The Pain I can Control

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With an array of stunning colors exploding from the small of her wrist to the top of her shoulder I was left staring at a random stranger’s arm in the grocery store.  

Vivid blues, met a stunning red sunset, with the peak of a storm followed by a grey outbreak of a lightning blaze.  After gawking for far too long, she met my eyes and silently asked me, why are you staring at me?

Breaking the uncomfortable silence, I proclaimed, “I love your ink.”  

A smile overtook her once strained face and then she responded, “why thank you.”

The tension subsides and all that is left is two middle-aged women in the produce department chuckling.  I proceeded, “tell me the story of your tattoo.”

She glistened with pride and love as she drifted off in a deeply moving memory.  

“It is the story of me, my life, my loss, and the fact that I eventually will prevail, thanks to God’s grace.”

Amen, sister.  

“Indeed, you will.”  Is all I had to say.

Engaged to the point I didn’t even realize there were annoyed people trying to get by us en route to the perfect broccoli head, we moved out of the way of the busy supermarket.

She continued, “I live with chronic pain.  Every day I ache all over no matter what medicine I am given, it doesn’t touch the pain.”

I’m brought to my knees by her words, as I have experienced pain in my life, but not to that degree.  Not like the nagging, anticipating, debilitating torturous pain she had spoken of.  

I pointed to the inner part of her upper arm, where a bright orange and yellow monarch butterfly transcend time, and yes, pain.  “I love this.”  I touched the butterfly and goosebumps immediately encompassed my entire body.  “Yet, I’ve heard that this part is the most painful to tattoo.  My husband has a full sleeve and he said that the underarm is the most painful.”  I smiled at her and stared into her stunning green-blue eyes.

“I don’t mind because it is a pain that I can control.”  Her magnificent glance drifted as her hand reached the inner part of her arm where the butterfly was in flight.  “My pain I didn’t choose.  But the burning of the tattoo gun is something that produces beauty when it’s all said and done.  And that I control.”

My chance meeting with this woman greeted me with a revelation that truly shook me to my core.  Although I do not live with chronic physical pain, I do live with chronic emotional agony, that haunts me from my past.

Dreams when I’m sleeping often leave me shaking, terrified, and restless.  
They identify as a horror film replaying in my mind as my body tries to sleep.  Vivid recreations of hands on me and lashes carried out that I did not deserve, yet was made to believe that I did play out.  There are times I wake up in the morning depleted never wanting to fall into “Dreamland” again for fear of what nightmare may await me.  So in my waking hours, it seems fitting to give myself what I think I deserve to be punished for.  Yes, I inflict pain on myself, much like the burning of the tattoo gun, I try to engrave on my being a picture of something that can make sense of it all.  A pain, that I, in fact, can control.

But why do we do this to ourselves?

 

  • We cut our own flesh with a razor blade
  • Force a finger down our throats to vomit up the food we just ate
  • We drink too much
  • Take drugs
  • We lie, steal, and cheat
  • Spend money we don’t have
  • We smoke
  • Starve our bodies of food in fear we are fat
  • We blow up in anger when a trigger point is pushed
  • Commit adultery
  • We run ourselves ragged trying to prove that we are in fact good enough

 

We are broken inside so the immediate response is to inflict on our bodies and minds, the pain we think we can control.  

In my personal journey, I know this coping mechanism all too well.  It is hard to give myself love and grace when I fail daily because, in the past, the pain was given when I “messed up.” It feels all too ordinary to punch myself in the face, instead of accepting that as a human I will fail, and God loves me NO MATTER WHAT.  He doesn’t desire pain for me, all he wants is me.

All God wants is all of us, encompassing our turmoil and the spinning thoughts of failure that blare through our hearts and minds.  As a matter of fact, He actually tells us that He will take those failures and pain from us and turn it into Gold.  He will release the burden of it all, and allow us to transform into the monarch that we were predestined to become, what He designed in His image is ours for the taking. But we have accepted His healing principle into our hearts, memories, and inner child.  

Broken, bleeding, depleted, drugged, drunk, too fat, too skinny, He doesn’t care.  He says in His Word that He has written our names in the palm of His hand and calls us His.  

God screams that He wants our pain, and He will control it.  All He wants for us is to accept His grace, love, and forgiveness.  If we are able to wrap our minds around that fact we will be able to stretch our butterfly wings out and fly as far into the sunset that we dream of.  

For, in inflicting a self-deprecating way of dealing with our demons, we push the love of Jesus further and further away, as the enemy perpetuates our painful memories, and tries to belittle our self-worth.  If we hurt our bodies and minds, due to past trauma, then the serpent wins and God’s love is left at the back door.

Fight the good fight, accept love, and give the pain you cannot control to our God who begs us to release it all into the black of night, for He is willing to take it on so we don’t have to.  That my friends is the gift of true and unconditional love.

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The Passion of My Creator

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My wonderful readers, this is in fact, the shortest blog post I will ever publish.  I’m fully aware  I am that person who rambles on and on. I often lose people with the words that flood me like a tidal wave, yet prayerfully, am used to captivate you with even one sentence you may recall.  If you have the uncanny gift to follow a conversation with me, you deserve an award!  I say this with light humor because I feel it is important to sometimes slow down in life…To:

Not say as much.

Listen more.

Care deeply.

When I was sixteen years old, I faced an extremely intense dilemma for someone of my young life.  It consisted of a choice.  Do I leave a deeply toxic and damaging situation and run into the arms of God’s purpose for my life?  Or do I stay stuck in the barrel of the gun that was shot in my face each and every day, because as we all know eventually a bullseye can happen when we are living outside of God’s purpose?  Therefore putting ourselves in the fire of total destruction.

During my lunch hour today, in the midst of a rather stressful day at work, I sat next to a big pine tree enjoying the unseasonal warm Wisconsin weather.  Jamming out to my Spotify playlists, God brought me a memory of a poem I wrote in the throws of past turmoil.  One that propelled me to eventually chose Him, and take the risk of a lifetime, leaving severe dysfunction to heal from abuse no one should ever have to face.

I sat on the murky grass and took in the sunshine that will soon turn to a gray cold that will blanket my state for months on end, and found myself, at forty-two faced with a similar dilemma I did when I was a teenager.

What choice do I make, one that God is showing me will transpire, one of healing, peace, acceptance, and unconditional love?  Or will I stay intoxicated by a habit that I now give myself?  Sadly children who have suffered severe abuse at a young age, deliver the same level of destruction that was placed upon them as children into adulthood.  When abusive behavior was forced upon a child in the delicate formation of emotional budding the consequences can be dire.

God gave me the provision through the sun beaming down on the fall trees in all of their red and gold glory today…To…

Chose Him.

Choose Life.

Choose the Passion of My Creator.

This poem was one of the first pieces of literature that I wrote that helped give me confidence as an author.  It won awards, scholarships, and His words that flowed through me helped me cling to His love through my suffering.  It was later published in a book of a New York Times Bestseller’s collection of poetry and prose, filled with stories of overcoming odds and fulfilling…my  very own destiny!

My life has always been, during the peaks and valleys about turning to the Love that won’t be undone.  I promise you, at forty-two it will be no different than in the adolescence of a very young version of…me.

Here is my short yet deeply powerful poem I wrote in the fall of 1989, and my friends, no matter how difficult your situation may seem, follow the Passion of your Creator.

The Passion of my Creator  ~Ami George 1989
I search for security
In the essence of a risk.
Slipping into the hollow chamber of change
My hands in torment can no longer hold on.
Feeling faced with the impossible
Expectations of strength,
His blood trickles down my arm,
As I scream out,
“Declare the passion of my Creator”

My identity is captured
In the culmination of my morality,
Through the ambivalence of my existence
the journey of my poignant youth is discovered.

Perplexed as how to quench the desire
His blood flows into the tears of my wounds.
I look beyond the fears ahead
and once again
the dichotomy is reborn.

Suddenly, the blood on my hands,
And the tears proving the sorrow of life
become transparent.
I reach out to the power of Salvation
Touching, feeling, and holding the love with no pain.

His resilient hand, I cling
And His Passion is Declared Through My Life.

 

 

 

I’ve never met a love like this…

12182634_1694533300792622_509578852822680727_oMy eighteen-year-old son is done, completed, and finished being raised by me.    He’s flying out of the nest into a freedom of opportunity and into the light of promise and the guidance of a God who is good and has endless Grace and mercy upon him.  Yet he just doesn’t realize how much…just yet.

I brought him into his world and wept at the greatness of a God who could bless me with such a gift, a child of my own.  I gave praise all night as he slept peacefully,  knowing my fight for him flowed deeper than I could have ever imagined that March evening in 1998.

I also wept at his bedside at age four, when I thought he may not be destined to continue life on this earth.  He was apparently sick, tattered, and worn.  Type One Diabetes was the call, insulin injections the prescriptions.  For life.  His body was failing, yet his spirit never faltered.  His joy never left him…not once.

God had plans for my boy.  Great, great plans.  Far beyond my recognition at the time, only enough peace to keep me afloat.  God has a way of doing so.

His life transformed in a beautiful scrapbook of panoramic magnitude in front of me quickly.  I began compiling the awards fast, the accolades kept flowing  in.  While I kept chasing my own dreams, he seemed to chase his own in record speed.

Fast forward to today to his high school graduation.  My boy is the strong dream chaser I taught him to be.  But the one thing that leaves me empty is…now he is left without…me.

And the thing that leaves me really empty is.. is he is fine without…me.

He doesn’t want me.

He doesn’t need me.

God tells me, it has nothing to do with me.  

It is about what God has done through me, with me, yet not about me.

As his mom, I fall to my knees.  Knowing that I’ve always been there for him, at the hospital bed of his birth, and the hospital bed of sickness that wanted to take him from me.  Through all the highs and lows of his life, It was me that was undeniably there for him. I cheered at the top of my voice as they called his name with every distinguished honor to proclaim third in his class.  THIRD!

Yet, I cried tonight after it was all said and done.

Not tears of overwhelming pride because of his grandeur.  Of leading worship at church,  countless awards, leadership, scholarships, etc…But simply due to the fact that he was no longer mine to keep.

God has prepared him for greatness and I was his first home…and now I realize the birds nest is empty.  For he is flying much further than I could have ever dreamed.

After realizing that he really doesn’t want to spend time with me, or listen to my lessons any longer, I wandered to my husband and sobbed.

My husband met me where I was and he said, “I’ve never met a love like this, he is who he is because of you.  He is blessed to have you as his mother.”

I sobbed more.

My boy is blessed and I am blessed more because of who God has made him, forever plus some more.