The Evolution of Suffering


In the beginning, I embodied the pain.

It was thick, viscous. Its foulness touching every part of my being until I no longer knew where I ended and the suffering began. I could no more escape its malevolent embrace than I could pull peanut butter from a child’s hair. We were one, the suffering and I. My anguish kept it fed and in return, it kept me company. I may not have had my marriage but I had the suffering that was left behind.

But slowly, ever so slowly, the anguish started to fade. The loss grew more distant and hope grew ever closer. Starved of its preferred sustenance, the suffering started to wither. Its suffocating heft grew to more manageable dimensions and its once viscous nature grew thinner. Weaker.

I felt the pain.

I would have moments, even days, where the suffering was unseen. But its absence was always short-lived and my brain had a trigger-finger that would herald its return at the slightest provocation. My body held the memories like the discs in a juke-box, ready to play with the touch of a button. As long as I didn’t approach, I was okay. But as soon as I recounted the tale, my voice would tremble and the pain would come rushing back as though it had been lying in wait.

And so I kept telling the story. And with each retelling, the heartache faded a little more. And the suffering grew weaker. My once constant companion became like a distant friend – we may keep in touch on Facebook, but we have no real need for face to face.

I remembered the pain.

And yet I kept living. I would revisit earlier writings or conversations and marvel at the emotions I carried. I would reflect back on those endless nights and my emaciated and shaking frame. I could speak of the suffering, but only in the past tense, for it no longer touched my soul.

Unencumbered, I learned how to trust again. How to love again. How to be vulnerable again. I learned to tell the story without emotion. Because it didn’t happen to the Lisa of today. It happened to the Lisa of yesterday. And I no longer recognize her.

I appreciated the pain.

Not for the suffering it provided, but for the lessons hidden within. It is a path I would have never chosen, yet it has led to more glorious pastures than I could have ever envisioned.

If you carry it too long, suffering will weigh you down and seek to asphyxiate you with its heft. But carry it long enough, and that weight makes you stronger. Lighter. Better for the experience.

Everything changes.

Even suffering.

Thank you for sharing!

24 thoughts on “The Evolution of Suffering

      1. I have seen and felt a difference in the past few weeks!

      1. Thank you! It really hit home for me…

  1. Cindi at MomVersity – Los Angeles, CA – Devoted mom of 2; Real Estate Agent, Former Freelance TV Producer; Native New Yorker; Student at MomVersity; Believer in honesty, ambition, ethics, loyalty + laughter.
    Cindi at MomVersity says:

    Beautifully said. It is amazing how you never think you can escape the despair…then you do.

  2. Dragging bags of pain behind you, that is how it feels. Slowly though they get holes in them and the pain leaks out.

  3. Amy Watson – I am a Florida girl who loves a simple life, Jesus, family, friends, football and the beach (usually in that order). While being introduced for a speaking opportunity a few years ago, the pastor asked me "who are you?". The words that followed shocked even me: "I am the precious daughter of the most high God". There were many years when I would not have answered that question as I did that day. I have spent most of my life defining myself by all that I have survived; all that I have accomplished or all the degrees on my wall. The truth is, my answer to that pastor's question that day is the definition that is most important, and one that I hope truly defines my life when I am gone. The rest: survival, accomplishments, and college degrees are certainly a part of my story; and why I write, mentor and speak. My description of "who I am" that day is why I stand proclaiming Him and Him alone. As a survivor of a lot of things that tried to kill me, it is my desire to use my story to spread a story of Hope for any who may find themselves in similar situations as mine. If this story is interesting to you, sign up to receive an email, you will get notified when I add a chapter. It's a crazy story and one that only God could redeem.
    Amy Watson says:

    Love your blog, I’m doing something similar excep I was in a domestic violence situation. I just want to help ppl, I thinks it helps me too. If you are interested in my blog it’s

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