Welcome readers! I pray that you are having a tremendously blessed day!
Today I am going to touch on a subject that seems to be an almost constant companion in the SongSix3 household – pain. Not the emotional kind… the PHYSICAL kind. It seems that we have been dealing with this in one form or another for a LONG time.
After the birth of our last child in 2008, Tiffani suffered a major pelvic prolapse. This basically means that her internal parts did not “snap back into place”, the way that God designed the female body to do after childbirth. This condition was extremely painful for her, and for the next 2 years we were mostly unable to have normal sexual intimacy. On the rare occasions that we did, it meant several days of physical agony for her (sometimes crying real tears of pain), and the equivalent in emotional heart distress for me. After all, what husband in his God-given right-mind WANTS to cause his wife pain?
Tiffani is currently seeking the Lord as to what He would have her write in a future post about this situation, in the hopes that other wives in similar circumstances would receive encouragement from it. There IS light on the other side of that dark place! Today we are able to have more “normal” intimacy, but there is still pain involved… just not on the extreme level that there once was. We are both IMMENSELY grateful to God for this.
On September 3rd, 2011, I suffered an accident while working in one of our farm fields. For some more details on the accident, feel free to read my article “My Heart Hurts”, posted on February 24, 2012. This accident was the start of a downhill slide into heavy back pain, and eventually the sciatic nerve in my left leg became pinched off. I won’t beat around the bush… when that nerve got squeezed, it was without a doubt the worst pain I had ever felt in my life and still remained conscious. The doctor’s suggestion to try and treat this was a round of cortisone shots first. He told me they would either work great, or make it very clear that surgery was going to be required. I agreed, and I had the shots done on Thursday October 6, 2011. By the following Sunday afternoon I was in total agony.
On Monday the 10th I had our daughter-in-love drive me to the ortho office to see the doc. She had to go get a nurse with a wheelchair to pick me up out of the parking lot – as I simply could not crawl any further. As I sat in the wheelchair writhing in pain, the doctor walked in and said “So the shots aren’t working for you, huh?” I tried to be nice, I REALLY did… but with the electrical fire crackling away inside my left leg, it was incredibly difficult to say much beyond a growl. Then he said “So you ready for surgery?” I was only half-joking when I hissed, “Go get the knife, I’ll wait right here for you!“
As it turned out, they couldn’t get me in to the hospital that same day… Wednesday the 12th was going to be the soonest it could happen. That meant a 48 hour wait. Thankfully the doc kept me heavily medicated for those 2 days. The surgery was a success and I’ve been healing up nicely ever since – even though I went through a couple of months of back pain because of the healing going on at the incision point.
Tiffani ended up going through much the same surgery a couple of months later (January 2012), but not due to an accident. Hers was due to spinal stenosis, or bone growth in the spine. We already knew the deal on how everything worked (appointments, medications, hospitals, registrations, etc…) so most of that went fairly smooth. She continues to heal, but to also have regular, chronic pain from this. She has returned a number of times to our doc, and he has diagnosed arthritis… which means this pain is something we’ll need to learn to live with. That stinks, but it is what our God has chosen to put in our lives. We are very thankful for the TENS units we were given to help manage the pain in our backs without medication. Neither of us is a big fan of having our heads muddled by pain killers.
Now, as I mentioned a little bit earlier, I had been healing up nicely from my surgery… until a little over 4 weeks ago. The sciatic pain in the left leg began to come back, little by little. But at least I’ve been spared the intense back pain this time around. The leg pain has been daily getting worse until my low-level pain meds were not touching it. I returned to physical therapy, and I got the doc to prescribe me some more powerful meds – which have been doing a better job. But it quickly got to the painful point of needing to have another MRI. This was done on Friday the 17th of August. My doctor read this MRI on Tuesday the 21st, and showed me that the same disc has re-herniated. Oh boy. Yay for me. Not. And especially coming right at the time when my dear wife and I should be able to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. Not my idea of a fun celebration.
What does this mean for me? It means that today, Wednesday August 29th, 2012… the day after our 25th anniversary… I am heading back in to the operating room at around 10:30am EST to attempt to have this nerve pain corrected. Possibly even as you are reading this now.
In the weeks leading up to this day, I have rolled through the gamut of emotions one might expect of someone in my current pair of shoes… anger (why did this happen again in spite of the care I’ve taken to NOT reinjure myself?!), sadness that I must leave my family again for a few days, and fear of many different varieties. After all, as they tell you in the surgical paperwork, NOTHING is guaranteed – up to and including me leaving the surgical suite still among the living. Seeing those words in black and white will certainly make you take a momentary pause!
But this last point brings me to the bottomline and central message of this post – God has not left me alone. He is still right here with me. Therefore, I have nothing to fear! Nowhere in the Bible am I guaranteed to have a wonderful, happy, pain-free life. (It absolutely DUMBFOUNDS me that there are so many who have this misguided belief!) What I AM promised is that my Lord will NEVER leave me to flounder on my own. Deuteronomy 31:8 “The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
Philippians 1:21 says “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” What this means to me is that if the Lord allows me to wake up, shake out the cranial cobwebs and go home after the surgery, then He will have chosen to bless me with another day. Another day to breathe the air, to show love to my beautiful wife and children, and to give honor and glory to my Savior, Jesus. But if He chooses that I should take my final breath on the operating table, then I fully believe that I will INSTANTLY be in the presence of Almighty God, and HE will take care of my family that are temporarily left behind.
2 Corinthians 5:6-8 “Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord — for we walk by faith, not by sight — we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.”
Psalms 4:8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep, For You alone, O LORD, make me to dwell in safety.
My interpretation of these scriptures is this… you might be in ‘good hands’ with AllState, but you’re in THE BEST HANDS with Jesus!
I have no doubts today of where my final home is – in Glory with Jesus – whether I get there today, or 50 years from today. My days were numbered by God Himself before the earth was formed, and He knows exactly how many I have left. I won’t live one single day more or less than He has given me. I have come to peace with the fact that this earthly existence is just a temporary dwelling place. All I hope for is that during my relatively brief stay here, I have touched someone’s life in a positive way… that perhaps the marriage troubles that I and my bride have walked through have encouraged someone else going through some of the same fires.
Even though you, dear reader, and I have likely never met, I pray this for you… that TODAY you are lifted up by my words. That starting right now, you and your mate will walk on in the grace of Christ, to have a blessed and fruitful marriage for the remainder of your lives. Doing it the world’s way will only end in heartache. Let Christ reign supreme in your marriage. Matthew 19:26: But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” With God, you CAN do it.
Tiffani, you KNOW beyond all doubt or question how I feel about you. (I love you the MOSTEST! –> Gotcha!) In spite of all the times the devil has tried to knock both you and I off the right path, you have given me such great joy by sharing this life with me. My prayer this morning is that the Lord chooses to bring me out the other side of this surgery healed of the nerve pain, and ready to take on ->together<- whatever life brings us next. I can’t wait to see your beautiful smiling face when I wake up! If our Lord chooses any other outcome, then serve Him with all your heart, and continue teaching our children to do the same. You’re a great mom, and I know you’ll do an awesome job.