Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Faith in the Face of Chronic Pain
A common theme in quite a few Christian groups I've been in over the years is that if you are good person and follow God's law, good things will happen. It's the "God as a Genie" theory which doesn't really work. Jesus and his disciplines had really awful things happen to them, up to and including death. As did a lot of other Christians over the years.
As a white Christian in America, I've never experienced harassment over my religion. Growing up, just about everyone I knew was some brand of Christian. It was the norm and what you did on Sunday morning. It was easy to follow Jesus back then.
When I went to college, I was still highly active in my campus ministry. As a freshman, I would get up Sunday mornings and go to the Lutheran chapel while my roommates were sleeping off their partying from the night before. I was an oddity but I was walking with Jesus so that was ok.
I did a lot of growing up the last few years of college. I was engaged to a guy who had rejected God completely and that caused a lot of issues in our relationship and was one of the reasons we broke up. Also watching my mom have cancer and then die from it.
After my mom died, I watched my dad really struggle with his faith. He was really, really angry at God, which was totally understandable. For whatever reason, my faith never faltered. As I got signs that my mom was up in Heaven, my faith in God and Jesus strengthened.
A year after my mom passed away, I got very sick. It started out as a really bad ear infection that was misdiagnosed for a month. Once that was cleared up, I was left with a constant headache. A headache I still have to this day.
I've talked about my chronic pain journey over the years, but I haven't really talked much about my faith as I've dealt with that. My faith in God hasn't changed at all, though my faith in myself has suffered some blows.
I see other people who have wonderful careers that they love, or who are able to keep up with lots of kids. Some days, I have issues getting out of bed, making it through work, keeping up with Emily. While I know some people probably just think I'm lazy, I'm trying to work my way though a normal life while having the weight of chronic pain around my neck.
I'm not sure what my purpose in life in or why I'm meant to be on this Earth. But as a Christian, I try to use my faith to boost myself up. Life isn't always a picnic and horrible things can and will happen. Even though I'm in pain every day, I'm actually not that unhappy. I have my low times and yes, I've had suicidal thoughts. But I'm suppose to be here. Maybe my words will help someone else or I'm just here to raise Miss Emily.
I don't really know what the future faces for me, but I will try to do my best no matter what gets thrown at me. And yes, I may be wrong about my faith, but I'd rather live as a true Christian, as someone who follows Jesus than as to not have any faith at all.