Remember that feeling you got when you were homesick at your first sleepover or camp experience? I guess it's probably different for each person, but when I moved overseas to Africa after college and lived alone it was a feeling I came to know well those first 6 months. That nauseating, "suffocating", all you want to do is crawl in bed and wake up somewhere else feeling. It's the feeling I felt last fall when I realized I was likely suffering from pudendal neuralgia and the outcomes looked poor. It's the feeling I've revisited more than I'd like recently.
My pain is progressively getting worse. The medications don't help much anymore and my quality of life is poor. I have been reminded on several occasions this week that my life is far from normal. I couldn't ride with my daughter on the hayride and had to eventually lay down in the car and wait for her to finish her field trip to the pumpkin patch, I struggled to sit through the short grandparents' day program on Thursday, my husband had to call some friends to help me last night because I was in so much pain and he had to go to work, I couldn't go with our Sunday School class to see Courageous tonight as sitting through a movie would be impossible (I haven't done that in over 2 years!) , and now as I think of trying to travel 6 hours next weekend to see our new nephew I've got that "feeling"
I look at pictures and think back to this time 2 years ago when our daughter was first born and I don't understand how I got to where I am today. I don't even understand how I got to where I am now in comparison to 2 months ago, surely it wasn't the botox that did this to me?! I've been thinking this is just a "flare", but I've never had a 2 month flare. So I guess I'm just getting worse. I'm beginning to think it's possible I could become housebound if things continue at this level.
And once again I'm brought back to the same struggles I thought I was "finished" with. Do I believe God is good? Do I believe He will take care of me and my family? Do I believe that my progressing pain has a purpose: that it is for my good and His glory? Will I really trust God and find my joy in Him even if I get worse?
I'll be honest, this past week I've asked God "why" a lot. "Why do I have to have burning in every body part that is needed to sit in a chair?" "What is the purpose in this?" "Isn't it enough to just hurt, why do I have to be unable to sit?" Kind of like Habakkuk, who I read about this week. Habakkuk was tired of seeing evildoers prosper and he said,
"O LORD, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear? Or cry to you "Violence!" and you will not save? Why do you make me see iniquity, and why do you idly look at wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise. " Habakkuk 1:2-3
He expected God to say, "yeah I'll take care of those people, don't worry", but instead God said,
"Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told For behold, I am raising up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, who march through the breadth of the earth, to seize dwellings not their own." (1:5-6)
So Habakkuk said, "Surely you won't allow the Chaldeans to kill us...we've followed you!: (1:12) And God says, "Because you have plundered many nations, all the remnant of the peoples shall plunder you, for the blood of man and violence to the earth, to cities and all who dwell in them." (2:8). But God also says, in 2:4 "but the righteous shall live by his faith."
In the last chapter Habakkuk replies in faith knowing that God is sovereign, that He is in control, and that He is good. He says,
"Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. GOD, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer's; he makes me tread on my high places." Habakkuk 3:17-19
Such convicting words. Habakkuk didn't know if He is going to live or die, but if He lived He knew most likely He would lose everything He owned including his livelihood.
I want so badly to be able to say with confidence, by God's grace, that even if I live in horrible pain every day for the rest of my life and I have to stay confined to my bed, "yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. GOD, the Lord, is my strength".
These are hard days, but instead of that suffocating feeling and depression, I want to live by faith because I know God is sovereign and all His ways are good!