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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Does It Show?

There are people in my life that just amaze me. If you look at their lives, really look, what do you see? I see people who never let others see their pain. They continue in their jobs, take care of families, and minister to others dailey.  I see one who has been battling cancer for years. Even the ravages of chemo do not show on their face. 

Other friends walk each day with the burden of chronic pain. Whether it is arthritis. fibromyalgia, cancer, or MS, they make it through each day with a smile on their face. How do these brave people do that? I have seen others in my life that complain, and moan and groan each step of their life's journey. They want to make sure everyone knows how miserable they are. 

One group carries on, one group wants sympathy from all around them.
One group lives in spite of their problems, while the others want to carry their ills around as an excuse for everything they don't want to do. One group is concerned for others, while the other group is all for themselves.

I know this may seem harsh on my part, but I have been close to people in both groups. I have been a part of both groups. There was a time when I blamed everyone, and everything for my ills. I was mean, nasty, and felt it was my due to be pampered and coddled if I was hurting. Believe me it is not fun to be that person, or associated with that person.

The thing that stands out for me is that no matter how miserable some of these people are, they don't burden others with it. They have accepted that this is a part of their lives, and they simply do not let it determine how they will live that life.  I have learned that my chronic pain does not define me.

It is not always easy to put that pain aside, whether it is physical or mental, it can surround you in a fog of dispair until you can't think of anything else. It is easier to lash out, to hide, to play the "poor me" card. Like I said, I have been in both places. I admire those who keep on keeping on, no matter what. The other group is too hard to help, because no matter what you say or do, it is never right.

I so admire those who keep going, who reach out to others, and who do their crying in private! What makes that night and day difference? It is Jesus in a life! The pain is still there, the illness may never be cured, but the person has a relationship with Jesus, and He gets them through. Before Jesus in my life, I was the poor me. Now that Jesus rules my life, I give it to Him. Some days are very hard, and prayers are constant to make it through the day. Some days are not as bad. The prayers are still there, but also much praise.

I have found that if I focus on Jesus and on others, my pain is less! If you focus only on yourself and whatever pain you are dealing with, it makes it worse. I rely on Christ to help me through each day. Sometimes it is hanging on second by second, but He is always there. He encourages me to pray for others and to keep a smile on my face. It is very uncomfortable for family and friends to hear never ending complaints about your pain. Why? It's not that they don't love you, but that they don't know what to do to help you.

I sometimes don't think I am very brave or even have a handle on this pain thing, but when I look back on the extreme moments, I then see just what God brought me through, and I did get through.
I pray you don't have pain issues, or cancer, or extreme surgeries to get through, but if you do, I pray that you know Jesus personally, and have made Him Lord of your life. Only then can you come through with a smile on your face, thinking of other people, and going on with your life, no matter what else is in your life!