Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My Megaphone of Pain

One of the great philosophers of our time, C.S. Lewis, once said, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but SHOUTS to us in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

If you have ever had that megaphone shouting in your ear for any amount of time, you may have felt like I did and wish the batteries would die on that megaphone of pain.

Something not many may know about me is that I suffered with chronic pain for nearly two years.  A simple oral surgery to repair some infection became complicated when a nerve nicknamed the “suicide nerve” (take a guess at why it’s called that name!) was severed.  From that day on, the pain (think migraine on steroids) didn’t relent for nearly two years.  I had just given birth to my second son, Judah and whether I was awake and playing with my boys or trying to sleep through the throbbing and shooting pain, it was always there.  In fact, just the memory of it makes me cringe and absently reach to the right side of my face where the pain haunted me for years.

I can’t remember a night during those two years that didn’t end either in my husband’s tender arms where he held me as I sobbed in agony or on my knees by my bed where I pleaded with the Lord to heal me and have mercy on me.

My husband and I tried everything to quiet that megaphone of pain shouting in my ear; doctors, specialized treatments, medications, dietary supplements, acupuncture, even a healing evangelist, but beyond all else, we prayed.

We prayed hourly, nightly, urgently, faithfully and desperately.  We prayed while holding hands with friends, clinging to our family and alone face-down on the floor.

Then one day, while I was at a Bible study with some of my girlfriends, we prayed again.  I didn’t feel anything magical that day but when I woke up the next morning, the pain was gone.  I felt too shocked to be happy at first and went through that day in a daze, continually stopping to touch my face with a little smile: Could it be?!  Am I healed?  It felt too good to be true!!  When you have lived with pain for any amount of time, the absence of it feels…like Serenity.  Like a Heaven you never even knew you had until it was gone and you then longed for nothing else.

Finally, after a week of pain-free days, I couldn’t hide my sheer joy.  I shared the miracle God had done with my husband (tears filled his eyes), my family, my friends…the world!!  The most simple moments of my day; tickling my tiny girl (I had never experienced being a mommy to either Judah or EvaLee without pain until that day!), chasing my boys through the yard and even snuggling up with my husband during a movie, each moment glowed brighter, smelled sweeter and felt more divine because I could experience it without viewing it through the foggy lens of pain!

Sharing this story with you took a bit of digging in my heart for the strength to recall it and for the vulnerability to share it the way it really was.  It was ugly, it was heartbreaking and some days, it felt like hell but through it all there lingers in my memories something so precious, it brings me to tears just to remember it.  I remember the sweetness of God’s presence.  

I didn’t like the answer I felt He was giving me at that time (no? not yet?) but I never for a moment questioned His love.  It wasn’t because my life was perfect or my days had a happy ending because that was NOT the case during those painful days (still isn’t today!)…I knew He loved me because He stayed by my side.  When I cried, when I prayed…when I ignored Him, I felt Him.  I can’t explain it…but I KNEW every second of the day that His arms were holding me close and over and over, I could hear him whisper, “I’m here.  I have a purpose in this all.”

He never said this life would be easy.  In fact He said we would experience hardship; but He never expects us to do it alone.

Even though it’s been nearly two (blessed, sweet, amazing!!) years since that crisp September day when I was supernaturally healed, I still have a hard day now and then.  I occasionally struggle with head pain in a way I never have in the past (coming from a girl who used to cure a headache by popping two children’s aspirin!) and the truth is, I still don’t enjoy experiencing pain.

But in those moments when the megaphone is back to my ear, shouting a message that I don’t always listen to in the busy life of being a wife and mother, I hear something my Savior is saying to all of us, “I love you.  I never leave you, I never forsake you.  Rest in me…take time to spend with me and in my Word.”

And you know what?  I do.  Because if I lost everything tomorrow, only one truth would remain: God.  

He is not the maker of fairy-tales but there is a happy ending (Heaven!!) for anyone that will accept the invitation to run into His open arms.  Jesus doesn’t come with a money-back, 100% happiness guarantee in this life but He does have a guarantee even better than temporary happiness: He NEVER leaves us.  

So if you’re out there and have your own megaphone of pain know that, if you invite Him, He can hold you till the batteries die too.  Through every trial, pain, weakness…He’s there, holding us.


* said...

It's truly amazing how you share your stories and they touch so many! I was seeking some sort of something and you my dear one again brought that. God has great plans for you, you are an amazing friend and I know you struggle as you are only human, yet you inspire others and for that everyone around you shall be blessed both with your friendship and Gods blessing!

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful story of the love of God. Your experience must help you have so much more compassion for those who suffer chronically. Amazing testimony. Thank you so much for sharing. ~Jessica