Tag Archives: healing

Another Bend in the Road ~ A Painful Saga, Part 5

Around the Bend ~ I laid the bricks for the walkway myself

Around the Bend ~ I helped lay the bricks for the walkway years ago

Wrapped in God’s presence,
Secure in His embrace.
He directs my steps,
Each bend in the road I face.

It seems as though we each have our thorn in the flesh.  Mine is an inherited, early onset of degenerative disc disease that presented when I was in my twenties.  It started with my lower back and included sciatica, but progressed to include involvement with my neck.

These pronounced neck symptoms have forced me to make a tough decision; one that I never intended.

After MUCH prayer, and due to the deterioration of my symptoms with resulting ramifications to my life, I have decided to undergo the three level cervical fusion.

This is after years of trying nearly every non-surgical measure:

Physical therapy, trigger point, deep massage, TENS. myofascial release, chiropractor, traction, injections, stretching, ice and heat, ergonomics, custom-designed pillow, lifestyle adjustments, medications, etc…

For personal reasons, I’ve never wanted acupuncture.

At best, I have merely gotten by throughout the continual roller coaster of pain.  Car and plane trips are huge triggers, but I have always bounced back to a manageable level afterwards. 

That all changed with our latest trips out-of-town.  It’s like I crossed a threshold into a different level with an entirely new set of symptoms, and it is this new normal that drove my decision towards surgery.

Just knowing that any time I travel, I must face significant, lingering neck pain with radiating symptoms is bad enough. However, I now also have an interrelated vertigo with bizarre ear symptoms, which correlates both in intensity and in duration to the neck pain.

The decision was not an easy one, because the what ifs are terrifying.  Not unlike the what ifs that I faced with lower back surgeries, though.  Amazingly, God brought me through those successfully.  You can read about that story, in my series called, A Painful Saga. In fact, I’ve added this post to that series!

The sobering reality is that unless I want to give up traveling, which means that I will rarely see my precious grandchildren, or if I want to live with incapacitating symptoms, I must follow God’s direction and have this surgery.

I realize there are no guarantees.  God has given me a confident assurance, though, that He is directing my path.  That no matter what I face, He will bear me up on eagles’ wings into His presence.

None of us knows what lies ahead.  However, we can rest assured knowing that God already sees around the bend.  He promises to go before, behind and with us: helping, strengthening and delivering.

I believe for a good outcome.  Regardless of what I face, though, I know that God will wrap me us in His loving, comforting arms.  He will carry me safely around this next bend in the road.

“You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself.”
Exodus 19:4

*Some of you have medical conditions and problems much worse than mine.  During my convalescence, as God brings you to my mind, I will pray for your needs and for His richest blessings to fall like rain! 

I will do one more post tomorrow before my upcoming surgery, which is scheduled for next week.

Words and photo by Sue Nash/ © 2014




The Dark Night of Pain ~ A Painful Saga, Part 3

I Shall AriseNerve 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

Pain Writes a Story Only God Can Revise ~ A Painful Saga, Prelude

This cross is on the grounds of a church near my home

This cross is on the grounds of a church near my home

Pain tells a story,
A dreadful saga,
Whenever it writes.

Its callous message
Speaks devastation
By demonic design.

No gentle poem,
Or refreshing prose;
Pain never does rhyme.

Its words are harmful
And penetrating;
Phrases which deride.

Always unwelcome,
Each time it visits
Or tries to abide.

It knows no limits,
For pain’s dark novel
All have read in life.

Some taste a chapter;
Others agonize
With no end in sight.

Yet, when the drama
Reveals its terror
It need not affright.

Since underlining
Pain’s dark narrative
Another tale shines.


Love tells its story,
A heavenly one.
Forever it writes.

Its wondrous message
Records redemption
By God’s own design.

A tender epic;
A blessed discourse.
Laced between the lines.

Its words are hopeful
And life-sustaining;
Promises, on time.

Always inviting,
God’s healing virtue,
Yet bought by His stripes.

It seals pain’s limits
And with great power
Our story rewrites.

Some, healed instantly;
Others, asked to trust
God’s sufficient side.

Heaven’s song will end
Pain’s proud parable.
Its curse will subside.

There hope is secure.
For all God’s children,
Pain’s tale He’ll revise.

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.
Revelation 21:4

God has recently been nudging me to write about my journey with pain, some physical and some emotional.

Writing the full story will be difficult for a number of reasons.  By default, honest sharing with others about your pain can come across as whining or complaining, and make one vulnerable to scrutiny.  In addition, it is hard to ever fully describe the extent of suffering in a way that you feel others understand.

However, God knows and cares.  Maybe by my sharing, others can glean from lessons I’ve learned or would be willing to share a prayer request or link to their own story of dealing with pain.

Tomorrow, I will begin the process of sharing about my journey with pain.  I am calling it A Painful Saga.

Blessings in your journey.

Sue Nash/2013

For more of my poetry, see Poetry Corner