You Have to Start Somewhere

In the words of Tiger Woods, “Hello world!”  I have contemplated for months writing about chronic pain and pain management given what has transpired over the past 10 years or so, but wondered about the why, and about putting my info all over the net.  Well, I have decided to try and write the honest truth about what living a life with chronic pain has and can look like.

As for the name of the blog, I don’t mean it as a command or hope that all of you out there (if anyone is reading) will “Feel my pain” nor would I want you to.  As the years have piled on years with sometimes debilitating back pain, the truth has become overwhelmingly obvious that we live in a fallen world and the effects of sin not only cause anger, pride, selfishness, but truly have a physical element as well.

Feeling my physical pain every day is a constant reminder of the broken nature of the world in which we live.  Living a life despite or in spite of chronic pain mirrors our struggle against our broken nature. In our hearts and minds we long to do certain things or act according to what we believe, but are faced with the reality that it is not easy.  It is hard work. If we truly contemplated it, we may not get out of bed in the morning. We are desperate for a solution and hope for a better future.

Mine is the story of redemption in more ways than one.  I am a Christian which means through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, my sin has been redeemed by his righteous life as a gracious gift. My life with chronic pain has also been a story of redemption, and eerily resembles our current state as Christians. It is the paradox of living in a state of being redeemed yet still sinful, and redeemed yet still painful.

What is the solution, where is the hope? I think one of the biggest realizations over the past year for me has been that in this life there will always be pain both physical and emotional. Earth shattering truth I know, but acknowledging it has made a world of difference in how I live my life. I can hole up in my bed with my pain or me and my pain can get out and live a life in community with others who are dealing with their own suffering, sorrows, tragedies, or pains. I long for the day when my body hurts no more, because it too has been redeemed. So, there is my answer.  Community and faith.

I will try to write more about my past struggles with pain and what that has meant for my family, relationships, mental status, but I want to acknowledge that living in a fallen world does not just bring about physical ailments but a world of stumbling blocks leading to emotional pain.  Death, broken trusts, divorce, not to mention life sometimes can just be hard, but I think for me the answer is still the same: community and faith.

Until next time.

12 thoughts on “You Have to Start Somewhere

  1. It’s an incredible and vulnerable thing to lay it all out there…to be real. But I truly believe that this story of pain and suffering and redemption is going to help other folks who are too scared in the midst of their own suffering. Maybe they will be able to finally grab onto their friends and families to be loved on and to let us come along side them and help them carry their burdens. It’s so much easier when we don’t have to shoulder it alone. Proud of you, babe.

  2. Hey Mike, looking forward to hearing more from you. It’s easy (and hard) to want to keep it to yourself or your immediate circle – easy because you don’t have to rehash “how you’re doing” with everyone — and hard because it’s lonely. Thanks for your honest sharing.

  3. This is a legit realization:

    “…there will always be pain both physical and emotional. …I can hole up in my bed with my pain or me and my pain can get out and live a life in community with others who are dealing with their own suffering, sorrows, tragedies, or pains.”

    I need to be reminded of this often. Thanks for putting this out there – look forward to reading more.

    Bless you brother.

  4. i will definitely be reading. thank you for writing it down, giving wisdom and encouragement. getting a little older, especially these last couple of years, have truly brought many doubts and fears my way, especially fears of physical suffering and death. And God’s sovriengnty in it all. Why does He set it up this way, the way of suffering to bring about good, to show us Himself? It’s an easy thing to understand when you’re feeling great, in your early 20′s, and don’t have a lot of responsibilities. It will be a blessing to me, i know. You and sweet Kathy, and the boys, take care.

  5. All,
    Thanks for the kind comments. It has been a trying but rewarding year for us and Batch you are definitely one of our community who helped redeem this time for us.
    Thanks and take care,

  6. Mike, there are so many kinds of pain in this world and you are so right, friends and faith are the only way to handle it. Sometimes in our journey we meet people who inspire you. You did that for Don and we feel blessed each day for knowing you. You were the first person at Cleveland who helped Don. He realized that he was not alone with pain that other people cannot understand. He also learned that other people were living with problems that made his seem insignificant. As a person who loves someone in sometimes almost unbearable pain I wish I could help him more. We will follow your blog and wish you and your family blessings.

    • Mary, I often think of Don and wonder how you all are. It is amazing how being open, honest and vulnerable with others strengthens us whether it be with our closest friends or a group of strangers with similar struggles. I will always remember Don’s positive attitude and how it uplifted my spirits even on days when I might not have felt so good. I hope so many others find this place and can move forward with changed lives. God Bless.

  7. Don is doing well. He, like you, has learned that he has choices too and that he is the one responsible for which road he will take each day. I think about this time last year when all seemed hopeless to us. Now he lives for the day the best he can and most days are good ones, We no longer worry about “when bad things happen to good people” but live each day with the blessings it brings. I know that Kathy and the boys make the day worthwhile when the chips are down. We will be following your blog and are sure that many will benefit from it. I often wonder what would have happened to Don had we not gone to Cleveland. Keep in touch and we will give you a tour of our beautiful state if you come see us.

  8. Mike,
    I am looking forward to your writing and certainly was moved by your starting entry. Wow! thanks so much for sharing what you have learned over the course of this challenging journey. Community and Faith. Good point.
    Thanks for your transparency – how refreshing.

    miss you guys!

    • Jereme,
      Thanks friend. We have been blessed by the overwhelming support of our church community and family. Your kind words help me to want to continue to delve into the truth of this long story of redemption.

  9. Don’t know what happened to my first comment, but it went something like this: for all those times when I forgot/neglected to tell you how proud of you I am whenever I was telling others ….I AM EXTREMELY PROUD OF WHAT YOU HAVE ACCOMPLISHED THIS YEAR THROUGH GOD, FAMILY AND FRIENDS.

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