Limousine rides are fun. The driver chauffeurs his passenger wherever the passenger desires to go. It is easy to relax in a luxurious back seat while someone else drives. But what happens to the passenger stuck alone in the back of the car?
I think of my chronic illness as three different levels of pain. The first level is when my body is experiencing mild pain, making life easier to cope with on those days. On mild suffering days, I am the driver of my life. The pain is along for the ride in the back seat.
The second level is when increasing pain has joined me as I steer through the day. It sits next to me as an uninvited copilot waiting for me to lose control of the wheel. It crowds up against me trying to push me out the door.
Extreme pain is the third level of pain. This level is the most difficult to cope with. Extreme pain has a way of taking control without my permission. It steers me in its own direction while I am left alone in a dark backseat.
Reflecting on my suffering in levels helps me explain it to people when they ask how I am feeling. For those truly concerned about me it helps to describe it in contrast with a passenger and driver. It is a way for them to grasp it in a clearer way. It would help if everyone understood chronic illness, but they usually cannot understand what they have never experienced themselves. I did not comprehend my mother’s chronic sufferings until I encountered it firsthand.
Prayer: Lord, please help me to love those who misunderstand chronic illness. May I always remember when I was still naive about suffering, so I will show forgiveness through kindness?
Welcome Our New Devotional Writer. . .
Cindy Pocapalia lives with her husband and two children in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. She loves her family, friends, and Jesus. Also, she delights in seeing how God works in and through her life and the lives of her believing friends. The desire of her heart is to bring His encouragement, hope, and truth to others.
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How do you personally overcome the hurt from people unconnected to chronic physical suffering? How do you explain your suffering to those trying to understand?