Lord, Help Me Submit to the Pain

Below is a guest post from my wife. She is also my best friend, my partner, my joint heir of grace and my crown so it is difficult for me to read.

As my family, church family, friends and many readers know my wife suffered back injuries from a car accident in August 2008. It’s been a long two years; two years of needles, meds and prayer. The Lord has guided us to a procedure that may finally give my wife some pain relief.

The first half of the procedure will be done this Tuesday to one side of her back. The other side of her back will be done the following Tuesday. In the letter below my wife reflects on her suffering and sanctification in the last two years.

Please pray for her upcoming procedures. Also, I encourage you to pray and reach out to any who are suffering.

Dear Lord;

Help me to submit to the pain.  So many times have I asked for healing, and so many times have I asked for prayers for healing. For two years I have cried out that the pain be taken away. Even so, I have known that I have it all wrong.  I have not wanted to be chosen to endure suffering, I have wanted a comfortable existence.  I have not wanted to help others through my suffering, I have wanted only for them to help me. I have not wanted to become a wiser Godly woman by persevering; I have wanted that to be given to me without more trials.

For so long have I cried “Why me, oh Lord? Why have you given me this pain? Why have you taken away my health, my abilities, my comfort, my ability to sleep through the night, my job, my clients, my co-workers, my income, my job status, my self-respect, and most painfully my ability to have a child right now?” Lord, you know already that I thought I had been through enough major trials, and that the rest of my life should be ok. I thought I had earned that much.  Yes, I know that Job suffered greatly, but in the end he was rewarded for that, and had his own book in the Bible!  Christ suffered the greatest of them all, but hey-he knew how it was going to end!

Lord, in my sin I just don’t want to suffer without knowing that I am going to get something out of it.  Yet there it is all over Scripture.  I will indeed get something out of it.  Lord, You have made it so clear that to take up your cross comes with suffering, but also that we are to take up that cross with JOY.  We are to celebrate the suffering as we know they do not compare to what is to come. We are to rejoice as we are conformed to Your likeness. What better thing could there be?

Yet in these things—embracing, rejoicing, even celebrating the trials—I am failing miserably.  I am tired as I fight to hold on to what was.  I hold the desert in my mouth and dust in my hands so tightly.  I do this instead of opening them all for your free-flowing living water.  I am parched, and yet I resist the water and your hands and your potter’s wheel.  I am dry, and cracked, and cakey, and broken, and discarded—-and ready to yield. I can take no more of holding onto me.  I know that I need only to hold onto You.

Lord help me to let go.  Catch me as I lie back in your still waters, soaking you in as you prepare me and mold me for new uses. Fill me up as I open my mouth once again to sing your praises—even through the pain. Oh the pain.  Very soon I will feel a great deal of it.  Hold me still as I lay on the hospital table in fear—worried that the doctor will get too close to my spinal cord.  Lord calm me as she places needles into the most painful area of my body.  Reveal your presence as they go deeper still.

Lord as they burn my nerves, searing me in my weakest most dreadful areas, sear my heart with your loving, shaping hands. As they burn and work to kill my nerves please kill my selfish desires not to suffer for You.  Hold me still as my body shakes in fear, my mouth wanting to cry out from the pain.  As You and the doctor both burn away what is inflamed, revive in me the need to open my mouth—not to cry out in pain but to rejoice in the pain. Open my mouth to rejoice in the work You are doing in my heart as the doctor works on my back.  Lord sear me and shape me on Your wheel as they sear me and puncture me on the table.

Make me more like You, Lord.

Help me, Lord, to submit to this pain.

tagged as , in Christianity,Gospel,Prayer,theology

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Carla Rolfe September 12, 2010 at 10:33 pm

I’m praying for you, dear sister. ((( hugs )))

2 Aunt Shirley September 12, 2010 at 11:10 pm

Dear Dawn, child of God

He WILL pull you thru and guide the Dr’s hands Tuesday…
He will never, never forget you in your hour of need,..
I pray dear Lord for Dawn and her family, Father in Heaven you know her most inner pain and suffering..Please Sweet Jesus hear Dawn’s cries for your touch.. Only You can heal her and take away her pain..Father, she is your servant with a loving servants heart, she needs Your sweet tender touch in her life now and the weeks an days to come as she puts her trust in You using the Dr’s who You have chosen for her, guide their hands to help control her pain that she may do Your will…
Bless you and Mark and Amber
Love as Always in His Name,
Aunt Shirley

3 selahV September 12, 2010 at 11:24 pm

Dear Sister Dawn,
I pray God’s holy presence to surround you with total peace. May you find your rest in Him as you endure the pain to come. Already you are a light–with your words–like the breaking of a new day–a new dawn. What a precious name to consider. Will keep you in my prayers as the day approaches. Lord, we know You are enough. You are sufficient to meet the needs we have. Please pour out upon Dawn an abundance of Your grace today, tomorrow, and as she heals and goes through the surgery again next week. selahV

4 rosemarie September 13, 2010 at 12:06 am

My sister and fellow sufferer….

It’s not easy… and I know it. This really is the only time we get to glorify God by our response to suffering. It is so difficult to have all the puzzle pieces of your life get tossed in the air and have no idea what the picture is going to be when they come down and fall into place. The only thing we know for certain is that God knows exactly what He is doing and how He intends to use this time for His glory and your good. I was encouraged by your post. Thank you.

5 Bill (cycleguy) September 13, 2010 at 4:20 am

Dawn: came here by way of selahv’s post. Although my wife was not in a car accident she came home from work in January of 2007 and was unable to move. A series of 3 shots finally got her up but she lives in constant pain and the inability to do things for a long period of time. I know some of what your husband is going through. My prayers will be with you tomorrow (and him).

6 Victoria September 13, 2010 at 8:36 am

I too am praying for you. Pain can be a terrible task master and those without the hope that we have in the Lord Jesus are not able to to endure with grace. God bless you and your family as he walks you through this time. I am so glad that you are hanging on to God as he is hanging on to you. I know it won’t mean much now,but you are being watched by a world of folks who have no hope-no precious Lord Jesus. The world is interested to watch the believer when we are suffering-not when we are on top of the world. This time in your life counts big for eternity.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2 Cor. 1:3-4

7 Mark September 13, 2010 at 7:29 pm

Thank you all so much for your thoughtful comments and prayers. I will update you tomorrow on how the first procedure went.

8 selahV September 15, 2010 at 7:36 am

Mark, I know you are probably covered up with caring for Dawn and other things. Know you and Dawn have been in my prayers and thoughts. hariette

9 Mark September 15, 2010 at 9:51 am

Thanks for the prayers. The procedure was painless as far as she remembers. 🙂 Dawn is home resting and the recovery has come i.e. the pain is back. The procedure can take from 2 – 6 weeks before “kicking in”. Next Tuesday she will have the same procedure on the right side of her back.

10 Victoria September 21, 2010 at 11:09 am

I will be praying again today! God bless you both! It is sometimes harder on the spouse than the one actually doing the suffering.

11 Eddie Exposito September 21, 2010 at 4:08 pm


Like, oh so many things, no one gets it until they go through it. My wife has been ill now for a little over a year with a chronic condition called polymyositis (an auto-immune disease in the family or fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis) She’s been bed-ridden for months and gets better and gets worse, but cannot drive or do very much anymore and while she has not been in excruciating pain, this condition has been a lightening rod through our lives. I thought living in post-Katrinaland was enough, but God decided to allow this as well. It has been the hardest year of my life. I began to weep reading your words above because we’ve cried the same things ourselves and I for one am glad that God doesn’t ask us to endure these things without faith. If it were not for my understanding of Him and His grace, I would have quit a long time ago. Through this experience, I love my wife even more now and have grown to appreciate mother/mom/wife roles like never before. We so need you.
Everything we do is different now and sometimes I just wanna UPS myself to some remote part of the world never to return. But His grace IS sufficient for me, and He proves himself all the time by the fact that I haven’t left. I haven’t caved. He has shown me how weak I am. He has shown us how fragile we are. He has once again pulled us through with no guarantees that it is over.

Dear friend, thank you for being honest and transparent. Thank you for putting up with Mark. And thank God for loving you, even in the darkest trail.

Grace and peace. Fibby.

12 katybola September 21, 2010 at 6:42 pm

I haven’t the words…..for I have never suffered physically as you have. God shines brightly through your words.

You and your family are in my prayers daily.

13 Dawn September 30, 2010 at 5:31 pm

This is Mark’s wife. Thank you so much everyone. I am so touched by everyone’s responses. I had a lot of doubts about sharing this piece, and I never expected the responses I have gotten. I am still struggling and in pain, but somewhat less pain than I was in right after the procedures. I am thankful that I don’t remember much about them! I wish I was healing faster, and even pushed myself too far yesterday. I get frustrated but keep reminding myself daily that it will be all in God’s timing, not mine. rosemarie put it so well; the puzzle pieces of my life were tossed in the air and I worry and wonder what it will look like when they come back down. Daily feedings of His word help me trust more and more that whatever picture is displayed will be a better, more Christ-like one than before. I will give another update in a few weeks, hopefully one with a report of less pain.


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