I’ve now approached exactly 28 months since nerve pain took over my body. Yet, even after surgery, a spinal cord stimulator, countless shots, daily therapy and a continued increase in medications I feel back to square one. Today, I’ve experienced another crash, burn and cry session. I’ve now had to take Valium on top of my other meds the past six days straight. I know that something has to change very soon.
By the grace of God I don’t take even one daily narcotic. But, my nerve pain meds have pretty much increased every few months. It’s unreal how quickly my nerves are still triggered and my body wrecked daily. While this might not be one’s normal cause of anxiety I can’t deny the anxiety it keeps creating. And that’s with me having a strong faith and peace with God.
Thank God I go to my doctor tomorrow. I’m having to admit to myself that once again my anxiety meds must be increased soon otherwise I will end up in a crazy house. If you battle daily with uncontrollable anxiety that overtakes you I totally understand. You can’t just tell yourself to calm down and always pray it away. If you need the medication you need the medication! Yet, you should never stop praying!
I’m just a firm believer that medications don’t solve everything. However, God has given man wisdom on how to deal with some of the symptoms. So, recognize where you are and take your health concerns very seriously. Do what you need to do to get better, but still rely fully on God for your actual healing and lasting peace.
“Cast all your anxiety upon Him because He cares for you.”
1 Peter 5:7
Woke up today feeling better than yesterday so far and the hot tub is at least soothing me some. I’ve definitely discovered over time that my nerve pain is just so easily triggered. It doesn’t take much critical or deep conversation for things to switch into high gear. Then shortly after that I can hardly do or bear anything.
My nerve pain can escalate in less than a minute without a moments notice. For this reason I’ve had to drastically limit my exposure to critical care situations. I used to counsel, comfort, preach countless funerals and visit people all the time. But, those days changed nearly two years ago when severe nerve pain entered my life.
It took me awhile to grieve what I can’t do because I love being with people and helping them through life’s most difficult seasons. I would rather Pastor someone than preach any day because it’s something I love to do. Hopefully one day my health issues change and the severe neuropathy within me settles down.
Until then, I will use whatever platform God allows. Whether that be praying, posting on social media, writing articles for the paper, or helping others feel better equipped to do God’s work.
We can’t always dictate what happens in our lives. All we can determine is how we respond to it. I’m personally choosing to glorify God no matter where life finds me. There is always a God window in front of us.
“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
Back in my favorite most relieving spot the hot tub. Man on man does God continue to affirm that my present struggle has such purpose. I may not like how I feel, but it creates a straight bridge of understanding to so many hearts. Many others can identify with my pain and sorrow.
Today it took everything I had to get out of bed. My legs have felt like they could pop all day. By the second worship service I felt like I could collapse midway through. Even while I was preaching I was begging God to carry me and carry out His will through me.
While standing in front of two services full of people I felt so vulnerable. Part of me just wanted to run off stage and hide. You just feel so bad when you’re not feeling healthy in your own skin. But, I’m starting to believe God speaks loudest through obvious broken vessels.
All I could do was ask God to work despite my feelings of weakness. The last thing I want to do is get in God’s way. I keep waiting for the moment when my nerve pain makes me completely fall apart while preaching. It’s one of my greatest fears that I might literally have to abruptly leave service because my nerve pain shuts me totally down.
By the grace of God alone it’s never happened publicly and I pray it never does. I just keep asking God to help me get over my pride of being afraid of who might see what and what they might think. God is definitely using this thorn in my flesh to make clear that He is the only One with superpowers.
“Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.”
2 Corinthians 12:9
Written: Jan 13th, 2018
Earlier I was in the middle of a simple conversation with my boys. Next thing I know I feel my nerve pain flooding throughout my body. It’s in that moment I know I need to cease conversation immediately and exit the room as soon as possible. Why? Because the moment my nerve pain takes over my body I will have little control over my emotional processing or mouth. The old me would have worked tirelessly to explain my condition. But, I’ve discovered that in most cases it will only further confirm that most just don’t understand.
So, I got in my car and headed home leaving everyone else at another family gathering that I hated to miss. I left away heartbroken, embarrassed, and definitely misunderstood. I cried most of the way home as I’ve felt this way so many times. I’ve concluded that if you look healthy people can’t believe you’re so sick. And, that unless someone has been in your specific battle they just can’t relate or understand. They mean nothing personal by their lack of understanding.
But, we each long to be understood and comforted. When we already feel like we’re on the edge of a bridge about to tumble down we need every bit of encouragement we can find. Praise God for a wife that did understand the urgency of my condition. She didn’t hesitate by saying, “Don’t worry about what other people might think. Do what’s best for you I know you wouldn’t leave if you didn’t feel so bad.” Just that little bit of understanding love helped me do what was necessary to settle my nerve pain.
The greatest thing you can do for someone going through a tough time you can’t totally understand is to love them with as much grace and encouragement as possible. In the process, you will lift their spirit instead of only crushing more of their heart.
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
Written: Jan 12, 2018 (Late Night)
Please don’t take a word I’m about to share as whining or just wanting attention. What I’m about to write is just for my own sanity, healing and hoping to let someone else not feel so alone in their journey. Extreme pain for too long takes you to a very dark place. It’s like you’re stuck in some kind of torcher chamber.
Inside those walls you feel so alone, helpless, and miserable. You would give anything for someone to set you free from the misery and pain. But, you look around and see no one with a key and who you believe really hears your cries for help.
Trust me, I know what I’m talking about when it comes to unbearable pain. My body feels so broken and my spirit has been so discouraged even now. I can’t even imagine going through such torment without my Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. I do believe I would be high as a kite or drunk as I can be right now without Jesus stabilizing me. Or maybe I would ponder taking my life if this is going to continue.
I warned you this would be raw and real. One can have great faith and still be in a great battle. I feel like satan just keeps saying, “Now, what? What are you gonna do now Mr Believer that thinks God is so good?” Well, I’m gonna keep believing, keep walking in obedience and keep trusting Jesus every step of the way.
“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”
1 Peter 5:8
Written: Jan 12th, 2018
One thing about chronic illness is it’s hard to separate your days from nights. Every hour feels like a day and everyday feels like forever. You feel like life is standing still and often like it’s passing by without you. Everyday feels the same as your pain leaves you feeling like a prisoner in your own body.
You have to determine everyday to look for the positive amidst the painful. You have to believe that nothing takes God by surprise. Therefore, whether orchestrated or allowed by God, He has a plan for your present life. Just because life has changed doesn’t mean God is done with you. In fact, many times you are led to believe He is doing even a greater work during this time.
Yes you always have moments you feel like a newborn baby crying for it’s way. Yes it’s not the most enjoyable moments of your life. But, believing God is at work preparing you for an even grander plan is comforting. Believing that God is presently at work is a game changer. You might not like how you often feel, but you’re encouraged that God can even use you while you feel frozen in time.
“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”