This blog has been absolutely silent for the last seven months.
Silence is good.
For when you finally succumb to your exhaustion, when your body gives out after your three day run from Jezebel– your soul has no choice but to receive from the Lord and after receiving you hear His still small voice. (think Elijah after he slayed the 600 prophets of Baal, I Kings 19)
I think my body became exhausted from the last two years of chronic pain and the internal journey of healing from sexual abuse. God remembers our frame and knows we are only dust. Our bodies can only hold up under so much stress.
In January I had an injury to my neck and when I was just over recovering from that work, I herniated a disc in my low back. In fact I’m scheduled for surgery soon to finish out that healing process.
It’s been a two-steps-back kind of year.
Yet…God is here. And I am learning to invite his presence and believe in his goodness even in the midst of the suffering.
Yes, the question lingered…”What am I not getting Lord? What is the purpose behind this suffering?”
His still small voice said, “Remember when you would take your sick little ones to the doctor? And the doctor would tell you – they’re not sick enough to know how to treat them.”
“Yeah, I remember”
“Well, maybe your body has held on so tightly for so long that it just wasn’t sick enough for you and your practitioners to be able to get to the root of the injuries.”
It came clear that day. My neck injury led myself and my PT to the place of teaching me a self-correction technique for my neck. Not only has this allowed me to keep my neck in health it has virtually erased the long standing effect of a roll-over car accident 14 years ago and whiplash when I was 14 years old.
I had to get sicker to learn how to get better.
The disc that is now herniated is quite possibly the same one I had problems with at 16 years of age. I have the same symptoms as before just on the other side of my body.
But when I was 16 no one believed I could be in that much pain. Not the neurologist, the orthopedist, the PT or the regular docs. In fact I once had an ER doc come to my room, pat my knee, as he looked at my mom and told her that he thought my pain was “psychosomatic.” What I heard was “It’s all in her head, she’s not really in this much pain, she’s just looking for attention”
I have lived a life time of feeling as though all of my pain – physical, emotional, soul, spiritual – was psychosomatic – no one believed me.
This time around is drastically different. I am supported by:
A PT who believes me. Who understands that I have lived with a lifetime of physical pain and limitation.
Another mom with young kids who had the exact same injury, directed me to her surgeon, and has given me a lead for a pilates instructor to bring my final healing. She texts regularly…”you are not alone, I understand, there is hope, this is the way out.” We have even joked about getting matching tattoos over top our soon-to-be matching scars from surgery.
A surgeon who paused at the door when meeting me for the first time, turned to his medical student and said “The first thing you observe is this. When your patients are in extreme pain they will either be laying down or pacing.” I almost cried just hearing those words – he didn’t need to hear my story and investigate whether I was telling the truth or not. He didn’t care that I had a smile plastered on my face. He knew I was in extreme pain.
A best friend and Occupational Therapist who has been called to serve those of us in chronic pain. She has done all the research, taken all the course work and I get the benefit of a loving friend walking with me on this slow path to wholeness.
A husband who endures the duress, the tears, the heart break and incredible frustration of a competitive and active wife who has been relegated to the sidelines of life. I have become the photographer of all family activities – always watching but rarely able to engage.
Kids who are learning to serve and love through actions. They intuitively know what is difficult and painful. They are learning my limitations and picking up the slack.
Others too who have filled in the gaps through notes and prayers, meals and volunteers to come stay with us the week of my surgery. The list is really endless, for I don’t even know some who have interceded on my behalf.
Ann Voskamp, in her book One Thousand Gifts, shares her journey into communion with God, Eucharisteo.
And she found intimate friendship with God through her thousand gifts of thanks to him. But I believe the greater lesson in her book, for my broken soul and body, was this: Eucharisteo in suffering.
Gratitude in the midst of loss, in sorrow, in anger and ugly moments.
Do we dare to transform by grace (thanks) EVERYTHING to become a gift from God?
All of these mentioned above – God’s people – they are His Goodness. They are God’s grace in the suffering. They are the way that he loves me into wholeness. A Sozo kind of wholeness (the greek term for wholeness used in Matthew 9:22)
- I thank him for making me weaker – to find my healing.
- I thank him for taking me through similar circumstances of neglect in order to see those who believe and heal the wounds of a sin sickened past.
- I thank him for taking me to the depths of my soul, uncovering the hidden sickness of sexual abuse in order to show me:
No matter how deep the wound – He goes deeper still.
No matter how far reaching the sin of abuse extends in my family – his arms reach further still.
No matter how long the path of healing has been – his love for me is longer still – from everlasting to everlasting.
If you are confused by God’s process in your life. If you feel that you are always taking two steps back and no steps forward. If you can’t see His hand in your life…
There is no journey that he leads you to where He has not gone before you and prepared the way.
Sometimes he allows the pain to go deeper to bring you fully out of the darkness – with no shadows remaining.
I pray for each of you who read this post:
Out of your honorable and glorious riches, strengthen your people.
Fill their souls with the power of Your Spirit
So that through faith, the Anointed One will reside in their hearts.
May love be the rich soil where their lives take root.
May it be the bedrock where their lives are founded so that together with all of your people
They will have the power to understand (know by experiential knowledge)
That the love of the Anointed is infinitely long, wide, high and deep,
Surpassing everything anyone previously experienced.
God may your fullness flood through their entire beings.
Ephesians 3: 16-19