Sunday, July 09, 2006

Coping with trials....

As many of you know, I have been in constant pain since the evening of June 17th. Along with my new disease I also have had an intense flare up of my arthritis in both of my knees. Between those two things I have not paid much attention to my on going foot pain.

One thing I have noticed about being in so much pain is that you are consumed by it. It makes it very difficult to concentrate on anything else. It's hard to focus on a conversation or even try to accomplish some small task. Even without movement by you there is still constant pain. It isn't muscle pain but it is nerve pain which doesn't seem to be touched by most pain pills.

As I have pondered my situation I've studied how best to cope with it. I haven't questioned God on why it is happening to me because I know He would not allow anything to touch me that hasn't passed through His hands first. He is sovereign and nothing can happen to me without His allowing it.

There is an excellent little book out there called The Red Sea Rules by Robert J. Morgan. He has written a book with 10 God given strategies for difficult times. I've read this little book several times over the past several years. It's full of good, solid biblical information that is helpful to anyone who is experiencing difficult times. I highly recommend it.

Over the last couple of weeks as I have been in God's Word, I have discovered some points that have helped me to cope. My first avenue for relief has been prayer, but not that God would take this away (however, that would be very nice), rather He would give me the suffiency of His grace to endure and persevere throught out the duration. My prayer has been that I could continue as much as possible with the care of my husband and mother. Now, I admit, what I have been able to do has been severely cut. But I have tried to carry on as much as I am able.

One of the first things I've been reminded of is while conflict/trials are inevitable, prayer is crucial. Discouragement is understandable but I am given the ability to go through it. What should I do when I am discouraged? I believe unity is essential. Allow others to pray for you. Make the effort to get together with others. The other day, I went out to lunch with 3 other dear friends. Judy picked me up and took me (she was one of the luncheon gals) and then dropped me off for my hair appt and came back and picked me up from there and took me home. It is humbling to be dependent on others to get around because of medication. Trying to figure out how to get around when I can't drive can be a little tricky. But, the lunch out was a great boost for me. After all, I was going to hurt whether I was laying around at home or out with my friends.

Also, I think it's important to publicly declare my belief in God. To focus on who He is. It is one of the best remedies for discouragement there is to ponder on how powerful God is. God is strength. God is awesome. When "its" bigger than I can deal with that's when I need the right concept of God. I need to "remember." So often I can put the problem in front of God, blocking His greatness. Instead I should put God in front of my problem.

I need to remember that sacrifice is indispensable. The work of God doesn't just happen. A lot of times I may need to be out of my comfort zone for God to use me. But, I go back to "remember"....
  • God is personal. He is my God.
  • God is unique.
  • God is attentive.
  • God is righteous.
  • God is powerful.
  • God is awesome.
  • God is sovereign.
  • God is unfailing.

My view of God who will be with me through out is crucial. It's not the robustness of my faith but it is the reliability of my God. Remember....

What I've written has not come from the Red Sea book. It has mainly come from Nehemiah 4.


jettybetty said...

I am so sorry you are in such pain--and it can absolutely consume you--but this post sure does show a deep faith in God--and I believe brings Him much glory! I pray He will provide for your every need during this time of trial.

HeyJules said...

Beautiful post, Claire! What an inspiration you are to me and all your other readers. I'm pretty sure I'd be in bed, asking God to take the pain away and whining about it the whole time.

You're really something else...

Dawn said...

That was indeed a beautiful post. I am going to look for the book for my mom. I hope you are doing better.

Much love and prayer to you.

Pilot Mom said...

JB, I know without a doubt, just like you do, that He will provide every minute of every day! Thanks so much for dropping in! Good to hear from you!

Hey Jules, thanks Jules. And thanks for the nudge...I don't know that I would have posted know me...

Dawn, good to hear from you. It's a great book. I highly recommend it. I hope it helps your mom.

LJ said...

Lovely entry (even though saying that sounds weird). I am sorry to hear that your discomfort continues. Wouldn't a few answers go a long way ... At least I hope you have some really good drugs at your disposal. Regarding pain: as a Migrain sufferer I can truly understand from whence you speak. There is nothing so all consuming as when one is in extreme pain. It complete engulfs our thoughts and physical being. Be strong sister. You continue to be in my prayers.

Kriss said...

Hi Claire,
I have just read your blog and I am lost for words, what a beautiful testimony. I can relate very much to the pain you are experiencing, as a nurse who looked after many people during dificult and painful times, I know that nerve pain is one of the most difficult to contain. I experience a certain degree of pain on a daily basis also but nothing to what you have described. Yes, it is only through God's love and grace that we get through these things. Going public was one of the best things I did, it helps you focus onother things and allows those that God has sent to us to help. We sometimes find it hard to let go and allow others to help, I know I did for a long time.
You are in my thoughts and prayers, keep on keeping on, Bless you.

Pilot Mom said...

LJ, I do have great drugs at my disposal, however, I am in the process of trying to taper off of them. I used to suffer with migrains, too, LJ, and let me give you a bit of hope, they decreased as I got older. I have not had one now for over 6 years. PTL!

Kriss, thank you so much. It is difficult to be on the receiving end of things, isn't it? I always think of myself on the "giving" end and prefer that. You are so right, the only way to get through any trial is through God's grace and love. I praise Him for dear friends who are faithful to pray. Thank you! Give our regards to Dave and a big hug to little Will the next time you see him! :)

G~ said...


I must have missed your first "announcement" of this diagnosis. I did see it later and couldn't comment. *grr* so I went and looked up that big long name.

I wish I could just reach out and hug you. This is a really huge lesson God's given you, huh?

I always have to remind myself that when some trial comes into my life, it's God trying to teach me something, or prepare me for soemthing.

The only way to get through anything that causes constant pain is to just dwell on God. (like you said!) Thanks to Him, I don't face a diagnosis like yours, Claire, but you know my situation. An aging type I diabetic of more than 30 years? My falling-apart-at-40 started at 30, ya know? LOL!

I'm so thankful for the sense of humor, even the goofy parts, that God's given me. That's pulled me through a lot of hard spots. He's given me a caring family that is near enough to help me. Intelligent sons who have always been at the ready to take care of their mom....even as toddlers.

I think it is a good idea to be very sparing w/the pain meds. If this is something you are going to have to live with from now on, you don't want to deal w/addiction or reaction (stomach probs, etc.) any earlier than you have to, ya know? That's what I do w/my joint meds. Start skipping days, then skip two days, etc. Then go w/o til my fingers or shoulders get sore & stiff & pretty immobile.

I will pray that God gives you everything you need to deal with whatever comes at you. That He enveolpes you in His arms so that you always feel His presence. I pray that He will touch your aches and painful areas and ease your pain away when it seems unbearable. I pray He will keep your mind focused on Him, positive and always believing everything is for good to those who believe.

Remember the analogy of the cross-stich. (did I ever tell you that one or have you seen it online?) It's my favorite. I think of it a lot and it puts my life into perspective when I'm feeling overwhelmed with my situations.

Anyhow, dear friend, I pray peace on you. God bless and keep you every minute of everyday.

Love you,

Pilot Mom said...

Oh, bless you Geannie!! And a zillion (((hugs))) right back at you! :) I am doing exactly that with the pain meds. It's excellent advice. I hope to be totally off any pain meds by the time I go see my doctor on the 18th.

Geannie, I LOVE your sense of humor. I praise the Lord for it. Not only for you to get through life yourself, but laughter is great for all of us "others." You just keep it coming forth!

Just like you, I feel so blessed to have my boys! Of course, one of them isn't here all the time but I know that he prays for me. And the other, well, the good Lord couldn't have given me a better husband in all the world. (Sorry, ladies...I know your hubby is grand...but for ME, my hubby is BEST!!!) ;)

And, Geannie, remember, I pray for you daily!!! What are friends for? :)

Jackie said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you. I know all too well what unrelenting pain feels like, and I will pray that this pain you are experincing is lifted.

Claire, don't be afraid to talk about your pain, we don't mind listening, and sometimes just talking about it, helps.