Finding Purpose In Pain

A loud pop and the sensation of a whip hitting the back of my leg sent me to the floor like a sack of potatoes. When I reached down to my ankle I found a gap in my formerly taught Achilles’ tendon. 10 days later I’m stuck in bed after surgery. I am surrounded by a plethora of medication on my nightstand and pile of pillows under my leg. I have also begun the painful process of being surrounded by nothingness.

I’ve already grown weary of netflix, and I struggle reading when my pain meds are coursing through my body. One of my heroes from afar suggested creating something new each day to maintain a sense of accomplishment; so I will write. Perhaps my self inflicted therapy will encourage others who are feeling trapped in a pain induced prison.

As a pastor I have walked alongside many people enduring great physical pain, but I have lived a relatively pain free life. I’ve broken the occasional bone and had minor stitches over the years, but nothing compares to the pain I am currently experiencing. In the midst of recovery I am realizing the emotional toll that physical pain brings. Throbbing pain. Stuck in bed. Helplessness. For over a week I let my pain dictate my mood, but I woke up this morning with one thought — I don’t want to waste this pain.

As tempting as it may be to simply endure the silent depression I’ve chosen to re-pray for those people in my life who are living with chronic pain. I don’t want to waste a moment of my pain and the sympathy it is gifting me for the plights of others. This exercise of re-praying is giving purpose to my pain. This purpose is leading me toward gratitude for others and lifting my spirit in the process.

Pain is simply a type of fuel. It can fuel pity, depression, and self-centeredness or it can fuel sympathy and gratitude.

Today I am choosing to be thankful for pain that leads to prayer. Today I am choosing to be thankful for pain that leads to healing. I pray I choose the same tomorrow.

Are you going through a season of pain? How can I pray for you?

Have you navigated painful recovery in your life? I’d love to hear what helped you through.