March 18, 2015

The Problem of Pain

~ C.S Lewis ~

If ever there was a quote that could sum up my "testimony" of sorts, this would be it. We talked about it in small group last night. I kept too quiet, as it hit home. I'm trying to work on being brave and opening my mouth to speak, but for now my fingers and written words will do the talking I didn't do, should have done, at small group.

When I was eleven I was diagnosed with dysplasia in both hips and after countless opinions and doctors visits, we decided the best option was to plan on having both hips replaced way down the line when I'm much older. We first went to an orthopedic doctor because I was limping and I complained of my legs being sore. So, going on eleven years, I have been living with this diagnosed chronic pain that has not gotten better, but slowly and surely worse.
I wrestled with the age-old questions, "Why do bad things happen to good people?" and the, "If God loves me, why'd He let this happen?" These questions, spurred on by my pain and limitations, snowballed and, while there wasn't one moment of a turnaround testimony, I had to make a choice. I was raised in a loving, wonderful Christian home but the pain I had to get used to living with was what "planted a flag of truth in my rebel soul." It could have led to "final and unrepentant rebellion" as Lewis talks about. Whether we realize it or not, physical, mental and emotional pain all leave us with a choice.
Pain is something we can't control and something we as humans never choose. But it's a part of living in a fallen world in desperate need of a Savior.
Through my hip pain and countless other circumstances and struggles I've gone through especially in the last four years since graduating high school, I can honestly say I have never "felt" closer to God. Even during the dry spells. Even when I was stubborn and focused too much on the present and didn't have my eyes fastened on my Defender and Provider and lover of my work in progress soul. He has truly "shouted" in my pain and it's a tearfully sweet thing.
The problem of pain, of my pain which just happens to by chronic, physical, is not really a problem at all. It has been an instrument the Lord used to draw me to Himself. To throw myself on His grace and mercy instead of trying to be Superwoman. My "problem" of pain actually was a huge part of why I wrote God's Will
My pain has been getting worse of late in my right hip. The hip that was the better of the two to some degree. It's thrown me for a loop these last few months because it used to be my strongest leg to lean on. I may have overcompensated for my left hip being more painful and now the right is. And this scares the living crap out of me, ya'll. But there isn't so much of a problem with this pain I deal with day in and day out. It's taking me another level deeper into the Lord and His love, and it's also refining away the dross of this sinner's soul.
So you see, this problem of pain is one that planted a flag of truth within my rebel soul once upon a time ago and while I could say I'd trade my pain in a heartbeat, I know it's my burden to lay at the foot of the Cross day in and day out to strengthen my reliance on the Author and Finisher of my faith.