Girls Night In

the blog for single, over-40 women

Why Shouldn’t I Feel Pain?

on October 17, 2014
Birthday 2014

Blowing out the candles on Birthday Cake #50. Photo by Susie Jarvis of Waterkopf Photography.

On Wednesday, I turned 51. It’s still a little surreal, knowing I’ve spent over half a century on this planet. And, to be honest, it was a rough day. I do not have the life I dreamed of when I was younger. It’s not even the life I imagined when I turned 50. Things haven’t worked out like I’d hoped and, well, I spent much of my birthday weeping and wishing God would give me a break and make things easier.

The day after, I “celebrated” by having some dental work done, including an extraction. A very painful extraction. As the dentist tugged and pushed and worked that poor decayed tooth, sharp pangs shot through my skull. Each time, I tried to pull away and moaned. I’d mumble, “I- hur” (“It hurts” in dental patient dialect), then add, “I- okay,” because I didn’t want more Novocain. But she gave me more anyway, until the numbness seeped right up to my eye.

And it still hurt.

So, as I’m lying there, wondering if I should groan again because it ached so much, the thought hit me: “Why shouldn’t I feel pain?” I didn’t take good enough care of my teeth and now I have to have something that should be permanent yanked from my skull and that’s gonna sting. Maybe I should just pull up my big girl pants and deal with it.

I get it, though. We live in a society where we don’t want to hurt—physically or emotionally. I go to a lot of effort to avoid painful situations. And I kind of expect God to be a part of that. Since He loves me, He should protect me from anything that will injure me. And that includes the injury to my heart over my continued singleness.

I want Him to fix what makes me sad and when He doesn’t, I don’t get it. I want Him to want me to be happy. Or, at least, to show me what I can do to make the hurt go away. This is my first-world mindset at work—wanting my life to be easy and fun and full of flowers and chocolates delivered by TMoMD (The Man of My Dreams) because I’ve managed to convince myself I deserve it.

But why shouldn’t I be sad? Why shouldn’t I go through tough times? Why shouldn’t I feel pain? And why can’t I focus more on all the blessings in my life instead of constantly wanting, even expecting, more?


2 responses to “Why Shouldn’t I Feel Pain?

  1. Susan Mason says:

    Sorry you’re having such a terrible time lately! I can sympathize with the dental issues, though I don’t think mine are near as bad. Once you dust yourself off, if you can try to focus on gratitude every day (morning when you first get up and evening before you go to sleep is best) for the tiniest of things, you’ll find a huge shift in your life. It’s really true. When you focus on all the things you have, you can’t help but be filled with joy and gratitude and that will lead to more of the same. Try it for a few weeks and see what happens! It can’t hurt, right?

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