Today’s post is by Lauren Hardy, a fun, vivacious and go-getter of a student at Ball State University where she is Managing Editor of her school paper. Connect with Lauren on her website, or on Twitter.
Three years ago, I started getting headaches. Not “oh these are annoying” headaches, but “I feel like curling up into a ball and crying all day” headaches. Gradually their intensity increased, and I started getting them more frequently. About a year ago, I would wake up with one every day.
I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to be on medicine, but I knew something was very wrong.
I prayed for God to take the pain away.
Then one morning, I woke up with an even greater pain. Groaning as I sat up in bed, I realized I couldn’t open my mouth. It felt like someone had screwed my jaw shut, then banged them together some more for good measure.
Turns out, I had clenched my teeth so hard in my sleep that I had traumatized my TMJ, the joint that connects the lower jaw to the temporal bone of the skull.
For a week, I could barely open my mouth by even an inch.
Two months later, and the tightness still remained. Coupled with my headaches and an onslaught of neck and back pain, I couldn’t manage to complete even some of the most normal tasks.
I became grouchy, irritated, whiny, even apathetic.
I let the pain have its way and take me over. Some days, I just stayed in bed. Underneath the covers, I let my eyes glaze over in an attempt to feel numb. I started feeling sorry for myself.
All I could think was, why, God? Why me?
There are so many times we can ask ourselves these question. Why me? Why this? Why now? I still struggle with these questions.
Even now as I write this post, I have a migraine and my jaw and neck feel like they’ve been hit with a baseball bat. If I let myself, it’s easy to use my pain as an excuse and live as if I’m just trying to make it through the day.
It wasn’t until recently that I discovered that pain doesn’t have to call the shots.
Pain of any kind — whether it’s physical, emotional, or both — can be worked through.
There are good days and then there are bad days, but over time the pain can be managed and even overcome. The key is learning to see both the good and the bad days as a blessing and move forward from there. We have to trust that God will never give us more than what we can handle.
This is no simple task.
It’s much easier to feel sorry for painful circumstances than to think positively in spite of them.
What’s important is that we don’t let pain define us, or keep us from living.
What is the pain you live with? Is it keeping you from enjoying your life? To reply, click HERE.
Lauren and I swapped posts today, so to read about what to do When Your Parents Don’t Approve, head over to her site!