In the 6-8 months leading up to March 2015, I was alive! Not existing as I had done for pretty much 30 years before that but truly living. God had given me a hope for my life that I never thought was possible. I was learning how to live intentionally, how to live for God’s purposes and will. I worked hard on my back injury with more physio. I was working full time and coping really well with chronic pain and no medications of any kind. Things were really going well, don’t get me wrong, it takes effort to maintain the victories and freedoms, but it began to get easier each day. The better things got for me, the less time I seemed to spend with God. I was grateful for all he had done but I found myself leaning on an arrogant independence that was certainly unfounded. I continued to pursue him half heartedly. I realized I was starting to slip backwards again. Then I remember our Pastors at church talking about truly surrendering to God and how that is the kind of relationship God wants with us. I thought YES, that is what I want. During worship(singing songs of thanks to God) I would pray for God to take it all, that I surrendered my everything to him. I truly meant it with the deepest part of my heart. I mean, what I did on my own had always gotten me nowhere fast. The thing is, that as a human I’m sure I was reasoning with my subconscious on the things I wouldn’t mind losing control of, you know the convenient things. Sure God, take those bad feelings and problems so I don’t have to deal with them, please and thank you. But, leave me my comfort zone. God heard my heart and not my mind and is answering that prayer. He needs us to give him control in all of it, so that our foundation is in him and not ourselves, which is where true surrender is found.
That March I began experiencing pain in my hip, something was definitely wrong. The pain only got worse going into April and I had to take a medical leave from my job. I was now in chronic pain in my hip. My friends and I all prayed it was something easily fixable and I figured that in a month I should be back to my new life. Test after test came back fine and months later it was discovered that I have a labral tear in my right hip. Oh boy, this is not a quick fix I would learn. My doctor told me that the tear was probably not the cause of my pain and that she thought there was something wrong with the nerves in my brain. She explained that because I already lived in chronic pain from my back injury which left me with nerve damage, that other nerves can trick your brain into thinking any new bump or bruise is a serious injury. Unacceptable I thought, I’m in new pain and this came out of nowhere. I completely shut down and was thinking the worst. Is this is how I am going to live, chronic pain in my hip and back? I couldn’t think straight. Thankfully I had a supportive friend with me who was bold and demanded that my doctor send me to see an orthopaedic surgeon for a consultation. After what I thought would turn into my friend getting kicked out of the office, my Doctor reluctantly agreed to refer me. Well God bless Canada, I love my country and I am so incredibly blessed to have free healthcare, however wait times are a harsh reality. I received an appointment for July 2016. I was devastated, I now had to live in limbo for a year and a few months not knowing if I had a problem with my brain that was never to be fixed or if it was my tear causing the problem. And can the tear even be fixed? Well let me tell you I experienced every emotion that was humanly possible. For the first few months I was determined. I have been through worse in my life, surely I can get through this physical pain.
I set myself up for success I thought. I was spending time with God everyday, I was being open and honest, I had a support system to lean on during the really hard days. I was as close to God as I had ever been. He even put a desire and dream in my heart to be a small group leader in my church one day. This was so encouraging to know that God had a purpose for me. I knew that I had a lot of growing to do to be prepared to live out this purpose, but at least I knew why I was on this earth and the direction he wants me to go. I thought ok, I’m doing everything I’m supposed to be doing so I just have to keep trusting and hang on. Slowly my circumstances kept getting worse, I felt my joy slipping away and it scared me. Constant pain was getting the best of me. I was convinced that I needed to go on pain meds if I had any chance of getting through this without falling into that oh so familiar depression I had battled my whole life. I discussed the options with my small group leader and a Pastor because of my addicted past. And with guidance and accountability I tried meds. Med, after med, after med and nothing would work or it would make me incredibly sick. I couldn’t understand what was going on. Then my Doctor suggested I try medical marijuana as a last resort, well if that isn’t temptation I don’t know what is. I was coming up on 2 years marijuana free and didn’t know what to do. God is amazing that way, he knows what is best for us when we don’t. He protects us, even though we aren’t aware of it. After speaking with some people and praying about it, I realized that I was looking to numb myself out and ride this process blissfully sedated and I didn’t even realize it. And here is my drug of choice being offered on a silver platter. Ok God, message received, no meds. How I thought? How would I continue to go through waking up in pain and spending all day that way, only to get up the next day to do it all over again and for how long? Let me clarify, God doesn’t want any of us to be in pain or to live this way but he also wants us to make choices that will lead to his purpose for us. For me personally that means no meds because I would have been taking them for the wrong reasons. It’s so easy to trust God in the small things isn’t it? It’s when he truly asks us to surrender and trust him that we see where our faith lies. In the next part of my story you will see some ugly truths about where my faith was lying.
For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. they are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11