Excruciating pain is not a new feeling to me. Ever since my accident in 1996, I haven’t gone a day without some form of discomfort. My pain is far more severe than the sting that comes from a day-old cut or a burnt finger. My pain progresses throughout the day, usually ending in a fire of agony by the end of the night before I drift to sleep. However, my pain does not define me. What defines me is the success that I have been blessed to see with my job, my family, and my life. I owe all of my success, despite the pain, to the Lord.
When my pain becomes unbearable, and I feel tears swelling, I turn to prayer. There is no secret pill or all-healing procedure that will make my pain go away. I have come to rely on prayer and the Lord to get me through my day. He gives me the strength to fight through stiff muscles and burning pain in my neck, as well as the optimism to continue to do the work that I love. I pray for the strength to smile each day and the Lord answers.
My accident changed my life in more ways than just limiting my physical abilities. Before the accident, I was focused on how I could change the world through the Lord. I put too much of myself in my mission and aimed to be far too self-sufficient. After that fateful day in 1996 and the many months of painful recovery that followed, I was reminded that I am nothing.
By His will and His power, I am alive. Now, rather than thinking about what I can accomplish, I ask the Lord daily how I can give back to Him – for all that He has done for me.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3)
Aside from daily prayer, I have another strategy to deal with my pain. When the pain gets worse, I noticed that dwelling on it only increases the throbbing and makes it more apparent. Instead, I have begun to focus more on my task at hand rather than on the pain and limitations that I face. The quickest way through sadness or depression is serving, and this holds true when I deal with my pain as well.
At the end of the day, the Lord is the only one who can heal me, and I intend to serve Him in all ways that I can.