Awful or Aweful?

This is Week Ten with pain from Shingles that is (finally and at last) truly receding. I am grateful to share some positives that emerged in the course of this ordeal: what I have learned in the awful.

I Was Flattened For A Reason. From its onset November 5, I realized this was being allowed by God for some reason. I knew there was a lesson in the midst of it; I knew to listen and learn. Kudos to 12-Step recovery for having taught me this.

For Crying Out Loud. I am quite about the anguish that came out of me. After all, POWs have been tortured in enemy camps, and My little agony of mine could hardly compare. But as time went on, my pain accelerated into a huge CRESCENDO that simply would not stop. It was like being tortured 24-7, and I heard myself telling my husband I did not want to be alive anymore. That I am emerging from it now is an indescribable relief. Even more surprising is the gratitude I have for being able go share some things  I learned in the awful.

Immortal, Invisible. In retrospect, I can see that God handed me “arrows” that I could learn to shoot at the pain. The pain was an actual entity, like a little monster curled up in a corner in my bedroom that was gleefully inflating itself larger and larger. What started as the size of a balloon became the size of a blimp.

But God stepped in and taught me to pierce it with arrows I can only describe as “strong diversions.” I needed to persevere, selecting arrows and taking aim and letting those arrows fly. The dumbest things (like coloring books) have pierced it down to utter deflation. Mindlessly, I diverted my attention away from the ugly tormentor by riveting it elsewhere. Simply adding vibrant color into dull pages has helped me tremendously. Ditto listening lectures and podcasts and guided meditations.

I appreciate now, more than ever before, the despair that is being suffered by anyone in pain. So I am asking the Lord what I am to do with this deeper level of compassion.  “Lord, make me an instrument… an instrument of Your peace.! Play me any way You want or need! Add my part into Your Overall Song! Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace….”

Chime in if you care to share! FYI, this image was posted on Twitter by Welcome to Nature.

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