When the Pain Lingers
I don’t do well with doctors. Or maybe I do too well for them. The past sixteen years have been peppered with waiting rooms, tests, and questions that don’t come with simple answers. Time may have healed the cuts that once gaped open, but their scars affect much more than the color of my skin.
A few weeks ago I visited a podiatrist for a simple outpatient procedure. Once the pain from the numbing needle subsided- alone in the room with my husband- I began to panic. I felt my breath quicken and my heart beat faster. The pain of trauma from years ago spilled from my eyes as I looked at my husband. I flashed back to images of hospital beds, IVs, and memories I never asked for.
My husband grabbed my hand and lovingly directed me back to what was real. While he wiped the tears from my face, he reminded me of what was true and the gifts we’ve been given through the pain.
The truth is, along with the painful memories, a frightening question stung my heart in the office that day. And it haunted me in the days to follow.
How long will this last?
I thought I had gotten through it. I’d praised the Lord for his redemption. I’d thanked him for the growth he’s given. I’d written and spoken many words on the lessons I’d learned with composure.
Yet there I sat- not in danger, nor even in a hospital, but at a simple doctor appointment, and I felt as though the pain of the past had just happened. In that moment, I feared for my future. At 30 years old I foresaw a lifetime of appointments, checkups, and eventually- as my body aged- more procedures. How long would I have to revisit the trauma? Will it always be this bad?
How long will this last?
The question lingers in my head, and I meet it with a quiet answer- for a moment longer.
If I’m honest, the years ahead of me don’t seem like a moment. The pain of the past and even the present don’t feel like the “light, momentary affliction” Paul proclaims in the New Testament (2 Cor. 4:17-18). Some days they feel like boulders, burdening me with discouragement I’ll never escape.
But if we believe the God whose faithfulness is displayed in every single page of the Bible, I have to know it’s true. It will feel momentary. We will finally escape the pain, and the eternal glory we will have with our Savior is the solid and sure hope we can cling to.
But for a moment longer.
For this moment we wait. We continue to walk in pain while feeling the sweet gift of God’s redemption right in the midst of it. In this moment we wait with eager longing for the day when we will be glorified with the Savior who took us from death to life (Romans 8:16-19).
Because when this moment has passed, we will meet the bridegroom we’ve been waiting for. He will remind us of the truth that he has conquered death (1 Corinthians 15:26). We will look upon the gift we’ve been given in his broken body that made us righteous (1 Peter. 2:24). And then our bridegroom will wipe away every last tear from our eyes- and there will be no more (Revelation 21:4).
Beloved saints- only a moment longer.