Sunday, February 20, 2011

Another Day of Yuck!

I missed church once again today. As I set my alarm last night I was excited to be going to church since I had missed last week. But as I woke it was not to be. In bed once again is where I spent my morning. I have not been feeling well. Life of a girl with Fibromyalgia. I had been feeling poorly. Pain shooting down my arm. My neck aching and not able to sit up straight because my shoulders hurt so badly. Lets add in the panic attack to go with the arm pain. I was told to go in to my doctor. Turns out after test my heart is okay, I just have a pinched nerve in my neck. Doesn't that sound like a ball of fun? I can share with you that this is a pain that meds do not touch. Of course there is some fancy name to my new condition that I cannot spell let alone say. LOL When my doctor enters the room where I am waiting patiently to see him he turns and smiles at me. He too knows whatever it is with me is never easy. It has been one of those weeks where I am trying to relieve this pain while a cluster migraine bombards me with pain. Oh, did I mention my TMJ too? Yes a week indeed!

I had been feeling so wonderful for the past few weeks. Getting up early and taking charge of my chores and tasks at hand even having time spared to read and write at the end of my day. When you face chronic pain you never take a day of feeling wonderful for granted. You know it might last a week, a day or an hour. You grab it and run!

I hate giving into pain. As I write now I have pain shooting across my shoulders. Fibromyalgia is one of those dreaded diseases that at night all I want is for my husband to hold me and I am in so much pain he can't. No one seems to understand because you don't look sick. You don't act sick. Well, you become so used to your pain you put on a smile and try as you might to continue throughout the day. You often feel like you can't share with others, because after a while you begin to sound like a little elderly woman sharing all of her ailments. So, you tuck everything in neat and tight and when asked how you are you just smile and say, "I'm doing okay." If it is a good friend they know you are covering up and tucking that pain down deep so no one can see. A good friend can read you like a book.

My jammies and big sweat shirts have become my attire for the day. You just put on something comfortable and try as hard as you can to make it through the day. Depression wants to take hold of you. Oh, believe me, I too know the depths that it can take you. You want to get out and do things and you feel like doing nothing but sleeping away your pain.

So, what do you? Do you just give up? Nope, you turn to Christ for His strength. I stop in the middle of my pain and say, "Okay God, You are going to have to help me through this day or I am not going to make it." You know what? He does. In fact, He does more than that. He sets my eyes past my pain to Him and the blessings of each moment. I find myself turning to Him more and more. In releasing my pain to Him I have a peace come over me. A peace that surpasses all pain and I feel His comfort wash over me.

I don't know why we have to suffer. I don't know why I have to walk this road, but God, in all His wisdom knows. He is opening my eyes up to a new strength. He is showing me I can make it through Him. Philippians 4:13 has new meaning for me. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." I am learning this verse is all about being a willing vessel for God. No matter what is touching my life I am to be open to His call. I am to follow Him in every aspect of my life. Through each pain I can cry out to Him and I never fail to hear from Him or be comforted by Him. It is His strength that brings me through each day.

There are many different kinds of pain. Some carry physical pain. For others the pain is deep within their heart. Some carry  depression. Whatever your pain it effects all areas of your life. It seems as though when you live with chronic pain it turns into a pain within your heart. You feel left out and alone. You then begin to feel depressed and Satan is soon attacking you making you think no one at all cares about you. Pain leaves scars. Scars that are deep that others cannot see unless they are looking closely. As each one of us carry a different pain we can stand together and lift one another up. We can help raise those burdens off our shoulders and lay them at the cross.

"And God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19

There is nothing that God cannot do for us. There is no path that He hasn't  gone before us. In fact, He is there waiting on us.  We must remember nothing touches us without first going through His hand. Upon us is exactly where His hand will stay.

I love reading Philippians. For me it has filled me with such encouragement and strength. When I am wallowing in my self pity I turn to Philippians 4:8 which says, "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy meditate on these things." I can make a choice to focus on my pain or focus on the Lord and all the good in my life. It is that choice that will set us above the valley and place us on that mountain top. No matter how deep the valley the mountain top is always in our sights.

Don't lose hope my friends. Don't allow your pain to steal away your joy and laughter. "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

I think of Paul in 2 Corinthians chapter 12 when he is calling out to God. He calls out to Him three times. Each time God answered Him. He heard his prayer. He spoke to Paul and in verse 9 He tells Paul that His grace is sufficient. His grace is fufficient for you and me too. His grace is all we need.

"And He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in inifirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." Romans 8:18

Even in our worst pain God will bring glory through His Son, Jesus Christ. Hold on and be still friends. Although we may not see an end in sight, He does. We are a work in progress and in our sufferings is when others see Him give us a strength that could only come from God. They get a glimpse of His mighty power through our weakness. Our weakest moments become His strongest. When you are hurting cry out to Him. You just give Him all your anxiety, pain, and sorrow. He will replace it with comfort and peace. Trust in Him and He will turn those days of yuck into days of grace.
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