“You can’t go through life allowing your pain to dictate how you behave”
I’m not certain if I’ve ever pulled out my journal and written down a line from a television show, but when I heard this it resonated in me.
I’m all about leaning into your pain. After decades of going to churches that made it clear that I ‘shouldn’t be a downer, you know, bring my Bible, but leave my pain at the door, God gave me permission to stop pretending I was okay and to stop stuffing my pain…just to simply lean into it. (I wrote about that HERE)
But there’s balance, even in those seasons of pain, we have to show up for life.
I woke this morning thinking about my little brother David. David was only nineteen when he was diagnosed with a vicious cancer, Ewings Sarcoma. David fought hard for ten years through chemo, radiation and multiple surgeries on his face and head, before God took him home.
David taught me so much, but this one phone call is among my most treasured lessons… (I’ve told this story before, but it’s impact is still so powerful for me.)
I called David at the end of a busy day of keeping up with my four kids. Folding a towel warm from the dryer while standing in a mountain of dirty laundry, I asked him how he was doing.
“I’m doing okay today, I had chemo this morning and now Mom’s making soup” he said, “how are you doing?”
I proceeded to unload on him about the carpooling to umpteen after school activities and the homework I still had to oversee and the horrific mess around the house. He listened and made a few comments about how the kids were growing up fast, soon they would be driving themselves around…
When we were done talking he put Mom on the phone, she spoke in strained whispers. “Oh Robin, pray for him, he’s so weak. He’s been sick all day from the chemo, he can barely get out of bed….”
Even now, all these years later, this takes my breath, David, like the little flower in my photo, a bit worse-for-the-wear,but still doing his best to show up when I needed him.
Yes, it’s okay even healthy to have seasons of leaning into our pain but even then there are times when we just need to show up for the sake of others, times we can’t allow our pain to dictate how we behave…
Tomorrow, I’m finally going to show photos of my freshly painted dinning room furniture…whew, it’s been quite a month.
For those who’ve asked…I’m praying for you…wishing I could do more.