#YourStory: Liz Giertz

Liz Giertz


Pebbles of Pain

by: Liz Giertz
The glory of God in this woman is a beautiful thing. His healing work in her is powerful. I hope you’re as touched by the testimony and words of Liz Giertz as I am ~ even more so! She is a co-laborer in the cause for Christ as she leads women on military bases. She writes powerful, impacting words on her blog (noted at the end), and today she brings her power-packed words of God’s healing touch to these pages. It’s my hope you’re changed, even just a little, by what Liz shares. And don’t forget to pass this link along. Someone right beside you may find hope in the midst. 

I recently recognized a bad habit I have developed.

I had finally arrived at the point where I needed to ask for professional help parenting my son.

But within minutes of reaching out, I learned that an acquaintance of mine had suffered a tremendous loss. Her full-term baby had died just hours before she was scheduled for an induction.

Instantly my perspective changed and I felt foolish for feeling so helpless in my own situation. I thought I just needed to suck it up and move on. My struggle with a distraught seven-year-old seemed like a tiny pebble compared to the burden she was carrying.

The realization that others’ problems far outweigh our own can bring a certain helpful perspective. But it can also be dangerous if it causes us to ignore the load we haul. That danger comes in denying the existence of our own pain.

Denying the hurt only delays healing.

Denying the hurt only delays healing. ~ @LizGiertz on KristiWoods.net Click To Tweet

The longer we live the more hurt we accumulate. It doesn’t matter if it is heaped on us all at once or stone by stone. If we don’t heal our hurts, the heaviness becomes more than we can bear.

For more than twenty years, I had been hiding my hurts, tucking little pebbles of pain into the pockets of my life. Pretending they didn’t exist because in my mind their magnitude paled in comparison to what others carried.

Sure my parents divorced, but it happened after I left home and they were still (mostly) friendly.

Yes, I was raped, but it wasn’t violent and I didn’t press charges.

I’m a combat veteran, but it wasn’t like I was out patrolling nightly with the Rangers.

Several of my classmates were Killed In Action, but other people lost husbands and best friends.

I had a miscarriage, but it was so early we hadn’t even told anybody yet.

My husband is gone for a year, but he’s only in Kuwait this time.

My Daddy died, but I’d been expecting it because he really didn’t take care of himself the way he should have.

My kids may be difficult, but at least they are healthy and here with me.

I had been refusing to acknowledge these hurts carried any weight at all, but the more I hid, the heavier they became. I shamed myself into believing I had no right to my feelings because I was so blessed. I refrained from seeking help because others needed it so much more.

I nearly wound up buckling under the burden. When it got that far, I was left wondering what happened, struggling to pinpoint a single event worthy of causing the collapse, unaware of the cumulative toll so many “minor” traumas had taken.

I couldn’t heal because I had refused to feel.

I couldn’t heal because I had refused to feel. ~ @LizGiertz Click To Tweet

God doesn’t distinguish between our dilemmas. He doesn’t classify our catastrophes. He doesn’t even prioritize our pain. He certainly doesn’t make us wait until we’ve filled a wheelbarrow with pebbles of pain before He pledges to help. He doesn’t say He will only help when we have a boulder-sized burden.

He simply says to cast our burdens on Him because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).

It's OK. Go ahead. Cast your burdens on Jesus. He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7 Click To Tweet

Every single one of them. Any time of the day or night. But we cannot cast our cares on Him if we are too busy hiding them.

Accelerate healing by acknowledging the hurt and accepting help.

So now, one by one, I’m unpacking the painful pebbles and allowing myself to acknowledge the hurt without judgement or shame for those feelings. I’m reaching out to some amazing people God has placed in my life to help me work through the damage that was done. And I’m finally beginning to heal.

1 Peter 57 NIV.001
Photo Credit: Liz Giertz

I hope you’ll join me.

Maybe my burdens sound heavy to you or perhaps they look like a cakewalk compared to what you’ve endured. Either way, we aren’t called to compare our cares but rather to love and serve each other. So, if there is any way I can help you, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Because by bearing each other’s burdens we fulfill the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2) and glorify our Father in Heaven.

“Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you...” Psalm 55:22a NIV Click To Tweet

 

~ About Liz

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Liz Giertz is a Veteran turned Army wife and mom to two boisterous boys who call FT Hood, Texas home for now. She is passionate about encouraging women to overcome the MESSES and embrace the MEMORIES as they become the MASTERPIECES God created them to be. You can connect with her on her blog, My Messy Desk , as well as on Facebook , or Twitter .

 
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36 Comments

  1. Very beautiful, friend. I am glad to have met your digital acquaintance. What struck me the most here was the comparison of the hurts we feel to those we see others enduring. A paper cut still hurts us even when someone beside us is experiencing a migraine. It is amazing how we can talk ourselves out of owning what is ours,even when it regards something, perhaps unwanted,like pain and how our optimistic outlooks can backfire. Love the wisdom in this post; thanks for sharing.

  2. Liz- So appreciate getting to know your story a bit more today. Some of those traumas are familiar. The point you are making is all too well known to me. This line: “believing I had no right to my feelings…” yes. You phrase it in a way that clarifies some truth in my own heart. Thank you so much, friend, for sharing today and for pointing right back to our Lord- who is right here, willing and able to take all our burdens. Praising Him and praying for you!

    1. It’s nice to “meet” you, too, Rosa! You are so right. Paper cuts do still hurt! And healing from it requires we acknowledge that pain and assess the wound for treatment. Perhaps just a good washing, little pressure, or an ice cube will do the trick. Sometimes it will require a dab of neosporin or coconut oil. Even a paper cut could get infected if we pretend it didn’t happen. And then we have even bigger problems! Blessings!

    2. Bethany, it has been so fun getting to know you around this on-line community, too! It’s a fine line to walk, I believe. To feel the feeling for the purpose of healing, but then to release it to God and replace it with His truth. Blessings, to you, friend!

  3. Liz! This is such a deep truth that we need to talk about, but don’t. I can totally relate to your feelings here, and I’m sure many others can also. I often look at what others are going through and feel like a whiner because I have trouble with my seemingly ‘smaller’ stuff. I sweep my difficulties away, thinking I should be stronger, like that girl over there who has a much heavier burden to bear. Oh how wrong I’ve been! Jesus cares for each and every challenge, hurt, or struggle. And He invites us to give it to Him. How wonderful:) Thanks Liz and Kristi – love you both!

    1. Love you, too, Kristine! I shared this post with my family and a handful of my closest friends before I sent it to Kristi and the response has been so freeing. You know what, not one single person said, “Suck it up and move on. Let me tell you about what happened to me.” Which is kind of what I always imagined happening. I’ve been met with so much encouragement and support. God has put some absolutely amazing people in my life and orchestrated events so that I would meet exactly the right person to minister to many of these “pebbles.” He is overwhelmingly awesome! I pray that as others begin to open up and start this conversation in their own circles, they too would be met with the same love.

  4. Liz, I can surely relate to what you’re saying (and to Kristine’s comment above). I also tend to minimize my own struggles and think, “Well, this isn’t so bad.” I love this: “Accelerate healing by acknowledging the hurt and accepting help.” Thanks for sharing your story. I’m going to pray about how God wants me to respond to this.

  5. Sweet, Betsy! I just love your heart to go straight to the Healer with this! Sometimes, I think maybe Satan uses that very line – “Well, this is so bad.” – to keep us from healing. I don’t want to let him keep using my old hurts agains me. The time has come for me to take them all to the cross and share how God is taking the burden off me. XO

  6. Wow! This is powerful! I actually was hit with this same truth just a couple of weeks ago. I was tired of being told to “suck it up” “look on the bright side” or to compare my hurt and struggles to the ones other people are suffering. God placed the VERY SAME verse on my heart, “cast all your cares upon Him, because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5-7). ALL of our cares! Not just the really big doozies. Not just the ones that bring us to our breaking point. Not just the ones other people tell us matter most. ALL of them! From the seemingly insignificant struggle to just put on a smile when you don’t want to — to the deepest heartbreak your soul still struggles to overcome. You wrote this so beautifully, Liz! I’m thankful that the Holy Spirit gave you these truths – because they are so VERY, very important for us to understand. We have a God who cares for every detail of our lives – and who wants us to come to Him boldly and without hesitation, confident of His love for us. We don’t need to stuff our pain away. We can release it to our Heavenly Father – and be healed! Thank you for this! I can’t wait to share it!! And by the way, Kristi – I’m in love with your blog! I’ll be stopping by more often – and to yours, Liz! Thank you for sharing this post with us.

    1. Thank you RebeccaLynn! It’s so true! God does care for our every concern and healing is found in Him alone! Let’s be women to take it all to the cross and pick up His offer of life lived to the fullest!

  7. Wow…thanks for sharing your heart today Liz! Comparing ones self to another can be destructive but even more so when we shove the hurts down further and further. I did this for many years before the stroke… especially minimizing the hurts. This stunts our growth as a person and especially as a Christian. God does not want us to live like this. He asks us to come to Him and cry out. He is our comfort and strength. I am moved today by your honesty and openness and I’m pleased to read you are in the process of healing as you cast your cares on our Savior. May we always keep our eyes on Christ and not diminish the hurts we feel as He heals and makes us stronger . Blessings to you and yours!

  8. I love this post. I have often thought the same thing…I’m a Bible teacher and I see this especially when women are sharing prayer requests. It’s easy to think a problem is too small to share and so we just keep on bearing the burden ourselves. Thank you for your perspective Liz.

    1. So true, Lisa. Why do we seem to think it’s more holy to hang onto our hurts than cast them at the cross? I wonder if it’s always been this way or if there is something cultural that has made this seem right to us…

  9. Liz, I admire your boldness and resilience. It’s not easy to heal especially if we’re in denial.
    Thanks for shedding light on us with your story. You’re inspiring.

    1. So true, Lux! I’ve realized that in order to live the life Christ won for me to the fullest I have to let Him heal all my hurts!

  10. So true, Liz! I’m so glad you finally allowed yourself the chance to grieve these losses and pains in your life. That’s such an important part of my healing journey–finding the right way to grieve and let go of my hurts to God. Otherwise, I will be weighed down and eventually be crushed under the weight of accumulated wounds. You are telling such an important story, my friend. Nice to meet you and be inspired by your words today!

    1. Thanks, Beth. That’s a scary image… To be crushed under the weight of my wounds. So thankful God won’t let me stay buried, but lovingly restores me! Blessings Gs to you!

  11. Authentic, beautiful, & POWERFUL! Liz, thank you for sharing your heart and words of wisdom. I’m honored to have walked, rucked, and ran this journey with you as a West Point Woman & Army officer.

    Blessings & Gratitude~

    1. Thank you, Susan! We all have a lot of healing to do and I think it is best done when we don’t feel isolated. Thanks for stopping by Kristi’s space today!

  12. I agree that people compare each other’s pain too much. We have all experienced different types of pain and not one person is better or worse off than the next…its just different. How we handle our pain matters though. One thing that we all can guarantee on…that always remains the same…is a God’s everlasting, sustaining love. I love how you are passionate about helping people turn their messes into masterpieces. I firmly believe, and am also passionate, that it doesn’t matter how broken our past is, God will use it and turn it into something beautiful. I am living proof of this!

    1. Yes, Lynne! God can make good use of all our broken and messy pasts. In fact, some times the more messy they are, the more God’s glory shines through them. There are so many things I can point to that only God could have cleaned up for me. He has never let me fall beyond His reach!! Blessings to you!

  13. What a great word picture, Liz! I especially loved this: “We aren’t called to compare our cares but rather to love and serve each other.” I appreciate your vulnerability in sharing your story … here at Kristi’s and also at Bethany’s place. The whole idea of casting our cares on Jesus one by one is really resonating with me this week, and what you’ve written is one more reminder not to ignore or stuff, but to openly acknowledge them and hand the outcome over to Him.

  14. Thanks Lois! Feels like I’m all over the place this week! 😉 Acknowledge, accept, and then cast them over to Him! Ignoring them only buries them deeper and makes the removal process more complicated.

  15. Liz this is beautiful my friend. I love how you said “we aren’t called to compare our cares.” Yep, we all have them and the older we get the more there are and that’s why we have to continually count our blessings each day, and go to Him to help work thru those awful things that happen.

    Love your words, love your heart, love you.

    1. Thank you, sweet Debbie! You are certainly right about accumulated them as we age… But we have to remember our blessings often grow as we go, too! XO

  16. Liz, I have also found that when I share my life with others it is such a healing process not only for those that hear it but for me as well. God can use every aspect of our lives to teach others about His Love, Grace and Mercy. We all have our own story and we need to be willing to share it with others.

    1. I have seen a lot of that healing with this post, Laurie. Not only have people been encouraging me, but others have started conversations about their own hurts. God is at work to bring us all wholeness and healing! Blessings!