Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Pain Management

December 1, 2008

I am distracted by the pleasant surprise of snow flurries and have raised my window to catch a few snowflakes to welcome Christmas. I could let nostalgia overtake me with memories of white Christmases on my farm in Kentucky, but I will stick to my thoughts that prevented sleep through most of the night.

Thanksgiving came and went and Mike, Owen, Blair and I hung in, shared a prayer, a meal, and many unspoken thoughts and memories of our daughter and sister. We all knew that if one of us let go, we would all be lost, so we held it together to hold each other up. I was proud of us on Thanksgiving. But I knew my emotions would let go at some point. Looking back now, they make me laugh at myself (my own version of therapy). Once in the grocery store I had to really focus on a canned tomato label, tricking my emotions back into their hiding place after keeping up a strong appearance for well-wishers. Once at Blair’s and my traditional early morning shopping venture on Friday, I could not answer a friend’s gentle inquiry as to Megan’s health and as I burst into tears, brave Blair came to the rescue to answer, “Megan died on September 12”. Hearing those words and knowing they have to be said over and over bring great pain. I suppose they always will.

I have been fortunate that throughout life, I have never had much illness or suffered from any kind of chronic pain. In fact, I have led a fairly pain-free life. I have never experienced a lingering headache or nagging backache or even much heartache – until now. Pain management is not something that I understand. What I do know is that it surfaces at crazy times, catching me off guard.

But a prescription was delivered through the internet. We received an email note from friends who are out of the country. Bob did Megan’s service and he very lovingly and wisely gave us some words that continue to offer relief when the surprise of hurt and pain attacks. He said to “embrace the pain as a manifestation of deep love, and rejoice that the pain does not write the final line.” He did not tell me specifically how to do that. He did not give me three steps to recovery - for which I am so grateful. I suppose each must find his own way. How does one embrace pain as a visible expression of love? Scripture tells us that God is love. And because of that great love for us, he became a man in Jesus who embraced the pain of the cross and defeated death. His resurrection gives us reason to rejoice - that death in fact does not write the final line. So do I embrace the pain of losing Megan as a visible expression of God’s love? I must when I trust that death “does not write the final line”, that because Megan trusted Jesus in her life and in her death, she is now with Him forever. That is the deep love of God.

I can trust the claims of Jesus and be confident about eternity. It’s the present that is so hard. Maybe I can embrace the pain alongside my tears and memories - trusting Jesus who cries with us, offering his comfort and joy. This Advent, I am most confident in the One we celebrate, and the miraculous manifestation of God’s love for us all.

No comments:

Post a Comment