Battling Chronic Pain

I talk with people who struggle with chronic pain. I’m in my fourth week of pain since having a nerve in my left hand injured by an IV treatment. (See “Ouch! She Hit a Nerve!“)

Four weeks isn’t a long time. But it feels like a long time when you’re in pain! (Medically, my pain is actually called “Acute Pain” and would not be classified as “Chronic Pain” or  “Persistent Pain” unless it’s lasted at least three months.)

It helps to talk about how I’m feeling with people who listen to me and offer empathy and comfort. Kristi does this for me every day. Other friends do this for me. So many of you who read my writings have been concerned for me and praying for me — thank you!

So after laying in bed and praying this morning I got up to journal and share my experience with you. Knowing that you’ll pray. Knowing that you or someone you love may be suffering from chronic pain — physical or emotional — right now.

When we’re in pain we need to know that we’re not alone, that someone is with us in compassion, feeling our pain and caring for us.

My Pain

I’ve had many months of chronic pain from a pinched nerve in my back before, but it wasn’t as intense as this: 

Shooting pains, throbbing soreness, numbness, and “electrified” tingling. Crying out in pain when I accidentally move my hand the wrong way or touch it while sleeping.

Chronic pain wears on you. It’s tiring. Sometimes I melt down and just need to vent my complaints and upset emotions to a caring listener. Day after day I’m…

Praying for healing and waiting on God.

Battling pain and fear that it won’t heal.

Engaging in spiritual warfare for my hand, our family, our growing ministry.

Sacrificing things I enjoy but that would hurt my hand.

Doing things with my right hand only and being clumsy. (Like dropping my iPhone and shattering the glass.)

Letting Kristi dress me (it’s the most painful thing) and serve me in many ways — even though she’s in pain herself from huge fibroids on her uterus.

And thanking God for his many blessings to me!

Psalm 46

Each day during these four weeks of pain I’ve reminded myself that I’m not defined by my pain, it’s not my only reality — I’m also in the Kingdom of the Heavens with the Lord and his angels and saints.

Like this morning I laid in bed, awoken by pain, and meditated on Psalm 46. I got caught up in the blessing of the first two verses: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though the waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”

God is my refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble. Therefore, I will not fear, though _______. 

How do you fill in the blank? For me it’s “though my hand still hurts.”

My mother has had terrible chronic pain in her mouth and face for fifteen years. That’s chronic pain. She can’t eat or talk without pain. She has to use pain meds everyday just to cope and to be able to sleep at night. Now I’m been feeling a bit of her pain in my hand and arm. I’m thankful to connect with her in this way.

Make a Beeline to the Cross

Charles Spurgeon, the great Bible preacher of England in the 19th Century said that most important thing he did when he preached was to “make a beeline to the cross of Christ.” Every Scripture points to Christ and his cross of love for us.

Everything we experience in our lives can point to the reality of the crucified and risen Christ Jesus whose arms are open to us in love. If we look for Christ.

This morning I’m especially grateful for the cross of Christ and all that he suffered for me. I’m realizing that these last three weeks would’ve been better — less painful, more glory-filled, and more compassionate towards others who are suffering — if I’d spent more time with Jesus on Calvary Hill.

Let me guide you on the path to bring your pain and needs to Jesus Christ at his cross. Unforsaken: With Jesus on the Stations of the Cross is my 68-page booklet that’s filled with engaging stories, Scripture meditations on suffering of Christ, and prayers to enliven your heart to God’s unfailing love for you.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.” (2 Cor. 1:3-5)

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