I just ended treatment with my chiropractor of the last three and a half years, and I started sobbing.
Yes — sobbing.
Chronic pain has a way of taking you to a place of desperation and humility like very few other things can. So when you find someone who relieves that pain even in minute ways, you give sincere thanks to God above and you think long and hard about ever parting ways with said care provider.
But it was time.
I have had pains creeping, now constant, in other joints without relief or any guess as to the cause. After waiting, praying, talking with others, and trying once to leave, it came time to confidently end treatment with my current chiropractor in order to try yet another specialist with the hopes that a new set of eyes on my scans, my history, and me will perhaps gain me more ground in recovering a pain-free body.
But, I wonder often if my quest is a worthwhile one. How much money should I spend? How many different specialists should I see? Tests should be done? Self doubt enters in and I beat myself up (figuratively, because you know, I’m kind of already feeling beat up enough physically) with thoughts of others who have “real” chronic pain (the kind that has a diagnosis). I think:
- I must just be a wimp or overly sensitive or too attune to my body.
- I’m too high-strung, and my character flaws are actually the root cause of my physical ailments.
- I think too much about myself and my body. I should pour myself out more into the pains and problems others are facing.
- I need to toughen up and deal with it; I am just getting older and this is life.
And, you know what? All these thoughts might actually be true. But, it is of little consequence really because whatever the source of my (or your) pain might be, it is for us a context from which to live desperate.
Desperation is likely not on anyone’s list of New Year’s resolutions. It’s not something most people aim for, pray for, or welcome into their lives. But, out of desperation comes the sweetest intimacy one can experience, the most genuine experience of Emmanuel, God with us.
We so often want to do anything and everything we can to rid our lives of pain whether it be physical, emotional, or otherwise. We want to dismiss it, deny it, or mask it, but not press into it, feel it fully, and allow it to just be present without answers or remedy to take it away.
But, one thing I have learned over the last seven years of living with pain is that this thing that I would swiftly kick to the curb if I could, is the very thing that keeps me ever so close to Jesus. It is one of the most pronounced tools God uses in my life to draw my heart closer to His, to experience His abiding love for me, His mercy sustaining me, His ear bent to listen to my cries for help, His hands extending to be that help I need.
The pain that I often wish I could numb is the thing that keeps me from being numb to others’ pain. In its height, it heightens my awareness of others’ suffering. It fills me with great empathy. It fuels passionate prayers on behalf of others. The thing that I think is stealing my life away is actually what is making me live it more fully, more deeply, more keenly aware of what is worthwhile and eternal.
Today I am seeing a new-to-me doctor with the hopes that he will help me discover the causes and cure for some of the chronic pain I experience. While I still hold out hope to lose the pain, I pray I will never lose the unexpected gifts pain has given me.
Welcome to Ungrind!
Do you want to be inspired, motivated, and equipped to live the everyday story of your life well?
If so, you’re in the right place. Whether you need encouragement in your relationships or in your faith, I hope you’ll find the transparent voices of mentors and friends here at Ungrind.
So, grab a cup of coffee and keep reading. We're so glad you're here!
Ashleigh Slater, Founder & Managing Editor
Get Our Free Ebook!
How the Psalms Speak to Our Emotions
The Psalms is a book that's rich with the reality of what life's like in this fallen world. Here are...
3 Ways to Navigate Personality Differences
Sometimes personality differences can wear on us. Here are three ways we can navigate them in a loving manner.
Surprised By ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’
If you haven't seen this film, God may speak to your heart through it in ways you weren't expecting.
The Wedding Ring
Are you struggling in your marriage? Here's how a wedding ring helped one wife fight for her marriage.
5 Ways to Live an Out-of-Control Life
Here are 5 ways to let go of control and trust your present and your future to God.
5 Creative Places to Find Prayer Accountability
Do you want to pray more, but are easily distracted? Here are some practical ways to stay focused.
How to Rescue a Day Gone Wrong in Your Marriage
Just because a day doesn't start well, doesn't mean you can't rescue it.
What Women Are Saying
-- Suzanne Hadley Gosselin, author of Expectant Parents: Preparing Together for the Journey of Parenthood
"Real life is not always pleasant. Every marriage experiences disappointments, misunderstandings, sickness and financial crisis. Ashleigh doesn’t camouflage the pain in her own marriage, and offers practical ideas on how to walk through the difficulties and find intimacy on the journey. If you are anything like me, I predict that as you read, you too will find yourself laughing, wiping tears, and saying 'Oh, yes.'"
-- Gary Chapman, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The 5 Love Languages
We are a member of the Amazon affiliate program and regularly use affiliate links. If you purchase an item from an Amazon link we provide, we will receive a small referral commission. This doesn’t cost you anything additional. We only share books, music, and products that our writers personally have used and highly recommend.
Faith4 years ago
When Doing Justly, Loving Mercy, and Walking Humbly Stand at Odds
Motherhood4 years ago
Surviving a Strong-Willed Child
Faith5 years ago
7 Ways to Create A Family Altar
Friendship6 years ago
Beyond the Registry: The Ultimate Gift Guide for Expectant Parents
Relationships4 months ago
5 Ways to Teach Your Child to Hear God
Marriage6 years ago
4 Reasons I’m Not Facebook Friends With My Husband
Everyday Faith5 years ago
6 Simple Ways to Give Thanks in the Thick of It
Articles5 years ago
10 Ways Life is Like a Box of Chocolates
Articles7 years ago
How to Lift Up the One You Love
Articles5 years ago
Relationships9 months ago
Facing Our Motherhood Fears
Digging Into Scripture4 weeks ago
How the Psalms Speak to Our Emotions