Monthly Archives: April 2012

His Grace is Sufficient for This Thorn

It seems a little dust has collected on my blog over the past few weeks.

I knew keeping up a blog wasn’t going to be easy, not for a girl like me who almost never journals or feels the need to get every thought down on paper. I’ve had several ideas for perspective blog topics over the past month, only to find it increasingly difficult to just sit down and write. Why? Did I have a severe case of ADHD or did I have writer’s block? Maybe I had just lost some steam?

It occurred to me that I’ve been plagued with almost continual headaches over the past three weeks. Not severe migraines; just enough of a constant, wearying, dull pain to keep this blog site dormant.

I’ve been fretting over my health as of late. It seems no matter what season of life I’m in, pain always happens to be the thorn that works it’s way in my flesh. Last year was the year of endometriosis (well, last year AND a few years before that). This year, now that most of the constant endometriosis pain is gone, it seems I may have TMD (temporomandibular dysfunction).  It’s that little joint that connects your cheekbone to your mandible. Apparently I’ve been clenching my teeth at night for several years, and at last all the wear and tear on the joint has said caused it to say “enough!” As I sit here and type this, I can’t help but feel incredibly frustrated that this teeny-tiny joint with a mouth-full of a name is causing me almost continual agony. It seems so minuscule compared to other people’s medical situations, and yet it has the ability to completely ruin an entire day for me. I hate feeling controlled by pain.

I have to remind myself that pain does have its purposes. It can prevent further injury. My youngest nephew, Elias, has the highest pain tolerance of anyone I know (and he’s only 5). One time I watched him fall 5 feet from a playground structure and land directly on the top of his head. I ran over to him, imagining that he had snapped his spinal cord, crushed some of his vertebrae, or something to that effect. It turned out that his auntie was being a little overly dramatic. He got right back up from off the ground and insisted  he wanted to keep playing. Although I have always been amazed by his incredible pain tolerance, my sister is more wisely frightened of the damage that could be done by having such a high pain tolerance. He could have broken bones, or sustain a wound or burn and not be fully cognizant of it. Being aware of an injury many times prevents further damage.

Pro and cons of pain aside, I can’t help but wish I had the pain tolerance of my little nephew right now. May the Lord help me get through this. There are so many great things happening right now and I don’t want this time to be wasted. It seems we all have some sort of thorn in the flesh, whatever it may be, from one season of life to the next. I’ve learned that I must remind myself that no matter what season of life I’m in, His grace is always sufficient, for every small or large ache or pain I face. He gives greater grace. And although I wanted to encourage others with this blog that His mercies are new — every single morning — tonight I’m reminded of that truth myself. I look to tomorrow with expectant hope.

Leave a comment

Filed under Endometriosis

Not My Will, But Yours, Be Done

When I was attending Bible college, almost 5 years ago now, a dramatic change in my thinking occurred. Up until that point I had always believed that God would allow limits to my suffering. I tended to see God more in light of Him being my Father, which would somehow spur Him to want to alleviate as much of my pain and suffering as possible. Part of that is true– He is my Father, but He’s also sovereign. He works in ways we often can’t understand at the time. While at Bible college I began to read the biographies of many Christians or missionaries who had suffered in horrendous ways. They had lost their children. Endured starvation. Some were tortured and then martyred for their faith. Many endured great trials and tragedies.

At this point, I was pretty frightened, as I was considering entering the mission field myself. Christians are still being martyred today. Many still endure great pain and suffering. I realized that I was not immune from any of it, not if I truly wanted to follow the Lord. I thought of Jesus’ words to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” (Matt. 16:24). Deny himself. I wanted to do everything within my power to keep myself safe and to live a careful, calculated life. But I couldn’t, not if I wanted to follow Jesus.

Last night my husband and I had a long discussion about how man’s modern philosophies and the Lord’s commands just don’t mix. “Just do what makes you happy,” a lot of people will say. Or, “You have to do what’s right for you.” In our world, success is defined as reaching our full potential, our self-actualization. But nothing could be farther from what the Lord desires of us. He wants us to be obedient, to live to give Him glory in all things. In fact, reaching our “full potential” in the Lord is being completely surrendered to Him, obeying Him in all things, even if it means we suffer or die as a direct result. Even Jesus, fully man and fully God, prayed to the Father, “Not my will, but yours, be done” (Lk. 22:42). The Son of God laid down his rights and his life to be obedient and to glorify his Father. Nothing could be a more powerful example of obedience.

And so I consider my own life, and the fact that we are still childless. I pray and ask God for children, but if I am to be wise I must not count on it happening. Just because the desire for children is great doesn’t mean that God will necessarily allow it. He may have other plans for us– better plans. So I strive to be obedient, to be courageous in this life, children or not. To follow the Lord even if it means never being a mother. Even if it means great suffering. He is faithful to me and will always call me His own. And I will be satisfied because I will be doing exactly what I was made to do. I will be worshiping my Creator.


Filed under Infertility, Missions, Worship