i hope it hurts for awhile

I’m having a hard time writing a post tonight. Not because of the pain–today was infinitely better than yesterday. But because I really don’t want this to turn into Marla’s 40-Day Head Pain Update. If God wants to use this trial to bring glory to Himself (and I know He does), that’s great. But I really don’t want my issues to be the focus.

So… quick update, then moving on. I slept the whole night (except for 2-3 kiddo interruptions). I took my prescribed meds at (mostly) the correct intervals all day. At no time was the pain unbearable. And there were several stretches where it was almost gone. Nina and I ran errands, and I was okay. Livi, Nina and I went to a middle-school performance of Charlotte’s Web tonight (it was really cute!), and I survived. The biggest pain right now is not my head; it’s my teeth. My back 2 teeth on the bottom left hurt so badly I can hardly swallow. And if I accidentally let them touch my top teeth… youch.

Saturday at 10:00 am I have an appointment with the massage therapist who saved my life after my back was three inches out of whack shortly after I had Nina. (run-on, anyone?) If there’s any chance this stuff is a result of my neck being out of place, that would be swell. If that doesn’t help, I’ll schedule a CT scan.

This pain is helping me view life on a very different level. For example, when I wash dishes, instead of thinking, “I want a dishwasher. Pout. Pout,” I think, “Lord, thank you that I am physically able to stand at my sink and take care of my family.” And so on.

I am so grateful for everyone who is praying for quick healing for me. But I’m not praying it for myself. I have such a strong sense that God has something big to teach me, something I can only learn while I’m in pain. Now, I’m not opposed to hurrying up and learning it really fast. But I truly want to bring Him glory. Now, before you think I’m super-spiritual, ask me what I’m thinking after a few more days of this. Anybody can do 48 hours.

I’m kind of hoping it’s a Paul thing. In fact, I think I’ll blame our pastor for preaching from 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 on Sunday. Verse 7 is Paul saying that God gave Him a thorn in his flesh (migraine? toothache?) to keep him from being conceited. See, God was giving Paul all these amazing revelations, and He didn’t want Him thinking it was because he was all special or something. Wouldn’t that be nice? “Marla, I’m giving you some pain so you don’t get a big head about all the stuff I’m going to have you see and do here in a bit, okay?” Okay, God. No big head. Got it. Now, show me the visions!

Verses 9 and 10 just rock. But he [God] said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

I’m not at the “delight” stage yet. I’m working on it.

I want to share something from Beth Moore’s Stepping Up that I read the day before the Big Ache. She’s talking about Psalm 128 and says that while she doesn’t believe in a prosperity gospel (health and wealth if you have enough faith), she believes wholeheartedly that God blesses us for obedience. That blessing just may not look like we expect it to.

From page 99–“Biblically, one is pronounced blessed when God is present and involved in his life. The hand of God is at work directing all his affairs for a divine purpose… Sometimes the circumstances of our suffering may not change, but the circumstances of our hearts are changed in the midst of them through a keen sense of God’s presence and a lively perception of His activity.” (oh, I get this!)

It gets better–“Blessedness describes… a person who reveres God, steeps her life in Him, and follows His ways… She looks to Him in every matter. He’s not just the most important part of her life. He is her life. The result of this divine invasion is that the life operates overall at optimum earth-satisfaction, joy and purpose and without the crushing burdens of self-glory and sin. In other words, her life actually works!”

Oooh, I want that divine invasion! And I want the crushing burdens of self-glory and sin GONE!

Thanks again for your prayers (and please pray for my sweet Ava who’s been sick since Sunday night).

Now, tell me something FUN you’re going to do this weekend! Love and hugs!

17 thoughts on “i hope it hurts for awhile

  1. Martha

    I know everyone is giving advice… but to know if this is related to the trigeminal nerve there is a pretty easy answer *as long as you aren’t alergic to the medication* but get your family Dr or any dr to prescribe tegretol or another anti seizure med. Why b/c if it is related to the TN or its branches mis firing… the pain is horrible and can easily include one side of head… face/eye/ear/jaw All connected via the trigeminal nerve. Dentists only know enough about the anatomy of the cranial nerves to know how to numb you (how they get you just numb to the middle of your tongue etc)

    Neurologists treat this pain… so do UCC drs. But the test is….if you get relief after a short time with the anti seizure drugs then you will know the pain is nerve related and be able to prayerfully find your right cocktail of meds to help you. They work! Narcotics and anti inflammatory meds do not. The reason I mentioned atypical trigeminal neuralgia before was because you don’t have typical TN which is just jolts from the pit of hell. But you do seem to have some aspects of it.

    Rambling.. sorry.. want to help. Call anytime…. I am full of compassion b/c HE got me through the worst pain EVER Love you

  2. Krista

    Always beautiful to hear your shared insight–sounds like your “thorn in the flesh” is already producing good relfection! Am praying for healing–hope the massage does wonders for you.

    Wish I could share exciting weekend plans, but as a student it’s a full weekend of studying, save for a girls’ night at the movies tomorrow 🙂

  3. Holly V.

    Have prayed for you several times today in hopes that your pain would lessen and you would have some relief. Also hoping that sweet Ava is feeling a bit better???

    Tomorrow is Jonah’s last day of basketball….so we’ve got a full day of b-ball tomorrow and lots of family time. yeah!

  4. gitz

    Sometimes the circumstances of our suffering may not change, but the circumstances of our hearts are changed in the midst of them…


    I do hope your suffering is short because the lesson is learned quickly. And I do understand the perspective shift, and am proud of you for being so intentional in your struggle. (Is it ok to say that I’m proud even though we don’t “know” each other? Maybe admire is a better word…)

  5. heather

    Hey Marla! Hope you’re feeling better soon. Do you grind your teeth at night? I have a TERRIBLE habit of doing it and if I don’t wear my retainer (yes, I have a retainer at 29!), the whole left side of my face hurts. It affects my ears, my teeth, my jaw, everything. Just another thought!!! Praying you feel better soon!!

  6. janelle taviano

    DIVINE INVASION…..I love it…so intense, so GOD alone…and for HIM to invade, come into boldly …..that is INCREDIBLE ! Valley of Judah….Valley of priase, the “valley” is where God wants us to priase, someone said, anyone can give Him a “high” praise…but GOD, GOD wants our ” low praise”..sing, praise, praise HIM…(quietly so your head doesn’t hurt worse! ) take care.

  7. Carrie - clearance sticker issues

    Chronic, physical pain grows you in so many ways. I know I have felt so alone, so hopeless one day and then hopeful the next. But what I know from all my years of suffering in silence (except to my husband) is that I am finally ready for God to use this pain to change me for His glory. Somehow – someway and my prayer now is to be obedient through the pain.
    Lets see this weekend… mass cooking and then freezing it so that my husband wont be forced to cook for the first time since I will be laid up for about 5 days after my surgery. Thats my plan now lets see if it actually happens!
    Praying for you daily!

  8. Martha

    Oh Marla

    I relate to your desire not to have the focus on yourself. That is such a difficult thing especially when in Jesus we are calling for “More of Him.. less of me”

    Praying praying. Remember I’ve been through “the worst pain known to man” *trigeminal neuralgia* and am happy to share with you things God has taught me.

    But right now isn’t the time to share my story. Please know sister that one of the biggest things i’ve learned is this “People want to have updates when they are praying for you” “God wants us to share our burdens” Don’t hold back. If we didn’t want to know about your life we wouldn’t be reading your blog!

    Love all of you guys

  9. Kathleen Cantwell

    Praying for God’s strength to sustain you and that you will sense His presence continually.

    The weekend…I am finishing your book! It arrived yesterday and I am half way through. I have gut laughed, cried, and nodded my head through every turn of the page. This is after 19 years of marriage! You are candid, and authentic yet appropriate. How refreshing. I will be praying about how to promote this one and hopefully increase your storage space. I’ll be in touch soon.

  10. Emily

    Still praying for you and Ava!! I hope you can enjoy your weekend. This weekend my sis & I are going to the Strawberry Festival where Third Day will be in concert! Whoo Hoo!! 🙂 I have never been to a Third Day concert so I’m excited about that, and the strawberries..well, that’s just an added bonus!

  11. Missy

    If you get to the point where you do pray for healing, know that it is more than okay. 🙂

    Sunday evening we’re having dinner at church again with all of our small groups. We’ve really been enjoying the times together to talk and get to know some other people!

  12. Mary

    Ok Marla I might sound like a nut but I’ve had MASSIVE teeth issues and they can give you headaches and add to already horrible headaches…I don’t know if a dentist is an option for you but that might alleviate some of the pain. I’ve had maybe 8 root canals (Yay for me,) and prior to them I always have paralyzing painful headaches. The nerves are either connected or close enough to send pain signals. I know it sounds crazy but I’d give it a try if it’s possible. 🙂 Hope you feel better really soon!

  13. Holly B.

    P.S. As one who struggled with chronic headache issues, if there’s any way to get the scan, do it. Praying for God to provide in amazing ways!

  14. Holly B.

    Praying for healing for you and for Ava! I feel you on chronic headaches–hard stuff (but you definitely see your utter need for God). Hugs to you, friend! On Saturday, we’re headed to a prayer brunch with friends and lots of yummy brunch food.

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