This past Tuesday, I had my second laparoscopy for Endometriosis. Because it had been nine years since my last laparoscopy, I don’t remember all of my post-operative pains that resulted from the first procedure. Yet, I knew I was going to experience some soreness.
As much discomfort as I have experienced in the past few days, I must admit that I have had pain much, much worse. In the past six months, my pain level has reached a ten. The discomfort I’ve experienced in the past few days since my surgery does not compare to the days and nights of debilitating cramps.
Yet there is still pain, and my body is still healing.
But I can no longer classify my aches as a destructive pain. Since this surgery, the discomfort I’m experiencing is a healing pain.
My post-operative pains remind me of this scene from Grey’s Anatomy. When we surface from a surgical procedure that saves our life or our quality of life, we are no longer (or less) captive to the agony that tore our lives apart. We have been released from the bondage of misery and are now crossing the threshold to a new phase of living.
Healing pains apply to emotional and spiritual injuries as well. When I was in Clinical Pastoral Education in 2008, we were given the illustration that spiritual/emotional healing is like a wound healing on our body. Injuries can heal incorrectly. But if we want to truly heal the wound, we must clean out the sore. If a bone is healing incorrectly, the bone must be broken once again and then reset. How much pain does that cause? How do we try to avoid that extra pain when we are in the healing process?
Healing means we must face pain directly. It’s pouring alcohol in an open wound. It’s having surgery to avoid destructive pain. It’s going to therapy and talking through our issues.
And it’s knowing that God is in the wound with us – – whether we are healing or the sore is new.
I do hurt, but I won’t suffer forever. I know my current pain is part of the journey to healing and wholeness.