Have you ever been in pain?
There are lots of kinds of pain…physical, emotional or relational pain are the biggies.
But, I’m assuming you have! I mean, who hasn’t been in pain?
Over the course of my short 38 years on planet earth, I have experienced my fair share of pain as well.
I’ve lost loved ones. Things have gone wrong. Relationships have been severed. Pain has happened.
Specifically, the last couple of years, I’ve experienced my fair share of pain. Here’s what I know about pain…
It’s not fair.
It’s always hungry for more.
For me, as I think about the last couple of years, emotional and physical pain top the list. Emotional pain from worry and stress and anxiety and honestly, some loss of friendships. Physical pain from a back injury.
But, right now, December 21, 2013 I can honestly say…
I am just worn out from the pain.
Here’s a little back story. I’ve always had a bad back. I was hit by a car when I was a jr higher and I was really tough on my back growing up. I fell a lot. Then, I lifted a lot…the wrong way. I worked as a high school student for a mentor of mine doing construction stuff and then I roofed in college and I was tough on my back. After that, as a youth pastor, I always seemed to want to move stuff around. So, me and a group of guys were always lugging around sound equipment and playing shows in our band. Again, tough on my back.
On top of that, I have been overweight and obese most of my adult life. As much as 75 pounds overweight for my short frame and it has taken a toll on my back.
I have learned to live with the pain. I just always expect that it’s going to be there. I wake up and 98% of the time, bending is just not an option. It has held me back from a lot! From playing with my kids to a list of other things.
Needless to say, I am pretty worn out from it.
And, on top of all that, the last couple of years have been stressful. Almost two years ago I launched out on my own to travel and speak and raise my own salary doing that. With 4 kids, yeah, that’s stressful. Then, this fall I started a new church after going through a lengthy assessment process. Again, lots of stress and anxiety.
I’ve read and been told numerous times that we carry a lot of the stress in our lower back and so on top of the pain I already had and the stress, it’s been a rough road on my back.
In the past, two things have made it feel better: losing weight and warmth. My weight has fluctuated like crazy over the years. I can lose 30 pounds and then put it back on in the same year. Not great at all. but, obviously, the weight loss is good for my back.
And, the warmth feels amazing on my back. Every chance I have gotten to spend time in the warmth, I take it because I feel like a new person. I really do! The hotter the better! I was in TX for a week in July and felt like a new person! I loved it!
But, lately, either of those things just don’t help. This fall, again, I lost 35 pounds and with each pound I lost, my back got worse. It’s kept me from running and it’s kept me from walking. It keeps me from getting on the ground and playing with my kids. It keeps me from doing a lot.
The pain has just become unbelievably bad. Everything hurts. Getting up in the morning is not fun. Trying to stretch is excruciating. Putting on socks is out of the question. Putting pressure on my left leg is crazy painful at certain moments of the day. Walking up stairs is like climbing a mountain.
So, I am sorry that this post has become a whine session, but I just needed to get it out.
Here’s the good news…
In the midst of all that, I have experienced incredible blessing and unexplainable joy and ridiculous peace. I can’t even begin to explain how blessed I am and how unbelievably humbled I am with the story that God has me on and how He has moved in my life.
The last year has been amazing! I am truly blessed and so love the journey God has me on!
But, I believe this to be true…
Great beauty comes from deep pain.
So, I don’t why I’ve had to experience all this pain but I do know this, something good will come from it. That’s just how I choose to look at pain. No more being in down in the dumps. No more being pissed off at life.
Nope. Bring it on. Because I know it’s teaching me something amazing and molding me into the image of God.