When Going Through Hell…

“Never give in,” said Winston Churchill in World War II. 

“Never, never, never.”

This week has been rough for me, as I’ve been recovering from hernia surgery. My body and mind were already in a weakened state by sleep apnea and chronic pain, so my healing has been slower than I’d hoped. 

A few nights ago I was literally in tears from the pain, and nearly hit a breaking point. My stomach felt as if someone jabbed fiery knives clear through my flesh, and even pain pills didn’t seem to lessen the agony. 

“I can’t do it,” I told Trey, my 17-year-old son, in tears, as he helped me to the bathroom. “I…I can’t do it…I can’t take it anymore. The pain is too much.” 

I’d never been so vulnerable with my child, but in true “Trey” fashion, he rose to the occasion. He didn’t cry with me, and he didn’t hug me. 

Instead, he reminded me of a funny story from a few winters ago. 

“Hey dad,” he smiled, “do you remember that time it snowed more than a foot, and school and work shut down for half a week?”

But I didn’t wanna talk about the fricken snow at that time. My marbles were spilling out, and all I wanted was relief which nobody could give me.

“I ran up behind you,” he continued, starting to giggle, “and I threw a snowball right in your face?” 

Then I giggled a little, too. “Dude,” I said, “don’t make me laugh, with the incisions on my belly, it makes me feel like my guts are gonna explode.”

But I did recall that day. It seemed the weather caused the whole world to stop, and by noon on our second day of captivity, we were going buggy from cabin fever and had to get out of the house. 

My wife poked her head out the door and snapped a picture of us a few minutes before we began the twenty-minute process of brushing the snow from our clothes and going back inside. 

It was a brief respite, but enough of a distraction to ease the burden of our terrrible boredom. 

Like Trey’s story was to me when I felt I was about to snap. 

I’d love to tell you I’ve found the secret to life, or at least to not going full-on kooky-pants when you feel you’ve sailed beyond the murky port of sanity, but the fact is I haven’t. 

I tell my friends who suffer from chronic pain, “Never give up, never give in, never surrender.” Sometimes it’s as simple as that.

“When going through Hell,” Churchill said, “keep going.” 

“It can’t rain all the time,” Eric Draven said in “The Crow.” 

Ya know, “It’s always darkest before the dawn” and all that. 

Today, the best advice is, don’t quit. God didn’t bring you this far to abandon you. So fix yourself a sandwich, watch an episode of your favorite show (the one you DVR every week) and take a break from the pain. 

You deserve it!

I reached what I thought was a breaking point this week, but I made it through, thanks to the love of my family.

God will send you a respite from your own Hell, and many times it shows up just short of your breaking point. Either that or you can be someone else’s respite from their own breaking point. 

Whichever, at least we can derive some semblance of peace from the fact that God will never give us more than we can handle. 

You can make it. I believe in you. 

Much love and blessings. 

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