I like to think of myself as a strong person. I am confident and self-aware. I can take whatever life throws at me and roll with it. Or so I thought. I have found out I am a weak and trembling child when life really hits the fan. At the end of last week, I threw out my back. I had just walked the dogs and was coming in to grab my camera to take pictures of the pretty morning when I felt a twinge in my lower back. I thought nothing of it. I got in the car and drove around some of the back roads near my home. When I got out of the car, my back was a little sore. Two hours later I got home and I could barely stand upright. The next two days were lost in a wash of pain. I managed to do the most necessary things like get the kids on the bus and make coffee, but anything else was beyond me. Heating pads, ice packs, blue muscle rub stuff and ibuprofen did nothing to lessen the pain. I cowered in my chair, afraid to move, afraid to do anything to bring on more suffering.
The pain peaked Friday afternoon when I lay down to rest. A couple hours later, my bladder told me it was time to move. I tried, but as soon as I tried to sit up, the pain hit. I got myself to my feet, but could go no further. I could not make my legs move. by scrunching my toes I could scoot my feet an inch at a time and managed to make it to the end of the bed. Bracing myself with one hand on the bed frame and the other hand on the door, I was done. The tears finally came. Trapped by pain and weakness, I was at the end of my rope. Finally, I had to crawl my way down the hall, inch by painful inch, tears leaking from my eyes. I had never felt such pain. I had never suffered such humiliation. All that strength that I had been so proud of, physically and mentally had failed me. I have a high pain tolerance and I hardly ever cry, but that day I was beaten.
I made it to the bathroom and I sat there. exhausted, terrified. Why is this happening to me? Shivering and paralyzed by fear on that cold porcelain throne, God met me. There was no thundering voice, no sudden, miraculous healing, there was no earth shattering revelation. Just a quiet comforting, I am here. The tears slowed, the shivering stopped. I was still in terrible pain, but the fear had eased my brain began to function again. I had been isolating myself from anyone outside my own house. My children had been looking at me with wide solemn eyes, my husband handling me with kid gloves, none of them knew how to help me. I called my sister. Her husband had succumbed to cancer a while ago, and I knew that she had some of his pain meds left over. (I know you aren’t supposed to take meds intended for someone else, but I was desperate.) She was at my parents at the time, so they began praying. My other sister heard and brought me better heating pad. Within a few hours, the pain had lessened to a more bearable level.
I am still sore all over. It will take days to fully recover. I still walk like an old woman and my back and legs tire easily, but I can walk mostly upright again. My husband has taken over some of my daily chores and the kids ask how I am feeling every time they see me, they are doing chores and homework with little coaxing. I have learned a valuable lesson. I am still strong, I am still confident and know who I am. I also know that God is with me. Even through my pride and arrogance, he loves me. When that pride crumbles to dust and my strength evaporates like mist in the sunshine, he still loves me and will see me through. I learned to be thankful through the pain. I am thankful that I have family nearby to call on when my back is to the wall. I am thankful that I have a loving husband and children who love me and do what they can to help me when I can’t help myself. I am sure that pride will again rear its ugly head, it is not something easily gotten rid of. Until then, I thank God for the pain, it has taught me not to trust in my own strength but to lean on him and trust his strength instead.