2 Corinthians 12:8, 9 – Three Times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Some of the hardest words to hear are, “There is no cure.” How do I go on with my life when I find out I’m going to have to live with this illness? There are no easy answers. Each person has to face what’s going on and travel down the road towards acceptance. For me, I can’t just take one step at a time. I have to take one moment at a time and be prepared for days when I don’t even want to try to move forward. I’m thankful that I’m not in this alone. I always have my traveling companion with me – Jesus. I couldn’t do this thing called life without him. Do you have my traveling companion with you? He’s only a prayer away.
Psalm 55:2 – Hear me and answer me. My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught.
In the beginning there was a thought. It wasn’t much really. Just thinking about what someone said to me that I thought was hurtful. All day I tried to push that thought away, but it kept knocking at my door. Pretty soon a friend called and I told her about that thought. I thought just having someone else empathize with me would make me feel better and I could let the thought go. But it didn’t help. The negative thoughts were beginning to take over my life. Everything inside began to harden like cement. I stood there stuck. My heart became hard. No longer was I known as the person who smiled no matter what happened; who could find the bright side even in the darkness. I did some soul searching and prayed that I would be released from who I had become. And though it still grieves my spirit when someone says something hurtful to me, I don’t let the thought take control of even one day. There’s so much in this world that is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. I can’t let negative thoughts take over my life. When something difficult happens, I acknowledge that it happened, but also try to see something else around me that can bring beauty to my life. Don’t let negative thoughts take over your life. I learned how. I hope you can, too.
Joshua 23:14 – Now I am about to go the way of all the earth. You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the LORD your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed.
This promise has two sides: God will always answer our prayer with the grace to endure any pain or illness. Yes, thankfully God is with us in our pain and answers our prayers with grace. But the second side is, this means I’m going to be living with the pain. I know in my heart God loves me. And, I’m not really angry at God, but somehow, I struggle with being angry with my body for being in pain. Why would my body betray me in this way? Why can’t it just leave me alone! But then I remember the first side – I can endure this pain and suffering. I can learn to live with this. I can be an example to others of God’s faithful comfort, even if I am in pain, but all of God’s promises come with something you must do to receive it – walk it out. So, take God’s hand and let him lead you even if the pain never goes away.
I Corinthians 13:12 – For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
It’s morning. Time to get ready to face a new day. You change your clothes and then stand in front of a mirror as you put on makeup. You think about this mirror you’re staining in front of and remember, for now, we see things only as through a mirror. But soon we will see Jesus not just face-to-face in a mirror but standing in front of us welcoming us home with open arms. Carry that reflection in your heart throughout your day and you’ll find yourself looking at your face in the mirror a whole lot less.
Colossians 3:12 – Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Whether good or bad you’re going to be an example to those around you. What do you want others to see in you? Is it an overly needy person who wants attention? Is it the angry person that cuts others down in an effort to make themselves feel better? Is it the person who cares more about what the other person is feeling than to talk about themselves? Take care with what you say. It may be difficult to speak kindly to others sometimes but doing so reaps a rich relationship where your friends truly feel that you care. And God will see your efforts and honor you as you reach out and show others kindness and compassion.
1 Corinthians 13:12 – For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
Do you spend your time looking at a mirror all day? In our mind’s eyes we may see ourselves as incapable of anything good. But move that mirror a few inches to the right of your face and see the reflection of someone else. No matter how many times we look at ourselves there is someone else’s reflection in the mirror – Jesus. For, he never leaves our side whether we look at ourselves as incapable of anything good or see ourselves as better than others. The only true image is of Jesus. For now, we see things only as through a mirror. But soon we will see Jesus not just face-to-face in a mirror but standing in front of us welcoming us home with open arms. Carry that reflection in your heart throughout your day and you’ll find yourself looking at your face in the mirror a whole lot less.
Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Do you have difficulty making decisions? I know I do sometimes. I think it’s a matter of how much confidence you have in yourself to make the right decisions. Let’s face it. We’re going to make wrong choices. It’s part of life. But thankfully there is a way to cut down on those choices – Go to God before making a decision. He will point you in the right direction, but only if you surrender your will to him. God is the God of all wisdom and understanding. He’s willing to give you that wisdom and ready to forgive you when you do things only based on your own understanding.
Matthew 6:27 – Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
It takes a lot of emotional energy to be around other people. They can drain you. You become more anxious because you don’t want to let other people down. Your pain level increases again, and you wonder what other people truly think about you. God can help you break the pain cycle and help you find peace in your day. Seek the Lord out. Knock on the door and he will open it for you and set you free from focusing on your pain. And don’t worry about other people. If you really knew just how much time people spend focusing on you, you’d stop worrying. Each person has their own worries that they’re focusing on, not you.
Job 16:6 – Yet if I speak, by pain is not relieved; and if I refrain, it does not go away.
Physical pain can last a long time, and it can affect your emotional state as well. Realizing what is going on in your body can be a turning point to help you break the pain cycle. By being aware you can also bring your anxiety and fear to God. He will give you the wisdom you need to live with the body you have and will also bring peace to our hearts and minds. But if you keep it to yourself, your pain still doesn’t go away. The only way to live the life we’re living is to take our pain, both physical and emotional, to God and he will perform a miracle by comforting our hearts.
Isaiah 58:11 – And the Lord will continually guide you, and satisfy your desire in scorched places, and give strength to your bones; and you will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.
Living with chronic pain is not only difficult but feels like it’s impossible. You aren’t really living if you feel you need to be hyper-vigilant all day. Much stress builds up in our muscles and in our emotions. How do we balance everything? One way to do so is to be aware of your surroundings. Another way is to try not to walk at night. Darkness can hide dangers that may be in front of you. If you must go out, carry a flashlight with you for areas where streetlights don’t show the way. Become, also, a student of your body. If you’re having a bad pain day or vertigo is on the loose, don’t take a walk. Pay attention to the weather. If it’s raining or has recently rained, be aware that your path may be slippery. It may be a good day to stay indoors unless you absolutely must go out. And don’t forget to check with your Pilot. God will always give you wisdom on what you should be doing if you ask him.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.