I stepped out of the car hugging my beloved gray plastic bucket that my sister had shoved in my arms before leaving the house.   “You’re as white as a ghost!”  My sister commented as another wave of pain hit.   Doubled over I shuffled forward trying to force my eyes open so I could see where I was going.

The local hospital with its new security system in place didn’t hinder our hasty entrance.  With one eyebrow lifted the security guard asked what was wrong and all I heard was my sister saying, “KIDNEY STONE!”  With that said the men snapped into action with one running and yelling out behind him, “I’ll get a wheelchair!”  Before I knew it, I was shoved into the contraption and wheeled to the emergency intake.

As I was being asked my name and date of birth, a moment of clarity came to me, and I realized what a sight I must be.  It’s twelve thirty in the morning and I’m in my pajamas and flip flops.  My skin had a layer of sweat with hair stuck to my face.  I’m hunched over the bucket that I held on for dear life with a washcloth in the other hand.  As each wave of pain hit this deep moan would erupt from the depth of my body.  I must have sounded like an animal dying out in the field.

Let me tell you, if you want to see action or strange occurrences, just go sit in an emergency waiting room and watch.  It’s better than K Drama!  So, like a kid, I just kept my eyes closed.  You know, I don’t see you, you don’t see me.  Thankfully the nurse took me to the triage room right away.

As a nurse I ask every patient, day in and day out, are you having any pain and what is your pain level.  I must admit that when this ER nurse asked me, “What is your pain level?” with great gusto I bellowed out “Twenty out of ten!”

The nurse’s hands stilled with her fingers hovering over the keyboard and looked at me, “That would be a 10/10,” is all she said.  Who knew that telling someone your pain level could feel so gratifying!

The rest of the night entailed an IV being placed in and then the “GOOD STUFF” morphine.  Then, there was relief.

“It is always by way of pain one arrives at pleasure.” – Marquis de Sade

I’ll admit that never in my life have I ever experienced such agony as kidney stone pain.  I have a new appreciation for those who deal with this often.

Wouldn’t it be great if pain was only a myth?

Pain is an element that each person goes through, whether it’s physical, emotional, or mental, they all hurt a lot!  I have asked many times, “God, why do you allow me to suffer?”  Being on the receiving end of having to experience many types of discomforts, it is something I try to avoid with the most inner strength I can muster up.  But, regardless of my strong efforts, I still experience raw pain in different ways.

“Dear child of God, I am sorry to say that suffering is not optional.” – Desmond Tutu

God does not enjoy seeing me in pain, but He does allow me to experience pain.  Sometimes He imposes difficult consequences design to correct me.  Often, though, the pain I experience is the natural result of my own choices or of living in a painfully broken world.

So, if I must go through painful times in my life, how do I get through these events without rolling up into a ball and giving up?

First, I should permit myself to express emotion such as crying, this allows me to validate the hurt.  Bottling up emotions never did any good and can cause difficulties in the healing process.

Second, acknowledging my pain is a step forward in tackling the problem.  Running away or ignoring the situation only prolongs the inevitable.  I guess sometimes it feels like ripping off a band aide and making myself confront the problem.

“The truth that many people never understand until it is too late is that the more you try to avoid suffering, the more you suffer.” – Thomas Merton

Third, rally my family and friends for help and support.  God never intended for me to flounder around in this world by myself waiting for grief or pain to mysteriously lift and evaporate into the atmosphere.  Receiving love and encouragement from those around me will help build my confidence and endurance so I can run the difficult race to the end.

Fourth, give myself time to heal and mourn any losses that I may experience.  This includes the act of forgiveness if needed.  Skipping this step can lead to deep rooted negative feelings that will grow into a nasty emotional abscess that is hard to extract and heal from.

Fifth, use these difficult times as a learning curve.  Be willing to accept my failures.  Make corrections so I don’t repeat the same thing over again.  Keep moving forward and working hard toward my goals with the opportunities that God presents for me.  Going backwards gets me nowhere.  Besides, all the excitement and prospects are in the future.

But, more than anything, include God.  It makes the whole process so much easier, and the success rate is one hundred percent!

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet.  Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” – Helen Keller

That kidney stone, I nicked name The Rock, had been working up to the ER visit for about seven weeks.  I had had no luck getting into seeing a Urologist.  But my first visit to the ER landed me an appointment with the Urologist the next day and the procedure to remove the stone the following week.  I’d say God jumped in and took care of the situation.

Walking through a hard and painful situation can knock a person to the ground making it tough to get back up.  But no matter how alone I may feel or how bleak the situation may seem, there is always a solution to the problem.  Why?  Because God wants me to succeed.  He is always rooting for me and promises to ALWAYS be by my side!

When God is included, He becomes our confidant, our safe haven, our comforter, our protector.  I didn’t get through life to where I am all by myself.  Nope.  Who knows where I would be now if I had said no to God.

“Courage would be impossible in a world without pain.” – Lee Strobel

Thankfully I am doing well minus “The Rock” with a new appreciation for what our healthcare workers do for their patients.  And a thankful heart that God took care of my situation with great haste.

How about you?  Are you going through pain, depression, grief, or loneliness?  Do you feel like you’re stuck in the mud in a car with the wheels spinning around shooting chunks of dirt everywhere?  Meaning your destination is NOWHERE!

Are you ready for something different?  Then it’s time to reach out and say, “Hey God, I need your help!”  He’s waiting patiently for you to give Him permission to help you.  Don’t make this situation any harder than it needs to be.

Deuteronomy 31:8  “And the Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you.  He will not fail you or forsake you.  Do not fear, or be dismayed.

Lord, thank you for never giving up on me.  It may have taken me awhile to catch on, but when I finally realized that all I needed to do was ask you for help, you stepped in and created a solution for my agony.  Thank you for not leaving me all by myself.  May I never forget how precious I am to you and how much you love me.

Photo by Bonnie Kittle on Unsplash





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