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How Faith Helps Her Cope with Chronic Pain

Leah Latimer offers advice on how faith, prayer and scripture can help you in dealing with a medical condition that brings chronic pain.

Guideposts Video: Inspiring True Stories

 

Hi, Guideposts. I’m Leah Latimer.

In August 2007, I awoke one morning with numbness in my face. It soon turned to electric-like shocks in my eye and my ear. Sometimes it felt like I was being hit with a bag of bricks in my cheek and sometimes the pain was just undescribable.

I was eventually diagnosed with a rare condition called trigeminal neuralgia and for the next several years, even today, I still experience those shocks and pains from what was once called the suicide disease. I wasn’t able to work. I was home alone, isolated most of the time with my pain.

My faith helps me manage my pain today and this is an idea for anyone who’s dealing with something like this is to find scripture that really speaks to your situation or that uplifts you in the middle of your troubles.

I felt in my heart the scripture from Second Corinthians 12:9, when God told Paul, who was asking for healing, God said, “My grace is sufficient for you.” Wow. I realized that if one is close to God and God is in charge of your life then whatever God decides and does is enough and He’ll see you through.

I would also say pray aloud. Something about the physical act of praying is more powerful—for me, anyway—than just going into my mind in quiet, peaceful prayer. I would begin each day with an affirmation. Mine is always, “This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Over this period, as I grew even closer to God in my pain, my prayers started to change in that, while I continued to ask for healing, I began asking for strength to persevere or bear whatever I was gonna have to bear if the healing didn’t come.

Today, my TN is largely resolved. Am I healed? The doctors say it could return at any moment and I do have a couple of other conditions that cause me pain, but I think back on what I’ve been through and what God’s sufficient grace has been towards me and I’m grateful.


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