Kim And Kayla Woodhouse, Stories Of Faith, Perserverance And Joy.

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Alone and in Pain

Kim Woodhouse

Oh, my friend. Do you feel alone? Are you in pain? Whether it is physically or emotionally…  please allow me to share some thoughts with you. This is no great theological idea or some great inspired post that will change your life. It’s just a heartfelt understanding. A way for me to say, I get it. I’m with you.

2017 has been a doozy for me. It’s had some incredible ups and some equally horrific downs.

But what is so wonderful to me is how much I’ve learned through it.

My good buddy and accountability partner–Tracie– and I were just talking on the phone. We both struggle in so many of the same areas, so we’re good for each other to lift up in encouragement and also to say, “I love you, but you’re being stupid…” (Okay, so maybe not in those words, but then again, maybe those words might be necessary sometimes. Don’t get mad at me for using the word stupid!)

In all my years, I’ve become more of a perfectionist. My OCD tendencies can sometimes be overwhelming. Included in that are my “people pleasing” inclinations. You see, I’ve been in full-time ministry my whole life. My dad is a pastor and my parents are incredible and were wonderful examples to us. Then I also married a pastor and he’s the most incredible and wonderful person on the planet. We’ve traveled this road of ministry together even though it’s often been hard. But the really difficult part? It’s so EASY to fall into those people-pleasing habits when those you are ministering to have such grand expectations for you. Especially when sometimes you’ve created the monster of expectations yourself by doing and being… too much. (Guilty as charged.) And it becomes increasingly difficult to say… “NO.”

And then… sometimes life happens… and it’s not what you were expecting or planning. Like this past year. My body said, “ENOUGH.” It actually all started in 2016 when I went severely iron deficient and they couldn’t figure out why. Then this year, over six weeks and multiple surgeries and now six months of recovering, I’ve just wanted to “feel better.” To be Kim again. But I’m wondering if God isn’t telling me that the Kim that I was, isn’t the Kim that I need to be from here on out.

Ouch. And in Tracie’s words, “Yikes, that’s scary!”

That’s a tough one. And I’ll just be brutally honest here (please don’t get offended) – but this year was very eye opening for me. I’ve poured myself into ministry and Bible studies and counseling and the community – but guess what? The world kept on turning when Kim was down for the count.  And for months, I felt very alone. VERY alone. There were people who still needed me, and people who asked “when are you gonna…(fill in the blank…)” and it made me feel wanted and useful even though I couldn’t be there for them or couldn’t do anything for a looooooooooooonnnnng time. But most people were pretty busy with their own lives, or didn’t want to bother me during recovery, etc. (I completely understand that and don’t blame them one bit.) And the ALONE factor became overwhelming. I tell you what, if not for my amazing husband, and a few close friends… I would have spent all those months alone. (And a couple of them live far away – so it wasn’t like they were just around the corner. But they called. A LOT.) There were days that the pain was unimaginable. Five weeks, I suffered from constant, CONSTANT pain. Having to rely on pain medication and going off of it because it made me fuzzy and it didn’t seem to help all that much. I never understood chronic pain until that time. It gave me a much greater compassion for those who deal with it. And then the months as I healed weren’t incredibly pleasant, but the memory of the horrific pain kept me thinking forward and taking my recovery one day at a time. Doing everything my doctors suggested.

Now I sit here, six months and a few days past when I first went to the emergency room and got taken by ambulance two hours away. I’ve been coughing and what I call, “hacking up a lung” for four weeks. It hasn’t been fun. I’m tired of coughing. I went to the doctor AGAIN this week and had some fun test performed. When I FINALLY had been allowed to start back in with a few things and what I thought of as “living life again” – I was thrown another curve ball. Told I needed more rest. Told my immune system is still recovering. Told I needed to step back. And I feel God working on my heart and mind. REST is a new word for me. I need to learn it.

It sure is difficult when people judge you because you’ve been “absent” or not involved or not able to do things for a long time. You get forgotten for all you used to do, all the “good” you thought you did. But I’m reminded my work wasn’t for other people. Or for what they think of me. It was for the glory of the Lord. And another great thing to remember is that I’ve never been alone. Never. Even when I felt like it. God was there — holding me in His hands. Comforting me. Helping me through it all one minute at a time. The pain is gone from the surgeries, and a new pain has come with the coughing, and the emotional pain of things changing. But I’ve always shared with people when I speak and share our story that “pain is a good thing.” And I can say that with certainty because we have a daughter who didn’t/doesn’t feel pain. It can be devastating to not have any clues that anything is wrong until her body shut down because it couldn’t handle the problem and the doctors tell you, “your daughter has to have brain surgery for another rare condition.” Had I not been in horrific pain and Jeremy insisted that we go to the ER all those months ago, I wouldn’t be here today.

Yes, I’m going to remember that pain is a good thing. Because I know that something needs to be worked on. Something needs to change. I used to do five million things PLUS my writing ministry. Now, I’m realizing that a lot of it needs to be things that I USED to do. The Lord has given me this precious opportunity to write for Him and that’s what I’m going to do.  One of my doctors even told me, “It’s a good thing you’re so good at this writing thing, because that’s all you’re allowed to do…” Maybe in this time of change for me, I need to focus more on doing it with even more excellence than before. I’ve had more time to study the Word and I’ve been reading through the entire Bible every fifty-two days. I’m learning a lot.

And yes, it’s hard to say “no” to people and feel like you’ve let them down. That’s been my constant companion these last few months. But I’m learning. I’m also learning that I might truly have to let people down. And that’s okay. God’s got a plan for that and for those people. I need to keep on keeping on with what I’ve been tasked to do.

Through all of this, I hope you are encouraged. Sometimes God is calling us to a time of more rest. To focus solely on Him and what He has called us to do. Sometimes, the pain is great. But I will praise Him in the storm and through the pain and remember that it truly can be a good thing. I may not understand it now, but maybe in the future I will. That’s okay too. I hope and pray that you can grab onto that as well.

You see, this world is not my home. Yes, I’m looking forward to eternity with my Savior, but I am a willing vessel for Him until that day. Sometimes that means cutting back, slowing down, and resting. Sometimes that means the storms of life will be fierce. Sometimes that means that the pain will be great. But we are NEVER alone. Cling to Him.

 

11 Comments

  • Lyne says:

    Thanks for this Kim, and thank you for being there for me when you yourself were going through so much. Interesting that the Lord allows us to go through the darkness sometimes in order to see him more clearly when we come back to the light. He always has a plan and I am so grateful for His many promises!

    • Lyne » your friendship has been a treasure to me. All these years ago, I’m so thankful God brought us together. You are truly a friend – iron sharpening iron.

  • Debra Nadh says:

    Your words speak volumes. Sounds like God is speaking to you and teaching you, and you are listening. It is never fun when God interrupts our life, our plans, but after while we see how much He loved us through those lonely, painful times. To God be the glory! You are a very inspiring person, but try to continue learning how to accept and instill limitations on your life. Sometimes God wants you all to Himself for a while, and He has others who can be there to help those you feel the need to help.

  • Debra Nash says:

    Correction on my own name–last name is NASH, not NADH. Lol. Didnt realize my typo on my post

  • Lori Brans says:

    Thanks for the encouragement Kim. As I sit here reading this, I too am “coughing up a lung”. I found out today that I have bronchitis AGAIN!
    This is like the 5th, 6th 7th time in the last 18 months.
    The meds I “Need” cause other problems and those problems cause other problems…. It is like a vicious cycle.
    I am glad to see you are recovering and the pain from the surgeries is gone. I pray the coughing stops. And I pray you can focus on getting better soon. Rest my friend!

  • Karen Mizener says:

    Dear Kim,
    Thank you sharing. People will always disappoint. Yes, it’s very hard when going through any kind of pain. I sometimes feel like I’m being punished cause of living in pain. Our trials in this life as Job had are to bring ultimately glory to Him. Hard to understand I know. As long as your faithful to Him and as the saying goes, He who honors the Lord, I will honor them. I’ve been enjoying John 17. When God looks on you and I…He looks on His Son…amazing!! Here’s some verses that I trust will encourage you.
    “We know that all things work
    together for good to those who love God.

    Surely the wrath of man shall praise You; with the remainder of wrath You shall gird Yourself. § You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good.
    All things are yours: whether … the world or life or death, or things present or things to come—all are yours. And you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s. § All things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
    My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

    Rom. 8:28; Ps. 76:10; Gen. 50:20;
    1 Cor. 3:21–23; 2 Cor. 4:15–17; James 1:2–4
    Blessings and care to you and your family

  • care Tuk says:

    LOL! Tracie just kept me accountable with a swift “keister kick”, too!!
    Hmmmmmm:
    R elinquish
    E VERYTHING
    S ubmit
    T otaly

    Just remember: I’m walking “with” you, even as I type. Isn’t it fun being on a roller coaster/ping-pong ball?!

    • care Tuk » hey lady!! Thank you so much for your comment. By the way, I don’t think you’ve gotten my messages. Maybe I have been calling the wrong number. I told Tracie I was worried since I hadn’t heard from you. Send me a text or email so I can check the number I have.

  • Care Tuk says:

    BTW: Hi to our college buddy!!

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