my plans, God's kink

I don’t have the energy at the moment to describe my day (I’m writing this at 10ish pm), but I’ll give it a whirl. Unless I’m mentally blocking something out, I’m pretty sure it was the most painful day of my life. Including that one time I gave birth to a 9 1/2 pound child without so much as a baby aspirin.

If we’re facebook or twitter pals, you might already know about my headache. (Ache is such a mild word. I need a garish one.) And can I just say PRAISE THE LORD I didn’t give up FB and Twitter for Lent, because wow. So many prayers offered up on my sorry behalf. If you prayed for me, bless you! Bless you and bless you and bless you!

Long story short: I’ve had headaches for as long as I can remember. Not all the time. Not always terrible. But they run in my family, and I’m definitely quite familiar with them. In Octoberish, I started having them every day, and I had to take ibuprofen or alleve or sinus meds one or more times a day to alleviate the pain. Went to Urgent Care in December, they gave me an antibiotic, it did nothing. Headaches every day. Always on the left side of my head, face, ear, jaw, teeth.

Fast forward to Tuesday night. 8pm–bad headache. Took some OTCs. Didn’t go away. Odd. Took more before bed at midnight. Still didn’t go away. The pain woke me up at 2, 4, and 6am. It was bad. Took OTCs each time. Again at 8:30. And 11:00. I have never (that I remember) had a headache that didn’t go away after this many drugs. I was crying. Hard. And I rarely cry from physical pain. I get my feelings hurt all the time, but physically, I’m a tough one.

This isn’t a very short story, is it? Went to Urgent Care at 2:00. She was baffled. I definitely don’t have a sinus infection. She suggested that something might be “structurally wrong.” I’ll probably need a CT scan–those words were like fingernails on a chalkboard to a girl without health insurance, but my God will provide. I cried in the dr’s office (the pain kept escalating) and made sure to tell her that I don’t cry often (and threw in the natural childbirth thing–you can never get too much mileage out of that one).

I came home, took the prescription pain-killer she gave me, and it just got worse. I bawled. My ear felt like it was going to explode. Gabe wanted to take me to the emergency room. I have never had pain that I can’t control to some degree. I am at the complete mercy of my God. Or wait a minute. I’m now painfully aware of my utter dependence on God. I have to trust that He loves me. Even if it turns out that something is very, very wrong with me, I have to trust that He loves me. That He won’t give me more than I can bear.

Over the next few hours, the pain settled down to a level I could stand. Just 10 minutes ago, it suddenly subsided to a very dull ache. I don’t know what the next few days (or hours) hold, but I know God is holding me tight.

My heart is aching though–not for myself, but for people who deal with chronic pain on a daily, minute-by-minute basis. I think of little ones with cancer. Big ones with cancer. My uncle Tracy who encouraged me on the phone today with every trick and tip in his personal dealing-with-migraines repertoire. “I learned all these the painful way,” he said. “If my experience can help you in some small way, it will make it more worth it.” He has had so much physical pain in his 40-some years (kidney stones, ulcers, migraines).

Then there are people with debilitating diseases–like my new friend, Sara. If you do nothing else today, go check out her blog. (start with her story on the sidebar) Oh, she’s beautiful inside and out and lives a life of perpetual physical pain–yet she radiates such love and encouragement and contentment. I can’t get over her. Sara, if you’re reading this, you’re my hero!

I feel like God gave me the tiniest peek today into the lives of people who are suffering. And maybe, just maybe, a peek into the suffering of my Savior who was bruised and beaten and scourged and crucified so that I might be reconciled to a holy God.

I’ll be honest–last night in bed, I thought, “This is it. I have a brain tumor. I know why God wants these 40 days to be purposeful. They might be the last ones I live.” Whatever my future holds, I’m not afraid. I’d like to stick around a good bit longer (say, 60ish more years), but God has already numbered my days. I’m thanking Him tonight for a very vivid and painful object lesson–live each day to the full.

I read Mark 14 and 15 today, and the story of the woman who “wasted” expensive perfume on Jesus stood out to me. I don’t want to store up and save my perfume. Each day, I want to pour it all out for Jesus. How that plays out in my life will vary day to day, but I don’t want to hold anything back. Nothing.

I love you, Jesus.

31 thoughts on “my plans, God's kink

  1. Angie

    Hi, I went to the dr a little over a year ago with the same thing, terrible headache on my left side down my jaw, etc…dr ignarsli gave me everything it could be from cancer etc (which I thought was ridiculous to give such a list) and he sent me for an mri (and eventually I had a cat scan) and it was my neck seriously out of place with ligament and disc damage, bulging disk, no curve in my neck… He wanted to put me on a daily headache medicine which I didnt take…I went to the chiropractor, and I am not kidding, after the first few times going, I felt sooo much better. I still have to follow up with him but he has really helped. If you havent already gotten the scan, I would def. try the chiropractor first, especially not having insurance. That’ll cost you prob almost 3000.00. Its expensive when its not covered.

  2. Carrie-clearance sticker issues

    Friend… dont put off medical treatment due to lack of funds. We think as mothers we can just put up with the pain and it will eventually go away. I have been putting up with an uncomfortable (a bit embarassing) condition for 4 years mainly due to our high deductible health care ($4,000!) and now I have to have surgery on March 9th because my condition has gotten really bad, infection inside my body that wont be treated by antibiotics. I’ve prayed and prayed for God to heal me but I think part of the healing will come through this experience – letting go and not CONTROLLING everything!
    I am not kidding when I say, “you are in my prayers”

  3. Lou

    God is so good and has a purpose in all things. I am thankful for the way you rallyed to see Gods purpose in your pain today.

  4. Joanie

    Marla,
    I stoped by from Lysa TerKeurst’s blog and just wanted to say that I pray that your pain is doing better.

    Also, a shout out to Sara! Boy she is truly an inspiration. I thought that I struggled dealing with Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease. Just goes to prove that you can always find someone who is suffering more than yourself.

    Be blessed!

    Serving my Risen Savior with a Thankful heart,
    Joanie

  5. Linds

    You know, it sounds like trigeminal neuralgia. I have had it, and the pain is indescribable. But i was lucky enough to have a doctor who recognised it immediately.

    I am praying for you too, and will keep doing so, Marla.

  6. Emily Rose

    So sorry that you have been having such a rough time. I hope you are feeling better and are resting now. I will be praying for you.

  7. Kristin

    I’m so sorry about all the pain…..and I’m completely with you on the ‘oh no, it’s a brain tumor’ thought process. I’ve been down that road too many times, I’m convinced it’s why God gave me someone with medical knowlege as a spouse. To stop my freak-outs.

    I’ll pray for a source to be found so a cure can be reached!

  8. Kristen

    Oh friend, I am so sorry that you had such pain yesterday. I didn’t know anything about it until now when I read your blog…but know I am praying. Praying for good results on teh CT, for a relatively easy answer to the pain (like, you need 1 adjustment from teh chiropractor or something like that) ;-), and praying for peace. I am so sorry you had to endure that . Yuck!!!!

  9. Missy

    Marla, I’m so sorry for your pain! Pain that is strong and more than what can be controlled by medicine does something to us, doesn’t it? Labor is painful, but I think in just about every case, it ends. 😉 It’s a whole ‘nother story when you don’t know when it will end.

    I’ll be praying for you, that the pain level would decrease and you would have some relief, that your appt. to get a scan done would come quickly, and that a solution would come along quickly after that as well.

    Before my gb surgery, I had attacks most nights for about 6 hours at a time. The pain was enough that I just got up as there was no way I could sleep. I will say, I had many precious moments with Jesus during those times, and God used that time to make me more aware of Him and others and their suffering. I also learned that little miss me who likes to be in control of all things, wasn’t. Praying, too, that God would use this to teach you things about Him and will give you truths that will settle deep in your heart. Love you, friend!

  10. Megan@SortaCrunchy

    Oh, Marla. I am so sorry. I also suffer from what seems to be a hereditary headache thing. I’ve not yet had one that had me crying tears of agony, but I frequently have the kind that send me to bed. I know a little of what you speak.

    Thank you for sharing these thoughts on suffering and perpetual physical pain. My mother has MS and deals with chronic pain every single day of her life. I’m always reminded when I am exasperated with my own hurts that it is something she relies on Jesus DAILY to get her through.

    My prayers will be with you, that you might find some answers and some relief.

  11. Annie Whitehurst

    Marla- God brought you to my mind and I began praying for you at 5:00 this morning (before I had read this) when Annabelle woke up for a feeding. Now, after reading this morning’s post, I know why! He is amazing, all-knowing, and all-powerful!
    ~annie~

  12. Valerie

    I’ve been praying for you hun…. I really hope the headaches get under control.

    If you need a CT scan or MRI, definitely go to the hospital for a couple of reasons 1- they have really good equipment at St. Ann’s and for 2- it takes a little while to process their bills. For a long time we didn’t have health insurance and that’s where I went for a health concern, they were very kind when I explained from the get go I’d have to make payments because of no health insurance….they were understanding and let us set up payments that we could afford monthly….. they also discounted our bill since I was considered as paying “cash”. Just an FYI if you need it.

    In the mean time if you need anything…..even someone to go to the hospital with you I’m not far away….please don’t ever hesitate to call. I’m off until Sunday and things are pretty much arranged for next weeks memorial for my grandpa. I’ve been in the health field for years and I’m an excellent translator of medical complicated information……

    Take care….

  13. Charity

    Prayers from God’s people are so amazing. I will be praying for you. We just went through a frightening episode when our 6 year old had a seizure out of the blue. We felt the peace that passes all understanding through all the prayers offered up. I pray that peace is stronger than your pain.

  14. ginger

    Thank you for sharing the passage from Mark 14. I read it just now. Beautiful how the woman is memorialized for her actions & how it helps us to remember to pour out our best for Jesus, regardless of what it costs us.
    I prayed for you when I saw your tweet earlier. I hope the scan (or whatever intervention you have) is helpful & it is all resolved quickly. Continued prayers…

  15. gitz

    Oh, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about you… I think because I know that pain I just wanted to swoop in and take it for you. I really hope they figure out the cause of what happened to you today.

    I’m often left speechless when people say such kind things to/about me… that was very humbling for me and gracious of you. I’m really not doing anything spectacular… just trying to live the best life I can with what I’m given. Thanks for thinking I’m doing it ok.

    Sara

  16. Conny

    PRaying for you to get answers, healing, relief, whatever it is GOD has for you.
    Our pastor recently went through a kidney stone – and he said much of what you said. Knowing that much pain made him a better pastor – even his preaching was suddenly more passionate. Much like your post tonight – I sense the passion, the longing for Jesus, the wish to know His will in this. God bless.

  17. Erin Reaper

    Praying for you, Marla. Our God is sooo big. I’m so grateful that for at least the time being He’s taken the pain away.

    We’re all lifting prayers up for you!!

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