Pain Is Not Wasted

I am an ambitious person, which means I am often thinking about ways that I and those around me can grow and develop, new ways I can serve people, things I can learn and do.  I believe this is a good quality, but like all good qualities, it has its downside.

It’s hard for me to be patient with other people, and with myself.  It’s hard for me to accept that my timetable (right now!) is not always God’s plan.

I can be tempted to equate value with what can be counted, a list of things I achieved, instead of what really matters—Christ working through the person I am in the lives of people around me.  That’s not always noticeable or quantifiable, able to be put on a list, but that’s where the true value of making a difference lies.

I really like certainty, objective answers and reasons, so to anything murky or confusing I feel like saying, “Please clarify yourself or get out of here.”

It’s hard for me to rest.  For the last several years I’ve been slowly learning that I don’t have to pack the calendar full, that white space is a good thing.

You might be my opposite, and what you need is a good kick in the pants to go have more ambition and do hard things.

But what I need, obviously, is unexplainable pain in my foot, very slow walking, one doctor after another shaking their head, not sure what is wrong and why and when or if it will go away.

I love this picture of my kids.  It has absolutely nothing to do with this blog post, and I have no idea why they are tilting, but it kind of captures our life right now!

I miss all the things I cannot do right now.  Even though I’m not a runner, I just want to take off down the street and run and run.  The truth is if I tried this, even if my foot was fine, I’d probably have a stitch in my side by the end of the block, but it’s nice to imagine, right?

I resent all the time I am spending right now driving to different appointments.  This is not how I want to spend my life, being on hold, arranging childcare for my kids so I can drive somewhere else, sitting in the waiting room, filling out forms.

It’s tempting to see all of it as a waste.  Here I am suffering and accomplishing nothing when I could be doing something that matters.  Don’t you want to heal me, God, so I can get busy for You?

So my restless heart is learning a hard lesson that right now God’s will for me is to walk very slowly, to say no to things I want to do, and to spend a lot of time in doctor’s offices.  I don’t immediately see purpose in that, but He does.

I can trust that the work God is doing in my life and in the lives of others through this really matters.  That sometimes bearing fruit doesn’t come from walking fast and doing All The Things, but instead suffering well.

I have good days and bad days, and I’m not too excited about seeing an orthopedist tomorrow and a neurologist the day after that.  And I’ll be honest that the EMG test at the neurologist kind of freaks me out a little—do we really have to use needle, nerve, and electric shock all in the same sentence?

I think I’ve been seeing power in the wrong things—in our own physical strength, and in what we think we can get done—when really it is in God’s Word, and in God’s Work, even when He weaves our story in a different way then we imagined.


  1. How blessed I am to have such a wise and thoughtful and honest and expressive and beautiful daughter in law! :)

    1. Just like I am blessed to have you as my mother-in-law :).


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