What To Do With the Pain

March 15, 2010 | 21 comments

The pain shot through my back, intensifying with each footfall. Legs turned to lead, asphalt to molasses. How would I make it home?

A lump rose in my throat, and tears stung the corners of my eyes. I swallowed hard, and pressed on.

“Just one more mile, Jennifer,” my soul whispered within me. “Just nice and easy. This isn’t a race. You just gotta make it home. That’s all. Just get home.”

Don’t panic.


Just get home.

Step. By step. By step.


That was Thursday. Four days later, I sit here at the computer, with an icy gel-pack tucked into the back waistband of my Peace pajamas. I took two ibuprofen an hour ago. I’ll apply heat in a little while.

But I find the most comfort right here, in leather-bound Word.

Because this is how we treat the pain: We visit the God who is acquainted with it. He knows our pain. He does not bring pain, but He sees the fruit it will bear. And if we trust Him to carry us to the other side of pain, we know our present-day sufferings will build something within.

“Suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” — Romans 5:3-4

And this is how life goes, as we spin dizzily on the axis of Earth, isn’t it? We’re running along, at record-pace on a downhill stretch when … snap … it all changes.

We panic at first, perhaps, but the Voice of Truth within whispers. We breath in, and out, and we slow our pace, and we find our stride, and we tell ourselves: We just gotta make it home.

This is not a race to the finish line, this life. We are all headed Home, and some of us are stumbling and weary and in pain today.

Oh, dear friends, may we find reassurance in leather-bound, red-letter Medicine. May we know that Hope is close at hand. Because the Word says this: From the suffering comes endurance. From the endurance comes character. From this God-molded character, comes Jesus-branded Hope.

And hope does not disappoint us … — Romans 5:5

Yes, this obscured thing you hold in your hand ….

It may well be HOPE.

Photos: My hope candle, lit for me and for you, my friend.

I suffered a small setback, a torn muscle, but I am determined to reach the finish line on May 2 with the help of my coaches and this God of Hope. Thank you for your prayers and for your wildly generous support of my half-marathon run. My fundraising meter doesn’t show the full total yet, but together, we’ve blown past my goal of $1,800! We have now raised more than $2,100 for cancer research! My deepest thanks to those who gave, and to those who have prayed and to those who stand with me, even silently, in this place.

You’re all Hope to me.

by | March 15, 2010 | 21 comments


  1. katdish


    Thanks. I needed that. Praying you heal quickly.

  2. jasonS

    Hope you're okay!

    This is a great post. I think we too often think of hope as fragile, more like a wish, but not godly hope. It comes at the end of that progression which is why it's so valuable (and why it's so devastating when we give it up). Great start to Monday for me- thanks! 🙂

  3. Beth.. One Blessed Nana

    oh, what a glorious hope He is!
    Thanks for this Jennifer. Praying that you find healing in Him today.

    Love, Beth

  4. Sockrma18

    I haven't been over to see you in a while but I am sure glad I did today! I am running the San Diego Half Marathon on June 6th for Team in Training so I am right there with you on training and fundraising! Good for you! Hope you heal quickly and if you've never done a event for Team in Training, be prepared for an amazing weekend. You are a HERO and will be treated as one. Crossing the finish line is the best especially when its for a good cause. GO TEAM!! :0)

  5. Monica Sharman

    And like the Lord, you, too, have not been unfamiliar with pain . . . and you show us to turn to the right way.

  6. Julie

    Thank you for this needed message today, Jennifer.

    Many times we take for granted and or just assume that we should be "pain-free" all the time. But it is in the pain that our fruit grows.

    Thank you for pushing through and taking a stand against such an awful and scary disease. You continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. I can't wait to read of your experience crossing that finish line!

  7. Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought

    Hope does not disappoint. Man, I needed that reminder today.

    Cool how you posted your candle pics.

    ~ Wendy

  8. Lady Claudette

    Great post 🙂 Thanks for the reminder of hope and how we have to hold onto it, even in the hard times. Praying for your recovery!

  9. ~*Michelle*~

    "From the suffering comes endurance. From the endurance comes character. From this God-molded character, comes Jesus-branded Hope."

    wow….this was JUST what I needed to read today…..

    those four simple letters are so powerful. HOPE.

    thank you!

  10. Lyla Lindquist

    And so you find yet another application for your incremental math, 1 step + 1 step + 1 step . . .

    Stepping into hope. Even when it hurts.

    Finish line is a powerful drawing card.

    I've prayed.

  11. S. Etole

    thanks for keeping on … and running the race

  12. Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience

    I am praying for you tonight…
    You who write beautifully, whose heart radiates Jesus Truth…
    who carries the torch of your father-in-law… the torch of faith.

    My, I appreciate you, Jennifer…
    Thank you.
    And your photos?


    All's grace,

  13. Karen

    This was beautiful…as is your heart for others…praying for a repaired muscle and strength to endure…

  14. KEE

    I'm notsure what I would do without your uplifting posts and your wisdom. It feeds my soul and spirit. Thank you for being so open and honest with us my dear friend, I'm so glad we have connected on here.
    Hugs to you Jen.

  15. Kelly Langner Sauer

    Oh sigh… do I know this. Sometimes I ask Him "why" and He doesn't say much, and I wonder if He cares at all, because it doesn't seem like enough that He cares – but He *did* live it too, in the dust I wear, and that is why I hope. Because now I wear Him too, and one day, no more tears…

    Thanks for your visits to my blog recently – I am burdened and busy and cutting way back. Your voice is refreshing.

  16. Rose

    Praising God for the hope that is within us!

  17. Deborah Ann

    I have found solace in the Word many times, but especially in times of desperate need. God never fails to come through, with words of hope and comfort…

  18. A Simple Country Girl

    As always, I find such Truth and beauty here. Your photos are such a reflection of the words… blurry when we look so far our, but crisp and clear when our focus is close at-hand. Leather-bound bandages are indeed the best.

    Blessings and prayers.

  19. Billy Coffey

    Oh how I needed these words today. Not a race, not a race. I need to keep that in my small brain. One foot in front of the other. All I have to do is make it home.

    Thanks for this, Jennifer. Hope you feel better soon.

  20. deb

    lovely lovely,
    the words, the resolve, the prayer, the pictures,

    sending healing thoughts , Jennifer,
    and what a beautiful thing you are doing

  21. Laura

    I am so proud of you in this endeavor! Still getting conditioned here in WV. Each run discovers a new forgotten place in my body 🙂 But that's just part of it, right? And now I know what to do with the pain 🙂


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