Hope Amid the Pain

Desperately Alone in Your Chronic Pain? There is Hope Amid the Pain.

I find so much comfort in interviewing other chronic pain warriors. They encourage me to keep on keeping on. And while we know we have the Lord with us, it is also good to know that we have other fellow friends who are here to love and support each other.

Today, I interview Leslie McKee. Leslie is an author, editor, and reviewer. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and The Christian PEN. Her devotions have been published in compilations by Ellie Claire (2017 and 2020). And her flash fiction stories have been published with Havok, Splickety, and Spark. Her devotional journal (HOPE Amid The Pain: Hanging on to Positive Expectations When Battling Chronic Illness and Pain) was released in 2021. She enjoys reading, crocheting, spending time with family and friends (and her turtle Speedy!), and rooting for the NY Giants. 

Without further ado, let’s hear from Leslie!

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light and temporary

No Light at the End of the Tunnel for Chronic Pain

Interviews with Chronic Pain Warriors #4

I know! It’s strange to write these words “light and momentary” when talking about chronic pain. I have been in an R.A. flair most of the past year and now facing some heart issues. I sometimes wonder just how much more I can take. Not that I want to end it all, but when I look at myself at 58 and then (judging from my family history) look forward to maybe 30 more years, it’s hard to see a light at the end of the tunnel. And I wonder,

“Is there a light at the end of the tunnel?” #chronicpain #endurance #lightandmomentarytrouble Click To Tweet

“Light and momentary” comes from the scriptures where the Apostle Paul shares that when we arrive in heaven this will all seem small and insignificant. (2 Corinthians 4:17) He shares that one of the purposes of our trials is that when we get through them we can encourage and comfort others who are experiencing the same type of pain.

So this year, I’d like to offer a series of interviews with chronic pain warriors. I would like us to all share and encourage one another so that we can “all patiently endure as we suffer.” (2 Corinthians 1:6)

 And then though “we were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it.” Even when we expect that we will die, we will stop relying on ourselves and learn to rely only on God, who raises the dead. (2 Corinthians 1:8,9)

And now Interview #4 with Terri Sutula.

Originally published June 9, 2020

light at the end of the tunnel

Terri is a certified Personal Trainer and Health Coach who also lives with fibromyalgia and IBS. She has made it her mission to walk alongside others with fibromyalgia to help them find what works for them to help them thrive. Find our interview below.

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curleque by Coffee at pixabay

Would you share the short story of your chronic pain journey? Share some about the journey to this diagnosis.

This is a little tough because I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have pain. Even as a child, I suffered debilitating headaches on a regular basis. Fast forward a few years, and I started having migraines in addition to regular headaches.

Finally, when I was around 30, I was diagnosed with endometriosis. These things made my life difficult at times, but I retired after 20 years in the US Air Force, then went on to work as a Finance Officer in a small town, then as a Personal Trainer for about 6 years.

Where’s the Light at the End of the Tunnel?

In 2011, I started having widespread pain (as in, everything hurt, all over my body), severe abdominal pain, and lots of other strange symptoms. I could no longer work. Some lab results caused concern, but then when repeated, the labs came back normal. I just couldn’t understand how I could feel this horrible and not have something seriously wrong with me. At one point, I was spending my days in bed, just waiting for each day to be over.

Eventually, in 2012, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and IBS. It was actually a relief to have a name for what was going on. Once I realized I didn’t have something that was going to kill me, I got on with learning how to live my best life in spite of my illnesses.

What a long journey. Throughout this time, how was your faith walk impacted? Did you lose faith? Get stronger?

When I was at my worst with my fibromyalgia symptoms, my relationship with the Lord was the closest it’s ever been. I had absolutely no strength of my own; I had to depend on His strength to even get through the day. The longer I live with it, the more I’ve learned to lean on Him for even the mundane things in life. He’s always there for us, through the big things and the small ones.

What scripture has become a comfort for you in this journey?

The scripture I mentioned below, Romans 8:28, has been a huge comfort for me because it reminds me that God is using this for my good in some way, but the one I cling to the most is Isaiah 41:10,

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

isaiah 41:10

One thing that has been especially difficult for me on this fibromyalgia journey has been the weakness I experience sometimes. There have been times that I wasn’t even sure my legs would hold me up, but I always know that when I’m weak, God is strong, and He will hold me up when I can’t hold myself up.

How do you find comfort during these ‘ light and momentary’ painful days?

I remember that God is going to use this in some way. He never wastes any experience or difficulty we have. Romans 8:28 tells us,

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

I firmly believe that, and that’s what helps me get through the really tough days.

What are some things that your family and friends do that bring comfort in your pain?

I’m fortunate to have family and friends who try to understand and make accommodations when my symptoms are not cooperating. My husband has really been a Godsend through all of this. He does everything he can to make my life as easy as possible.


Are you involved in any ministries or community service to reach out to others with chronic pain? Share about this?

I consider my blog to be my ministry. When I first started experiencing all these weird symptoms and right after I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I wanted some real, actionable tips for getting on with my life and I needed to reclaim my hope that I could still have a good life. Once I started figuring things out, I wanted to be that resource for others, Olive Tree Saints was born.

In conclusion, can you offer some words of encouragement to those who may be searching for comfort in their own chronic pain journey?

Sweet friend, I know this isn’t easy. I know there are some days that you feel you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, but you are not alone. You have others who have been where you are and who are willing to walk alongside you as you go through this.

And know that God is always there with you. He’s promised us in His Word that he’ll never leave us or forsake us. Life may not ever go back to the way it was, but you can still thrive in spite of your circumstances. You’ve got this!

Offering a light at the end of the tunnel,

~Terri

certified Personal Trainer and Health Coach 

Thank you, Terri, for sharing your story and these encouraging words.

Readers, I encourage you to comment below or connect with Terri on social media or her blog.

Mandy Farmer

Wellness: Becoming Intentionally Evergreen

It’s Your Turn

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Are you a Chronic Pain Warrior? Can you offer a light at the End of the Tunnel?

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Not your IDentity

Your Identity is More Than Your Chronic Pain

These Light & Momentary Trials are Not Your Identity

I know! It’s strange to write these words [light and momentary] when talking about chronic pain. I have been in an R.A. flair most of the last year and have arrived at the place where I wonder just how much more I can take. Not that I want to end it all, but when I look at my young life and then look forward to my future, it’s hard to see a light at the end of the tunnel. And I wonder,

“Is this all I have to look forward to?” #lightandmomentarytrouble #interviewwithachronicpainwarrior #chronicpainawareness Click To Tweet

“Light and momentary” comes from the scriptures where the Apostle Paul shares that when we arrive in heaven this will all seem small and insignificant. (2 Corinthians 4:17) He shares that one of the purposes of our trials is that when we get through them we can encourage and comfort others who are experiencing the same type of pain.

Interviews with Chronic Pain Warriors

So this year, I’d like to offer a series of interviews with chronic pain warriors. I would like us to all share and encourage one another so that we can “all patiently endure as we suffer.” (2 Corinthians 1:6)

 And then though “we were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it.” Even when we expect that we will die, we will stop relying on ourselves and learn to rely only on God, who raises the dead. (2 Corinthians 1:8,9)

And now Interview #2 with Stacey Shannon. Stacey struggles with “light and momentary pain” due to fibromyalgia and other UTI issues. Shannon shared on our Legacy Link-up about our father last summer. Greatest Legacy. She is a freelance writer and has her own blog Families with Grace. Find our interview below.

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notes of comfort

Light and Momentary Pain? I’m Not So Sure

Interviews with Chronic Pain Warriors

I know! It’s strange to write these words [light and momentary] when talking about chronic pain. I have been in an R.A. flair most of the last year and have arrived at the place where I wonder just how much more I can take. Not that I want to end it all, but when I look at my young life and then look forward to my future, it’s hard to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

And I wonder, “Is this all I have to look forward to?” #lightandmomentarytrouble #interviewwithachronicpainwarrior Click To Tweet

“Light and momentary” comes from the scriptures where the Apostle Paul shares that when we arrive in heaven this will all seem small and insignificant. (2 Corinthians 4:17) He shares that one of the purposes of our trials is that when we get through them we can encourage and comfort others who are experiencing the same type of pain.

So this year, I’d like to offer a series of interviews with chronic pain warriors. I would like us to all share and encourage one another so that we can “all patiently endure as we suffer.” (2 Corinthians 1:6)

 And then though “we were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it.” Even when we expect that we will die, we will stop relying on ourselves and learn to rely only on God, who raises the dead. (2 Corinthians 1:8,9)

Here is the first interview with my dear friend, Bettie Gilbert. Bettie struggles with “light and momentary pain” due to RA, fibromyalgia, and a host of other diagnoses. Keep reading to learn about her struggles and her faith.

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curleque by Coffee at pixabay
interviews with chronic pain warriors; notes of comfort
image created at Canva.com with free images

Bettie, Thank you for sharing your story. You are always such an encouragement to me so I know this is going to encourage many others.

Share the short story of your chronic pain journey. Share some about the journey to this diagnosis.


In the late summer of 2014, I noticed that my fingers and thumb had some strange swelling and aching, but did not think anything about it until later that fall. I had been helping my neighbor in her garden and I woke up with my right hand locked up in a fiery pain that was unlike anything I had ever experienced. This happened three more times before my yearly physical in December of that year. My G.P. sent through the blood work for Rheumatoid testing, and sure enough, 3 of the 4 markers came back positive for Rheumatoid Arthritis. They rushed me to the Rheumatologist the very next week, and I began this journey of chronic pain.
A year later I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Osteoporosis. Then 3 years later I was also diagnosed with Sjogren’s Syndrome and Occipital Neuralgia.

Throughout this time, how was your faith walk impacted? Did you lose faith? Get stronger?

I ran to God with my questions and my doubts. I didn’t have anywhere else to turn, because the doctors gave me very little information about what was happening with my body. But I am actually thankful for that because the Lord has become even more intimate and close to me than He was before my diagnosis.

Was there a specific event that became a turning point in your faith during this journey?


Early in my diagnosis, I found myself apologizing to everyone that I had gotten sick. It became such a constant response in me that one day I realized I had begun speaking that to the Lord also: “Jesus, I am so sorry I got sick. I am sorry I need Your help again. Forgive me for being so weak.” About a year into my diagnosis, I began to hear Him calling me, “Come to me, come inside (The Kingdom of God is within you.) I am already here, and I am not offended by your pain.” That whisper from the Lord began such a process of surrender and fellowship with the Lord that is continuing to grow to this day.

What scripture has become a comfort for you in this journey?

notes of comfort; chronic pain warriors
image created at Canva.com free images


But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Cor. 12:9

How do you find comfort during these ‘ light and momentary’ painful days?


Listening to Christian music with a heating pad wrapped around my wrist and arm has become a calming time for me. Reading books is so helpful, and I am blessed to check out the resources of hope offered at the Chronic Joy Ministry Website too.
Sometimes I watch silly YouTube videos when my mind is so foggy that I can’t keep track of anything. And on other days, when my pain level allows, writing and journaling help me to process what is happening inside of me. I try to begin every day by moving very slowly and taking the time to read the Scriptures. Even if I can only read one verse, just to know that His Word is still my solid ground brings me such help.

What are some things that your family and friends do that bring comfort in your pain?


Calling to check on me, and offering to pray with and for me is a huge blessing for me. Receiving and sending note cards in the mail has brought amazing blessings from God to me. When someone brings me a pot of soup, it feels like a gigantic gift! And my husband fills in so many things for me that I cannot do any longer. I am so grateful for each gift offered to me.

Are you participating in any ministries that encourage other chronic pain warriors?

Over the last year, I have joined the team at Chronic Joy Ministry as their Volunteer Prayer Coordinator. I am so blessed to be able to pray for requests as they are shared at the Prayer Pond and send out #PenToPaper notes and emails in response to those prayer requests. Writing posts on Scriptures and Prayer is a blessing to me as well.

Offer some words of encouragement to those who may be searching for comfort in their own chronic pain journey.


Our Lord has told us that He would never leave us or forsake us. So I would encourage you to put that Scripture to the test. Cry out to Him, ask Him for His mercy on your darkest day. And when you pause to listen, He will meet you right there to bring encouragement. Keep your eyes open to watch for moments of His beauty. What seemed small in the past, during your busy days, will shine so much brighter now, bringing God’s grace to you.

Bettie, thank you so much for this encouragement. It will help many of us as we face these ‘ light and momentary ‘ struggles. You are a wonderful reminder that one day, we are promised ‘no more pain’ (Revelation 21:4)

Readers, I encourage you to join Bettie at Chronic Joy. Click here for her latest Prayer Prompt. You can also respond to Bettie here on the blog by commenting below.

Mandy Farmer

Are you a Chronic Pain Warrior?

Would you be willing to share your faith story and encourage others? Contact Mandy for more details about an interview for this blog. See Guidelines Here

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swollen knees

Diagnosis Knees – Osteoarthritis or RA

more diagnoses knees
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Once I finally had a diagnosis, I was able to get on a regimen of Savella. This relieved the majority of my pain. At least I was able to move about. We started working on reducing my 40mg of prednisone down to a more acceptable level. This was no easy feat. The pain would return with just a slight decrease. If I remember, we had to reduce by 5 mg, and then later only 1 mg. (I only recently was able to get completely off the usage of prednisone. It took me ten years!)

It’s Off to the Orthopedic Surgeon

But it only took a few months for my knees to begin to swell and be painful. So, we headed to Hughston Clinic. After x-rays and MRIs, the doctor determined that I had a torn meniscus. So we scheduled surgery. How wonderful that Dr. Collins is a Christian. By his request, he had prayer with me before we went into the OR. His staff is amazing. They checked on me several times after the surgery. I highly recommend Hughston Clinic if you live in SW Georgia.

The surgery went well, he was able to repair damage and clean out a lot of arthritis. He took pictures that showed a lot of gnarly mess. So when we met with him again, he said he would send me back to Mayo Clinic because he wasn’t certain that it was just osteoarthritis.

Back to Mayo Clinic

Already established at Mayo, it wasn’t as difficult to get an appointment. I saw my rheumatologist. He looked at the pictures and said, “This is severe osteoarthritis”. OK. No Surprise here. I was very accident-prone on the dairy farm. As a child, I was always incurring stupid injuries that weren’t too severe. I figured then that one day, I would have plenty of arthritis.

While he felt the diagnosis for knees was osteoarthritis, he decided to run the tests for rheumatoid arthritis again. Low and behold, this time it came back as R.A. We had caught it early so I was able to take Methotrexate rather than a biologic.

Why Didn’t It Show Up Before?

Apparently, the prednisone was masking the RA. I had been concerned this would be a problem all along. The steroid helped me “feel” pretty darn good, But in fact, steroids are an anti-inflammatory drug. So the numbers in the blood work came back good. I figured the steroids caused my numbers to be all over the place when I was tested back home.

swollen knees - steroids hide the real problem
photos from pixabay-Bolova59

The Methotrexate has kept the RA pretty much under control these 10 years. Osteoarthritis of the knees continues to be aggravating on a daily basis. Other fibromyalgia pains and other issues keep popping up now (10 years later). So, we are considering other medication options.

This brings us up to the Spring of 2013. Stay tuned for another addition to Mandy’s Journey with Pain or click here to see what you may have missed.

-Mandy

Wait, Wait Patiently

Did you say “Wait PATIENTLY?”

Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness
while I am here in the land of the living.

Wait patiently for the Lord.
Be brave and courageous.
Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.

Psalm 27:13-14
Wait Patiently
Image created in Canva.com: girl image by Ryan McGuire at Pixabay.

Wait. Again, wait.

I’ve heard it so many times over those first four years. And it never has become easier to hear. We all want everything now. But God kept telling me to wait.

Getting a diagnosis is a long process. There were 6 weeks of waiting while my primary care doctor tried different medications to ease my pain. There were blood labs to wait for. Finally, he decided to send me to a specialist.

At first you think. “Good. Now we will get to the bottom of this.”

waiting patiently
image of girl by Ryan McGurie @ Pixabay created in Canva

But then there is more waiting.

Wait to schedule an appointment.

to see the doctor.

to get more blood work results.

Wait to see the doctor again.

And then you hear the words, “I’m baffled. We need a second opinion.” This time we were referred to Mayo Clinic. The doctor said to wait for their call to schedule an appointment. This was a month-long wait.

And finally, we get the call.

“We will put you on the waiting list.”

“OK. How long will that be?”

“Up to six months.”

My heart sunk.

How could I keep waiting that long?

was on high dosages of steroids, just to be able to make it through the days. How could I do this for six months? That was just before Christmas. Fortunately, we received a call after Christmas that an appointment opened up at the end of January. Of course, we accepted the appointment and waited again for the next few weeks.

By this point, we were ready for any kind of diagnosis. It is so frustrating to wait with no idea what is going on. We were tempted to say,

“Tell us anything, even bad news, so that we can deal with it.”

Just as we expected, the first visit was only preliminary. We met with one doctor and, of course, the phlebotomist …. They took 16 vials of blood! And then we waited.

First Diagnosis

We waited to be scheduled with 5 different specialists and more testing… four more months. At the end of that week of appointments, I received the diagnosis of Central Sensitivity Syndrome (CSS) with indications of Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain Syndrome, and Myofacial Pain Syndrome. In other words, I have a lot of pain.

While we had hoped for more help than that, it was a start down the road to managing my pain. The doctor prescribed the first medication that would help me better deal with pain, Savella. And it connected us with an excellent rheumatologist and later Mayo Clinic Pain Center. Across these 9 1/2 years, these have been a Godsend.

What’s the Point?

Finally, my point today… good answers seldom come quickly, through all my life, I have heard the instruction to “wait” … from God …. my parents …. From school teachers.

Did you ever notice that we never seem to be able to hear it once and then just sit down and wait. We are like little children, we sit down for two minutes and then we are up asking, “Is it time yet?” Sadly, I don’t really have a word for the wise today.

I’m just here joining the choir of those who are telling you ….

“Wait, Wait patiently on Jesus”

Mandy Signature
Savannah, GA

Have you missed any of my posts on this Journey with Pain?

Trials – It’s All Relative

We all have trials in life. Sometimes they can be overwhelming. But truly it is all relative when we take our eyes off ourselves and look around. Even better Look to Jesus.

1 PEter 5:10

Stand firm … and be strong in your faith. 
Remember that your family of believers all over the world 
is going through the same kind of suffering you are.
In His kindness, God calls you to share in His eternal glory
by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while,
He will restore, support, and strengthen you, and
He will place you on a firm foundation.  1 Peter 5:8-10 (NLT)

1 Peter 5:8-10 (NLT)


Alone in Our Trials

Our trials can cause us to feel so very alone. No matter the trial, many times our friends disappear after a week or so. It may seem that no one understands what you are going through.

For me, doctors were baffled. The testing all came back normal. We were tempted to feel that even the doctors did not believe me. Some doctors were compassionate, some were not.

We Are Not Alone in our Trials

One thing I learned while sitting in waiting rooms of the doctors’ offices, labs, clinics, especially Mayo Clinic, was that I am not alone. It was overwhelming to see how many people are suffering and they are suffering much more than I. Not to use their pain to ease mine, but it does put it all into perspective.

When I looked around, I saw that I had little to complain about and so much to thank God for. My suffering was inconsequential compared to what many have had to deal with.

Alone is Relative

Alone is relative

If I expand the scope of sight to Christians around the world that are being tortured and killed for their faith, I really have nothing to say at all. And ultimately, when I look at what Jesus Christ did for me, I am ashamed that I would even want to put myself in the same category.

However, I am comforted to know that He knows my pain and He holds me up. He is my support, my strength through my trials. And that my “light and temporary suffering” will not last long. After a little while, He will lift me out of the miry clay and put me on a firm foundation.

Let’s Consider… how can we trust God to support and strengthen us when we go through various trials?

1) By leaning on His promises. Reading scripture has lifted me up so many times through my trials, but listen, there are times when you are not able, for whatever reason, to actually read the scriptures. This is why I have always encouraged scripture memory. If you have hidden His Word in your heart, he can bring it to mind when you are unable to read it for yourself. Meditating on memorized scriptures has been my main support when I am having procedures or injections that are painful. I was able to concentrate on the scripture instead of what the technician/surgeon was doing.

2) Resist the devil Quoting scripture is one of the best ways to give the old devil a beating when he tries to get his foot in the door. And believe me, he will try to bring you down. He will whisper all kinds of lies in your ear to convince you that you deserve this pain, or to become angry at those who have been the cause of your pain, or to get you feeling sorry for yourself. He has so many ways to deceive us.

3) Singing His Praise. We’ll get more into this down the road. But I just want to mention that praise is a key element in the survival of the fittest. If you can’t sing; that is, your trial is so deep that you are unable to make music,  then just meditate on the words of a hymn. Godreminded me this old hymn which has become so meaningful to me … as if I had never heard the words before. 

Click to Read the Words and Listen to this Old Hymn…

Until next time;

Mandy

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doctor to doctor

Bouncing from Doctor to Doctor

I was soooo ready to step off that cruise ship but it didn’t bring me joy. My body kept bouncing on the inside. You have heard of sea legs, right? Well, I kept them after we stepped on land. It’s typical for this to happen but it goes away quickly for most people. But I have never been that average. I always have to do things a little differently, from everyone else. Haha!

Time to see a doctor

Three months later, I’m still having these bouncy feelings. Thankfully, no spinning rooms, I just felt like I was still sitting on that tender boat; bouncing, bouncing along. The only time I actually felt better was riding in a car which is kind of ironic. Before this, I was always the one to have motion sickness.

My PCP had no idea what was going on so he sent me to an ENT. We did several tests and ruled out major possibilities. He “landed” on disembarkment syndrome. It’s rare, but people acquire this and live with it for years. That would be me.

Watch this… Funny… Except if you have it.

MORE SYMPTOMS ARRIVE

Two more months bounce by until I woke up one morning in July with a crick in my neck. I could barely turn my neck. Driving was getting a bit dangerous. I would have my daughter always watching that I didn’t move into another lane and run someone of the road. Finally, I decide to visit my chiropractor. I was dumb enough to say let’s not do an x-ray this time. But when he tried to do an adjustment, nothing would move. Until, it did, causing so much pain.

In August, I had an episode at church leading the children’s choir. I lost my breath and all energy. Turns out my thyroid numbers were completely off. I had missed a few days of medication waiting for a renewal but my doctor said, it shohuldn’t have caused a problem that quickly.

PAIN arrives

Still bouncing from day to day, I managed to feel fair enough until that Sunday in September. I lay down for a short nap. Or I should say I tried to lay down. I didn’t get down to the bed before my lower back began to pulse with contraction-like pains. The slightest movement would initiate the contracting again. So, we were back to the doctor again. This time needing a couple men from church to carry me down the stairs and help me into the car. How embarrassing! My doctor couldn’t see any issues so he prescribed a tritation pack of prednisone. That stuff is great!

But it didn’t last. As soon as I started tritating back down, the pain returned. In October, we bounced from one medication to another trying to find something that would make a difference. (Cymbalta, Lyrica, Gabapentin, Tramadol) Nothing helped.

A Roomma-what?

bouncing from doctor to doctor
all images created for free in canva.com

Next, I was sent to a rheumatologist which is a subspecialist in the nonsurgical treatment of rheumatic illnesses, including autoimmune diseases and especially the many forms of arthritis and joint disease. Tons of blood work baffled him. My labs were all over the place and he could not make a diagnosis. He opted for a second opinion at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville. Mayo Clinic is an awesome, amazing place but it takes months to get in. I wasn’t excited about waiting with all this pain.

Be Still is Not Always a Good Thing

Toward the end of the month, my leg began to swell every time I got out of bed to the point that I couldn’t put my foot on the ground. So back to the doctor we go. This time after an ultrasound on the leg, I was admitted to the hospital for observation and getting shots in the stomach for a DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) better known at a blood clot. I had to learn to do these injections in my stomach twice a day. No fun!

Bouncing back home

I was released from the hospital in time for my 50th birthday which basically go by unnoticed. Welcome to old age!

We’ll stop here for now; but my Mayo Clinic experience has already be written and you can keep reading here.

Mandy

SHARING: Even in Pain there is Confident Hope

I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.

Ephesians 1:16-18

Confident Hope?

When chronic pain hits, we might wonder, “How can I have confident hope?” But I soon learned that this hope comes from drawing ever closer to the One Who gives all hope. That is, Jesus!

For me, it was six months of pain before finding any answers. But when I walked through the doors at Mayo Clinic, I felt an amazing hope. Every inch of this place offered hope to me. Then I began to look around at all the others seeking to find answers. Some did not know the confident hope in Christ; however, it was quite obvious that others knew Him well.

Thanks for sharing your confident hope!

I have met several of you who have splashed your confident hope all over me. I’m thanking God at every chance that through my chronic pain, you have become an essential part of my life. I pray for you often that God will continue to bless you with his wisdom and insight through the trials you face; believing it is through these trials that we come to truly KNOW the God of Hope. I pray that your heart is filled with His Light so that you continue in His confident hope and keep spilling it over on the rest of us.

We are His holy people and we are so blessed to be His rich and glorious inheritance. He has invested everything in us to make this possible.

confident hope

Prayer

Oh Lord God, thank you for bringing so many chronically wonderful friends into my life. I ask for wisdom and insight for each of us as we daily try to fight off pain with Your help. As David said, “It was good that I have suffered that I might know you,” the God of all Hope, better. Fill us with Your Light today. I pray that Your investment in us will yield great and wonderful results.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Questions

  1. In what circumstance have you found Confident Hope?

2. Who has graciously splashed their confident hope over you? Have you told them so? Have you prayed for them?

3. Who could you splash your confident hope over?

In His Confident Hope;

Mandy Signature
Savannah, GA

Even though my life changed drastically 10 years ago, God has still brought purpose into my life. I have found a little niche in writing. Something I never had time, nor the confidence, for in the past. Chronic Joy is a wonderful ministry to help those with Chronic Illness thrive. I was given an opportunity to write a prayer prompt for them recently.

*** All along my Journey with Chronic Pain, I have met many who have encouraged me. I am so thankful to them. Seeing that others can make it through tells me I can too! In this journey, I have found a wonderful ministry for those with Chronic Pain called Chronic Joy. Today’s post was written for this ministry. Find more at this link.

Suddenly Still – Journeying with Chronic Pain

scripture JOhn 15:5 suddenly still


“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

John 15:5

Suddenly Still

I’ve never been able to stay STILL. I can’t even watch a 30 minute TV sitcom without getting up and moving around. I have to either be crocheting or have something to do with my hands. Otherwise, I’m up at every commercial whether I have something to do or not.
My son inherited the same thing from me. He is always going and going. As a baby, my husband had to literally hold him tight in his arms to get him to go sleep at night.


God had to do the same with me.

He had to take me in his arms and hold me tight. I was doing so many things. To name a few …

Suddenly Still pin

  • not only was I a pastor’s wife,
  • homeschooling my daughter,
  • Children’s Ministry Director,
  • leading classes at the home school group,
  • Office Manager at the church,
  • and who knows what else.


Until one day in September, I was Suddenly Still

God said “Be STILL” one last time and I could do nothing else but be STILL.

It was a normal Sunday. I had been dealing with Dis-embarquement Syndrome from a cruise earlier in the year; so, that afternoon I decided to lie down and rest before evening services.
As I went to lie down, I had a sharp pain in my back, I couldn’t finish lying down, nor could I raise myself to upright. My husband had to help me into the bed. If I moved the least bit, I had excruciating, contracting pains in my back.
Long story short, I spent the next month or two laying on my back in the bed-Suddenly Still. It took a year and one half of doctors visits trying to find out what the problem was.


During those days of  STILLNESS

God stripped all the things away that were getting my attention instead of Him. The church office, the children’s department, the home school group. Thankfully, my daughter was self-directed enough to keep her schooling on track. She also amazingly picked up the housekeeping and cooking.
While I lay there, STILL, God was finally able to begin to speak to me. That’s when I began to actually spend time in the Word. Over the next three years, I read the Bible through in three different versions.
God has allowed me to get back on my feet, but not back to doing all the things I wanted to do. I’m not sure that He will because when we discuss it, He asks me …

“Can you guarantee that you won’t forget to GET STILL and hear my voice?” 

GOD

So this pain is my “thorn in the flesh” to remind me about what is most important.
The message I tell people the most now is, 

“If you are too busy to have a quiet time, you are too busy.” 

ME


Don’t let this happen to you.

Put God first and everything else will fall into place. (Matt 6:33)

These years have brought me so close to God. I’ve realized how far I was from Him and how much I was doing things in my own strength. And how much I had been missing.

If you have been “SUDDENLY STILL” from your “responsibilities”, I wonder if it is not God calling you to come, get STILL, and fellowship with Him.

Do you hear Him calling?

-Mandy

Ways to journey with me as I write about my pain

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