“I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.”

Psalm 27:13

Sometimes hard things happen.  And happen again.  And then over and over and over again.  Right now, I am in a season of this.  It’s not fun.  It’s not glamorous.  And although I think that a lot of things that are not funny (take a stabbing, for example) are a little bit funny in a weird sort of way, this is not funny to me.  And for the most part, it’s a secret.  Not many people know what’s going with me; even fewer (okay, two people) know the extent of it.

For about five years, I’ve had headaches every day.  Most all day long.  For about three and a half years, I’ve also had frequent jaw pain.  Brought on by laughing, eating, talking, and life in general.  Every day.  For the past while, I’ve had neck and shoulder pain.  And more recently, back pain too.

What’s going on with me?

What I just described, and that’s all I know.  All I know is what I feel and experience  That and the twelve different diagnoses I’ve had.  No treatment has worked, not even a little.  One specialist even told me that I shouldn’t expect to live past 35.

Because of all this, I cry a fair amount.  I’m not looking for a full-time job anymore, because I just don’t think I’m strong enough to work full-time outside of the home.  The pain is why I go back home so often, as I’m receiving on-going care (in the form of the splint I wear in my mouth 24/7) for my jaw (and supposedly headache) issues.

Sometimes I wonder if this is what dying feels like…ever increasing pain, decreasing strength, and totally powerless to do anything about it.

I don’t know when or if all the pain will end, at least not in this life (see Revelation 2:14…I have great hope that it will end someday).  To be honest, sometimes I doubt the Lord’s goodness.  I wonder if I’ve done something so very wrong that somehow I deserve this, this constant pain.  I question if I have enough faith, and if my lack thereof is why I have not been healed.

I’ve been working on this post for a while…in my head, mostly, for months, and then as typed drafts for a couple of weeks now.  I don’t think I’ll ever be able to really describe this aspect of my life, but this is ‘good enough’ for now.

I have a very hard time being honest about all of this.  I don’t really know how to talk to people about it.  Usually I get emotional talking about it, which I don’t especially like (at all), and I don’t know how to deal with the sympathy either.

Some of my closest friends know a bit of what’s going on, but I don’t really think that anyone (aside from my parents) really, really get it, or to be frank, consistently care about what’s going on with me.  My struggle is silent, it is private, and it is lonely.  But it is real and it has changed my life.

“But as for me, afflicted and in pain – 
may Your salvation, God, protect me. 
I will praise God’s name in song
and glorify Him with thanksgiving.”

Psalm 69: 29 – 30 

6 thoughts on “pain

  1. Sweet Shannon. You are so strong. Don’t ever forget that. I also want you to remember that it is okay to ask for help (even little things). I will always be here for you!

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  4. Hi Shannon,
    Thank you for your sharing and honesty. I understand not wanting sympathy or attention, but the Lord must have laid it on your heart to seek support from your family and friends. I’m sure He doesn’t want you to struggle alone.

    I know what you mean about doubting God’s goodness and wondering if something you’ve done or lack of faith is the cause. I have been there. But I hope and pray that God will reassure you with the certainty that He is not punishing you. I think of the story of the man who was born blind. Jesus’ disciples asked who had sinned, the man or his parents, to cause his blindness. “Jesus answered, ‘It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.” (John 9:3)

    Who knows what God’s plans are for you? But I do know that He already is and will continue to use you to display His works. I pray that this will ultimately include your healing, but especially that in all things He will strengthen you and overwhelm you with His incredible love. Our God is so good and I constantly see you spreading the joy of your faith to the people around you. What a blessing you are! I’m thankful to know you.

  5. Wow Shannon… I had no idea. I’ve only ever read your last two blog posts besides your China trip, so I say this had guys to share. I’m so sorry to hear about your silent struggle- it sounds terribly painful. Praying for you tonight and will pray for you in the future. One other thing- It can be a blessing to your marriage to not work at first. I didn’t work (at all) my first six months of marriage and it gave us the time and space to adjust to married life :) XO from the UK

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