Pain is our strength

The only one that knows pain, is you. According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary pain is the physical feeling caused by disease, injury, or something that hurts the body; a mental or emotional suffering; or someone or something that causes trouble or makes you feel annoyed or angry.  Regardless, we all have our pain at multiple levels and there are times it reaches the peak where we lose control of our bodies and mind.  We feel suffering. Pain has a different meaning for each of us whether you face pain as an athlete pushing beyond your limits during training and racing, or maybe pain is a daily battle as you’re fighting an illness, while some endure the emotional pain of losing someone you love.  Enduring pain is often a traumatic experience that we want to block from our memory bank when really sometimes, it makes us stronger in many ways.

We’ve all endured pain at some point in life whether it’s minor or it’s severe enough for an emergency room visit. Some may suffer from unbearable pain daily while others experience emotional pain, which can be an unpleasant or overwhelming feeling triggered by noxious stimuli.  Have you ever thought about how much pain could you actually tolerate?  Do you ever think when you’re in the moment of pain, that it couldn’t possibly be worst or mentally, you didn’t care if you were alive or dead but being dead sounded better? Luckily, I don’t remember much pain from the days of meningitis at 13-months old and I’ve endured my fair share of physical and emotional pain throughout my life, until recently…I thought this couldn’t possibly be worst! 

Being a female is super tough sometimes.  While lying on the floor one early morning waiting what seemed like days for my husband to come back home to take me to urgent care, the pain was at its highest threshold. This monster was beyond my control no matter how much I tried to dissociate the pain from my body – to the point I yelled out to God to simply hold me no matter what happens.  I was helpless for about an hour and the pain decided to calm down enough for me to at least crawl to another room and get some shorts on. I was so hot and sweaty and the cold, 20-degree temps seemed to comfort me as I lied by the opened door in only a t-shirt and shorts. I could feel God’s presence with the draft blanketing around my back. Odd, I know but it was soothing. In the moment with the pain beyond 10 on the scale of 1-10, you don't think clearly. In fact, I was in my undies until I could gain strength to crawl to my shorts. I didn’t even care if I had to be carried out in my polka dotted undies!  This is coming from a girl who never likes to run errands or go out in sweat pants (except when working out)! Nor did I care to put on any shoes or socks – well, that could possibly be the Kentucky girl in me.  But in that moment, I didn’t know what could happen, I didn’t know what was happening except that I could be drifted off to a deep sleep. 

After this long hour passed, the pain was letting up giving me relief every so many minutes – then I started thinking, this is like contractions! The swings would fool me, going strong then letting up like it was over when it wasn’t.  I’ve never had kids before so I have no idea what contractions could possibly feel like but if they were anything like this…I wasn’t sure if it was worth all this.  Made me appreciate all the moms out there and even admire them for all they’ve been through – wow! On the other hand, there are people I know that suffer more than an hour…they battle their pain daily and I pray that they will feel God’s presence and comforting arms. I couldn't imagine living in this daily!

In the end I realized, I could have had a ruptured cyst (once I could think clearly again) and the diagnosis was confirmed by the doctor.  Then I realized when my symptoms started a week ago, I actually worked through it all, ran my first 15k trail race through it, and even had some hard workouts.  Maybe it was just time for it to go and when it did, I felt like a new person after surviving the worst pain of my life.  Like I was on an adrenaline high.
 The onset of symptoms, ice and snow did
not hold this girl back from her first trail race.
Thank goodness for YakTrax! 
Even though I hope and pray that this never happens again, I did learn something from this.  There are times we don't know “why” God allows things to happen but His wisdom is sufficient enough to bring something good out of it.  Maybe it’s strength, maybe it’s to save someone or maybe, it helps us to appreciate who we are and where we are.  This might have been the worst pain I’ve ever faced but now, I appreciate all the little pain I’ve had and will have.  As an athlete, my pain training and racing on course is nothing compared to a ruptured cyst.  Through blood, sweat, and tears I now know that I can fight even harder when crossing larger obstacles.  This pain has given me another level of confidence to conquer what lies ahead…on course and in life.  Have you ever thought about the pain Jesus suffered for us on the Cross? Although it was a very bad situation, something GREAT and BEAUTIFUL came out of it.

Quote of the day:  Out of pain and problems have come the sweetest songs, and the most gripping stories.  ~ Billy Graham


Bible verse of the day:  “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”  ~ Romans 8:18

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