Skip to main content

The Thorn in My Flesh

Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 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. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.  2 Corinthians 12:7-10

At times the pain becomes so excruciating that I cannot force my mind to focus on anything else.  I am young still.  It is my desire to be active.  I want to enjoy life to the full and live the abundant life Christ came to give me.  And yet my days are often spent on the couch watching and waiting.

Oh, it isn't always like this.  Sometimes I go for weeks at a time with no sign of this horrible disease.  Then all at once I am struck down. 

I was first diagnosed with fibromyalgia when I was eighteen years old and a freshmen in college.  The beast stole my rest.  It caused my body to ache.  It didn't take long for my grades and motivation to hit rock bottom.  I withdrew from school during the second semester. 

Over the past year the pain in my lower back has become increasingly worse.  It usually radiates down into my hips and then spreads through my legs.  There are days that I can hardly move.  At thirty-four years old, I have had to become dependent on a cane or wheelchair to assist with my mobility on these days.  The use of such a tool is most humbling (and humiliating) for me.  I want to look young and act young while I am young.  Yet when a flare-up strikes, I feel like my feet are weighted down with anchors, and my walk is more that of a ninety year old woman than one in her mid-thirties.

From the outside you'd never guess that there was such turmoil stirring within my body.  (Unless of course you catch me on day when I'm forced to use a mobility device as described above.)  I usually try to have a cheerful countenance and be friendly.  This "invisible illness" leaves me feeling alone and misunderstood.  I am very blessed to have a husband and children that are sensitive to this often debilitating sickness.  Yet many people outside my immediate family cannot comprehend the extent of my pain.  They do not understand why I have to cancel last minute - especially when I seemed to feel so good the day before.  They do not realize that I used all my strength yesterday and have none left for today.  My kids have missed out on sleep-overs, play-dates, dance classes, and more because of fibromyalgia.  They are always good natured about it, but my heart breaks for them.  I want so badly to be out in the yard playing catch with them, pushing them on the swing-set, or jumping on the trampoline with them.  But my body won't let me.  I know I have few years left that they want me to be part of those things, and I'm missing out.

Today is a "good" day.  Medication has relieved me from the constant pain that I felt over the past several days.  Yet the six baskets of laundry waiting to be washed remind me of the past week that I have had to spend on the couch.  I'll try to get a lot of it caught up today while being careful not to over-do to the point that I can't do anything tomorrow. 

As was with Paul, I know that God has allowed this thorn in my flesh for a purpose.  Right now I don't know that purpose, but I do know that God will work even this for His good.  For now I am standing firm on the promises that He has given me and am encouraged by the Word He has confirmed in my heart:

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.  James 1:2-4 (The Message)

Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.  Hebrews 10:36 (NLT)

Comments

  1. I rarely tell new doctors that I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia about ten years ago by my trusted friend and family physician.

    So many people thing fibro is a "catch all" for laziness or lack of motivation. It was surprising when they started bringing it up to me. Seems like the medical profession... at least in part... has begun to recognize it as an actual malady.

    Unless a person has experienced the deep muscle pain, the sore pressure points all over their body, the neuralgia that can consume you, and the stiffness that can make life so difficult, they find it hard to grasp. Let alone the fact that it hurts to be touched... and bumping into a fixed object is extremely painful.

    I didn't understand it when you were first diagnosed. It was a relatively new term 15 years ago... but when I "experienced it!!!" for myself... then I understood.

    Just because a person is smiling and genial on the exterior, doesn't mean they aren't suffering in some way... physically, emotionally, or mentally.

    You definitely cannot "judge a book by its cover".

    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree with everything you and Mary Lou have said. I have lost so many years to this disease and now my kids are 17 & 18 and are starting to "flap their wings", not wanting Mama to go "out" with them and "the boys". LOL I always make sure to hug and kiss them and tell them I love them ALL the time. They understand why I couldn't be there for significant times in their lives, but it doesn't make it any easier for me.

    People have told me to "just get over it", or "push thru it", making me cry on the inside and wonder myself if I'm making this up. My health has continually gone down as other diagnoses have been added. I pray that this will all be over with in time for me to play with my grand kids when they get here!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Good verses and many hugs and prayers to you!

    Blessings,

    Amy

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by!! Be sure to leave a comment so I'll know you were here!

Popular posts from this blog

Things to Know Before Owning a Golden Retriever:

Our oldest Golden Retriever will be six on April 1st. We got Scarlet when she was just six weeks old and quickly fell in love with her. Within another six weeks, we had our second Golden, Rhett. (Rhett passed away two years ago.) It has been five (almost six) years since we have had adolescent Golden Retrievers in our home. While I have often joked about the “first terrible two years” of a Golden Retriever’s life, I had truly forgotten just how trying a Golden puppy can be - that is until now. Cosmo will be one year old in a matter of weeks, and Rose Bud is six months old. Now all of the reasons we’d joked for so long over how hard it was to survive their puppy hood have come back to me. We’re learning again - the hard way.

With that in mind, I would like to share some tips on owning a Golden. Retriever.

Here are a few things you need to know:

1. You do not own a Golden Retriever. The more accurate description is that they own YOU.
2. Golden Retrievers will chew. If you do not provide the…

MOM

So it's been about 15 months since I blogged here.  Most days instead of in depth thoughts, I prefer to post pictures at www.sivilsandgold.wordpress.com .  It doesn't require as much brain activity.  But I chose to share this here because it was entirely too long to fit in a Facebook post.  (I do have have four kids after all.)

This was a lot of fun.  I interviewed each of my four kids separately so each answer was original and not "borrowed".  I gained some insight into my kids and learned a few things I need to work on.  And for some reason they all agree I'm obsessed with my dog.  What's up with that.

Here goes..  (Connor is 8, Isaac 12, Jaden 14, and Dacey is 16.)

MOM 1. What is something mom always says to you? Connor  – “You love me.” Isaac  – “God made you special and He and I love you very much.  Precious monkeys and all that jazz.” Jaden  – “If you keep doing that, you’re face will stick like that.” Dacey  – “Be who you are and say what you mean.  T…

Boon's Sunday Sermon #6 - Little Black Dog

Today we'd like to share a writing with you by one of our favorite authors: Elisabeth Elliot.  This piece is beautifully written and describes her thoughts on a dog's 'mortality'.  We hope it touches your heart as it has ours. 




Little Black Dog by Elisabeth Elliot
It is a late October morning of glorious sunshine in New Hampshire and I sit in an antique rocking chair by the window of an old house which was once a barn. The gray rocks on Mount Lafayette's broad summit are dusted with snow, and the sky is as blue as a sky can be. All that is still green today is the evergreens. Between them are the black line drawings of the thin leafless maples, wild cherries, aspens and birches. The feathery tamaracks are dark gold. Little yellow apples hang on one of the gnarled old trees of the orchard. I keep hoping a deer will come for them.

My friend Miriam and I drove up yesterday from Boston for a few days of quiet at my brother's place. Both of us brought a load of desk …