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Vieraskieliset / In-english

Blog: "Do not let pain grow stron­ger than hope"

Vieraskieliset / In-english
29.5.2016 6.37

Juttua muokattu:

1.1. 23:32

I found this tit­le in a di­a­ry I had writ­ten in my ear­ly twen­ties. My pains at that time were most­ly about un­cer­tain­ty of the fu­tu­re: would I find a spou­se, would I have a fa­mi­ly, where would I find a job and a place to live? Many things in my life were un­cer­tain and see­med pain­ful. I did not know then that I would re­turn to this pra­yer: ”Do not let pain grow stron­ger than hope” much la­ter in the mid­d­le of very dif­fe­rent pain – al­re­a­dy with a spou­se, a fa­mi­ly, a per­ma­nent job, and a place to live.

Du­ring the fall pre­ce­ding the ac­ci­dent I had again pain­ful thoughts. Dist­res­s­ful and op­p­res­si­ve things were hap­pe­ning around me and cau­sed me to feel a gna­wing pain. I see­med to be ex­ces­si­ve­ly bur­de­ned by my work, my hus­band’s stu­dies, and my tu­mul­tuo­us dai­ly life with gro­wing child­ren. There was al­so joy, but I had no time to re­al­ly feel it. Af­ter­wards I have won­de­red if the He­a­ven­ly Fat­her wan­ted to give me a ”break” through the ac­ci­dent? Hel­ped me get off the rat race for ef­fi­cien­cy? I no lon­ger need to get up ear­ly in the mor­ning to take the child­ren to day care, to hur­ry off to work, and to re­turn home ex­haus­ted in the eve­ning. But this is free­dom that I got at a high price: per­ma­nent di­sa­bi­li­ty and cons­tant phy­si­cal pain and rest­ric­ti­ons.

A coup­le of ye­ars af­ter the ac­ci­dent I was due for a work ex­pe­ri­ment. I was not at all sure I could re­turn to work, as the neck pain and the ad­ver­se ef­fects of my brain trau­ma per­sis­ted al­most unc­han­ged. But I tried to be op­ti­mis­tic, thin­king I would at le­ast try. Again I pra­yed that the He­a­ven­ly Fat­her would show His will re­gar­ding my re­sump­ti­on of work. This time the ans­wer was qui­te up­set­ting – I had a traf­fic ac­ci­dent where a car ran in­to the back of my ve­hic­le. My con­di­ti­on de­te­ri­o­ra­ted again, and the work ex­pe­ri­ment had to be post­po­ned.

Ad­just­ment to a new kind of slo­wer life has ta­ken me ye­ars. I have scramb­led up moun­tain ro­ads, then tra­ve­led ea­sier ter­rain for a while and step­ped again on a roc­ky path that has see­med qui­te im­pas­sab­le. The words of the Psalm, "even though I walk through the val­ley of the sha­dow of de­ath, I will fear no evil", have been true of my strug­g­le.

And yet there have been mo­ments when I have felt fear. Will I en­du­re this? Will my fa­mi­ly en­du­re? Will I be comp­le­te­ly pa­ra­ly­zed? Over­co­me by fe­ars I have pra­yed: "Dear God, help me and my fa­mi­ly. Com­fort and bless us." And God has he­ard my pra­yers. He has al­wa­ys hel­ped me move for­ward. At some dif­fi­cult mo­ments He sent an an­gel, an es­cort to walk by my side. At some ot­her ti­mes, the ans­wer came in the form of a let­ter with po­si­ti­ve news about an al­lo­wan­ce or in­co­me sup­port. I was so­me­ti­mes al­so em­po­we­red by a mee­ting with an un­ders­tan­ding doc­tor or ot­her pro­fes­si­o­nal. We have not been left comp­le­te­ly alo­ne. Hope has re­mai­ned stron­ger than pain.

Gra­du­al­ly I have be­gun to have more space to live and bre­at­he. I have been ab­le to feel se­re­ne joy in the mid­d­le of pain. I have even wan­ted to sing a song of gra­ti­tu­de for the gift of life and all the good things that have been gi­ven to me. I have of­ten felt the pre­sen­ce of God in my fa­vo­ri­te spot, a cre­vi­ce of rock by the se­as­ho­re. When I sit there, loo­king at the ho­ri­zon ac­ross the wa­ves, I feel that time stretc­hes in­to eter­ni­ty and I feel comp­le­te­ly safe.

My pains seem to sub­si­de for a while when I am sur­roun­ded by the be­au­ty of na­tu­re and be­co­me awa­re of my smal­l­ness com­pa­red to God’s cre­a­ti­on and eter­ni­ty. I feel how very true the words of Psalm 23 are: "The Lord is my shep­herd; I shall not want. He ma­kes me lie down in green pas­tu­res. He le­ads me be­si­de still wa­ters. He res­to­res my soul. He le­ads me in paths of righ­te­ous­ness for His name's sake."

While tra­ve­ling on the path of pains, I have le­arnt a new way to re­la­te to the pains of my fel­low hu­mans. Pain does not al­wa­ys show out­ward­ly. An en­coun­ter with a smi­ling per­son may end up with a disc­lo­su­re of many pains, even is­su­es of life and de­ath. So­me­ti­mes the pain is phy­si­cal, so­me­ti­mes it is sor­row for one’s own con­di­ti­on or that of so­me­o­ne el­se. One is bot­he­red by small pain, but can le­arn to live with even se­ve­re pain. When I had a bad flu a coup­le of ye­ars ago, I felt my­self re­al­ly sick. We should not un­de­res­ti­ma­te any pain.

Over the past few weeks I have been overw­hel­med by a new si­tu­a­ti­on. My yo­un­gest child will start school, and the ol­dest star­ted mi­li­ta­ry ser­vi­ce. My hus­band is stu­dying spe­ci­al edu­ca­ti­on, which was my dream while I was still wor­king. These mat­ters cau­sed me some pain at first, but soon be­gan to seem like a great joy. Life will con­ti­nue. At the same time, ho­we­ver, I felt qui­te lost with my­self. Will I have to stay at home for ever, or will I still have an op­por­tu­ni­ty to ex­pe­rien­ce so­met­hing new?

A few months ago I wrote in my di­a­ry: "I have a stran­ge fee­ling. I feel rest­less and ex­pec­tant. It seems so­met­hing spe­ci­al will hap­pen soon. But I have no idea what.” One day la­ter I met a neigh­bor who stop­ped to talk. She as­ked me if I would be in­te­res­ted in wri­ting a blog for Päi­vä­mies. They would like to inc­lu­de in their group of blog­gers so­me­o­ne with a chro­nic he­alth prob­lem but with light in their life. I felt diz­zy and unab­le to res­pond right away. But af­ter some exc­han­ged emails eve­ryt­hing was clear. He­si­tant but cheer­ful I ag­reed.

This is a new be­gin­ning in my life. How can I write so that I will not of­fend or an­noy pe­op­le? Could my texts com­fort or up­lift so­me­o­ne who is li­ving with pain or as­sis­ting such a per­son? Do I have anyt­hing new to of­fer in this world overf­lo­wing with texts? What if I am mi­sun­ders­tood? How can I ac­cept pos­sib­le cri­ti­cal feed­back on what I write? I have many qu­es­ti­ons, but still feel unac­coun­tab­ly safe. I do not need to work alo­ne. I have not nee­ded to walk my path of pain alo­ne eit­her. I say a si­lent pra­yer to ask that "He would lead me in paths of righ­te­ous­ness for His name's sake."

Rai­ja Ves­te­ri­nen

Trans­la­ti­on: S-L.L.

The blog post was pub­lis­hed in on­li­ne Päi­vä­mies on 10 Feb. 2016


Kris­tus on niin kuin ih­mis­ruu­mis, joka on yk­si ko­ko­nai­suus mut­ta jos­sa on mon­ta jä­sen­tä; vaik­ka jä­se­niä on mon­ta, ne kaik­ki yh­des­sä muo­dos­ta­vat yh­den ruu­miin. 1 Kor. 12:12

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