Light and Momentary Pain? I’m Not So Sure

notes of comfort

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 Share on X

“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.

curleque by Coffee at pixabay
interviews with chronic pain warriors; notes of comfort
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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 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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About BettieG

You can find Bettie sharing from her multi-generational home in the far northern suburbs of Chicago. She is on a journey of walking forward with Jesus, in the middle of her own pain and weaknesses from multiple chronic illnesses. The beauty of nature is a joy that always calls to her, as well as the joy of her family and 9 young grandchildren. She and her husband have been married for over 40 years and take great joy in their weekend coffee breaks together.

View all posts by BettieG

22 Comments on “Light and Momentary Pain? I’m Not So Sure”

  1. Thank you Dear Mandy and Michele for inviting me to share words here today! It truly was God’s timing for me, as I needed to be reminded of His Word to me again. Love and Blessings to you both!

  2. Bettie, you are a blessing! Through all your pain, you keep running back to God and then sharing with us how He has met you in your weakness. Your words give such encouragement and I pray God will bless you and continue to let your life shine encouragement to others. And Mandy, thanks so much for sharing Bettie’s words. Much love! xo

  3. Dear Gayl,
    Thank you so much for your encouraging heart. Your prayers and support mean so much! Isn’t our Lord so good to find ways to bring us such help at just the right moment? I pray God continues to bless you on your hard days also, sweet sister! Much Love! xo

  4. HI Bettie,
    Thank you for sharing your encouraging thoughts. I’ve just begun my journey with chronic pain and haven’t yet stumbled upon the correct diagnosis. It helps knowing others understand the struggle and that our Father loves us in our weakness. Peace and grace, Tammy

  5. Dear Tammy,
    Oh, dear friend, I will keep you in my prayers as you navigate these foggy waters trying to find a diagnosis. And Yes, may you feel the comfort and understanding of sisters who walk with you, and our dear Father whose love is eternal! Peace and grace to you too!!

  6. Dear Bettie, thank you for filling in fuller details of the onset of your RA, chronic pain and illness journey. It’s such an inspiration to see how readily you turned to God with desperation and hope in your heart, and how He met with you there with comforting words of reassurance, deep compassion, love and grace. As He continues to do now. It’s been amazing to walk beside you and see how God brings beauty and treasure out of your darkest places, giving you courage and a great ability to share your story, come alongside, pray for and encourage others in the process. May you continue to be upheld, strengthened and equipped to act as a shining light for others who are sitting with the same dark circumstances. You are such a blessing! Much love and hugs. xo

  7. Dear Joy,
    It truly is amazing how God weaves our lives together, isn’t it? He knew all along where we would be on this day, and has been so tender with His comforts for us! Thank you for the ways that you have shared His truth and encouragement with me too. It’s in these dark places that He lets the light of His presence touch us most deeply. May you also be upheld, strengthened, and equipped for your journey also! Love you my dear friend! Xoxo

  8. Thank you for sharing more of your chronic pain journey. You thrive because of your vulnerability and the community you choose to surround yourself with. Thank you for teaching me that there is joy in the pain and His name is God.

  9. Dear Mary, Oh, I love your phrasing here: “there is joy in the pain, and His name is God.” Amen! He truly is our joy and great helper. Thank you so much for all of your sweet encouragement. Blessings to you!

  10. I loved reading your interview, dear Bettie. I am so inspired and encouraged by the way you are so submissive to God’s plan in this season of pain and suffering. I so often find myself asking “why” and trying to analyze it all and feeling so God-forsaken over the fiery trials. I have to fight the temptation to blame God. You know it occured to me recently that having a lot of faith can really lead to this because we SO believe in God to the point that we know He could prevent and change everything. Then when He chooses not to remove bad things from our path, we can’t understand why, and we struggle with questioning His love for us in allowing such things. You are such a shining example of total surrender to God’s plan, even when it is so difficult to endure. May He bless you richly, sweet friend.

  11. Dear Cheryl, you are always such an inspiration to me too. I have my days of crying and melt-downs over all of these struggles too, just ask my husband! But, oh how thankful I am that God asks us even then to lay all our questions & laments before Him, just like David did. And Jesus always is so near to carry us close to His heart there. He is our answer when nothing else makes sense. I am so very thankful that He remains so faithful to us. And I am so grateful we can pray for each other dear friend. May He bless you so richly too. Love you so much!

  12. Hello from the Fox Valley, Bettie! I’m so pleased to meet you in the Grace and Truth link up. I suffered from debilitating chronic pain for about three years. I didn’t know how to lean on Jesus then but through that experience, I learned. He brought me close and changed my life. This is such beautiful encouragement and I’m so grateful to you for sharing.

  13. Hello Valerie, we love the beautiful Fox River Valley! Thank you for your visit and sweet comments. Isnt it amazing how our Lord teaches us through the difficult seasons? Blessings and grace to you as you share His encouragement.

  14. I too find myself apologizing for being in pain. The reminder that God is not offended by our pain, that He is already here with us brought me to tears tonight. Thanks for that. It’s one of those things I know, but sometimes the reminder does wonders for my soul.

  15. I have mild chronic pain, nothing like what Bettie endures, so I hate to ever mention it. But nonetheless it is real, so I appreciate strong warriors like Bettie who give me hope to continue enduring. One of the hard parts for me is realizing that it likely won’t get better over time, but will only get worse. Yet even in that, his grace is sufficient. Holding on to his grace!

  16. Dear Heather, Oh yes, I know I sure need those reminders too! I am so grateful that Jesus brought you His precious comfort here tonight. His gift of nearness in the middle of our pain is so full of grace for us. I pray that tonight He will fill you with more of His own dear wonders. Blessings and love to you!

  17. Oh Lisa, I too say the same thing when I read about others who are in deeper pain than I am, and then I feel even weaker! But then the Lord reminds me that He does not compare, and He understands the burden that we each bear. You are such a precious encouragement to so many! I am praying that you would feel His own encouragement and sufficient grace for you tonight. Holding on to His grace right along with you!

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