Can You Feel This?

Jen’s Gem: Be of good cheer! 

Today’s blog post comes to you old school. Yes, I am back to typing it! While I’m nowhere close to full speed, I’m able to eke out a few words, rest, resume. What a difference a week makes! As the cast and dressing came off last week, I was already feeling the healing kicking into overdrive.

It took a few days for the nerve block and anesthesia to wear off. What an experience that was! I literally could not feel my entire left arm. I would touch my fingers, and it was like I was touching someone else’s arm. Very surreal to say the least and very unsettling.

As the drugs wore off, bits and pieces of feeling returned. First my shoulder area, then my forearm, and eventually my fingers. While I was grateful to have my appendage back, it came at a price – pain. Not horrible in any sense. Nothing that a cocktail of Tylenol and Advil couldn’t cure. Yet, believe it or not, there were times when I missed the numbness!

Lunacy? Maybe. Maybe not.

Don’t we all want a pain free life? Don’t we want to feel good all the time? Sure we do! When you ask people what is the one thing they want, what do you think is their response? “I just want to be happy.”

But did you know happiness doesn’t last? Our happiness is directly correlated to the “happenings” in our lives. So, when good things are occurring, we’re happy. Sitting on the beach enjoying a beautiful day? I’m happy! Hugs from my kids? I’m happy! Getting my Christmas tree up and decorated (finally!)? I’m happy.

Yet, what happens when these events are over? Do we plunge into depression? Not likely, but we do head south a bit. The thrill is gone as Mr. B.B. King would say. This past week saw my moods go up and down. When I physically felt good – woo hoo! When I didn’t? Hmm.. Here’s what I learned.

The discomfort I had to go through while I was healing was still going to occur whether or not I was feeling happy. My inability to do simple tasks was my reality whether I chose to smile through them or cry. So what’s the better choice?

Trials and tests are inevitable as long as we live here on earth. If we want comfy, cozy 24/7/365, we will be sorely disappointed. We have to make some decisions about how we will walk through each day. We can choose to walk through with joy or we can choose to walk through with sadness. We can choose to walk by faith or by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7 NKJV).

When the apostle Paul and Silas were imprisoned (click here to read the story), they sang their way out. Yes! At midnight when they were in shackles in the bowels of a dungeon, they sang to the Lord and do you know what happened? There was an earthquake! Their chains fell off and the prison doors were opened! Woo hooo! They walked out as free men.

We can follow their example when life’s hiccups get us down. We can make the same decision as they did. We can sing our way through whatever comes our way. I’m not saying this is easy. I’m not saying it’s instinctual. But it is a choice we can make, isn’t it?

Maybe you’re thinking – isn’t that just denying reality? Isn’t that just pretending all is well in the world? Not at all! What would you rather focus on – the good, the bad, or the ugly? Looking at each situation we go through as a temporary stop as opposed to our forever home changes our perspective.

I knew that the feeling in my arm would eventually come back. I knew that I’d be able to regain the use of my hand again. My hope was in the prognosis, not the diagnosis. Sure I had a boo-hoo day this past week, but overall, I handled this setback light years better than in the past. What was different?

I prayed. I sang. I talked with friends. I read my Bible and devotionals so that I filled my mind with God’s promises of healing and blessing. Years ago, every day of my recovery would’ve been a boo-hoo day. Not anymore.
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”” (John 16:33 NKJV)
The Bible clearly tells us that we will struggle here on earth. But when we put our focus on Jesus – the source of our peace and joy, we can “be of good cheer.”

And…doesn’t that feel good?

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