Ugh…this is exactly the type of post I don’t want to write. I know that anyone who doesn’t know me, wouldn’t know how happy I really am. I am a very happy person. I love my life. I love my family and friends. I sometimes struggle to love me though. I have a soul that doesn’t rest and a spirit that drives on, in a body that screams at me to park it. I have had 20 surgeries in the last 7 years. Mostly major joint and spine surgeries. The story of why is long and for another post. The moral of the story here, would be that I have a skeleton that needs oil worse than tin man after too many April showers while dancing in the rain.
I hate chronic illness posts, and I hate even more, that I can sometimes almost yell amen at one. I don’t want to be the hurt girl. I hate that. I hate that sometimes I hide the pain so well, that it sets a standard of expectations that I surely can’t continually sustain. I can smile through the pain and grit my teeth and fake it really well. Sometimes too well. People can forget how much I still can’t do and start expecting more than I can regularly give. The only thing I hate worse, is that when I finally wear out and reach a threshold of pain I can no longer hide it and I’m forced to park it…people think I’m so bad I can’t do anything ever. I have no idea what days will be top of the mountain days where I hike and can burst past another hiker…or if it’s going to be a day where I hurt so bad, I can’t turn my neck, I can barely limp on my worse knee, and I’m forced to whip out my handicap plaque so I don’t have to walk 30 extra feet into a store. I hate the puzzle I am and I tend to self loathe when I don’t feel like I can be there helping like I want to be. I want to rush to another person’s aide the second I hear they need help, and when I can’t I realize how I am imprisoned. There are bars on some things and I don’t know when I will make parol. I am trying to be a model prisoner but I really hate this prison.
I’m not upset with God. I actually love Him the most. He is the reason I haven’t lost my mind. I know that this is serving some purpose in my life and teaching me things I never could have understood to the depth of what I understand now. God doesn’t love my suffering, but it’s serving a purpose.
I had a conversation with a dear friend the other day. She was expressing frustration that all of us humans feel, when we don’t understand why God is willing certain suffering to take place. At one point she made the comment while she was talking to God, that,”You must like suffering. You even let your son suffer.” I don’t think it’s blasphemy when you are deeply pained and having a conversation with God about your struggling to understand His ways and desperately wanting Him to burst profound answers through thick deafening silence. I know my friend and I know she loves God. I also know that she has endured things in her life that cause great pain and emotional suffering. She was talking to her Father, her Heavenly Father and struggling to understand why He sometimes does the things that He does. She was wondering and I really think asking…why. I’ve asked why. I have never blamed God, but I have asked Him why He placed me here in these circumstances and asked Him what He wanted me to learn and accomplish here. I will say…I’m still learning. Anyway, this led to a part of the conversation where we talked about the moment that Jesus took on the sin of the world and his comment to his Father, “Why have you forsaken me?” I think this comment was not because God truly left His son Jesus on the cross. I think that this comment was fueled by Jesus feeling separate from God for the first time. Jesus was perfect. He had never been separated from the presence of God. He had never sinned. Sin is what separates us from God. God can’t be one with sin. I still think that God was right there. He hadn’t left Jesus’s reach. Jesus for the first time…experienced the emptiness, shame, loneliness, and pain that it is for our soul to yearn for God. This served a purpose. Jesus knew from that moment on, what it felt like to be lost and wearing the stain of sin. I think it is why he has such mercy for the lost sheep. I think it’s why he doesn’t want anyone to be lost and without his presence. He even promised to NEVER leave us alone. This may have been one of the greatest gifts in what Jesus did for us. He felt it all for us. He actually can feel pure empathy because he has lived it.
I hate the chronic illness label but…it’s meant to make me understand other people struggling with suffering of all kinds. God doesn’t like to see us suffer, but He likes to see us learn, and He loves drawing us closer to Him. You aren’t alone in whatever you face. Mankind is with you, tripping over themselves and trying to make it to the mark. Most importantly…Jesus is with you. I send you my love and a very big hug.