Nov 18, 2012

Suffering With Someone

Chloe has an unusual problem...she is too flexible.  Because of her over-flexibility, sometimes her knee gets hyper-extended.  This is excruciatingly painful.  She can't move her leg.  It's as if it gets "locked" in place.  To move it in any direction makes it feel as though it will snap.  It takes a good half hour to ease her leg back to normal.  That's when she's calm.  But if she keeps screaming out in anguish, the process can take up to an hour or more.

Today was one of those days.  We never know when this will happen or what causes it to happen.  Today she was simply trying to stand up from a chair and collapsed to the floor hugging her knee to her chest and screaming in agony.

And I am completely helpless.  There is not one thing I can do for her.  The doctor has said it just takes time to ease the knee back into position.  In the mean time, I just watch and wait, helpless and in agony with her.  I promised her I would sit with her through the pain and comfort her and walk this road of suffering along side her.  I tried desperately to keep her calm and comfortable.

Even through the pain God showed us some beautiful truths.  I was able to explain to Chloe that this is exactly how Jesus is with us, "Just like I'm sitting here with you while you suffer, Jesus is right there with us while we go through hardships in our life.  He didn't promise to take away our suffering, but to not fear it because he was right there with us.  Always remember this day, Honey.  When you are walking through a painful time, know that Jesus is suffering with you, just like I am today.  But you will grow so much through this suffering.  You will learn how to endure, how to see the good that comes out of it, how to be thankful for it."

We then went on to talk about how each time this pain has happened, she's learned something about the pain and about herself.  She's learned she needs to stay calm; she needs to wait it out; she can't rush to fix it or it will make it worse; she'd rather have two legs that hurt once in a while than one that had to be cut off.  She was able to find something to be thankful for in the midst of her pain.

It's hard to hear the natural wondering of her heart, "Why?!  Why does this have to happen to me?"  Haven't we all asked that at one time or another?  How do you answer that question?  Sometimes there just isn't an answer.  All I knew to say was, "We don't always understand why things happen, Sweetie, but we can learn to trust God and turn to Him in the midst of our suffering knowing that He is suffering with you just like I am.  Because that's what love does.  You may never know why, but can you learn to let His love sustain you?"

It was a very long hour.  But we came out on the other end of it closer.  I could understand her pain better and she could feel my love for her in a new and deeper way.  You don't have to have answers to suffer with somebody...just compassion to feel their pain as your own.
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