Catholic Sistas » perspective from the neck

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Peace in Pain

You know how Paul wrote, “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body; that is, the Church (Colossians 1:24).”?

And you know how the Catechism says, “By his passion and death on the cross, Christ has given a new meaning to suffering; it can henceforth configure us to him and unite us with his redemptive passion #1505).”?

I have to do this, dear Sistas. Don’t worry; my children with cystic fibrosis are fine, no turns for the worse; I’ve not received dreadful diagnosis. But I do have a situation with zero answers. I’ve had many punctures and pictures and proddings and prescriptions the past few months and have been finally told, “We do not know why your knee swells up like a grapefruit every ten days. Everything looks perfect. Sorry no anti-inflammatories work. Do you want to take immunosuppressants and see if they help? By the way, most of them take four to six months to begin working.”

I’ve been bare-knuckling through four-day spans of crippling pain only to begin the process again ten days later, over and over for months (Years, actually, but the pain is new). And now the final test has returned with perfect numbers so this past week was time for me to come to grips with myself. I hate to admit such weakness. I have to offer up this pain and immovability as a prayer. It is real and raw.

I’m trying to make more of a plan, other than hissing through a rosary in the middle of the night because I’m distraught; other than crying to the kids to eat cherios for supper because I can’t get up; other than hyperventilating to my husband that we’ll never go hiking again. I need to regularly pray whether I’m down or not. I need to put food in the freezer when I’m up to cover when I’m down. I need to head to the mountains with everyone when I’m strong and enjoy listening to their stories when they return home after going without me.

I’d like to think I will live on my sofa with a glowing, holy aura about me as I read stories and play board games with the children while offering heavenly advice and encouraging conversation, but I’ll probably struggle with my anger, cry a lot, and skip a few rosaries. I’ll keep my plan before me, though, and take baby steps forward.

This is where our Holy Faith meets the road, isn’t it? Do I believe it? Can I rejoice in this and get closer to Christ? I find my answer with Paul in Philippians 4:8.

“Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, do; and the God of peace will be with you.”

Jesus is all of these things. I can be at peace.

a.h. photo

About Allison H.

Allison is a 40-something mother of seven, living in Alaska, accepted into the Church (together with her husband, thank God) in 2004. She spends her days homeschooling and packaging meat that her menfolk hunt and bring home. She cannot garden to save her life but picks wild blueberries like a champ. She has been published in an edition of Chicken Soup for the Soul and keeps a blog at www.northerncffamily.blogspot.com, writing about living out the Faith with children with cystic fibrosis.

  • Tara - I wanted to comment and let you know something. I felt pushed by the Holy Spirit to open your post this morning on my blog feed. Truth be told I was looking for an upbeat feel good blog this morning, something to get me in a great mindset before I tackled my busy day but for some reason I HAD to click on your blog. I hope you take this advice to heart and know I am no expert by any means but just someone who has dealt with my fair share of health issues over the last few years and have finally gotten myself on the right track through several different avenues but what rang out to me in your post was how so familiar it was to what my sister in law had experienced with her knee. She was a thin, healthy woman in her late 20’s with no pain whatsoever in her knee and out of the blue it started swelling, extremely and caused ALOT of pain. No doctor could give her the reason why and they just kept throwing anti-inflammatories and pain pills her way. Long story short, I told her about how my diet change of cutting out things that were triggering my stomach issues had helped me and I had read how they can help those with pain. She found a natural practitioner who did an extensive allergy/sensitivity test on her and found she had huge issues with dairy especially. She started eliminating it and within days her knee quit swelling. After a couple months it came back and she was baffled till she finally found out something she new she had been eating and thought had no dairy or gluten actually did, once she cut it out and the knee swelling and pain disappeared. From personal experience, food elimination changed our lives! I will keep you in my prayers and hope you can get some answers soon.
    God Bless,
    TaraAugust 8, 2016 – 8:00 amReplyCancel

    • Allison - Thank you for writing, Tara. Sorry I wasn’t very uplifting but I’m glad you clicked over and uplifted me! I’ll continue reading and trying. Love, AAugust 9, 2016 – 10:34 amReplyCancel

      • Ruairi O'Neill - Mediatation is a way to reduce pain also just a thought….August 10, 2016 – 9:20 amReplyCancel

      • Tara Markus - Your post was uplifting in a different way! 😉 Hope you find some relief soon. God Bless!August 10, 2016 – 5:32 pmReplyCancel

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