A lot of pain.
But I rarely talk about it. Or think about it. I can't.
I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia my senior year of high school. Long story short, I quit almost all the things I loved. Volleyball, drums, piano. But God used that time to call me into ordained ministry. So I'm deeply grateful for the life changes I went through at that time.
I've been in and out of doctor's offices, tried many medications, exercise and diets.
Last week my doctor suggested physical therapy. I walked into the medical center hoping it would be massage. Myofascial release massage usually makes me feel a lot better.
My physical therapist, a girl about my age, said her philosophy is physical movement and strength training with a little massage. I could get on board with that.
Then I had my first session.
I'm forcing my muscles to do things they haven't done in a long time. It hurts. A lot.
I was reminded...
- When our spiritual lives stop being stretched - its very painful to get moving again.
- Once you do get moving, it hurts like hell.
- Others tell you it will get better. You have to believe them. Because you don't necessarily have hope that it will.
- I'd much rather just have massage. It feels great in the moment. But doesn't change much once I'm home. Same with God. We want the quick fix answers. Doesn't change much.
- It's a lot of hard work to get better - physically & spiritually.
- It's worth it. Still hurts. But worth it.
- Only after the pain, can God be glorified.
I don't share as a vain attempt to gain pity. The only reason I share this is to point more powerfully to the One who's love and strength gets me through each day. Only God gives me what I need to serve God and the church in the way that I do.
2 Corinthians 12:9: But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."
p.s. I think that's why it's easier for me to choose hope over apathy. If I chose apathy in my every day life, I would never get out of bed. God and this chronic illness has wired me to naturally choose hope in most situations.