It's been a bad week, a week full of pain. When I saw my doctor yesterday we talked about the sorry state of my spine from top to bottom, and how it affects my life. We talked about how I've had to hold on to walls to walk, and my limp is noticeable even to the dogs (well, maybe I exaggerate), and sometimes when I try to get out of chairs it doesn't work. Beve and J tease me a little about it when I tell them I'm doing better--"Oh sure you are." And how I sleep with three pillows cradling my broken body because there are so many parts of my body that are broken. My doctor has known me for a long time and he has seen me in good and bad spots. Mostly bad spots--I mean, that's when people go to doctors after all, right?
It was a good conversation. It helped.
This morning, after my dose of prednisone, I lay in bed and thought about how hard pain can be. I thought of how often people ask me, "How's your health?"
Not, "How are you?" like most people are asked. That question can be answered superficially (in grocery stores) or deeply (from close friends). But "How's your health?" is a very specific, very pressing question. And I DREAD it.
See, I'm more, so much more than my physical health. And though, of course, I think about my body a lot (I do have to live here), it's not my deepest concern. At least I don't want it to be. I know that at times I whine and complain about the pain in which I live (ask Beve or my kids if you don't believe me!) but for the most part, I realized this morning that it isn't really that important to me. I want people to ask about what's REAL in my life--what I'm thinking about, what I'm reading, what the world looks like from where I live. And, of course, most of all, Kingdom-come things, King-of-King things.
I could be really depressed about my physical ailments. Certainly other people with such things are. When I first began seeing my doctor and neurologist about my back and leg stuff, I was always asked about depression. A dozen years later, neither of them ask me those questions anymore. I think the Holy Spirit has changed me. Who I might have been had He not gotten ahold of me when 44 years ago is hard to imagine, but it's possible that person would have been even more of a whiner and complainer than I am. And significantly more depressed about the trajectory of her life. From glory to glory He changes me, says scripture, and I realize that, in part that means He changed me once at my rebirth and continually each day. It's a stop-in-my-tracks thought to consider that how I respond to each thing that comes my way isn't me but because He lives in me and re-creates me. To the extent that I give Him room to move and do and work, HE WILL continually make me His, so that I can walk and live in a manner worthy of Him.
So yes, physical pain this last week, bad enough that I walked lop-sided and could barely put together a coherent thought, let alone write a blog-post. But He lives in me. And that (hallelujah!) is more than enough to tip the scales. He is in me, so it's well with my soul.
Yes! From now on when people ask about my health, I think I'll answer, "It is well with my soul."