This God—his way is perfect;2 Samuel 22:31 You really need to read the whole chapter
the word of the Lord proves true;
he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.
Where are my Friends?
When we are hit with a trial, our first response is to run to a friend or someone’s shoulder to cry on. We may experience loneliness; friends don’t come to our aid. For me, those shoulders (my parents, siblings, life friends) were many miles away… literally in different states. I wanted one of them to be near me, but there was no chance of that. They had their own lives, jobs, families to take care of. I know they wanted to be near me, but it was not feasible.
But would they have been able to give me true comfort?
What I needed was to run to God.
During those first few months, I spent a lot of time really getting to know God in a real way. There was nowhere else to go. And He was so attentive to my needs. He showed me that He knows what pain is all about. He knows my pain, physically and emotionally. I learned that it doesn’t really matter what the trial is….
Jesus has felt physical pain. He has been rejected. He has been ignored. He’s been broke. He’s had no place to live. You name it, He’s been there. And through that, He became my closest friend. He was the only one that could truly understand what I was going through.
My Immediate Family Are Rare Jewels
Yes, I had my husband and my children who were there with me 24/7. They were there serving me. Wow! Did they ever serve me.
Every morning, my husband gingerly helped me to the bathroom and helped me with all those personal hygiene items. (We’ll talk about the loss of dignity later.) Then took me back and propped me up in the bed so that I could read while he and my daughter prepared my breakfast. Michael moved us down to the first floor of our home to our guest room because I couldn’t go up the stairs. He served me selflessly for months until I was able to do some of these things myself. He did all this while continuing to preach 3 times a week and even took on some of the things I did for the church. Tears come to my eyes as I type this that he would care for me this way.
My daughter who was a home school student gave up many things during her entire high school years so that she could cook, clean, and do the laundry for our family while continuing her schooling. As I was able to get out, she became my chauffeur. While she and I grew to have a wonderful friendship, she gave up all the normalcies of teenage life.
No one can REALLY understand the pain
But with all that, they were at a loss because they couldn’t feel my pain. They didn’t know how to help. They didn’t know what to do for me to ease my pain. Their hearts ached because there was nothing they could do. When they did try to help, many times it was painful. But Jesus knew my pain.
Jesus became the one I ran to in trouble. Those months and years developed a routine to finding Him first each day. Now I still start my day with Him and I take Him with me throughout my day as my shield. Sort of a portable refuge, if you will.
Learning to Establish a Relationship with God
What I learned was I need to establish a relationship with God, the Friend, the Healer; the Protector; so that, the first place I want to run was to Him. Building a relationship is a two-way street. I talk to Him; He talks to me. This is called prayer and meditation with Him.
God is My Refuge
Finding a refuge entails, getting down behind the protector.
- get down on your knees to hide.
- You get quiet so that the enemy cannot find you.
- You listen for your ally.
This is called prayer.
Through this ordeal in my life, I have found him to be a refuge … a place to run to … but also now as I return to a new kind of normal; He is my shield. And because He is my shield, I don’t have to run to a refuge. He, The Shield, is my Refuge.
Don’t Know How to Pray?
I have recently been finding Psalms that work perfectly as a prayer. I replace words like “enemies” with “pain” or “fatigue”. One day I hope to write some of them out but in the meantime, check out this from my dear friend Bettie. Stop and Smell the Flowers. I also highly recommend a wonderful support group that offers prayers and much more called Chronic Joy. You can even request prayer from them. Bettie’s post was actually written for Chronic Joy.
Where or Who is Your Refuge?
Are you Caught up on Mandy’s Journey w/Pain?
Pastor’s Wife (retired) & Chronic Pain Warrior blogs about how to make it through anything by relating her own life experiences to her writing. She is passionate about her love for the Lord and desires to spread that passion to others. She has a great desire to encourage women who are following behind her.
2 Comments on “How I Found Refuge as a Chronic Pain Warrior”
Oh Mandy, I have found Him to be that same source of refuge and strength during these years with chronic pain and illness. I loved your personalized Psalm that you shared with us–I look forward to reading more of those. And thank you so much for the sweet mention here. Blessings & soft hugs to you
HE is definitely my refuge in times of pain. Always glad to mention a dear friend! Blessings!