“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4
I don’t remember a time without pain. It seems that pain has always known me, having found me so young, so soon. Now, I’m not talking about the suffering most of us experience in life–loss, heartache, betrayal and the like (although I have known each of these, as well).
It’s not the pain of life I’m talking about, however. It is physical pain, the searing hurt that shocks your nerves and dulls all other senses. The kind of pain that leaves you unable to speak, dream, or even love for a time because how could you…how can you love as fully as you’d like when your body is not your own? When it has been taken hostage by an enemy.
Pain so real and so unwelcome that you live life as a muted version of yourself–lifeless, colorless, often hopeless.
A little over a month ago, I awoke to the familiar pain I have known since childhood. I have always had migraines, my weekly companion, but this particular morning I awoke to something much more fierce and unforgiving.
The first time I experienced this different pain, I was 17 and my parents were away on a short 3 day getaway. I woke up that morning certain that the pain I was feeling must be me dying. How could it be anything else? I sat screaming, alone, in my room until the pain was so intense that I eventually passed out.
And it went like this, day after day, each time I awoke. Because this is how they come…when you are sleeping. They wake you and they feel like they are killing you.
They are called cluster headaches and are nicknamed the “Evil nemesis” of the migrane. They are even called “suicide headaches,” since some who suffer with them eventually take their life.
The last time I had cluster headaches was almost 4 years ago. This too, is how they come–randomly and sporadically.
You could go years without seeing them until one morning you find yourself in hell all over again. And so, I find myself in hell now.
The initial horrific pain of the cluster is gone. I spent over a month taking pain pills and sleeping (yet afraid to sleep knowing they would wake me). Everything I did was through the veil of a narcotic–the haze of pharmaceuticals. I did not want to minister, or pray. I did not want to care for my home or be a mom. I did not want to write or seek inspiration.
I just wanted God to take it all away. To relieve me. To rescue me.
And He did….
But not without leading me through every single portion of pain these clusters would inevitably bring.
And the beauty of that is another story all together. The way the Lord bound me and held me, reminded me and promised me.
I’m not fully well yet, but I’m better. As I type this, pain is crawling across my shoulder, neck, jaw, face, and head threatening to silence me. But, I know I have a choice. Yet, I want you to know too…
This is why I haven’t been writing as much. Why I post once a week and then have nothing left to give. Why ideas escape me and inspiration mocks me. Why I sit feeling powerless–watching a blog I feel so dedicated to sit untouched, abandoned.
But, the Lord knows all this. He sees all of this. He knows my pain is real and heartbreaking. So, I wait. I wait for His mercy to once again be poured out, for His hope to spring forth, for His goodness to cover me…and for Him to wake me, full and fully alive.