About the Author

Carole McDuffee has been married 33 years to her husband Gary. She is the mother of three grown children, and the President and Cofounder of Great Exchange Healing Ministries.

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  1. All I can say, is Yes, Yes, Yes! I was called into a stormy marriage situation this morning (oh my dear colleagues, I ache for you). Talk about messy. BUT not without hope (though they have a bit of a long road in front of them). Reminds me that “Submitting to the process is hard!” (http://wp.me/p1Ut5W-dP)

  2. I submit that even men compartmentalizing their emotions is not healthy emotional management. I’m deeply concerned, for example, with the high percentage of men who struggle with prnography or other sexual addictions. It’s about not knowing how to deal with pain, not about wanting sex. (I’ve heard estimates that nearly 50% of homes are dealing with this problem. We get a lot of searches related to this topic.)

    Your post reminds me of this quote: “Heavenly Father does not want us to minimize our reactions to life. He asks that we accept what he gives us and then take to him our feelings and the truth about our lives, whatever it is. If we can go to him with absolute openness and say, “This is what is happening to me right now, and this is what I feel,” then he can use that openness as a conduit to teach us how to heal and how to forgive and repent and how to love.” -Martha Beck

    Like you say, our emotions can help us remember how much we need God. I also think that as we become more aware of the negative emotions that often drive our responses, we can more readily give them to God and ask for help learning to turn instead to faith, hope, trust, etc. This is something I’m working hard on. The self-awareness part can be brutal at times, but it’s also really empowering to be honest with myself about where I really am so I can be more honest with God and more forthright about how and where I need His help. It helps me be more humble and reliant on Him. And I think it’s helping me learn better ways of responding. He can refine us if we choose to turn these things over to Him and let Him in.

    • Thank you for the feedback, Michelle! You are right about self-awareness being difficult at times. I think the ability to be honest with ourselves is half the battle though! Sounds like you’re on the right path!

  3. This has truly been the year of heartache and growing beyond what one thinks possible for me & my family. Just when things seem like they may be OK we are hit again with something else. FAITH: Fantastic Adventure In Trusting Him – I keep saying this in my head, but sometimes my heart just doesn’t get it. Please pray for our family as we have to make a HUGE decision by Friday. One that means moving away to a place my boys & I dislike so my husband can have a better job; For us to see God’s perfect will for our lives and not our own. I’m so emotionally exhausted right now as a wife and mother <3. Thanks for sharing this today <3

    • Hi Stacey
      I have been where you are and my advice to you and your husband. Stay where you are. In the end, our children grow up too fast and if you have any control over this situation allow them to remain where they are happy. Money never solves a problem. Our children completely rebelled when we moved them and our family life was chaos…which resulted in poor choices. My thoughts and prayers are with you. If this move cannot be helped then you should immediately begin family therapy so everyone can have a safe voice with their feelings. God bless!

      • Stacey,

        I am definitely praying God’s perfect will for you and your family! The steps of a righteous man are ordered of the Lord (Psalm 37:23)…If God’s will is for you to move, He will definitely bring good out of it. 🙂

  4. Pain…there’s just no getting around it! We suffer pain from our bad choices and hopefully we can bring that to God and he can show where we messed up. We suffer pain because we LOVE others. We want to help and to fix it, to take their pain away. Oh Boy, this world is so full of suffering. It’s hard, but when i feel pain, i must talk about it, digest it, bring it to God and give it time. He has a way of helping me to deal with things. I always say, 1- Be honest…totally honest with yourself! 2- God, who knows all, wants you to be totally honest with him as well.

    It is good not to be afraid of our feelings. And just cuz we have a feeling doesn’t mean we have to act on it. God can handle us! What a relief!

  5. Carole, beautiful post. This morning I’ve been bombarded with anxiety about a situation in my family. Your post has really helped me change my perspective, and to continue toward God in my hurt.

    • Jennifer,

      Thank you for the beautiful encouragement! I know how quickly we can become bombarded with family situations. Do I ever!! It is so very easy to be pulled into anxiety…So happy to hear these words ministered to you! Bless you!

  6. Emotional Pain, a topic I’m more closely related to that I would like. After being sexually abused as a child I gave myself away to a few men (boys) only to find myself pregnant @ 18. A few months later my child’s father’s life was taken & I was left to raise a 2 week old baby alone. I continued to run from the Lord, try to hide from my pain with alcohol and partying until I sensed that the Lord was calling and I needed to deal with my stuff. I gave my life back to Christ and He began the healing. Shortly after I opened my heart and married a man who I would soon find out was battle wounded himelf. 3 yrs into our marriage he was unfaithful. We reconciled then 3 yrs later he was unfaithful again. I gave it my all we went through extensive counseling for yrs then abruptly 6 months ago he asked for a divorce. This time the pain cut much deeper than it ever has. Many nights I would fall to the floor into the fetal position after my children were asleep. I would cry out for hours in anguish. I was there that I Truly felt the presence of our Lord. I could feel His righteous right hand holding me and I felt closer to the Lord than I ever have before. Everyday He was faithful to meet me there on that floor. As I sobbed He reassured me and when I screamed & beat my head against His chest like a teething child, He held me closer. He ministered to those deep dark places I had been holding onto. The more real I got with him the more healing I received. I finally became friends with my pain because I could see its greater purpose. Now…everytime my heart aches a part of my heart smiles. There is something so bittersweet about my pain. My pain has a perfect purpose. It’s drawing me closer to Christ and opening doors for me to share about Him and His love like never before. Nothing could be sweeter!

    • Wow, Myrna!

      What a testimony. I can only imagine the pain that you’ve endured! I admire you for learning to run into the arms of God, where you found comfort time and time again. The fact that you have made peace with pain and recognize the benefits in the refining process is incredible. I think so many individuals struggle with that. There really is something to “Embracing” our pain! Your testimony is refreshing. I can only imagine how many individuals you are helping in your journey with the Lord!

  7. I have often referred to myself as emotionally constipated. I feel like I need to prove I am tough or something. I’ve learned to realize that God created me to be emotional, and emotions are okay. Sometimes we just need a good cry…

    • YES, YES, YES! I often think about the fact that our tears have salt in them, Lisa! Salt is a purifier, and who among us can say we don’t feel better after a good cry?!

  8. THanks for sharing Carole! It has been through pain, I have learned the most about myself, and done the most clinging to God, and crying out to him, trying to understand some of the hard things in this life. I have to cling to that promise that though we see through a glass darkly now, we will see, and know God, as he knows us! I am looking forward to that day!!!!

  9. BEAUTIFUL… I am so very proud and happy for you, my prescious friend. I thank God for you and your inspired words of encouragement. Your walk with our Lord is beautiful and blesses me.

    I love you, Carole.

    • My precious friend, Susan! I love YOU, as well… You are a beautiful woman of God, and I look forward to catching up with you when the time is right! Thank you for sharing your heart!

  10. I so agree with everyone on the importance of releasing our pain to God and processing it in a healthy manner. The problem I have is having been a major stuffer, I feel shut down emotionally. I’m in a highly stressful season in which I would love nothing more than to have a good cry for days. But while I feel anxiety, I cannot release the pain even enough to process it at a heart level. I’ve been journaling, but it pretty much flows from my head. I’ve asked God for the “gift of tears” many times and have realized I cannot find the switch or I’d flip it.
    So, if anyone has had this experience I’d love to hear what helped you connect and release your pain either through tears or another way.
    Blessing to you all,
    Carol

    • Carol,

      I am not sure what the blockage is, but the Holy Spirit does. I will be praying for you! God is very good at uncovering the source of our problems! Bless you, Carol!

  11. Carole,
    you got it exactly right! I love that thought – God is not afraid of our emotions — he created us with them. The Devil wants us to deny them and what they tell us. Great article!!

  12. Thank you for this. Ive come to accept that the concept of suffering/pain is a part of my christianity. Acts 14:22 says ‘we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God’. In such times of sadness/suffering and pain we need to look to Jesus, as Hebrew 2:10 says he wants to make us perfect through sufferings. Like Maria Woodworth Etter, I am also learning obedience through the things that cause me pain. She lost five of her children and become seriously ill, but hearkened unto Gods voice and was obedient to her call, it was her suffering that brought her to christ. I’m so encouraged by your post to not be ashamed to cry out to God in such times and surrender myself totally and completely to him. God bless you for sharing. http://www.daghewardmills.org.

    • You are so very right! Thank you so much for your input! So thankful our God never leaves us nor forsakes us as we walk through our fiery trials and the suffering of this present age (Joshua 1:5!) Bless You!!