Nerve pain is dark. It encompasses one’s every thought. Leading up to and during the recovery of my back surgeries, the pain was ‘out in front of my thinking.’ What I mean by this is that there was rarely a moment that the pain did not consume my every waking moment or steal my sleep. There was never any position of comfort; no escaping its blowtorch agony.
On three horrific occasions, the pain reached a level that it felt as though my sciatic nerve tore from my spinal cord, in a way resembling someone sawing off my leg. I only wish that I were exaggerating.
During each of those episodes, which lasted several hours, I felt certain that I would not survive. Yet, in the midst of these unexplainable pain events, God’s presence was stronger than I had ever known possible.
During one of them, the enemy devised a cruel plot to convince me that a loving God would not put one of His children through such pain. In my weakest moment, he tempted me to question my salvation. Frail from suffering, I almost yielded to Satan’s lie, but not without much emotional distress.
Crying out to God, I told Him that if the enemy were right, that I had never known salvation, then I would rather not live anyway. Although my physical pain was immense, the devil’s hurtful lie was more so. What he did not realize was that his deceitful attempt to harm, God used for good.
When faced with even a remote possibility that my faith was not real, I knew with certainty that if not a child of God’s, life had no meaning at all. In that cruel moment, when scraped to the core physically and emotionally, I discovered that God meant more to me than anything, even life itself.
I remember so vividly the tenderness with which God reached out to me right then. The certainty of His love for me washed over me, as gently as a stream pours over polished stones. I may not understand the why of my suffering, but I will never again allow the enemy to tempt me as to whether I belong to God.
After the surgeries, progression with my lower back was slow, but steady. Thankfully, the sciatic pain, which had been at the front of my thinking, is most of the time so far to the back that there are times where I must pause to check that it is even still there. The intense darkness of pain now replaced with God’s healing light. God is good!
Although I will never return to those earlier strong years, and must now use judgment with physical activities, I am able to work again as a nurse and can zoom on my treadmill.
To finish the discussion of my physical pain journey, I will share next about lessons that I learned, and of how God is sustaining my health, despite problems now with my neck. It is a story of how He continues getting me through.
Bear with me, my wonderful readers. I promise tomorrow’s post is uplifting and not all this dreariness!
*I know that many of you have had or are currently enduring pain. I would love to hear your story, too, so that we can support each other.
For more of this story, see A Painful Saga