With Browse Worthy, I usually take thematically related links and put them together every week or two. However, today’s link deserves a space all its own.
Katie is a dear friend to most of us on Gentle Reformation. She recounts on Warhorn blog, in a post entitled “Etenity Etched on My Eyes”, her testimony of the long valley of pain the Lord took her through due to surgeries seeking to correct a misshapen spine. In so doing, she also honors her parents, Dave and Jenny Long, who moved heaven and earth to help their daughter, and ends by reflecting on how her suffering prepared her family for what happened to her father.
Below is the first part to get you started. Be sure to click the link to read the rest of the story.
Before the surgery, my spine was curved in the shape of a C. It was twisted and it was deforming my rib cage.
After the surgery, two rods, sixteen screws, and several hooks now held my spine perfectly straight.
They said the next year would be a painful recovery as I waited for my spine to fuse in the eight places where they removed the discs.
“I’m so weak. I’m so weak. I’m so weak,” I whispered from the floor where I lay in my room, overwhelmed with the ongoing pain day after day. I looked up at my nightstand where the little orange bottle sat containing the narcotic medication. If I took a bunch, I wouldn’t feel the pain anymore. I slowly lifted myself off the floor and sat on the edge of my bed.
Taking up the bottle, I poured a pile of small white pills into the palm of my hand and sat staring at them.
“Don’t give in to drug addiction. God is stronger than anything you will go through. He will give you the strength” were the words ringing in my head as I stared at the fatal mound in my hand. An elder and another good friend from church frequently reminded me of this truth and admonished me not to be overcome. “But it’s not like I want to kill myself, I’m just going to take enough to help the pain” I reasoned. Then I thought if I were to die by taking these pills how God would ask me why I didn’t believe His promise that He would be my strength when I was weak. I began weeping, and poured the pills back into the bottle. “I don’t have the strength Lord, I don’t. Give me your strength, please Lord, if I have to go on” I pleaded.
The pain didn’t go away.
The weakness was still there.
Bouts of depression frequently hit me.
But God did give me His strength, and I continued on three years in pain not knowing why. The doctors all said my spine had fused. A pain management doctor prescribed more narcotics and a lifetime of pain. Dad often came home from work to find me writhing in pain on the floor. There was nothing he or mom could do but sit next to me –hold me in their arms. How many silent prayers went up I’ll never know. And when I was turned away from physical therapy because it wasn’t helping, we sat and cried together. Mom promised they wouldn’t give up looking for answers, and Dad reminded me that God is sovereign and we don’t have to understand in order to trust Him.
I prayed every day and read my Bible. But God didn’t feel close.