Lying flat…being very still…every move seems to find pain. Several days were spent just like this. I work really hard to stay in shape and eat well. I try to do the right things that produce the right results. Morning routines are set and schedules are made. So when I find myself in this type of pain, I wonder what went wrong. The answer…nothing. Nothing went wrong. This is how it is for this season.
For a painful week, I had back/kidney spasms that slowed me quite a bit…and if I am honest, for the most part, halted my life. The good news is that this has all improved. The best news is that soon I will be back to my normal routine of work, church, exercise, etc. I am grateful that I do not have this type of pain on a regular basis. It gives me a tiny glimpse into the life many people grapple with everyday…a life of chronic pain. My pain will get better and I will move forward. I pray for those that deal with pain regularly.
This time has been reflective for me and the most important lesson…I need others…I am not invincible. Now, in my mind, I know that. I understand that I have limitations (every time I did an ultramarathon or triathlon or long bike ride, I was reminded of my limitations in very real terms). So intellectually, I understand I am not invincible. But I still like to do things myself (and maybe pride myself on doing it without any help). I am independent and enjoy taking control of my own life. Don’t misunderstand me…I don’t want to control your life – I’m really not handling my own all that well. I do, though, want to know that I can do my life myself independent of outside help. My mom will be quick to tell you that since I was a small child, I wanted to do it “by self”. I didn’t want any help from anyone. Lying on my back in bed unable to even get a drink of water told me loud and clear…I need other people. I needed help getting food, I need help getting dressed, I needed help to get to appointments. I could not do it on my own. And…I was not happy about it at all.
Today, gratefulness is in my heart. I am grateful for my wife, my mom, my girls, my church family, work family and so many more. I am grateful that I do not have to do this alone. I am not alone in this life. We are meant to share life in community. We are not meant to do this by ourselves. God is so good he has given us others to live life alongside. Family, friends, neighbors…altogether living life…isn’t that the way it was meant to be?
In the end, I have learned I cannot do this alone…nor do I want to. I am grateful for the humbling lesson and I am grateful for life lived together.