I Used To Think…

I used to think I was patient. I taught preschoolers for more than seven years. I parented a hyperactive son before ADHD became a buzz word. People who saw us thought I was a bad parent, unable to discipline my child.


I used to think I was kind. I’ve rescued grasshoppers, snakes, lizards, frogs, possums, and tried to befriend people who find themselves a target of unkindness. When I was eleven, I hit an adult three times my size with a metal fence post because he was savagely beating his runaway pony on our property.


Now I know I am not patient. Suffering brutal pain for so long from a huge bulging disc in my back that is pressing directly into my spinal cord has robbed me of patience. I feel like limping to the nearest hospital on my crutches and refusing to leave until the problem is fixed – or until I get arrested and forcibly removed. I’m not suicidal – yet – but death doesn’t scare me: it means the pain would stop.

Now I know I am not kind. Pain that takes my breath away and makes me fall down on the floor if I happen to sneeze or cough when I’m standing up has robbed me of kindness. Some days I think I would walk over the back of my grandmother to get to the operating table first.

I am thankful for this pain. It has been an opportunity to learn – really learn. Never judge another person. Never. You don’t know what storm of pain or difficulty they are passing through. Next time, it could be you.


I am thankful for this pain because it has humbled me. “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, rather soberly as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.” Romans 12:5

With the Lord’s inspiration, I’ve written a lot of books. (Without Him I could never have written even one.) Yet, how do my books benefit the world if I am impatient? Or unkind?

I am a broken person inside and out. But with this self-knowledge comes the opportunity to change and get things right.

light on path


Run Through Pain

Sometimes, we just need to run through pain.

No one knows this better than best-selling Author Bruce Van Horn whose book “You CAN Go the Distance” contains great advice on how to run a marathon and how to run life – even when it involves running through pain. Bruce ran this year’s Boston Marathon just a year after cancer surgery. Prior to that, he recovered from depression, a knee injury and foot surgery.

God gave us the gift of pain as an early warning system when we are ill or injured and need to rest. But, sometimes, we need to run through pain.

Michael Jordon was cut from his high school basketball team. Albert Einstein never learned to talk until he was four and was told by a teacher, “You’ll never amount to anything.” Walt Disney was fired from his newspaper job for lacking imagination and not having original ideas. Dr. Seuss received 27 rejection slips on his first book. Oprah Winfrey was cut from a newscast because she was deemed “unfit” for television. All these famous failures ran through pain and found success on the other side.

I didn’t feel like running a couple of days ago. When I first grabbed up my weights and headed out the door, my right leg hurt so badly that I almost turned around. I walked nearly two blocks before I could get my leg to accept the full weight of my body and start running. When I finished running through the pain, I had covered five miles and my leg felt fine. It hasn’t hurt since.

On the way to our Monday Night Bible Study, I got a dog bite on the back of my hand. It drew blood. By the time we got to our fellowship group, my hand was so swollen that it looked like it had somehow inhaled a tennis ball cut in half. I received prayer and the swelling left instantly as if Someone had pricked the tennis ball with a needle and deflated it. Someone had. His name is Jesus and He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Jesus is still in the healing business. What a great testimony to our group to pray and watch Jesus heal instantly. But for that testimony to be possible – I had to run through pain.

God created a perfect world and never planned for pain to be a part of it. When sin entered the world, it dragged a toolbox behind it filled with spiteful implements of torture: pain, illness, sickness, sorrow, anguish, disappointment, depression. Because God loves us so much, He sent Jesus to destroy those tools and give His followers victory.

But sometimes on the road to victory…we have to run through pain.