PAIN. It’s a part of life. There is great pain when we enter the world and humans experience varying degrees of pain as we live each day. Our natural inclination is to avoid pain at all costs so we ignore it and try to deny its existence until we can’t any longer and we are forced to deal with it in some way. This post will share 5 gems to cling to in the pain so that we can experience joy in spite of setbacks, pain or sorrow.
When my husband and I remodeled our home a few years back, we decided to upgrade our staircase from a carpeted one to hard wood stairs. After all, hard wood is all the rage on the home shows and, it looks nice. So, we tore the carpet off the stairs and replaced every step (all 13 of them) with beautiful hard wood steps. We were proud of our decision, until September when my slippery-socked feet made contact with step number one and missed the next twelve. My backside, left side, head and legs connected in the most awkward fashion as I bounced down the stairs and ended up in a heap on the recently polished hardwood floor in our foyer.
I had run up the stairs just a few minutes prior to the tumble in between commercials—thus I was in a hurry. I wanted to grab my laptop and return downstairs as fast as possible so I didn’t miss the latest news coverage of one of the stories that was breaking. With laptop in hand, I also stopped long enough to put a pair of brand new socks on my cold feet, walked out of our room and stepped on step one.
The good news is, I fiercely protected my computer like a mother protects her baby, so the computer was fine. My hips, backside, elbows, toes and head were not. As a matter of fact, just about every single body part screamed in pain.
For several days after the fall, I hobbled around like an elderly woman with something hindering her stride.Not only was I walking funny, but I had sustained a concussion. My thinking was foggier than ever and I was fatigued beyond the norm. Nevertheless, in my usual way, I had convinced myself that I was okay. I could tough it out and continue working at the same speed while meeting all the needs of my clients and family members.
I was wrong. By Day 5 after the concussion, I was in my doctor’s office listening to her tell me I needed to take a break for 7 to 10 days. When she told me “no screens,” my thought was: “That’s impossible. Almost all of my work requires a computer, ipad and smart phone.” She continued “That includes the television. No TV.” I sat there staring at her in disbelief, as she continued, “No reading.”
No screens, no tv, NO READING. Well that is literally 80% of my life’s activities and work.
“Sooooo, what am I supposed to do?” I asked.
As she was cleaning up and gathering her stuff, she said,
“Rest. Nothing else. Your brain needs to heal. Your body is banged up. You are to lie down and rest. You can listen to music.”
I am a writer.
I have clients.
I am an avid reader.
I have a family.
I have responsibilities; I cannot just sit back and listen to music.
In fact, I found out that if I wanted my brain and body to heal, I had to follow the doctor’s orders. I not only had to rest, but I had to be quiet. This is so very difficult for a DOER. (Sometimes I can be so full of myself!) What she was ordering me to do was impossible for someone with my schedule. Can you relate? Your schedule is probably just as hectic or more hectic than mine! Why do we do this to ourselves?
Since this was my second concussion, I knew this was serious. I knew that I had to follow the doctor’s orders and withdraw as much as possible from my daily normal activities.
What I found during those times of quiet and rest were the gems of my life that I haven’t paid much attention to because of the noise. Those gems ultimately gave me such joy even during the frustration of the pain and setback.
I’d like to encourage you to sit back and get quiet to search for your own gems of joy even if you are experiencing pain or are currently experiencing a setback. Below are 5 gems that I found helpful and encouraging during the quiet stillness, and I hope they help you slow down through the upcoming busiest season of the year.
- A COMMANDMENT: When I think of God—our divine creator of this gorgeous world we live in—I recognize that he rested.
And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation. — Genesis 2:2
2. A MELODY: When we are in pain—physical or emotional—our mind and body require rest. My doctor had said that I could listen to music so I found the Pandora app on my phone and put it to good use. Pandora has many types of music to choose from, and I chose soothing quiet piano music because I didn’t want words — music with words would make me think or want to sing along and that would not be giving my brain the break it desperately needed. No words, just soothing beautiful music flowed through my ear buds and provided beauty and attention to the peaceful sounds of the piano.
- A REMINDER: When we are surrounded by activity and noise, we can’t hear God because we are so full of responsibilities and obligations. He so wants to draw us close. In our efforts, we’ve lost peace because we’ve lost stillness. In the stillness, we are forced to look to Him, and it is good; listening to him allows our soul and spirit to reconnect with the one who loves us most.
Be still, and know that I am God…Psalm 46:10
- AN EXAMPLE: When demands are many and time is limited, remember what our Savior, Jesus did – He withdrew to a quiet place. Why? Because he couldn’t hear his Father in the midst of the noise of the multitudes. His perfect example reminds us to withdraw to a quiet place.
And he [Jesus] withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, –Luke 22:41
- A GIFT: God’s sense of humor never ceases to amaze me. My third book is titled: Take 21: Bursts of Quiet with God. Yes—this theme of needing to get “quiet” is nothing new to me. It’s something I have done throughout my adult life and that is to start every morning in prayer, meditation, praise and reading God’s word. It’s the fuel that gets me going, and it’s the power that keeps me plugged in to God first and everything else second. During season of Thanksgiving, I want to THANK YOU, my subscribers and followers with this gift that will promote quiet. That gift is the download containing “The 10 Daily Promises” that are highlighted in the book. Go ahead and grab your free gift and take time during this busy season to find your quiet time and be fueled and powered up with God’s Word.
In closing, I am so very grateful to say that although I am occasionally feeling a little foggy brained, I’m thankful that during this season, my attention was turned to God and that his reminder of the importance of being still is teaching me to slow down and soak in his words and his voice above all others. I continue to turn to the 5 gems to remind myself that the greatest connection for life is not in all of the activities that demand my attention, but in the quiet intervals with my life Guide and life giver–my heavenly father.
Be sure to let me know how “The 10 Daily Promises” are helping you through this busy season.