Everyone suffers pain, whether it be physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, professional. It’s part of life. The way we react to it is what refines our character. I sometimes wonder, however, why so much is necessary. I suffer chronic pain from both migraines and permanent neck injury. They feed off of each other, one can incite the other to act up. They try to define me rather than refine my character. They have changed the direction of my career, they make me miss work, they stop me from doing things I used to be able to do or new things I want to do, they interrupt my plans, some days it seems there is no end to their interference. I’ve just gone through another couple of days with a dreadful , a very debilitating one, so I get discouraged. I try not to talk about the constant pain, because I know people get sick of it. I’m sick of it! But if I want to blog what is ‘real,’ then I need to share that trusting and believing in God’s goodness is not easy while suffering.
Romans 8:28 says ‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.’
This familiar scripture lets me know that though I cannot do things I used to do, or what I planned to do with my life, He still has a purpose for me. I struggled many years, and still struggle in my darkest discouragement, thinking the chronic pain ruined me for God’s purposes. But that is not true…it has only changed what I thought my purpose was. When I am suffering the most, I remind myself to trust that He is working all things in my life for my good, even these debilitating painful days. I may not understand it today, tomorrow, or ever in my life. But I choose to believe in His goodness. He gave me beautiful children and grandchildren whom I am very close with; He provides me with a career, though it took a different direction that I originally planned; through it He provides me a home, clothes, food, a vehicle to drive. And after each of my worst struggle with the horrendous pain, He helps me get back up and back at it rather than give in to the helplessness and hopelessness the pain induces. There is wonder and beauty all around us courtesy of His hand, there are blessings in every day if we choose to see them. Every day, I make the decision to see His blessings despite the pain.