One of the most profound things my massage therapist ever said to me went something like this: “Do you want to heal?” That’s a legitimate question. Did I want to heal? Did I believe healing to be possible?
And here’s the thing–
Chronic pain can easily feel like it’s an integral part of who you are. Your person-hood feels entwined by pain–governed by it even. It’s who you are. Or so you believe.
In the last four years, I’ve begun to see healing in the way God has radically changed my heart and mind toward pain, people, and life. But I’ve also known physical healing in the sense that I’ve chosen not to be ruled by my pain or go stagnant about my health.
Pain of any kind is a place I stand, but not a person I can ever become.
Furthermore, chronic pain will never be my destination in life. Ever! Instead, I see pain as a place of movement. Read more
My life changed once I realized that everyone is dealing with chronic pain in some capacity. The chronic pain others face may not be physical, but it could be mental, emotional, spiritual, and so on. We are all chronically dealing with pain. What a strangely welcoming thought!
I soon realized I could transcribe my pain into all sorts of other pain. Yes, I couldn’t intimately understand what others were experiencing, but I could feel it on some level because of my own chronic difficulties.
Writing about chronic pain means the subject matter will be relate-able for anyone who’s lived any amount of life, because life is hard. Oh, but it is not hopeless. I believe the personal stories, experiences, and pieces of advice I blog will be ones you can transcribe into your own life.
Today, we start with laying a good foundation in order to uproot any of the lies we are currently believing about pain. Believing lies will always destroy more life than pain ever will. I’ve lived this reality, and I don’t want that for you.
We always want our circumstances to change our seasons, but it is God who would rather change the seasons in our souls to change us to be more like Him. In these ever-changing seasons of the soul, we learn to sing, I have tasted and seen that the Lord is good! It is well with my soul. And we are surprised because we mean every word!
At 15, I was pushed into the world of chronic pain. Headaches had always been a part of my life since a very young age, but by the age of 15, the headaches became a permanent fixture in my life. I lived as the girl with the headaches and I couldn’t see past the pain–not really. You can read more about my struggle and the emotional onset of my chronic pain in my book, A Pygmy’s Life for Me.
But throughout these nine years of pain, the seasons in my soul have shifted drastically and for the better. Nothing has stayed the same though I am in the same trial of physical pain. There has been an ebb and flow of chronic pain, many incredible life events, added trials much harder for me than physical pain itself, and yet nothing in these nine years has placed my soul in a stuck position–because God doesn’t ask His children to live stuck lives. Ever. Read more
I’ve been looking forward to this post for almost a week. I haven’t written about my chronic pain in awhile namely because I’ve done a lot of healing and also because I’m growing past sharing about it publicly.
The first time I wrote about my chronic pain (This Is Vulnerable), I found freedom from the self-inflicted silence & “bravery” that I had forced myself into. Opening up about my weakness was the first step to admit how broken I really was. Leading up to that post, I thought I was very good at hiding the pain, acting “brave” despite migraines, and pushing my body beyond its limits.
In short, I was a mess.
Sharing publicly about my chronic pain helped me take giant steps forward. Sometimes, I let it swallow me. Sometimes, I indulged in self-pity. Sometimes, the discouragement was abandoned for God’s comfort & strength. There was victory and defeat.