Not long ago, a friend on a forum shared a difficult situation he was going through, and I told him what I learned through a similar situation in an attempt to encourage and help him. After hearing his story, I thought, “Wow, next to his suffering, I’ve hardly suffered at all.” Then he wrote that after hearing my story, he felt that next to my suffering, he had hardly suffered at all. We laughed about that.
Family has always been important to me, and I have always wanted to get married and have kids. I have never had any ambition to climb the corporate ladder. Even though I excelled at school and work, I felt like a replaceable cog at work. My “real” life always began when I left work and went home. I am completely fulfilled at home.
Yesterday I went with EJ to the doctor. She ordered him an MRI and more blood work (which we will get done today). She gave him exercises to do for his back, and prescribed more pain medication and something to help him sleep. EJ asked her about going on disability, which many people have encouraged him to look into. It took him a long time to even consider going on disability because he wants to be able to work, not be an invalid. The doctor said that since EJ hasn’t yet had back surgery, etc., it would be probably be difficult for him to get disability, and then he might not get the full amount, so we’d struggle financially–and it might work against him if he sought work in the future.
Have you ever had one of those awful years were difficulty follows problems follows heartbreak follows stress?
A lot of Christians say that Christians should always be joyful, and I also believe that Christians experience increasing joy. However, I think some believe “joy” means “paint an artificial smile on my face and pretend everything is ok, even though my life is falling apart and my heart is breaking.” I don’t think it means this, and neither do I think it’s always a bouncy, trouncy, Tigger type of joy. I think there are times of bright and dancing joy, but I think it’s usually more of an authentic deepness, a settled foundation, so that even when life is difficult and our hearts are breaking, there’s a light in the darkness, hope in despair, a knowing that we are always loved and never abandoned by God sort of joy. It’s like a line in a children’s song: “Real joy is mine, even if the teardrops start.”
Today, as is my habit, I woke up, made coffee, turned on the computer, and connected to the world. I also read my Bible, connecting with God. It was a leisurely morning. I didn’t feel any pressure to hurry and get dressed.