I woke up in pain.
It was surprising – breath-taking, even. I had blissfully forgotten what that was like.
Quickly I ran through the inventory in my head: Was I stressed? Was I skimping on sleep? Had I been making poor food choices? Had I not been moving enough? Had I been moving too much? Was the weather changing abruptly?
All of these questions really just shoots off the big question: why?
Why was I in pain?
Why AM I in pain?
Why, why, why?
Focusing on my sleeping and eating is easy because they are masks, cover-ups for the real questions I’m trying not to ask: Why does pain exist? And why me?
Is this God, with a divine plan? Is this a result of genetics? Is it toxins present in the American diet? Or the result of living in a too-sterile environment?
I put on comfortable, non-hurty clothes. I dragged my body (plus the 30 lb toddler) up the stairs to give him a diaper change despite how much my achy joints protested.
All day long I did the next thing.
Remembering the advice they gave at Mayo, I texted my husband just one line: I’m really hurting today.
Don’t focus on the pain, they said. It just makes it worse. Don’t mention it at all on the normal days and on the very difficult days, just say something short.
So I did.
I texted my one line and he responded with appropriate concern.
And I went on with the day.
I tried not to think about the pain.
Does that work for the rest of life, I wonder?
Is it that easy?
The world is messed up. We’ve established that.
Can we just suppress and repress the pain of this world? Can we go on like life is fine and only mention the pain on the very-hard days? Are we just fooling ourselves into having a more comfortable life? Can we ignore the discouragement of living amidst a fallen creation?
Don’t focus on the pain, they said.
But what about the days when you can’t see past the pain?