With Great Mercy

Finding hope when you have trigeminal neuralgia and other types of pain

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January 14, 2008

Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Psalm 37:4.

Heart's DesireHave you ever wanted something really badly, but cannot find a way to bring it to fruition?  (Please say yes.) What I want is to help people who have facial pain and other types of disabilities. I don’t want to be a physician, a nurse, or a pharmacist. The Lord did not give me those talents, He gave me other gifts. He gave me an ability to be empathic, to be able to relate to the pain that other people experience.

People who have had trigeminal neuralgia or neuropathic facial pain have many things in common. I am amazed by all the people who began to experience facial pain after having a root canal. That’s when I began to have pain, too. I had trigeminal neuralgia and an advanced case of TMJ or TMD.

When people contact me and tell me of their experiences, they have often not communicated directly with another person who has their symptoms. I learn that people have become quite isolated, and I understand the isolation just as much as I understand the depth of their pain. They also tell me about how difficult it is to be diagnosed and to explain the intensity of the pain to their friends, family, and employers. People who have experienced trigeminal neuralgia or other types of facial pain don’t understand how something that isn’t fatal can hurt so terribly.  

When people don’t understand the pain is real, their lack of empathy can cause the person who suffers to experience the pain of feeling alone. I know the aloneness, and I know the beauty of being set free from the pain. Although I have been healed for more than three years, I cannot walk away from my desire to hear the stories of people who suffer and the desire to pray for people who have facial pain. I am encouraged every time someone with facial pain trusts me to hear his or her story.

I was listening to Joyce Meyer recently, and she was talking about how she asked God for a thousand people at her meetings, but when she had a thousand, she then asked God for more people. I understand her desires. I am asking God to hear from more people with facial pain and other disabilities. I am not satisfied. I know there are more people who want prayer and to communicate with others who have pain. We have a tiny network of people who encourage one another, but my vision is for more growth. I want to see more people involved in encouraging and “listening” to one another.

Psalm 37:4 tells us that if we delight ourselves in the Lord, He will give us our hearts’ desires. Today I am surveying my heart. I have been trying to accomplish things for the Lord, but I am not so sure I have really worshiped Him lately, worshiped Him in a way that brings delight to my being.

I want to thank God for the things I have accomplished through His grace. In 2007, I completed my master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling. I studied for the national Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) exam, and passed. I applied for ordination, was approved, and now I am ordained. I could not have accomplished any of this without the Lord, my family, my pastor, and my dear friends.

This morning, I was talking to my daughter about my heart’s desire, and I realized that I must talk more to God about this desire. He has been preparing me to be effective. I do not understand how I am going to reach people in pain, but God knows how to give me my desires. It’s my desire to serve Him in a way that will help people with facial pain.

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. Proverbs 3:5. I am asking the Lord to help me trust Him more.

With Great Mercy

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