Pain forces you to change. Illness forces you to change. Period. It is up to you if it will be for the better or or worse. Over the last 13 years, I have changed, I have evolved and I have become. I have become more then I ever thought I could be, and in some ways less then I thought I would be. Whether the pain we feel is physical, mental or emotional, it evokes a transformation in each one of us. There is a shift, and many, many transitions. It changes the way you think, they way you see others, and it changes the way you see yourself and your purpose. There are poignant and significant feelings that come with this. It changes your entire being. Pain has changed my being. It has continually, repeatedly, always made me feel wrung out, empty, aching, wanting and exhausted without even moving. But, that emptiness had provided space for light to come through, for me to grow, to bloom flowers within me, to feel true love, and to find true peace.
Here are some wandering thoughts and lessons that I have come across on my path.
|By, Sophie Neuendorff|
You can do more that you think you can, you are stronger then you think. I went through a long period, where I felt everything was slipping through my hands. I felt totally helpless, trapped. I felt like I was a bird trapped in a cage. I felt as if there was a stone wall in front of me that represented the pain and illness. There was no way to climb over or around the wall. The only way to move forward in my life was to push the wall with me as I walk. Meaning, I live my life, work and pursue goals despite the pain in my muscles and joints and heart. And I have been doing everything I possibly can to live, move forward and to be strong enough to actually push that stone wall.
Now, years later this comparison brings me a kind of quiet ache in my heart. Pushing that stone wall is hard, and it sometimes seems impossible. Sometimes I don't want to push it. It is too much, too hard and the pain from pushing overwhelms me completely. It is those times when I feel broken, and all I can do is lay by the wall and cry. Yet, there remains inside of
me an unending desire to move forward.
Over the last 13 years, I have tried countless medications, supplements, "this will cure everything" health products, health and nutritional diets. I feel overwhelmed when I start thinking of everything that I have tried. I have seen medical doctors, physicians, naturopaths, physical therapists, and other health professionals. I have had countless doctor visits. Some ending with hope for the future, and some ending with me in tears. I have been told by multiple physicians over the years that the pain is something that I just have to learn to live with and there is nothing they can do. I have been told that the pain is my fault and I just haven't been taking care of myself enough and I just need to buck up and deal with it. I have also been told by many caring and sincere doctors and physicians that they know that the pain is real and they want to do all that they can to help me. I feel very blessed to have two such caring physicians in my life right now who are as they say, "in my corner."
These things I know for certain though. I would not have found Adam if it wasn't for the pain and illness that I have dealt with. These 13 years of searching for answers and trying to find ways to relieve the pain have prepared me for this time while Adam is bed ridden with his own illness. I know what he feels during this time when there is no relief and just a endless stream of days of suffering. I have been prepared to take care of him, to understand him and to have the patience that I need as his caregiver. I have been prepared to understand that most answers do not come right away, even as we are working with the best specialists and health care professionals in the world to find a way to treat Adam's disease. But, I have to believe that one day answers will come and relief will be found.
These last 13 years have been more than just a journey. They have been a voyage. Even though my body hurts every single day, it only increases the intensity of my desire to accomplish my dreams and goals. The pain can be defeating. It can knock me down, and I don't want to move a muscle (literally and figuratively). But, there is still a yearning desire inside of me to accomplish my goals and dreams despite how painful it is to move. I know that this has stemmed from my Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ. I have tried and am trying with all of my heart to tune out doubts and fears and to listen to God's direction. Because of this, pathways and opportunities have opened up to me that I never thought were possible.
By, Brent Schreiber
When my illness and pain began to affect my ability to sing as well as attend school, it caused a new kind of heartache. There came with it a flood of doubts and fears, which often seemed to swallow me whole. A few years ago, my dreams and goals seemed completely impossible. But, it is because of Heavenly Father and my Savior that I have been able to sing again. I have new challenges inside and ahead of me, to learn how to sing with great physical pain. To craft my voice and to learn how to do it with the body that I have been given. This strength to attend school again is not mine. It is from heaven, and I am living proof that God helps us through our weaknesses. Tender mercies in the form of my voice teacher, my peers, my professors, opportunities at UVU, my Adam, my family and the music that inspires me to sing, prove to me that it is possible for me to accomplish my educational goals and to be able to sing with all my heart. I have a dreaming heart, and I ache for those dreams to come true. I have always been told that anything is possible, even the impossible. I am trying this out for myself.
I don't know what the next thirteen years hold for me. I hope in good things to come though. Dare I hope to actually be pain free? To be able to sing and dance and run and move and climb mountains and to be free of the pain that holds me captive? I think I will dare to hope. I know one day complete healing will come, but for now my Savior, Jesus Christ will carry me when I fall in exhaustion. He will push my walls with me.
Here is some of the music in a playlist on Spotify that has helped me cope with the pain, and has inspired me to keep singing despite it: 13 Years Playlist