My New Normal

Pain.  It’s one of those words that somehow sounds just how it feels.  Pain started as something totally disillusioning in my life, and over time, has turned into a constant reminder of grace.  Grace with myself because I have new drastic limitations.  Grace with others because you never really know what that sad, grumpy person is going through.  And grace for my grief, because it comes and goes unexpectedly when old opportunities fade and new ones pass me by.

I grew up believing, like most people, that pain is supposed to be short-term.  Hurt myself, heal, rinse, repeat.  I don’t know if I will ever forget the words that came out of my doctor’s mouth in my latest post-surgical appointment: “I am so sorry to say, but some of this pain will be your new normal.  We just need to figure out what that new normal is.”

It might have been the first time that sentiment was spoken out loud, but that realization has been brewing in my mind for quite some time.  It was hiding somewhere deep down in that uncomfortable part of my subconscious that I don’t like to acknowledge until it makes itself painfully obvious (pun intended).  Or until a doctor’s words truth-punch me in the gut.

What is my new normal?  Having to rest every time I get out of the shower because standing in the heat for fifteen minutes is now incredibly exhausting?  Working 5-10 hours a week and spending most other hours in a recliner to prepare for those 5-10 hours?  Wondering if my body will be able to carry a child, and if so, wondering if I will be able to hold my child without assistance?

If there’s one thing pain has taught me, it’s this: let it go.  Let it all go.  Not in the, “I don’t care about any of these things so I will start blissfully singing the ‘Frozen’ theme song” kind of let it go, but the “God is sufficient for my needs no matter the circumstance” mindset.  Yes, disability is hard and it makes planning near impossible, but my Father has gone before me and He knows how my story progresses.  My physical disabilities have led to a greater ability to trust that God has compassion for the broken-hearted, and that no pain is wasted when it is used to encourage others.  And because He knows and has allowed the path I am on, my new normal will be enough.

3 thoughts on “My New Normal

  1. I too can totally relate to this person. You see in 1991 my life as I had always known it began to change, at first a little at a time and now it has been changed forever. In 1991 I was going about my daily business and I was busy cleaning the second floor windows at my church, and somehow totally lost my balance off the ladder and fell some 20 feet landing on my feet, somewhat like you would see a cat do, totally compressing my entire spine and Also damaging my right shoulder. The first of what is now 7 surgeries to repair my shoulder and spine began in 1992, just before my marriage to the love of my life. During the next several years it just seemed like the surgeries just kept on coming, and even now I will be scheduled for my 8th surgery and the fourth on my spine. I have seen every kind of doctor imaginable, and have had more injections in my spine than should be allowed. I too am in constant pain everyday, but regardless of all this, I still praise God for his watch care over me then and now because an injury like this could have paralyzed me for life. I look to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ everyday for enough strength to get them each day, and for him to show me a way to reach out to others who may also be hurting or suffering, and he does. Any day I can get up and do even one thing, IT’S A GOOD, GOD GIVEN DAY !

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    1. Thanks so much for sharing your story with me Edith! It’s so crazy how drastically life can change in an instant. Wishing you the very best in your surgeries and healing!

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  2. Love your attitude and so thankful you are trying to help others through your writing!!! We never know how powerful words can be to someone who really needs to hear them!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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