Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Perspective, Finding Blessings in the Pain

I woke this morning nauseous and before long I was dealing with a pressure headache that ran down the length of my spine.  Let me take a second to define what I mean by ‘pressure’ headache. It feels like there is too much pressure in my head, like someone is blowing up a balloon inside my head. The pain from this extends down my back throughout all of my spine. I will admit this caused me to have a meltdown.  I found myself being tired of being sick, tired of dealing with pain, tired of not being ‘normal’ whatever that is.  Honestly, I was in tears over the difficult symptoms of my chronic neurological condition, Arnold Chiari Malformation.
IMG_2002Luckily, I have the greatest husband in the history of husbands. He was very calm and encouraging.  He offered to give me a massage on my head and back to help alleviate the pain which helped.  Now, I am quite familiar with pain and am know that my reaction to the pain can cause more of a problem than the pain itself.  So I allowed myself to relax and rely completely on my husband. I knew I had to focus on the caring healing power of his touch.  He started some music by our favorite cover band, Boyce Avenue and his fingers began working their magic on my pain.  After 45 minutes or so I began feeling less pain and more strength to deal with the day ahead.  Now, while I won’t be setting any records today I won’t spend the rest of my day in a puddle of tears.

We decided to spend the day relaxing and not doing anything too stressful.  After a short while, I found myself chatting to a young lady I know via Facebook chat.  She’s recently had an experience that has caused her to lose confidence.  I found myself reminding her what an amazing and strong young lady she is.  The more I encouraged her the more I wondered why I wasn’t encouraging myself today. How could she find encouragement in my words when just an hour prior I had been in tears over the difficulties of dealing with a chronic illness.  She was so gracious and accepting of my words that it brought me to tears again.  Here, I was reminding her to celebrate life and to live it to the fullest while I had just allowed pain to change my perspective of how beautiful and miraculous life is.  At one point, she called me an angel for having such kind words to say to her.  My response, “I am not an angel, I am just a realist who knows true beauty when I see it.”  But today I had managed to let that beauty slip away from me.  The conversation with this darling young woman brought me to my knees in gratitude for all that I have.  My life is so rich and so beautiful.  I should never measure the quality of my life by the pain in my body but by the strength in my love for others. 

Shortly after our conversation my work posted this picture on their Facebook page.  I quite easily saw how my words had an Source: YMCA of Greater Oklahoma Cityimpact on her.  I really enjoy being able to brighten someone else’s day.  I am always careful with my words because words are powerful.  But did she understand how her words had such a powerful effect on me?  Her struggles reminded me of all the wonders that life has to offer. All of us will have difficulties.  Nobody gets through life unscathed.  The distinction between a strong person and a weak person is not how hurt they are by the struggle but by what they choose to do with that pain.  A strong person feels that pain, they let it burn inside; but, only for a short while. Then they turn that pain into encouragement for themselves and for others.  Never let that pain alter your amazement of all life can offer. Never let the struggle take away the fairytales of books, music of laughter, the poetry of love, and warmth of the sun.  Life is worth every ounce of struggle. Love is worth every ounce of pain.
I am blessed by all of the people I have and know.  I may not say it often enough to you but thank you .  Each of you have touched my heart in some way and I will always carry your story with me.

We’re talking about: Pain and the healing power of touch
We’re praying about: Those we love. That they never forget the beauty life brings.
We’re laughing about: How God gives us what we need when we need it, the beauty of grace.