It’s difficult to detect a disease that you mostly can’t see from the outside; I know of several people who have dealt with or are dealing with great pain emotionally and/or physically on the inside, and I would never know without talking to them. It’s sometimes even harder for them to explain in a way for you to get close to an accurate picture of what they feel. I can vouch for that…it’s tiring to try to explain something that another person won’t understand unless they endure it themselves. That’s a truth for everyone though, walking a mile in another’s shoes regardless of who it is goes far beyond the compassion shown through sympathy, it touches on the understanding received through empathy. Which is why staying completely quiet during this disease of mine may not be the best choice, because the great amount of people who need understanding and the multitude of people who need encouragement are actually greater than we know.
To others, it’s strange how I can get upset over small events or trivial things during these last few months, and sometimes I don’t because they don’t compare to the pain one can go through during this. But right now, the missing of a movie I’ve been looking forward to, or the missing of a my best friend’s fall play…these feel like tiny daggers to my already bruised heart, and the source of all these inabilities, my disease, is hated all the more, and I have to mourn it all over again each time. I have to wake up each day and do the pain all over; it’s not a simple task to keep your head up and your mind perfectly joyful when your physical pain shows up each day like it’s a part of your very being…and then to accept the fact that it actually, literally is. It’s exhausting, everyday, to never be able to shake off the anxious feelings and know nothing can be taken for your pain until the disease is fully treated, and all this while you watch the rest of the world continue playing in the game while you’re left sitting on the sidelines.
Time moves slowly, and 3 in the afternoon turns into 3am and I watch the rise and fall of Ethan’s chest as he’s nearly falling asleep in the chair next to my bed, still holding my hand as tightly as he’s holding onto the truth that God will bring only good from all this. And the 18 hour migraine doesn’t break just yet and the fifth bag of ice isn’t doing anything anymore, but I tell myself I wouldn’t go back to the ER.
It’s not a bad dream, it’s just a bad time. Trials end and God will rescue you from this. He speaks surely as he whispers and I thank God for making him brave enough to face this all with me. This disease is our new lifestyle and navigating through it forces us to do everything through reliance on God. You don’t deserve any of this. It’s what usually comes out of my mouth while we watch normal couples go to the movies, drive to the mountains, or just simply go on walks. He brushes the comment away every time and replies, Just think about how God will use us through this later, how He already is using us now. The same way He has used my deepest loss, and now your pain. And we’re already closer than we’d imagined at this point, because we’ve loved each other through our darkest moments, when gravity takes over and pulls us to our knees.
And gravity seems to always win. As Beth Moore reminds us, affliction always has our knees bent, it’s just a matter of who we choose to bow down to; the affliction, or Christ. Days are trying; the hours, minutes, and seconds beg to be filled with a Hope stronger than the fear and a Peace smoother than all unrest. So I force-feed myself scriptures because I know that no hope or peace will come outside of Him; I won’t feel rest until His love runs parallel to my veins and His truth smothers my gasping soul.
I am my Beloved’s, my Beloved is mine. His banner over me is love. -Suzie Larson
It’s love. His will is for good. Each trial we face is one Christ will always work through and triumph over the evil and pain, and not only triumph, but go beyond that to bring good from each difficulty. It’s the ultimate “win” because He takes what is meant to break us down, and instead rebuilds us even more beautiful than we were before. All this because He is good. This is the character of God.
It’s harder to see when you’re in the middle of the pain, and believe me, I know. Lately the enemy is using all he can to break me down it seems, and I’m left thinking that this disease will swallow me whole. But I’m in the tunnel, as many of you might be as well, and our light is coming soon. More importantly, our main Light is already here, and all we need to do is look up.