I live with nearly constant pain – and nearly zero answers.
After more than ten years and countless medical appointments, I feel as if I’m right back where I started. I can’t write, type, stir, or play piano without the potential for significant pain. So I avoid most of these things. If I sit for very long, I have one point of pain. If I stand, another. If I walk, another. If I drive, another. The only thing I can confidently accomplish pain-free is sleep.
My brain’s understanding of pain has become so distorted that I don’t often know what kind of pain or level of pain I’m experiencing. I have grown so accustomed to a pain-filled life such that I often don’t even realize I am in pain. And while my pain threatens to be on my mind at every waking moment, I have become skilled at distracting myself. Filling my calendar, my planner, my attention with other things, I get through a few hours . . . and then remember.
I remember how this life is not the life I’m supposed to live. I remember how this pain interrupted all my dreams, shattered my well-thought-out plans, and essentially changed the course of my future. I remember that I am overwhelmingly weak, and I experience a renewed sense of the inability to go on. I remember all of the time and money spent searching for answers, all the conversations, all the tears. I remember how horrible and freeing it is to talk about it, to process, to grieve, and to wonder if it will last forever.
This is my new reality. My pain is real.
It often feels more real than things that are more real.
For stronger than the reality of my pain is the reality of God’s goodness. And stronger than the awareness of my pain should be the awareness of God, his Word, and his work in the world.
Why can I not think of that at every waking moment? Why can I not feel the urgency to know God, to devour the Pages of his heart, and to press onward in the fight to make his truth known? Why does physical pain consume me when a war of souls is raging?
Oh may my pain not control me, but compel me. May my pain not bind me, but loose me. May my physical pain make me powerfully aware of great and earth-shattering spiritual realities that govern my soul and the universe besides. If I am to live with nearly constant pain, may it give me nearly constant wisdom from above, intense hunger for the Scriptures, and overwhelming passion for the dying. This is my plea.
[image credit: unsplash.com]