Several months ago I was in a bad place dealing with my constant pain. Although I know my experience with Fibromyalgia has been short compared to many family and friends who have also been diagnosed with this “chronic” syndrome. It had been almost five years of pain every single day…the achy deep muscle pain as if you have a high fever and there is no relief. I think I literally had only a handful of days since my pain began that I could really say were “pain-free”. That is free of the achy disabling pain that was my constant companion, not the other pain that goes along with fibro (tender points, headaches, sensitivity, etc.).
I came to the conclusion that as my life spread out in front of me, that this chronic pain would be my partner for the rest of my life. It had been five years and at forty-four years old, as I looked ahead all I saw was another thirty plus years of pain in front of me. When I looked at those years in front of me, it was very difficult to see any hope of relief. This is not anyone wants; a life of pain. I asked myself how I would be able to serve God the way I longed to if I was so encumbered with pain that there were days that I couldn’t get out of bed?
Despair tried to take hold and on a daily basis I had to try to live only for that day. If I looked ahead all I saw was pain, but if I focused only on today I was able to live with at least some hope. By God’s grace I was able to have the strength to get the most important things done for my family. My teenagers were taken to their classes, lessons, sporting events, and friends’ houses. We didn’t miss out on the important parties or family gatherings even if I was in pain. God gave me the strength to really try to start exercising which some days was nearly impossible. My motivation for exercise was not great, but my best friend who is a personal trainer helped me to at least start exercising three days a week.
My Rheumatologist had been encouraging me that exercise would help my pain. I was skeptical at best. So for eight weeks I pushed through the pain and forced myself to at least try it. Trying to persevere even with tremendous pain was nothing but the strength of God in me. Again, it was a daily giving up of what I wanted, which was mostly to stay in bed and force myself to exercise. It was difficult to keep going because I found no change in my pain level.
However, I did notice a change in my attitude. Having the empathy and encouragement of a true friend along with the constant taking up of my cross daily, helped me to put aside my despair and replace it with acceptance and even at times,joy. Through this process, God has blessed me with a decrease in my pain level overall and although I know I am not truly healed and the pain may return, He has given me a glimpse of a future where I can serve Him no matter what my life may bring.