God Keeps a Tally
Originally written on June 2, 2020:
On Saturday I turn 25. A momentous occasion not only because I will be a quarter of a century years old, but also because it marks me being in pain half my life. 12.5 years with off and on pain that we attributed to life but it ended up being Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and 12.5 years of continuous and rising pain that is Fibromyalgia, Amplified Musculoskeletal Pain Syndrome, Lupus, Arthritis, and 6 other things.
Half my life in pain and only 25. It kind of freaks me out to think that. Kind of awful to think about too but mostly I am kind of in awe how far I have been able to come since that day in 8th grade when my knees starting hurting deep in the bone and I knew something really wrong was going on. So many times I thought surely the amount of pain I was in would kill me but here I am still.
12.5 years since my 8th grade year and here I am, a published writer who writes to help others feel less alone, educate others who don't know the life, and offer lasting advice to anyone with a question.
In no way whatsoever have I succeeded alone and on my own. Even on the darkest nights when the searing pain makes this level 10 pain pro gasp out sobs from the hurt, I still know I have a loving Father in heaven that cherishes me and wishes to make my life a dream I have prayed for for all these years. I see Him in my dear friends who send me uplifting messages all the way to the perfectly timed gifts left on my doorstep when my hope was just about to flicker out. I see Him so much in my precious family who provide for me so I can exist in my own apartment-like bedroom with food and disabled devices in clean clothes and without chores that I couldn't do otherwise. Their generosity and love has meant more than I could ever pay or express. Having a mother who takes the time to help me wash my hair despite her excessively busy schedule at the hospital is more priceless than any monetary value one could possibly muster. I know our Heavenly Father wants desperately to give me my dream life where I am happy and without pain but I also know that this is a life and trial I signed up for in the premortal existence so that I could be here to give advice and help to anyone in pain. It is a life I volunteered for with gusto then and it is a life I must conquer and triumph over now.
I ask myself if I would give up these past 12.5 years with pain for an easy life without pain and I have to say I wouldn't give it up. I have found peace in the deepest of pains and faith in the gospel when countless doctors have given up on me. I have learned and grown in ways some people never experience in whole lifetimes. I may not have found anyone on this earth yet that has all the pain I have but I know Christ felt my pains physical and emotional in Gethsemane and I hold tightly to that. When no one understands why I have to sleep until 3 or 5pm or why I can't even have the energy to take a quick shower, get dressed, put on some semblance of makeup, and do my hair neatly instead of letting my wild curls go free, Christ knows. I know God keeps a tally of the ocean of tears I have cried whether it be from my pain syndromes, exhaustion, disappointment, or frustration. I hold onto the promise that somehow each tear of distress will be turned into a tear of joy.
I have spent half my life in pain, and with God at my side, my family pushing me from behind, and hope of a better tomorrow keeping one foot in front of the other, I will keep on going into another year of life with chronic pain.