Living with Chronic Pain

Pain… it can strike at any time & any place.

Living with chronic pain is no joke. Sometimes pain comes in the most inconvenient times & places, like at the top of a mountain. You can be out & about enjoying nature and hiking to a beautiful lake and all of a sudden pain can grip you and leave you unable to move without great difficulty. Thankfully, over the years, and especially over the last year, I’ve learned techniques to help me ease the pain & discomfort. I’m also learning to listen to my body and to rest when I need to rest.

Sometimes it feels like I’m on a hamster wheel just trying to keep up with everything and everyone. Truthfully though, as much as I want to, I can’t. I physically can’t. That’s a hard fact to face for an overachieving, { recovering } perfectionist. I’m learning that I CAN’T do it all, but to do what I CAN do with excellence. I share this not because I particularly want to, but because I feel a burden to do so. You see, vulnerability doesn’t come easily for me. I don’t share too much of my story or my heart with very many people. Truthfully, there’s only a handful of people that know bigger chunks of my story. Recently though, and by recently I mean the past few years, I feel this burden on my heart to write and share bits of my story. It’s something that I keep feeling God whisper to my heart, but something that I SO easily avoid. There’s always a reason NOT to do it, but surely & steadily, I keep feeling this burden on my heart. It hasn’t dimmed or gone away with time, if anything, it’s gotten more pressing, so here I am, stepping out in obedience and sharing a bit of my story. I don’t do this for pity, but because there may be someone out there that needs to hear it or feel understood. If that’s you, I SEE you! and YOU matter and YOUR story matters. Your story may be similar to mine or completely different, but here’s what I KNOW for sure, if you have a pulse, then you have a purpose. God hasn’t forgotten you, He’s not sleeping or an absentee Father, He SEES you, He’s GOT you & He’s weaving your story into something more beautiful then you { or I } could EVER imagine. Just keep trusting Him and keep walking in obedience, even if it’s one step at a time.

So yea… here we { Joe & I } were, enjoying our first full day in Lake Tahoe & hiking up to Eagle Lake. It wasn’t a super long hike, but it was very climb-y, especially for us novice, non-hikers, but we were determined to keep going and keep going we did. As we were hiking I felt my back tense up several times, so I took lots of breaks going up and drank plenty of water. Once we got up though, I felt a pain in my sciatic nerve start to radiate all down my back & leg. This is not an unusual occurrence, but an annoying one nonetheless. So here’s what I did. I sat down and started doing some stretches that my doctor has shown me. I drank more water. Rested. Used some essential oils. And said LOTS of prayers. And you know what, it worked!! The pain in my back started easing and I was able to climb down with little difficulty. However, when we got to our next destination, Emerald Bay, I had to repeat the procedure ALL over again and take a MUCH longer rest. It wasn’t super fun for me because I would’ve rather been swimming in the lake with Joe, but I was SO SO SO thankful in that time for EVERY step that I WAS able to take and for the simple fact that I GET to be there with him enjoying one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen.

There are lots of things that have changed for me living with chronic pain, but one of the main things is enjoying the moment I’m in and being eternally grateful for it. You see, when we got to Emerald Bay the circumstances didn’t change; I was still in pain, but what was different was my attitude. I chose to see the joy in the pain. I chose to enjoy the beauty all around me. 

Sometimes we pray and things get better right away. Sometimes we pray and things don’t get better, or start getting worse. That doesn’t happen because God is mean or deaf or busy. The things God is working in our lives, far outweigh our current circumstances. God answering our prayer the way we want Him to right when we want Him to, might mean that we’ll be missing out on the lesson or the character development He’s working in our lives. God has an advantage we don’t have, He sees the bigger picture while we only see a tiny glimpse. In those moments when I prayed for my circumstances to change and they didn’t, what did change is the way I saw things. This isn’t a one and done thing for me, but a continuing, developing thing. In those times/moments, I slow down and really start to see the blessing in every moment, like when I’m able to stand up on the first try or laugh without cringing in pain.

Even when I can’t understand, I can trust that God has a plan and that He is still good. 

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4 thoughts on “Living with Chronic Pain

  1. dhulcher says:

    Lidia, I’m so glad I saw this & blessings on you for your obedience to step out in faith. I have a similar story. Thank you for your encouraging words.

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