Four weeks ago, I felt some pain in my hips...I have arthritis in my hands so I assumed it was moving to my hips due to the continuous rain we had been having. It went away and returned with a vengeance the next week to the point of not being able to get up without assistance or walk without severe pain to the point of tears. Those of you who are close friends...know that I am always on the go, especially since we have received the get out of home card from the CDC. Between book events, and two weddings in the next five months, my list is long and there is much to get accomplished.
After a doctor visit, I was diagnosed with sciatica which stopped me in dead in my tracks. Giving birth has nothing on sciatica. In all my life, I have never been in such constant pain to do the simple things like walking, bending, standing. My life as I knew it stopped. I have been blessed with excellent health...something that I had taken for granted.
God stopped me so I could learn two things.
1. Slow down...I was moving so fast that I failed to take care of myself first.
Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
My life had gotten so busy, that I forgot to take care of me. Sciatica force me to stop everything. I learned that the "to do list "was just that. Because I was unable to do anything on my list, I had to evaluate what could be done later. I was force to nap, stay in bed and change my routine to nothing. Letting go is not an easy thing for me to do. Each day now, I pray for God to guide me through what is most important for that day. I am learning to let go of whatever is not done and take care of me.
2. Empathy...the ability to understand and share the feeling of another.
James 5:11 says, "We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful."
My daily quiet time includes prayer requests from friends and family. Many people I know, but there are some that I don't know. The requests range from healing someone from an illness, a hurt, depression, recovery, loss of a loved one, a difficult pregnancy, cancer and so on. My heart has sadness for all the struggles these people have, but I discovered what has been missing from my prayers.
Empathy for those who live in constant pain to the point of not being able to function without some form of medication. My prayers will be different for those living in chronic, debilitating pain. I am so much better, but there are those who will never have less pain. Empathy goes across so many areas of life. We will never fully understand what others are going through, unless we have had a similar experience. Hopefully life experiences help us have greater concern for others who are struggling. Life is full of lessons...they come in many forms. I appreciate my good health more that I ever have and I am thankful for the pain that has given me the ability to pray for others with a better understanding and compassion.
Have a blessed week and always prayer for others.
PS...I am doing much better...still have discomfort, but no longer severe pain. Keep me in your prayers that I listen to what God wants me to accomplish!