Honesty. I have a journal called that. I write the exactness of life & my struggles so that when I die, a girl can read it & be helped in some way. I know that there is a girl out there that struggles in the way I do. I know that there is someone who can relate to my heart. I reserve those words so that whenever I die, she will have them. Whoever she may be.
Morbid, I know. All that to say, this post is my honesty. This post is my present heart in words. So, here I go. Bear with me.
I was talking to my friend the other night about my pain. I have been in constant pain since I was 15. While I have searched for answers, I have found none. Most everything becomes a dead end. But, that’s not what this post is about. This post is about how I’ve dealt with my pain, this post will resonate with those who have chronic pain.
I see those ridiculous quotes about how “you need to stay strong”, how “your pain will guide others & help others with their life.” I read those things that tell you what not to say to someone with chronic pain. Don’t tell them they look sick, don’t give them a billion things to try, don’t say “Oh, you’ve lost weight!” I read all these things that paint us as either victims or heroes. We are neither.
I am not victim.
I am not a hero.
Sometimes, I let people think that. Sometimes, I feel sorry for myself. Sometimes, I lie in bed so frustrated that I get angry. Sometimes, I am too lazy to respond right to my pain.
Worst of all, I think about my pain more than I think about my God. I sit there and reflect on how awful the pain is. I think about the “what if’s” I get caught up in trying to smile and bear it well, that I leave God behind. I rely on myself to grit through it. I rely on my “ability” to succeed. This does not make me a hero. This does not make me a victim. This makes me the epitome of pride.
In essence, I worship my pain. I think of pain more than my Savior. I think about how to get through the pain. I think about how discouraged I am that I don’t have answers to the pain. I think about how much the pain has changed my life. I think about how much the pain has grown. I think about pain. I think about pain. I think about pain. I am in pain. It’s all about the pain! It becomes my world, it shapes my heart.
I have pain, yes. Pain is in my life, but it is not my life. Sometimes, that’s how I choose to live. I think about the pain, not my God who gives me strength and peace. I choose instead to wallow in self-pity, rather than in His abundant joy. I live as a victim, rather than a redeemed child of the King. I try my hand at valiant heroics, which always ends in empty pride.
My pain does not help others. My pain does not lead others to Christ. My pain doesn’t do anything, but bring me to the end of myself. The end of myself that brings me to God. It’s not about the pain, it’s about my Savior. It’s not about how I can help others through my pain, it’s about how my life reflects God’s strength. His peace. His joy. His grace. My pain is nothing but a pathway to Christ. But, I have to walk it in God’s strength, not my own.
I no longer want to worship my pain. I want to worship my Savior. I want to think about Him more than my pain. I want to reflect on Him. I want my life to neither read Victim or Hero.
I want it to read: ” By His grace, a faithful follower of the One who set her free.”