Saturday, March 04, 2023

Laughing through Pain

This is me being happy on a day out with my hubby, despite a lot of intense pain from my herniated disc. I heard that physical therapy can make things worse at first. And…yikes.

Still, I’ve enjoyed this day. My hubby and I went grocery shopping. I made Belgian waffles topped with strawberries and whipped cream for lunch. And we went to see the new Ant-man movie (it was a hoot). I had to stand up and do some exercises for my back half way through—so glad there was a half a row of empty seats to the left of us at the back of the theater!

I admit that there were a few times when the pain made me want to cry or spew expletives (okay, one not so nice word escaped my lips at an especially painful moment), but mostly I was able to laugh through it. One of those kind of nutty laughs that, if you heard it, might make you wonder if I were sane (especially if you saw the pained expression on my face). Maybe I was able to laugh because my husband was by my side all day today. Maybe it’s because I’m much more likely to laugh than cry in moments of stress. Or maybe it’s because the good of the day overshadowed the bad. Maybe it’s all of the above. 

There’s more to it, though.

I was able to laugh through the pain and enjoy my day because I know that the same hands that created the world are sustaining me through this challenging time. There is joy and peace that comes from knowing and trusting in Jesus that goes deeper than any pain, physical or not. 

Don’t get me wrong. There have been days when the joy has seemed distant, and all I could feel (besides pain) was desperation for healing or even a good night’s sleep. I’ve broken down sobbing while standing in my office trying to focus, and in the middle of the night when crawling into bed after the short walk to and from the bathroom.

It’s in those moments that God has reminded me of his presence and, with his still, small voice, to trust that he is working. That voice has come in the form of a Bible verse suddenly remembered, a perfectly timed phone call, even notes and texts from friends. 

God is there. He is working in all of this. He will get me through this and I will make a full recovery. I believe it. I believe it because I trust in Jesus’s words from John 16:33: “ I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

I suppose Jesus wasn’t talking about herniated discs when he said those words. But…he’s overcome the world. He can handle this too.