Life is Waiting on The Other Side of Pain
by Kassi Evans
It was a year ago today that I was found unconscious on the bathroom floor in our bungalow in South Africa. Stiff as a board, the girls were able to sash me up with random articles of clothing so that the guys could carry me outside. Carbon monoxide poisoning had starved all the oxygen out of my blood and I was barely breathing… I don’t know how long it took me to respond. I remember feeling really at peace and yet very confused. Their voices seemed so far away and unreal, but when I realized that I should reply, I also realized that I couldn’t feel any part of my body. Without being able to open my eyes, all I was able to get out was, “Is this real?” to which Maddie responded, “Yes Kassi, this is real.” “Ok…”
Feeling blood flow back into my body again, waking up my limbs, face, and organs was by far the most painful experience of my entire life. It felt like millions of knives moving throughout my body. The pain was so intense, I kept passing out and waking again and again. When I was conscious, I would somehow, with whatever energy I had, crack jokes to try and lighten the mood since everyone had a traumatized expression while staring at me. Only the guys would laugh some while the girls were too busy crying or barfing in the bushes.
In the peak of my pain, over and over I could clearly hear God giving me the choice, “Kassi, you don’t have to fight to stay awake. You can come home with me if you want to.” Which I would respond with, “Umm, no that’s ok. I think I’ll fight a little bit longer.”
Why would He even dare give me the option to die or not? I have way too much to do! I’m in the middle of a mission trip and that would be horrific for my friends I was with to experience that! Why would He do that?! Then it dawned on me… I am literally not obligated to do anything. His love for me is steady and unchanging… I could choose to live or to die – either way He loved me. I’ve heard it all before and even believed it to be so, but somehow, the reality of how deep and true His love is became so tangible in a way I could never forget - God doesn’t need me to be some crazy missionary. He doesn’t need anything from me… HOWEVER, it says in the Word that He gives life abundantly. He knows how He designed me and He knows better than anyone that I feel the most alive when I am in the depths of what His heart beats for. I wasn’t ready to go to heaven, because I want to bring heaven to earth.
“Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven….”
When we come into agreement with the reality of what Jesus Christ did on the cross for us, we are coming into agreement with His blood covenant. His sacrifice was nothing close to the easy way out. He faced the most excruciating pain there was, just to shout over us, “I LOVE YOU!!!”
In my story, blood equaled intense pain. However, blood also equaled life. If at any moment I decided that the pain was just too much, I would have died. All I had to do was simply relax. Death was the easy option. But instead, I chose to endure. Life was waiting for me on the other side of pain.
Right now, there are places of your heart where you have yet to let Jesus in. It’s too painful to visit that trauma. It’s too painful to visit that area of rejection, abandonment, and disappointment. For so long, it was easier to just ignore it. I’m here to testify that there is LIFE on the other side of that pain. His blood is coming to the dead places of your hearts. He is awakening the dry bones inside of you! The awakening is coming!
“Hang my locket around your neck, wear my ring on your finger. Love is invincible facing danger and death. Passion laughs at the terrors of hell. The fire of love stops at nothing— it sweeps everything before it.” Song of Solomon 8:6 (MSG)
Are you willing to walk through the pain so that you can step into the fullness of life? There is no obligation – the option is yours.