Understanding Chronic Pain
This is for those trying to understand the battle of chronic pain. First, let’s begin by giving you a very clear definition. Chronic pain is pain persisting for a long time or constantly recurring. Honestly, it’s not something that ever really goes away. You just don’t always feel it the same depending upon the moment, activity or medication. Anyone with this kind of pain doesn’t have to be reminded of it’s persistence because it totally alters their entire way of life.
Chronic pain affects your life physically, emotionally, mentally, and relationally. You can’t just keep putting mind over matter. You can only pretend so long before the pain will have you on your knees. You struggle with how your pain keeps you from doing many things. You struggle with how your pain affects others that you love so much. Trust me, after experiencing it at every level I know the toll it takes on you and others close to you.
All that said, I also know with God’s help you can get through it. You have to be willing to do everything you can while trusting God for everything you can’t. There is only one way to walk through the pain and that is by faith. It takes time to learn how to live your new normal. Yes, even though you are walking by faith you still can’t ignore the facts. Rest matters, exercise matters, what you consume matters, and living with balance matters.
A person battling chronic pain must listen to their body. You should wake up each day grateful and optimistic of what God can do. However, ignoring your limitations all together is not a good idea. As Kenny Rogers’s song says “you gotta know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em. God keeps teaching me daily how to do this myself from sun up to sun down.
I will always have a strong compassion for those battling chronic pain because it’s very hard to swallow. I will always have a strong compassion for those caring for someone in chronic pain because I’ve seen the cross my wife bears daily. I also have a passion to not waste the pain I have endured. I believe every ounce of it has been God allowed. God doesn’t want me to see it as a handicap, but instead as His platform. Often, God uses our greatest pain and weakness to accomplish to display His great power.
“Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:8-10