I'm sitting behind my desk at work forcing a smile on my face for all of those that walk in the door. When really all I want to do is lay down and cry. Honestly tears are filling my eyes at this very moment and I'm trying hard to fight them back. It's not because I'm sad but I'm in pain. After 21 years of being on crutches sometimes my body just goes in shut down mode and needs a break. "Your body wasn't made to be on crutches, it was made to be on legs" my doctors always remind me when I'm in this pain. My answer to them is "Okay well I don't have legS, I have A leg....so what am I supposed to do?". We tried the fake leg thing more than once but my body just doesn't like it. Plus it only transfers the pain from my upper back to my lower back. My body wasn't made carry a 20 lb fake leg that straps around my waist either! So I just have to deal with it, it's just one of the things that you have to deal with. I just keep repeating to myself "This too shall pass".
I'm not in pain ALL the time but I do deal with back and knee pain on a daily/weekly basis. Normally it's not so bad and I can deal with it, it's just apart of living the crutch lifestyle. But then there are days....like the past three where I just want to lay in my bed, pop a few pills, cry if I want to, and try to rest my back. I can't do that...I have a job, I have bills, I have commitments, I simply can't do that. And as I sit here with tears in my eyes I'm reminded of my friends and family who suffer from chronic pain. The ones that suffer from pain issues, real pain issues everyday. This is when I'm shifted back to reality and give myself a "suck it up and deal with it" pep talk.
As I was trying to write my facebook status this morning with my tear filled eyes I wanted to write something about my back pain, but that's the last thing people want to hear is complaining. And all the sudden tears of joy replaced the painful ones that have been filling my eyes because it dawned on me...21 years ago this past Sunday was my anniversary date of my amputation. 21 years ago the Lord changed my life forever. For the first 8 years of my life I was able to mask my disease because I looked like everybody else, but on that day He changed me from outside in. Two weeks before my 9th birthday my leg was taken from me and sent to Heaven to wait on me. And as crazy as this may sound to you ever since that day my life has changed for the better. I know that my life my seem all peaches and cream sometimes but honestly after hearing my medical background, the tests that I've had to undergo and everything that comes with that side of my life I have a feeling that pretty much no one would choose to live my life willingly. But there is no life that I would rather live. I would never change a day of my life or any event that has happened in it. God has entrusted me with this life. And I'm thinking its a pretty big deal when He has given me a disease that no one else in the entire world has. He could have given this job to ANYONE, anyone in the whole world and He said No....this is for Mandy Young. She will do this job for me, she can take it. And when I look at it that way I think, Thank you God for trusting me! You could have given this life to anyone at anytime and you gave it to me! God doesn't make mistakes. He made us the way that He wants us to be. In the first chapter in the first book of the Bible it tells us that God made us in His own image. He made me. He knows what I can endure and He will only give me what I can handle. He gave me my disease for a reason. He took my leg for a reason. And yes He even gave me this back pain for a reason.
The heavy heart that I had this morning has changed into a heart of thanks after my realization. When I have these moments I go to the Biblegateway website and look up verses. In the search bar I put the word "pain". And this verse popped up "But as for me, afflicted and in pain. may your salvation, God, protect me. I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving"-Psalm 69:29-30 I felt like it had been written for me. I love when God shows you exactaly what you need to see when you need to see. This verse is totally how I feel. Yes I am in pain, but God will protect me. And with His salvation when I die I'll be free from pain forever and ever. And knowing all of that how can I not glorify Him?? How can I not give Him thanks for all that He has done, is doing, and will do??? I owe Him everything. Without Him there would be no me. For the first 8 almost 9 years of my life I was able to hide my illness because of my normal healthy looking body. But God had something different in mind. I went from "normal" to missing an entire leg and having pretty much everyone stare at me all the time. I'm cute but I'm not THAT cute, I know people are staring because of my missing leg. And honestly I'm okay with it. With the staring comes the questions....lots of questions. But it always starts with: "What happened to your leg?" And because of that simple question I get to share my roller coaster life story with people but more importantly share my love, faith and trust for the Lord plus give Him praise for it all. I could have never done that before.
It all reminds me HE is in control of my life. My life is NOT about me. Its about Him and what He wants. When I depend on myself or think I'm in control that's when life goes out of control. There are going to be times when my heart is afflicted and times when I'm in pain but because of Him I'll be just fine. And even through those times I will choose to praise Him and thank Him for it all. He's making me the person that He wants me to be and I want to be right in the center of His will for me.