“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28, NIV
On February 28, 2012, I had surgery which gave me my life back. For years I had suffered from a condition known as trigeminal neuralgia, sometimes called “The Suicide Disease,” because of the horrendous pain which has driven some people to that unfortunate end. Because of my faith, I was never suicidal. However, I certainly had my share of the pain, which begins intermittently and gradually increases in duration and intensity. The only time a TN sufferer can count on being pain free is when they sleep (for some reason). Although on huge doses of painkillers, I was frequently unable to speak, eat or even drink. I carried a notepad with me to communicate with others. It was not fun. Fortunately, I turned out to be a good candidate for surgery, and (also fortunately) the surgery has now held for nine years. These things are not true for all TN patients.
I learned a lot from those years, and mostly I learned to praise God. Every time the pain struck, I reminded myself that Jesus bore greater pain than this – for me. As I concentrated on His great love for me, my suffering became bearable. My favorite song phrase became “Blessed be your Name, on the road marked with suffering, though there’s pain in the offering, blessed be your Name,”and to this day I sing it with tears.
I am grateful for this particular trial, as I am for the other trials of life. I know that God worked for my good, increasing my fortitude, tolerance, courage, patience, and compassion for those who suffer from chronic conditions of all kinds. And every February 28 I find some venue for testimony, giving God an extra measure of praise for giving me my life back.