Seeing God in the pain

I feel like shit. And I’m not even going to apologise for swearing. It feels like the only word that explains it right now. Worse than ‘I feel terrible’, ‘I am in pain’ or ‘I am fed up’. It’s all of those things and so much more. So, I feel like shit.

I’m in pain, not sure if it’s an old back problem flaring up or something new. I haven’t been able to walk properly for a week and now I can’t even move off this one spot I’m sitting on the floor without being in pain. And I don’t mean an ache or a something akin to a headache, I mean an excruciating, acute, knife in my leg kind of pain, the kind that means if I find a position where the pain is manageable, I ain’t moving. It’s the kind of pain that means weighing up the options on everything I do: how badly do I need the loo? how much do I actually need a drink? do I really want to read that book over there? How long will the laptop (my lifeline at the mo) last without being plugged in? So far the things that have got me moving are: finding the painkillers (and oh how I praise God for painkillers) and getting a cup of tea (well, needs must when you feel like crap and tea helped although it did cost me).
I’m not writing all this to invite sympathy, I’m not good at receiving it anyway, I just want to explain how I’m feeling as a kind of intro to this post. Which I guess is really just some thoughts on pain and how we (well, I) handle it… So here’s some things I’ve journalled in the last few days:
I made it an hour out of bed this morning
before the onslaught began. I thought I can handle this, today is a new day,
repeating to myself:
Thou, Lord and God of power, shield and sustain me this day….
I willed myself onwards: I can do this. Get a grip you stupid woman.
Don’t let people down. Let yourself down, that’s bad enough but DO NOT let
others down. We are a team, we support each other. But not willing to be
supported. Everyone who had asked I snapped ‘don’t be nice to me, I’ll cry’. Truth of course, I was only just holding onto
my composure by a thread as thin as a cobweb. Even a gentle breeze would destroy
And that was it – a simple and
sympathetically voiced ‘are you ok?’ from someone who cares. But I had to shut
it down, not willing to fall, to break.
But to no avail… I am broken and in pieces
Sobbing, heaving, sighing. Broken.
Thank God (and I mean that) for a dear friend
who came and gently picked up my pieces and didn’t attempt to stick them back
together, she just held them and gently gave them back to me.
As I lay in my little cocoon of self pity all sorts of devil-sent-lies were in my
You’ll have to take pain killers for weeks
You’ll be in pain forever more
There will be horrible side effects
You won’t run again that’s for sure. You are useless. You won’t be able to walk, you’ll put on weight and be fat. You’ll have to sit around all day doing nothing…
People will be talking about you – did you
see her – what a wreck, she can’t cope
Your team will think you are useless, you
never pitch in, how selfish of you
Your family will get fed up with you always needing help
Well what a difference a few hours makes. Not sure if it’s painkillers, the emptying of tears and snot or just: a few hours.Now there’s just anger and frustration, oh and the fog of the pills of course. Can’t think straight, can’t read properly, can’t remember anything… There’s the pay off.

I hate this. I really do. It’s like my boundaries are being reduced each day. First I couldn’t run, then it was walking, then a week off work, then, well then just whatever I can find that is pain free – well it’s not pain free, but managable in the pain is the best I can hope for…


When will this end?


I am so frustrated
and angry right now. Oh yes I know, I
know, God will teach me through this – of course He will, that’s what He does
and already is. But I’ve had enough of that at this moment in time. If I’m
honest I don’t want to be taught anything right now. I’ve had enough illness and
infirmity in the last 7 years to keep me going for a while.

Can’t He see that? I’ve had enough.
But then…Then I’m ashamed.

I am so blessed, I have so much more than so many. I am so much better off than so many.

How arrogant am I? To say that I don’t want
to learn from the living God? How dare I? How can I rebuff his teaching, his love, his
compassion and comfort?

And yet now I seek, I feel like I’m in a whirlwind, a hazy fog, where is He in all this? I am seeking, looking, not knowing or understanding…
Where are you Lord? what am I not seeing?


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  • Reply
    Lay Anglicana
    May 11, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    So sorry, Jules. The only thing I can offer is that you can't do everything at once: feel the pain, feel clobbered by the painkillers, worry about the effect of the state you are in on those whom you love and those whom you work with (not necessarily interchangeable?!)And then on top of that work on the theology of it all. Your brain is too frazzled for one thing. Like writing poetry, you will need to think about God's place in it all when recollecting in tranquility after this crisis is over. Although the image is hackneyed, that is because it is a useful one: perhaps this is a footsteps moment when you cannot see His because He is carrying you? Sending prayers and upholding you.

  • Reply
    May 11, 2015 at 9:37 pm

    Thanks Laura, you are right of course, too much to deal with at the mo! Maybe I just need to 'be' and not 'do' right now…
    prayers very much appreciated! x

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