Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Remember Your Calling

I feel like I have been failing in the ministry God has entrusted me with. I received an email today from someone who is hurting, because the marriage this couple began has faced trouble and been split apart by it. As I was reading through it, I felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit.

I've been a mess lately, to be honest. Emotional, moody, angry, sad. I go from one to the other, then back again. I know that I have not been an easy woman to live with. And those of you that know me are likely thinking, "Well, how is that different from usual?" Yeah yeah yeah, I know. But really, it's worse than usual. I've struggled to find joy. To look at all of the good in my life. It hasn't been long-lasting, and yet I feel as if there is something weighing down on me.

I know what it is. I know it is the pain. The physical agony my body is in on a daily basis. It never ends. Pain pills only dull the pain, which I am grateful for. Any improvement is better than feeling as if someone is taking all of the muscles in my shoulder/back and pulling in opposite directions. But there are "consequences" for taking pain pills. The melancholy I feel most of the time is a biproduct of the pain pills, a side effect that I'd rather do without. It has put a halt to the weight loss, which in turn depresses me, which makes me want to eat all the chocolate in the house, which makes me feel bad about myself...it's a never-ending cycle of negativity. I recognize that. And yet, the thought of not taking anything for the pain makes me cringe. And most frustrating, there is seemingly no end in sight.

I've met with a surgeon, who sent me to pain management. That doctor gave me pain pills and have me go in for an EEG/Nerve Conduction test. Based on the results of that, the pain management doctor referred me back to the surgeon. Either the fusion in my neck at C6-C7 didn't take, or there is a pinched nerve there, causing the pain. I have no idea what is going to happen, or what it will take to find relief from the pain. And that distreses me. It makes me sad, and angry, and gives me a sense of hopelessness when it comes to being free of the pain. Which then sends me into thinking about how I don't trust God when it comes to this pain. I guess I'm just feeling overwhelmed by it all.

But all of that aside, today I realized that I have allowed my pain (yet again) to take over my life. I have given it permission to distract me and keep me from fulfilling the call that God has put on my heart. The most important thing-the most meaningful-I can do right now (aside from growing in Christ and my responsibilities as a wife and mother) is to use my story to minister to others. To show other women that there is hope. To be obedient to God, who has called me to share my story. And I cannot do that if I allow myself to be burdened by the pain. If I get home in the evenings and veg out, because I hurt and am tired mentally, and try to avoid typing on the computer because I spent 8 hours of the day doing the same. It is less about the pain (though that is a factor), and more about wanting to just disconnect from everything mentally. But I realized today that I am squandering the gift of hope and new life that God has given me, when I could use my time to write or respond to emails from hurting women, needing direction and encouragement.

God, help me remember, when I get home in the evenings, that you are not finished with me yet. That I have a responsibility to share my story and allow you to use me. Help me to embrace and endure the pain, knowing that even in the pain, you are there and you have a plan for my life.

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