Wednesday, January 10, 2007

My Thorn

One of the great unanswered questions of the Bible, "What was Paul's thorn in the flesh?" Whatever it was, it was something it seems he finally accepted and found purpose in, namely, to see God's power in his weakness.

I've never been a big fan of weakness myself, so God has been working on that in me in the last few years. Coming to Singapore, although it's a great deal more developed than China, was a lesson in humility and dependence for me because I lost my house help and started homeschooling (double whammy!). In addition to this, He has chosen to give me chronic tension headaches.

I think I've talked about these before. I was diagnosed last spring, though that wasn't the first time I had them. My neurologist put me on an anti-depressant, which at low doses works as a muscle relaxant. I won't give details about side effects, but let's say there were some, and I didn't like them. I also didn't like the fact that the medication masked the true source of the problem - tension.

In the fall when my prescription ran out I felt like God was leading me to stop taking the medication so I could rely on more natural remedies (I know, me and Tom Cruise, the anti-medics). Since then I've had several headaches, sometimes for more than a week. It's frustrating, but I'm learning from them.

They have become my thorn, the thing I initially called out to God to take away, and have become resigned to having. In fact, I have begun to think of them as a blessing. They are a reminder to me to cast my cares on the Lord, to slow down, to be willing to accept doing less than I'd like to do so I can care for my body. One of the best remedies is long walks where I just emote to God about whatever is weighing on me ("pay no attention to the crazy foreign girl talking to herself at 6 in the morning!). Massages help though too, so if anyone wants to come over and give me one, you're more than welcome. :)

Erik left this morning for 12 days. The environment is ripe for tension! But what an opportunity to rely on God. Pray that I will, and that I will be able to honor Him in my body.


Sherri said...

"Big Hugs"
What an inspiration you are. I will pray that God gives you the strength you need during these trying days. I hope for no headaches. I have migranes when my TMJ problems flare up and know how they can dominate everything.
Thinking of you!

Gina Marie said...

Thanks Sherri! I'm so glad I came across your blog in the first place. I call you my "internet friend" when I talk about you here. :)