Hurling Hurts

or My Experience of Psalm 23

I wanted to hurl hurts right back! The title of the book, Hurt People Hurt People, defined me. My hurt morphed to madness. I grabbed the leash of our Golden Retriever, Lexie (her tail communicating her excitement), my scripture cards, and stomped out the door.

I knew I would hear from God … and I kind of didn’t want to; mad felt right, vindicating even.

The words of our pastor, less than an hour old from the well-known Psalm 23 came back. During church my pen could hardly keep up with his wisdom. The story I was living was close to the surface–his points provided perspective and encouragement. Breathing came easier as we left church. Thank you Mark Bates.

The story I sat with in church came alive as I read my email when we arrived home. The words in the email dredged up the hurt emotions and ignited my anger.

Lexie and I started down the forest trails encircling our home with my mind remembering Mark’s points, Lexie happily unaware of my hurt. I desperately needed the Shepherd’s rod and staff, the prodding in the right direction and the pulling me back to truth. God was faithful.

Besides Mark’s teaching on the rod and staff, three additional thoughts calmed my heart.

“He leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” (verse 3) Even though my path was bumpy, God tells me it is the right path. It is the right path for Him to be glorified. My mind wandered to Psalm 16:11, “You make known to me the path of life;” It is the right path because God will redeem it. As my feet kept moving and my Fitbit kept counting, I confessed to not understanding but trusting that this somehow was a life-path.

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me;” (verse 4, underlines mine). The email was a kind of death for me, the death of a dream, a huge shadow on the beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon. God whispered, Sue, I’m in this valley with you. I get how important that dream was for you. I will keep my arms wrapped around you. Will you hear my love? Yes, Lord.

Mark ended with this thought, It is right for us to steward our emotions (my very raw emotions). But we also need to tell ourselves the truth. Steward my emotions AND tell myself the truth.

That made all the difference.

Lexie and I continued on. I pulled out the scripture cards I had stuffed in my pocket, reading the words, praying the truth, hearing God’s amen, and feeling His smile.

I walked in our back door humbled and ready for my Sunday afternoon nap.

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understand,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:7

If you would like to listen to Mark’s message (and I highly recommend it), you can hear it here.

I wonder, how have you experienced the truths of Psalm 23?


4 thoughts on “Hurling Hurts

  1. Sandy Carter says:

    Sue, thanks for being so candid with us. I can relate. I remember ignoring my Bible for several days, knowing that when I opened it, the Lord would talk to me about my bad attitude. We’re like those sheep that bound off into the bush, but we have a Good Shepherd who is so patient! Thank you, too, for offering such a great example of how to handle disappointments with the Lord!

    • says:

      Sandy, your words brought a big sigh of relief. It’s sometimes scary to be vulnerable. But God always seems to bless it. I’m learning we all are susceptible to similar issues.

      Yes, God is so patient, and so kind. I truly returned from my walk a different person.

      love, sue

  2. Karen Getz says:

    So authentic as well as so well written with wonderful pics to visualize the point. Yes, I can relate. Just had a difficult situation the past 10 days. Got all worked up and worried about an issue. When prayed over and then talked through with the appropriate person in the appropriate way, God cleared the way of mutual understanding. That doesn’t always happen but I am grateful it did in this situation. Thanks for sharing your heart with us.

    • says:

      I’m grateful it worked out for you and your friend as well. Relationships can be so hard and yet they are also so precious, worth fighting for. Thanks for sharing Karen. love, sue

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