One word (w/ Addendum)

(Originally published on December 6, 2010. Please see the bottom for an addendum that was inspired by my two commenters. Thank you, ladies!)

For the Writing Workshop this week, Mama Kat asked us to write a post inspired by one of these words:  simple, angsty (not really a word, but I like it), excruciating, enchanted, and bold.

I had trouble picking one, and I thought about writing a bit for a couple of the words. Then, I stepped outside and felt how excruciatingly cold it was. There came my inspiration to write on this one word: Excruciating.


1. Intensely painful.
2. Mentally agonizing; very embarrassing, awkward, or tedious.

3. informal irritating; trying
4. jocular (or given to, characterized by, intended for, or suited to joking or jesting; waggish; facetious) very bad: an excruciating pun

Word Origin & History


1560s, from L. excruciatus , pp. of excruciare  “to torture, torment,” from ex-  “out, thoroughly” + cruciare  “cause pain or anguish to,” lit. “crucify,” from crux  (gen. crucis ) “cross.” Related: Excruciating ; excruciatingly.
Our word excruciating is directly related to the Roman torture device of the cross– the same cross upon which Christ was crucified. (And it’s where JK Rowling got the Cruciatus Curse.)
Many things in this life are excruciating. The cold snap in the Southeast. That joke your dad just told. That broken bone. That broken heart. That hunger. That ache to do more. That ache for something you don’t have but want or even need.
Some things are even so wonderful that the resulting feeling is excruciatingly wonderful. I hear true romantic love is like that. Love for friends. Love for family.
I have a list of things that cause that excruciating twang I physically feel in my heart.
  • How much I miss my friends who are in another country, another state, or even a city or two away.
  • How much I dislike being single during the holidays.
  • How much I love my family and want more for them.

The thing that causes the most excruciating pain is God’s love for us manifest in Jesus Christ. I’ve got the total depravity thing down. I know I’m a mess. I know I’m not beautiful. I know my heart is black and filthy. I know that without Christ I’d be going to Hell. I know that without Christ, I’d have no hope; I wouldn’t be beautiful to God; I wouldn’t have a reason to take my next breath; I wouldn’t be clean, pure, and perfect before God.

The thing that hurts the most is knowing that I keep messing up, and He keeps loving me. He keeps disciplining me to correct me, or He just outright blesses me to prove His glory. He keeps blessing me in ways that I can’t contain and that must spill out on others. It hurts because I know of all this, but I don’t know what to do with it or about it.

I pray that God show me His love more and more so that I can love others more and more.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.  For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” John 3:16-21 ESV

Mama's Losin' It

***Addendum December 09, 2010:

I have to laugh at myself a little. Perhaps I should have chosen Angsty for my word. I do thank you very much for your comments and helping me see how incredibly hard on myself I am. While all those things I listed above are true of the human condition, we have a Redeemer who cleanses us and makes us white as snow. What kind of freedom is it really if we’re trapped in our own heads feeling sorry for ourselves? We do need to remember that we are imperfect humans, but there is peace, joy, love, silliness, and fun to be had in this life while we await that one Day.

So, here’s to love, light, life, and joy.

Aside | This entry was posted in Writing Workshop. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to One word (w/ Addendum)

  1. Kim says:

    Yikes! You are really hard on yourself. Visiting from Mama Kat’s.

  2. Emily says:

    I agree with Kim! You must learn to love yourself before others may love you. I wish you joy in the New Year.

  3. Emily says:

    I’m glad that my comment brought you a little peace.

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