Pain helped me learn how to let go.
Guys...look at this! Can you believe I'm really able to workout?! After all of this time. After trading in my pointe shoes for crutches, my jogging stroller for a wheelchair, and my comfy little stay-at-home-mom/do-all-the-things-wife/dance-teacher/perfectly-scheduled life for hospital beds, underwater treadmills, an incredibly attractive limp, completely unpredictable days, and constant pain...
After more than two years. Here I am. On the floor. In my living room. Side-by-side with my little girl. Moving my body. Pushing through pain. And...I'm even getting to sweat!!!
I never realized how much I took sweat for granted before #crps. And it's so beautiful to get to have my little ones here beside me, in my own house. *Also* something I took for granted before. I’m just in awe that God is giving me the strength and the ability to do this. To push and fight and see answered prayers and taste some freedom from the pain.
What are you pushing through, fighting through, praying through today? Do you feel freedom today? Do you feel pain?
We all battle pain in one way or another, don’t we? But the thing about pain is: it's invisible. People can't see what we are feeling or NOT feeling.
Sometimes, we hide our pain. Try to pretend it’s as non-existent as it is invisible. But too often, when we have spent time hurting, it becomes scarier for us to tell the world if we’re having a day when we actually feel good. Because, what if we end up feeling the hurt all over again tomorrow? Will people understand? How will we explain? What will people think of us then?
Do you know that fear, my friend?
I know it. And it's a liar. It isolates us in our pain. And it keeps us from really experiencing joy. It tells us not to really admit it, not to share, when things are going well, since we don’t know what might happen next.
I've known that fear with the pain in my body. I’ve known that fear through dark struggles in my marriage. I’ve known it in the day-to-day challenges of parenting.
But fear keeps us from giving credit to God. It keeps us clinging for control. It keeps us in hiding. It keeps us from boldly walking out into whatever might be next.
Can we stomp on that fear together? Can we be honest with each other about what’s really going on—the hard, the messy, the painful, the beautiful?
"The Lord is my light and my salvation--whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life--of whom shall I be afraid?" (Psalm 27:1).
If I've pushed "too hard" today and I can't walk again tomorrow, I’m choosing to stand firm (or…I’ll SIT firm, if I have to) and say that I won't stop rejoicing! God is so present, so faithful, so good. No matter what. Whether I’m having a bad pain day or a really great day. He has carried me this far, and He'll carry me all the way.
He hears you. He understands you. He's good to you. He has strength for you. And He'll carry. Do you believe it?
"But truly God has listened. He has attended to the voice of my prayer," (Psalm 66:19).
You know, I talk a lot about how life with this nerve disorder is unpredictable. But honestly, my life wasn’t really any more predictable before CRPS than it is now. I just thought it was. Because I thought I had control. And I actually lived in a lot more fear back then. When I thought that I could always plan my next move. When I thought I looked, to the rest of the world, like I was ok…
Pain helped me learn how to let go of what I thought I could control. And to cling to the God who is in control of it all. Realizing the unpredictability of life helped me to live unafraid of what might happen next. And to trust in an all-powerful, never-changing God. Learning that life wouldn't be easy taught me to rejoice through it all. And to believe that God is working everything out for good and for His glory.
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance," (James 1:2-3).
Thank you, Jesus, that I don’t have to be the one in control. Thank you that you are. Thank you that pain reminds me of how much I need you and keeps me longing for you. And thank you that good days remind me of the way you came to heal us and make us whole.
So, here I am. Sweating. Sharing. Stomping on fear. And rejoicing.
Would you stomp on the fear with me today? Stomp on the lie. Choose the truth.
Maybe you're in pain. Maybe you're feeling free. Is your life feeling a bit out of control, or maybe predictable? What's on your heart today? Would you stomp on fear and share it here, or call a friend and share it with her?
Let's rejoice our way into the new year together. Let's choose to rejoice. In a good, good God, who really, really loves you and me. No matter what our lives look like today. And no matter what they look like tomorrow.