Pain with a Purpose (and the perils of Spring sports season)

This week I have driven one thousand miles in three afternoons without ever leaving the boundaries of my small town (or at least it feels like it). What I do know for sure is this, I am doing mother nature no favors with my consumption of fossil fuels.

To the middle school, the tennis courts, back home, to the soccer fields across town, back home, to the high school, back home, to the soccer field again…


Did I ever pick up that kid from tennis?homer

And what is for dinner anyway?

Also, my butt hurts, and I have passed that Sonic four times this afternoon.

I am going to lose…my…mind.

Two mornings ago I looked at my husband over the coffee and said, “Everything on my body hurts. Something is wrong with me.”

“You don’t sleep anymore,” he said. “You just roll around and make miserable noises all night long.”

After he went to work, I looked at my project schedule for writing and decided it was time to dig out my Christmas money and go get a massage. This time, I decided, I would not tell the massage therapist about my plethora of back problems. No, sir. No deep-tissue torture for me.

I arrived for the massage and was escorted back to meet my lovely therapist, Kim.

“Hi,” she said, “any problem areas today?”

Me, smiling, as in my head…

(three bulging disks in my neck, a completely flat disk in my lower back, virtually every muscle in my back in constant spasm for the past 30 years, haven’t been sleeping lately due to constant pain…)

Out my mouth-

“No. I just want a massage, thanks.”

But it only took her about 5 minutes to find out the truth. 

Three rounds of natural childbirth have taught me how to manage pain, but I was no match for what happened when Kim discovered my shortened piriformis muscles and buried her elbows in them.

“Do you drive a lot?” she asked kindly while I panted for breath and tried to remind myself that she was my friend.

As she worked I kept catching myself tensing up against the pain. Over and over I had to remind myself not to resist it.

I am so like that with God. I go through life carrying all of this pain, and sorrow. It scars me, marking every moment of my day, even stalking my sleep, and man…I don’t want to face it for anything.

God will be like, “Any problems today?”

And I smile and say, “Nope, just make me feel good, okay?”

But with one touch, He knows. He knows exactly where I am wounded, and He goes straight for the source.

And oh, it hurts. It hurts so much that I can’t help but resist His healing touch, so over and over again I have to remind myself…

to surrender to it.

Lean into it, instead of pulling away from it. Trust that He knows what He is doing, and that the pain has a purpose.

When Kim was finished with me, for the first time in so long, I wasn’t in pain. What is more, I walked differently.

She knew what she was doing. It was pain with a purpose.

Arms Open Widejpeg


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