Today makes 4 months of nerve pain, muscle fasciculations, and the inability to live my previously active lifestyle. Thanks to one long run, I’m always on the edge of having shocking, shooting and throbbing pain my lower leg. I modify my life to try and reduce this pain, but that leads to depression and days of inactivity. Many days, I’m lead to tears, either due to the actual physical debilitating pain, or due to the mental stress and anxiety placed upon me dealing with the injury.
I have many days where plans are messed up and I don’t enjoy life due to this pain. Simple things like long drives, trips fishing, going out to dinner, grocery shopping, or kayaking becomes completely torturous, as I just want to get home and get in bed. I have lost a lot of joy and contentment in my life and everyday, it gets harder and harder to think of the positives. I have frequent thoughts of “Will this ever end? Will I really be in this much pain my entire existence? And if I am in this much pain and it keeps me from doing almost everything I enjoy my entire life, is it really worth existing? Is life worth living when handed such a physically painful experience?” I haven’t had the strength to answer those questions and I don’t have knowledge of the future to answer them.
With this physical pain, comes my struggle with faith. Believe me when I say my faith has gotten me through a lot of traumatic experiences growing up. I remember many times on my knees in my bedroom pleading with God about life’s circumstances and my family’s mental illnesses. It just seemed like God got me through it. He always opened doors to give me a future. Two of those doors was a full scholarship to college and acceptance to my school’s nursing program. Now, im seriously doubting my physical capability to be on my feet in clinical, community centers, class, and all of the other obligations that comes with being a nursing student. I mean, of course I can do it, but it’ll mean more frequent debilitating pain attacks, which leave me nauseated, breathless, and forever exhausted and hopeless.
So naturally, it leads me to question this plan. To question my faith. Does God want me to suffer? I keep getting suggestions like “well look at how you live your life and change things and maybe things will get better.” These “suggestions” sound like this is my fault, like I caused all of this, like God is letting me suffer because I’m such a bad person. I didn’t realize God was so cruel to let his child be in so much suffering because she didn’t follow every condition set for his love and care… a love that’s supposed to be so unconditional. As you can see, my faith is wavering. I still listen to my faith based music. One song I try to hold onto is “Trust in You” by Lauren Daigle. I try to keep the faith that God still has a plan for me even in the midst of so much suffering. It’s just so incredibly hard to walk (well more like hobble) into church with all of these happy looking people asking me the same questions wondering how I’m doing, how I could still be in so much pain, assuming I’ve gotten better and have no reason to complain or miss church, wondering where I’ve been, why I won’t come to church, etc. It’s honestly so overwhelming to be in such an overwhelmingly positive place when my life is so dark right now and people just expect me to remain so happy and joyful when I question how I’m even going to get through another week, day, or hour in this position. It’s so hard to just “let go and let God” when hour to hour, my existence changes from relative normality to excruciating suffering pleading with life to just stop.
And then I think about how selfish I must be to think God should heal me… or expect to somehow be healed by God. I mean, millions of people live in chronic pain, chronic illness, get cancer and die, and all sorts of debilitating ailments and God doesn’t heal them. People kill themselves everyday because they beg and plead for some sort of relief, only to be knocked down again by their physical and emotional pain. This is where I get discouraged. Should I really pray for healing. Should I really pray at all? Does it really change anything if God is God and he does as he pleases anyway and if you don’t completely fall in line with every rule of Christianity, then obviously it’s all your fault and you deserve to suffer in pain?
If anyone is still reading this and is a severe chronic pain survivor and still manages to have a strong faith in healing and perseverance, please give me your thoughts because I’m so incredibly hopeless that I’ll be able to live a fulfilling and joyful life and actually be thankful for it.