I recently hurt my back while on vacation. I think I did it on a roller coaster (the Rocking Roller Coaster at Hollywood Studios to be exact). I remember feeling a weird sensation in my back while riding it. It was about six hours later that the pain set in and I found myself lying on a bench telling my family to go have fun.
I think it's a bulging disc and it has gradually gotten less painful (or that could be the Advil talking) after eight days. I didn't sleep on the floor last night which is progress.
In my better moments I have used it as an opportunity to ask myself: what is God teaching me through this?
Here's five things I've come up with.
1. I am loved
It is very obvious that I have people in my life who genuinely care about me. It's not that I didn't already know it, this situation just confirmed it even more.
2. Help is available
Many people have offered to help in various ways. One person even offered to help unload the van on our return knowing it would be at 2am in the morning. I reached out on Facebook for resources and people responded with options and prayers.
3. I'm not alone
There have been so many people who know exactly the kind of indescribable pain I'm in. There's just something comforting about knowing that other people have felt what I feel. That kind of solidarity creates automatic empathy. Maybe pain is God's way of bringing humanity together.
4. If I want to do something bad enough, I can
The next day we were at Magic Kingdom for the Halloween Party. It was a bid deal for our family. My 8yr. old daughter is into the Disney villains right now. Her favorite is Maleficent. At the end of the night they have a special villain show on the main stage at Disney world. She kept jumping up and down trying to see. I decided I would give her the best seat in the house: on my shoulders. After five or six attempts and various shots of pain, she was up there. She was going to see the villain show no matter what it took.
5. There's a reason for this
Maybe God is teaching me to be more empathetic, maybe I needed to slow down, maybe He needed to show me the support I have in my life...whatever the case may be, I know deep in my bones that God has a reason for me to be going through this right now. It's not fun, but I trust in His purposes.