Tuesday, July 3, 2018

When You Get Knocked Down

Hey Friend,

I began rifling through the basket of miscellaneous "stuff" on my desk.  I was looking for my vacation plans to go hiking and sightseeing in the Canadian Rockies.  This trip has been in a planning folder for quite some time.

In the past five years I've gone through pain, surgery, and rehab from five surgeries.  In just the past year, I've had two surgeries, shingles, pneumonia, a bad fall, and recurrent joint pain.  I thought I was just getting things under control and could really consider planning this trip my husband and I have been wanting to take. 

Friday, I experienced trauma to my back.  It felt like a jolt of electricity going up and down my spine.  I've been experiencing severe pain, headaches, and Sunday I could barely move.  After seeing an orthopedic spine doctor, the triple MRI is scheduled for Saturday.  

As I write this, I think it sounds like a made up list.  How could this many freak things happen to one person?  I've cried.  I've held pity parties.  I've gotten angry at God, myself, and no one in particular.  

Ultimately, though, these struggles have sent me running into the arms of my loving Heavenly Father.  I have learned that I can crawl hopelessly into His lap and cry on His shoulder and He will hold me like how Jesus holds the lost, helpless lamb.  

I believe that struggle leads to surrender and in that surrender we find the sweet spot of our faith. 

I am blessed to have a very sweet and compassionate friend named Lisa.  Lisa is a "Chronic Migraineur".  What is that you ask?  Lisa suffers from chronic migraines that will force her to her bed for hours or for weeks.  

Sights, sounds, smells that wouldn't bother the rest of us can push her over the edge.  She lives with chronic pain....all the time.  Yet, Lisa has been such an inspiration to me because she doesn't let the pain rule her.  Yes, she has had to define her new "normal", but she doesn't let the pain and discouragement and ultimately the enemy get a foothold.

Her determination to revel in the good days inspires me.  No matter how many times she gets knocked down, she still gets up again.  It reminds me of this simply obnoxious, yet inspiring song from the 80's.  The song is by a group called Chumbawamba and the song is "I Get Knocked Down" - otherwise known as the "Tubthumping" song??  Here is the chorus:

We'll be singing
When we're winning
We'll be singing

I get knocked down
But I get up again
You're never gonna keep me down
I get knocked down
But I get up again
You're never gonna keep me down

The chorus is repeated many times throughout the song and if listened to, will get stuck in your head.  

What if we let this chorus get stuck in our heads:

Romans 5:3-5 New International Version (NIV)

Not only so, but we[a] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
Or this chorus:

Romans 8:37-39 New International Version (NIV)

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a]neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Or perhaps this:

Romans 12:12 New International Version (NIV)

12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
There are so many people out there who suffer from chronic, debilitating pain....fibromyalgia, migraines, neuropathy, post accident/trauma pain, mental pain (depression, anxiety), PTSD, the list goes on and on.
These people are the unsung heroes.  They may look okay on the outside, but suffer tremendously on the inside.  
Ironically, these are some of the most faith-filled and compassionate people I know.  There is something about the crucible of pain and suffering that ushers us into God's presence. 
I believe if you spend enough time in God's holy and compassionate presence, it's bound to rub off on you.  
I am so thankful for the love and compassion of friends who have suffered and whose love and compassion have been poured out on me.  In your pain, you have allowed God to make you a blessing to others.  
Though your pain may not be seen by others, it is seen by God and He truly cares.  He is there....crawl into His lap and just be loved and know you are enough in whatever condition you come.  
Dear Heavenly Father,  we thank you that You are the God of all comfort.  We claim your promise in John 14:18..."I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you."  Be with those who are suffering physically and mentally with chronic pain, Lord.  Let them know that they are not alone and that you are always there with them.  Don't let discouragement, fear, and doubt get a foothold.  Keep the enemy at bay.  Give them victory in their thoughts that though they may go down to the mat, they can rise up again in Your strength and power.  Yours is the victory.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
This post dedicated to all those dealing with chronic pain and illness.  May you be abundantly blessed....