Let’s face it, I haven’t worn a pair of stilettos in over a decade, but when I see a woman ten years older than me walking around gracefully in a beautiful pair of shoes I wonder how I got this way?
I have a bad back and a two bad hips. One hip was operated on in August. The other in December.
It’s hard to know the true reason for the pain I’ve had for almost two years. Is it hereditary, because both of my grandmothers had hip replacements? Is it because of lifting Nathan, a 30 pound little boy with weird muscular movements and who can’t walk? Or, is it because I’m forty and my body is aging a little faster than I’d like?
I don’t know.
I’ll never know the reason, but I do know pain has given me a different perspective.
In the beginning, I patiently tried to wait it out. I thought I simply tweaked something. Then, I aggressively tried physical therapy, chiropractors, medications, massage, Arrosti, dry needling. Finally I did an MRI and discovered I needed surgery. At times I’ve felt hope in overcoming it and other times completely hopeless. I’ve been on my knees countless times over the physical pain, but it wasn’t until recently that I gave up…in a good way.
The process of dealing with pain.
Isn’t it like this with many hard things in life? We go through a process of struggling until we get to a place of surrender. First, we try to wait it out and sometimes even deny that there is a problem. Then, we start fighting and trying to take control to fix it all by our big girl self. Some of us (me) tend to stay in one of these first two phases for a long time. Hopefully, we finally surrender to Someone else who can help.
Next time, I want to go straight to surrender. I want to make it a habit of acknowledging when something is hard and praying first, not trying to fix it on my own. This is not my instinct. It requires me to be intentionally focusing on God, not my pain and my problems. It requires me to go to Someone greater than myself. Then keep pace with the Spirit.
I am still healing and not all of my pain is completely gone. But between my surgeries and my perspective it has lessened.
It’s tempting to make it my mission in life tell young brides to enjoy their freedom before kids because they have absolutely no idea what will happen to their bodies. Or, encouraging 60-year-olds to go buy a nice pair of Birkenstocks because they too can be stylish and attractive shoes. These are not my warnings to dish out however, and in naming them I recognize my desire for an easy, pain free life. One I am not promised. Though the good things in our lives are by the grace of God, sometimes so too is our pain.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” – 2 Cor 12:9
May I always allow my pain and my problems to lead me back to Him.
My book, Beauty in Broken Dreams: A Hopeful Handbook for the Early Years as a Special Needs Parent, is now available on Amazon!
Also be sure to check out my list of Favorite Books on Disability!