R recently had 4 screws removed from his foot. He had shattered it nearly 2 years ago and it has been a long process of surgeries, healing, more surgeries, chronic pain, healing, x-rays and more surgeries.
His last surgery was nearly a month ago and they removed the 4 screws that were there to help his foot heal straight. Since the initial break and surgery he has had no feeling in the outer 3 toes. Since the hardware was removed, he regained feeling. I regularly thank God for sensation he feels and get giddy when his foot twitches because I have tickled his toes. (He's not nearly as ecstatic that I insist on tickling him).
The renewed feeling is the good news (and the answer to prayer).
The bad news is now he gets pretty severe shooting pain from those toes. My theory is a nerve was pinched by the screws and that's why he lost feeling. Now that the screw is gone, the feeling is back. But, the nerve is also damaged from where the screw was hitting it. So, now the nerve needs to heal from that pressure/damage. I continue to pray about that healing for him and hope he won't have such pain for much longer.
But this post isn't really about that. I mean, it is and it isn't. This post is really about the theological parallel I drew from that.
I wonder if it's not similar in our own lives. We sustain a major injury (call it trauma, crisis, abuse...) and in trying to heal the injury, something (that is meant to help) pinches a nerve. We become numb. Obviously being numb isn't what we want, but we endure because that *something* is meant to help. Finally that *something* has served it's purpose and is taken away. Lo and behold, when it does, we regain feeling. We are no longer numb, which is a blessing, an answer to prayer. But we are left with the nerve damage. We endure shocking moments of extreme pain and sometimes wonder if staying numb wasn't the way to go. Ideally, the nerve will heal and the shooting pains will stop and we can regain a sense of normal, but the healing remains to be seen and the pain must be endured.
There are times in our life when we will suffer a major injury and in trying to recover, we may sustain nerve damage. Hopefully, our injury will heal and the hardware can be removed, and we will no longer be numb. Prayerfully, the moments of breath-stealing pain will end and we can move on. Hopefully. But I'm afraid that sometimes the nerve damage will be so severe that the shooting pains will never fully end. We may have to suck in our breath for those few short moments and wait faithfully for relief. And though we continue to suffer, we can be reminded that our primary injury has healed, that we are no longer numb, but able to feel, and, though severe, those moments of pain are only moments and they will fade as quickly as they came.