Giving thanks for the suffering

Sitting at my desk in a cloud of deep blue fumes cold and sore, watching the desert trees and plants being blown side to said by the gusty winds today and knowing that the wind chill is going to make it feel even colder outside then it already is, which will probably make every joint that gives me a hard time hurt even worse. But in spite of everything I’m physically feeling (and smelling) I feel like lately the Lord is showing me the perfect timing this debilitating situation has come into play in my life and how grateful for that perfect timing I should be.

Up until about 4 years ago I was seeing a doctor who would prescribe me pretty much anything I would ask him for and I had no shame in asking for much of everything to help sooth the pain. Of course, it wasn’t so much physical pain (it actually wasn’t even physical pain at all if I’m being honest) I was suffering from as much as it was mental and a direct disconnect from Jesus. And instead of just being wise about things, seeing the mess I was in for the mess that it was, I continued to push Him out of my life and abuse pills and weed AND alcohol instead because lets face it, being bad and feeling good is a lot easier than being good and not being high and having a good time and having to deal with life’s crap.

Knowing all that I do now 4 years into my sobriety and head first into chronic pain that I have NO idea where it even came from, I can have a great appreciation for that time of drug abuse, and here is why. If I had been in all this pain back then, in addition to the mental health that hadn’t been treated at the time, with the rate the deterioration of my liver and kidneys was going and the amount of hatred I had for myself, not to mention the people I was hanging out with who enabled me to maintain a level of comfort in the choices I was making instead of leading me to the cross and The One who could free me from all of this nonsense, I cant even imagine where I would be today. 4 years later if I hadn’t heard the Word of God being spoken into my life by my young Pastor Vinnie, The Word I begged God to let me hear that would show me why I couldn’t live both in the world and of the world and still claim to follow Him. Show me Lord, why I cant just smoke weed to get me through all the troubles I have, show me in  your word, please!!  I wish I had written down the day it happened because my short term memory is SO bad and getting worse (but ask me my first phone number and all the phone numbers of all my friends and family from the 4th and 5th grades and I can tell you them) but I remember it well and know that it was hearing the verses in 1 Peter and hearing the calling to “be holy as He is holy“, scripture I had heard too many times to count but never as clearly as I heard them spoken that day.

Everything changed.

I am thankful. I am thankful for the timing of my pain and that I am so in love with Jesus that even in my suffering I would choose to honor Him by searching and reading ways to help me get through each and every ache without the use of drugs. And not only that but that my heart has been SO changed that the idea of even going back there doesn’t even exist anymore, that is the craziest part. I am trying to do everything in my power to not even go see a doctor because I know that they will prescribe medication and I don’t want to pay someone to do that for me. I wont lie, there are times I am so frustrated and sick and tired of being physically sick and tired and I wonder WHY God would have me endure this, and then I remember the big picture of it and His evident grace and love for me through it all. Then I reapply the deep blue, tie a heating pad and electric stem machine around my leg and relax for a minute and thank Him for having allowed me to get sober before my body having to go through this for whatever reason it is and knowing “this is all temporary”.. With all of this I can smile and give thanks for the suffering.

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