mental? No. My ligaments, tendons and surrounding tissue are still healing. My range of motion is limited. But as my therapist reminded me, the pain of the exercises isn’t going to cause further harm. It’s going to bring healing. But if I avoid my therapy just because it hurts, I’ll be stuck with a limited range of motion.

And so it is with heart healing. If you avoid, ignore or refuse to press into the wounded, painful parts of your story, you’ll be stuck with a limited range of emotion

I spent most of my life thinking a limited range of emotion was a good thing. Too much emotion scared me. Too much of anything felt out of control, unstable, unpredictable and unwanted. So I learned to control my emotions. {And worked hard to control my life.} I wasn’t a cryer and was proud of it. {In a house full of females, I think my dad was relieved!}

But over time, I’ve learned that a limited range of emotions isn’t the way I want to live. I’m not even sure you can really call that living. I don’t want to shove down the tears and ignore the pain anymore. Why? Because I’ve learned that our capacity to feel joy is directly related to our capacity to feel pain. And I want the joy! I want to laugh…and I want to cry. Learning to embrace opposing emotions has been one of the biggest breakthroughs in my healing journey over the last few years. I’ll never go back to being the girl who doesn’t cry. I want to live life with my whole heart!


Here’s one thing I know about pushing through pain: you need a helper. You need someone who knows the way of healing. Someone who knows the difference between pressing into pain that brings healing vs. forcing something that will result in further harm. Someone who can see your pain and can sit with you in it, but doesn’t see it as your identity or your permanent place.

Sometimes you need a professional helper {doctor, counselor, therapist}, and sometimes you need a friend {one who’s entered into her own pain and isn’t afraid of yours}. And then there’s the best helper I know: the Holy Spirit. God is no stranger to pain, and by the presence of the Holy Spirit, He can enter right into your most painful memories or current situations with real power to heal. I can hardly believe all that He’s healed in me in the last 11 weeks! The broken bone is almost secondary compared to the deeper healing work God has been doing in my story. SO GOOD.

So whether you’re in need of physical healing or emotional healing, I think you have to ask yourself: am I willing to push through some pain to get to the healing? Do I want that deeper joy that comes with facing my deeper pain? Do I want the full range of (e)motion that God intended for me to enjoy? If the answer is yes, I think you’ll discover so much beauty in your brokenness.

Wishing you deep joy and a brave heart today,

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  • Amy Avery - Thank you for sharing this post Linsey! It’s something that really resonates deeply with me. I’ve thought a lot about you lately as I have just moved (about six weeks ago) from Knoxville, Tennessee to Charlottesville, Virginia. I’ve read back over some of your posts that you wrote after you moved from Franklin and have found them comforting knowing that my wide range of emotions I feel over our move are natural and ok. Thank you for always sharing your heart. I believe this is one of your best posts and really shows a contemplative heart and love for God.ReplyCancel

    • Bravehearted Beauty - Oh, Amy, I’m so glad you’ve found some comfort in those posts about moving. I hope you find a heart friend REAL soon! How encouraging for you to see this as one of my best posts. It feels so incomplete and only scratching the surface to me. I was wondering if it was even worth posting. Good to be reminded that we aren’t always the best judges of our own best. Hugs to you.ReplyCancel

  • Jessi - Thank you for this post. I’ve been avoiding God lately … refusing to take the emotional risk of trusting him, hiding from my pain instead of facing him and receiving healing. I am struggling to believe that he sees and cares about my heart and the pain in my life. Your words encouraged me to risk trust.ReplyCancel

  • Rene' Taylor - Thank you for sharing your words of comfort. When I read what you wrote about “Pressing into pain…needing a Helper. someone who knows the way of Healing.
    Someone who knows what it is to press into pain that brings Healing vs Forcing something that will result in further harm. Someone who can see your pain and sit with you in it, but doesn’t see it as your IDENTITY or PERMANENT PLACE.The point you made is what so many people Need to hear in the healing Process. It positive reinforcement and a few kind, uplifting words goes a long way. Focusing on what is right with us and not focusing on what is wrong with ourselves is our way of helping and bringing hope and understanding. Some people tend to dwell on what is wrong with others too much and it is very destructive in uplifting someone that is already been through too much suffering. We all have different coping mechanisms. It makes all the difference in the World for someone to give us hope and not put salt on our wounds.Your words are a breath of fresh air! Yes! God our Father will show us his way, protect and guide us. From the words of Matthew & John “Come to me all ye that are heavily burdened and I will give thee rest”. Also, from the words of Mark” trust in the Lord, lean not always own your own understanding”. Thank you for your words of inspiration.ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - You are an instrument of love, kindness, wisdom, and so much more. Praying you heal fully so you can do all those things you want to do. Our mobility really is priceless, much like all of our whole health is. Abundant life is appealing. While my ankle works just fine, my rising weight is slowing me down. I will take some walks this coming week. Maybe even a slow jog for a stretch. Thanks for reminding me I still want to do all those things too. Take care.ReplyCancel