“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (Psalm 139:13-14)
In October 2000, I injured my back. Eight back surgeries have left me with “failed back surgery syndrome.” Due to nerve and muscle damage in my back and left leg, I live with chronic pain.
The other day a friend took me out to run some errands. We stopped to enjoyed lunch. During our conversation, my friend said something that stuck with me. “Pain in only one aspect of you. There is more to you and our friendship besides your pain. Yes, it’s there, and I’m aware of it, but we don’t focus on it.”
I am more than “just my pain.” When I think about that phrase I realize how true it is. Yes, my day and what I do is determined by my pain, but the pain is not all of me. There are many aspects of my life that my pain doesn’t need to have an impact on.
I can still care about someone.
I can still encourage someone.
I can be creative.
I can carry on conversations about any topic that I find interesting.
I can still learn.
. . . The list continues.
I am more than just my pain. There is more to me. Yet, it is up to me if I allow other so see more than just pain. That doesn’t mean I do things I can’t. It simply means that I don’t make my pain the most important aspect of my life. I have a choice.
I don’t want people to know only my pain. I want them to know about me, the person. I want them to know that my favorite color is green. I enjoy drinks with a lot of ice. I love snowcones anytime I can get one. I want them to know about Max (my pet bird) and all the funny things he does. I want them to know I enjoy laughing and a good mystery. I want them to know of the wonderful love God has for me, and the hope He has provided.
God designed my life with many facets. Just like a diamond, facets make the diamond have extraordinary beauty, and brilliance. And God chose pain to be one of the facets. Why? Because He knew that with the other facets He designed in my life, pain would show a reflection of His beauty and brilliance.
Creating a positive day is remembering that pain is only one aspect of my life. If I focus only on my pain, I rob myself of the joys and blessings God provides.
Prayer: Lord, I want my life to reflect the beauty and brilliance of Your design. I ask that you help me show others that pain is only one aspect of the wonderful life you’ve designed for me.
About the Author:
Rhonda Sawtelle lives with chronic headaches and pain due to failed back surgery syndrome. Her philosophy is “Create a positive day!” She enjoys watching football, digital scrapbooking, and reading. To read more about how Rhonda creates a positive day, even while living with pain, visit her blog: http://createapositiveday.blogspot.com.
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What signs do you spot in your own life that remind you that your pain is becoming too much a part of the you who you reflect to others? How do you get back to showing all of your facets?