“I hate this. I hate pain. I hate not being able to do stuff. I hate needing help. I hate having to rest. I HATE MY BODY.”
This particular rant was inspired by the neurologist’s diagnosis and treatment plan: “Your back is bad. Arthritis hurts. There’s nothing I can do (surgically) right now to fix it. Pain is part of life. You want to try injections? When it gets worse- I’ll fix it.”
I admit I’m a somewhat difficult patient. Mostly because I refuse to just medicate the pain. I want it fixed. Not drugged. I hate also: narcotics. I have issues. Lots of them. Not just physical. Just sayin.
This rant follows the ten million others about being fat. The one about having high blood pressure and a baby aneurysm and the one about having no diagnosis for the autoimmune disorder and subsequent chronic pain that I deal with.
As I left the neurologist’s office a sane and gentle voice said this in my head:
“You have spent years learning to share your brokenness as an offering to God and others- you have taught hundreds of others that in your weaknesses Christ’s strength is perfected. Why do you only think that applies to emotions and mistakes and struggles and sin? What about your broken, hurting body? What if that’s a holy gift and offering? You would never talk to anyone else about their brokenness the way you to do yourself about your body. You always encourage others to be graceful to themselves and to appreciate what they daily overcome. Think about what your body DOES.”
Since that is way too true and sane and logical to be me- I’m going to assume it was God. Especially since it brought tears to my eyes and gratefulness to my heart as I climbed into my Jeep to leave. The follow un-rant ensued as I drove:
“Thank you, body for being able to walk. Thank you, spine for holding me upright even though you are broken and twisty and full of arthritis and your discs are smashed to bits. Thank you for tolerating my constant pushing you to do more than you feel up to. Thank you body for allowing me to use my hands and mouth to communicate truths as I learn them. Thank you for functioning in all the little ways you do without me noticing or appreciating you at all. (I have an epic bladder, great digestive tract, a fantastic heart rate, amazing lungs that function well even with asthma, and terrific skin- for the most part) Thank you that I can bike, and sin (in theory) and walk on the treadmill. Thank you for an amazing immune system. (Even if it’s sometimes confused.) I rarely get sick. Thank you that my surgeries have made my migraines rare events and brought my hands back from the useless abyss and fat or not- I can do a lot. Thank you for going through all that with me, body and for healing and recovering. You’re amazing. Body- I’m sorry for bullying you about your issues. Please forgive me.
And Lord? This broken hurting body is an offering and opportunity for your strength to be perfected. If its my greatest weakness- then it’s also my greatest opportunity for you to work. Thank you for my brokenness. Help me to learn to love my body- and share it;s struggles-just as it is. “
I can’t explain this change. I feel different. I still hurt. I am going for injections. However- I’m now seeing this struggle as any other one. It’s an opportunity for God to do something. What? I don’t know. But I quit bullying myself for my limitations. I’m done hating my body. (I hope) I’m going to choose to give my body the same grace and love that I do for all my other faults- and to treat myself and my body- the way I treat others. I might complain. I might not like my “issues.”
I’m choosing to be amazed and grateful for what my body overcomes just to function, daily. The same way I am, and do for all kinds of other issues….my own and others. We’re all doing the best we can with what we have… so is my body.
It’s about time.
Dear Lord- thank you for that quiet voice! Thank you for the body that houses my soul. Thank you for all that I am able to accomplish in your strength with the body you created for me to live in. Thank you for being present- even here. I love you lord- help me to love my body and accept it’s weaknesses. Let your strength be perfected in each one- In Jesus name- amen.