Oh Lord, is the journey of pain coming to a real end? I feel normal so much of the time now and am only taking two Alleve and a pain patch on the back of my thigh when I know I’m going to be sitting a lot. I’m a little amazed. I’m a lot amazed. I feel like a challenge has fizzled out. The balloon’s air is barely spurting out now. The balloon of pain hardly has any more air in it.

But fear still sizzles in the back of my mind. Will I do something to hurt myself? Will I get too careless and move wrong? Will I grow apathetic and not walk? Will I get lazy and not follow through on the back strengthening and flexibility exercises physical therapist Stephanie gave me last Tuesday?

Can it really be over or now quickly coming to an end? I always wondered how it would happen. Just like with Audrey, how would the end come? When it does, it seems so undramatic. It seems to ho-hum.

Process is so like that. It’s like a soft breeze, you hardly realize it has actually happened. It’s like, “Oh, I’m not as angry as I used to be.” “Oh, I can bend now and it doesn’t hurt.” “Oh, that person doesn’t irritate me as much because God has given me compassion for her wounded heart.” “Oh, I can twist in the shower and it doesn’t hurt.” “Oh, I’m more content than I used to be even though my circumstances haven’t changed.”

In process, God is transforming us and His Spirit is gentle and kind, encouraging us to put more and more trust in Him. He pushes and probes, prompts and pulls. And when we realize with amazement that He has worked, we resist putting our hope in our own resources, but instead put our trust in Him.

I’m so very grateful for my progress and yet I pray I don’t take it for granted. When Raffi arrives today, I’ll still need to be careful. I still have limits. I won’t be able to lift him or run after him. But I’ll be able to get on the ground with him and play with his toys with him. Oh, so much better than his last visit when I could only lay on the couch and try not to concentrate on the pain.

Progress. I’m so grateful Lord. Let me not forget what you have done. How you have walked with me and strengthened me and ministered to me. Lest I not forget what I’ve learned in almost ten months of pain. It’s easier now to see it as a gift. At the time it’s almost impossible. And I don’t want to go back but Lord, you redeem everything and I’m so grateful. Shine, Jesus, shine!