June 15, 2011
Opening the Prison Door
Pain can be a prison. It holds us captive, rendering us unable to overcome circumstances and to live a full life, and powerless to reclaim the freedom we once knew. Once trigeminal neuralgia or other forms of neuropathic facial pain strike, we may realize that we didn't fully appreciate our lives prior to the onset of the disability.
We look for answers, proclaim ourselves not guilty, and know we wouldn't wish this type of torment on anyone, even our worst enemy. We call for a guard, and he or she comes, but they do not unlock the door for us. Medications, procedures, and alternate treatments don't always work. We're trapped.
Maybe you've begun to fear that you have received a life sentence, that the pain will never leave. Hope becomes elusive. Without hope, we cannot go free.
Don't give up. Make your release a goal. Don't accept a life - or a death - sentence.
Coaches and teachers have teach their students to "keep an eye on the prize." I believe it is appropriate to adopt this way of thinking. Picture yourself living a normal life. Don't lose sight of it. Step by step, visualize yourself in better health. Hold tightly to things that you cherish.
I held onto my belief that the Lord would not "leave me" in such terrible pain; receiving a miracle was my goal. By the time my prayer was answered, I had experienced quite a bit of isolation. I didn't really know how to relate well to people any longer. I was grateful. I asked what could I do to help someone else, something I could do from home.
Soon I became involved with Prison Fellowship Ministries. I started as a penpal, and the experience mushroomed. As years went by, I volunteered to teach classes at a prison. My husband got involved, too.
My original penpal and I have been writing four years now. In fact, he has become like a son to us. When I first wrote him, I explained trigeminal neuralgia and how it was like being in prison. I sent him a copy of With Great Mercy. When he read it, he understood that prison comes in many forms.
We are experiencing some glitches in our visitation recently. There is nothing we can do about it, but we understand that God knows no limits. If you'd like to offer a prayer on our behalf, we'd appreciate your support.
Most of all, I'd like you to know that my prayers are with you, that your release date will come soon. Not guilty: that's you.
Have you read With Great Mercy?