Quietness and Confidence


Icon above my computer

At Ash Wednesday Mass I ran into a co-worker I hadn’t seen in almost a year.  She asked how I was doing, and I replied that I’d love to say I was coming back to work soon, but it just wouldn’t be possible until the pain got better.  I assumed (correctly) that she’d already heard through the hospital grapevine about my back-to-back neurosurgeries last Spring.  She responded with a wave of her hand, “The pain will never get better.  You just have to live with it.  I’m in pain every day and I just go to work and deal with it.”  I was taken aback, but smiled, and said that I’d dealt with constant pain for two years between my second and third surgery, but it was just too intense now for it to be safe for me to work, even on strong pain medication.  She again advocated “toughing it out without medications”, so I changed the subject, told her it was nice to see her, and passed along greetings for the other co-workers I hadn’t seen since last Spring.

The conversation didn’t bother me at the time, but later that night I lay awake wondering if everyone thought I was a wimp, a slacker, a faker.  It disturbed me, not because I care so much about what other people, especially people who don’t know me well, think, but because it was such a blow to my self-confidence to have someone dismiss what I have endured this past year so easily.  Then I ran across this scripture:

Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. 
In quietness and confidence is your strength.
~Isaiah 30:15

So I will continue to wait in quiet confidence, and know that God does have a plan for me, hopefully one that involves less pain.

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18 thoughts on “Quietness and Confidence”

  1. That makes me upset FOR you. You handled it much better than I would have. No one, NO ONE, can possible know what it’s like for you, except you.

  2. I am constantly amazed, pretty much every day of my life, how others know what’s better for you more than you do.

    Or how they can handle your situation much, much better than you can.

    Everyone is such an expert on everyone elses stuff, but yet they can’t juggle their own stuff to save their soul.

    I’m sorry you had to listen to that. You proved to be the better woman and just leave it alone and walk away.

    Bravo to you. =)

  3. I can only assume this is someone I know, since I worked with you for so, so many years. I am amazed, appalled, and actually feel sorry for the person that said all this, as they have lost their way of empathy. That is to pitied. I saw your face every day of the week, sitting across the hall from you, and you didn’t need to tell anyone you were in pain. I pray for relief of pain for you, and I KNOW that God’s plan will ultimately be the one that is best for you. He loves us too much for it to be any other way.

    1. Actually probably not someone you know, since it was someone I worked with in the hospital setting rather than the office. Which, unfortunately, makes her lack of empathy even more worrisome since she’s constantly in contact with patients. Thanks, as always, for the support and the prayers 🙂

  4. Each of us have a tolerance for pain. Some low, some high. You are the one who decides. I have to have gas just to get my teeth clean.
    I’m praying for your well being.

  5. Well, I’m flabbergasted at the insensitivity of that person. I live with chronic pain and rarely take pain meds, but I assure you I could in no way handle a job because it would require pain meds that would gravely interfere with mental functioning. I’ve only learned how to manage pain to some extent and limit my physical efforts. It has been a blessing to offer it up and to take up the new things God has given me to do. There have been times when I told the Lord I didn’t want to wake up the next morning I felt so bad. You handled the situation very well. God bless you. No, you are not a slacker. You’ve just entered another phase in life where the work God is giving you to do is different from what He had you doing before.

    1. Thank you so much! I love the thought that I’ve “Entered another phase in life where the work God is giving me to do is different from what He had me doing before”. That’s how I’m going to try to look at it from now on 🙂

  6. This makes me upset for you too. No one has the right to second guess you and the way you are taking care of yourself. Until you have been in the exact same circumstance as someone else then all comments and suggestions are made in ignorance. Period. She is just an ignorant, ignorant woman.

  7. I think you handled that situation with grace — much better than I would have.

    How is it that I have never noticed that icon in your house? Am I that oblivious?

  8. I’m so sorry you had to go through this—the surgeries and this conversation. I love the verse that you quoted. You are right—we can only trust and rest in Him. I hope your pain becomes more manageable very soon!

  9. It’s hard keeping our hearts and minds focused on Him when so many around us want to tell us their thoughts….and sometimes we need their guidance and help…but, keeping focused on him is mostimportant! Many prayers for your pain….

  10. Hi. Visiting from ifellowship. I’ve never had chronic pain, so thank you for sharing in a way that will help me approach people I know that do deal with it. I can’t imagine approaching one with such persistence as this person did to you, but I could imagine myself accidentally speaking words just to smooth things over. You know misusing the tongue because you want to make someone fell better but you don’t really know what you should say. But she spoke as if she knew the right thing for you. Only God can know that. I am sorry that happened. And even though she seems to have approached it in a way I cannot imagine doing, it reminds me to be mindful of my tongue.

    1. I’ve been a nurse for 23 years but until this experience I had no idea how chronic pain can impact someone’s life, so I don’t expect many people I encounter to actually understand it – goodness knows I didn’t! Like you, though, I try hard to say “the right thing” – the supportive thing – to people whenever possible. If I see a blog post about what to say or what not to say to pregnant women, parents of disabled children, disabled adults, anyone really I can’t click and read fast enough. I’d hate to think that I caused anyone pain by saying something thoughtless, but I’m sure I’ve done so without realizing it. All we can really do, though, is go into any interaction with the best of intentions and hope God keeps us from putting our foot in our mouth 😉

  11. I’m sorry you have endured and are still enduring such pain. This person’s reaction was very insensitive. I find myself feeling sorry for people who act this way. They really don’t understand.

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