“This may sting a little”

I am putting myself through laser treatments to take care of some things that have been bothering me for a while. I’m not sure what I was thinking “laser treatment” is, but for some reason I was not associating it with being burned.

Well…that’s exactly what it is…being burned.

The pain was excruciating and I told the doctor if I could have reached him, I would have punched him in the throat. He just smirked and said, “It will all be worth it when we reach the final treatment and you see the finished product. Have a good day, Mrs. Cannis. See you next time.”

I thought, “Next time?! There won’t BE a NEXT TIME!”

I cried like a baby. The burning continued for several hours. I felt like my nerves were on fire. Tylenol didn’t help (which is what they recommend for “mild” discomfort.) I have had enough medical procedures to know that when a doctor says, “You will have mild discomfort.” What he really means is, “This is going to bring you to your knees, make you whimper like a child and wonder why you ever agreed to this treatment.” The “mild discomfort” burned like hell fire.

24 hours later, I was to remove the bandages for the first time. They had warned that there may be a blister. Thankfully my hubs was a medic so I had him look at it. (Sexy, right? Not even a little.) They had given me a small needle to puncture any blistering, clean it, coat it with antibiotic ointment and re-cover.

At first glance, Chris said he counted about 15 small blisters.
“WHAT?! Why did I do this?!” The tears began to well up in my eyes and the lump was forming in my throat.

“Are you ready?” he asked.

“Um…I guess so? I don’t know? WAIT!”

Did that hurt?”

“No.”

“Good. Only 14 more to go.”

Why am I telling you this in such graphic detail? I’m getting to that. Just stay with me.

The following day, when I removed the bandages, there were only two blisters. Hopefully tomorrow there won’t be any.

I am going through some painful things to reach the desired outcome. I have been asking myself for 2 years, “Is it worth the pain I will have to go through to get where I want to be?”

I finally decided that it was.

There will be several more treatments. I will be fortunate if it is less than 5. As the doctor told me, “Each time, it’s gets easier.”

When I had wiped the mascara from my face and regained composure, I realized that I really didn’t hate the doctor and I started thinking about what I could learn from the pain.

Upkeep on our body is costly and with age comes more expense. Some of the maintenance is chosen while some is required. Whether it’s maintaining beautiful brows, hair color, muscle tone, etc., it takes work.

Why do I think that beautifying and maintaining my spiritual life will be painless and require little to no effort?

If this temporary physical shell that I’m inhabiting takes so much work, how could I ever believe that the eternal spiritual would thrive without any attention?

I call myself a follower of Christ. I try to live like he did. I fail miserably at times, but I start over and try again. I pray throughout the day, little 1-2 sentence prayers to stay in constant communication. But when was the last time I actually set aside time to meditate and have uninterrupted time with my God?

If I am plucking my eyebrows more often than spending a few intentional moments with my Savior, I am missing it.

Just as the cool antibiotic ointment soothes my laser induced burns, time spent nurturing my spiritual being is like salve to my weary soul and heavy heart.

Are you finding the time and resources for physical maintenance while allowing your spirit to starve? Or, are you the exact opposite? I would love to hear your routines and practices for not only maintaining, but thriving from the inside out.

11 thoughts on ““This may sting a little”

  1. So well written, I have tears stinging my eyes. Funny how even when physical beautification causes some physical pain (waxing, nails trimmed @ a mani or pedi, the heat from hair dye). I’m still excited to get it done. Excited in the moment of spiritual pain? Not so much, but if I could see it as spiritual beautification maybe so. Thanks so much for this wonderful way to look @ it. I just prayed that you’re treatments will be few, that you will easily bear the pain, that you will feel our Lords comfort & the Holy Spirit with you & will have peace. I also prayed that the Lord will give you, myself, all who read this & all His children His perspective when in spiritual pain & physical pain. I prayed that He will help us to even have excitement in knowing He is growing us & that He will bless us & others in our responses . Thanks so much for your thought & prayer provoking words.

    • Thank you so much for your comments, prayers and sharing what was on your heart. I truly appreciate your feedback on what this post meant to you.
      Blessings!

  2. What a wonderfully honest, inspirational post! It’s so true about upkeep coming at a cost – of time, pain, commitment – whether it’s physical, mental or spiritual. This really made me think and confront myself about my own choices… Our pastor always says that if you really want to know what matters to a person, all you have to do is look at their checkbook (or bank statement) and look at how they choose to spend their time. So much truth in that statement and your post just reminded me. 🙂

    Hope you’re healing well and that it hurts a little less each time you go back. 🙂

  3. Your post made me ask myself this question. When you said “Upkeep on our body is costly and with age comes more expense. Some of the maintenance is chosen while some is required. Whether it’s maintaining beautiful brows, hair color, muscle tone, etc., it takes work.” I asked myself if that is how I think of aging spiritually? No. The answer has always been I have thought it should get easier as I mature spiritually. I know it takes work but I always went from the assumption it would get easier. Even though my experience shows that not to be true I had held to that assumption. I must rethink that assumption. Perhaps as life takes its toll both physically and mentally and our soul aches maybe it does take more work than I hoped to keep our spiritual lives vibrant. I wish that were not so but maybe it is.

    I put in alot of time each week on working out physically and the only way I am able to do that is to do it first thing each day. I pray alot but the key things like bible study and meditation do not get enough attention from me.

      • I can totally relate, Mark. And the thing is, I’m not in a big hurry to change it. That is what stings for me. I find myself, at times, saying, “God and me, oh we’re good! I talked to him earlier today. Besides, I haven’t been struck by lightening or anything.” Seriously?! That is not the condition in which I want my spiritual health to be. Thank you for reading and taking the time to share your thoughts. I truly appreciate it.

  4. Joy, got a quote for you from Frederick Buechner. He writes:”We are never more alive to life than when it hurts….Being a good steward of your pain involves…being alive to your life. It involves taking the risk of being open, of reaching out, of keeping in touch with what happens because at no time more than at a painful time do we live out of the depths of who we are instead of out of the shallows.” You have been a good steward of your pain. You have examined your life, been open, reached out, and shared with the rest of us the depths of who you are. Thank you.

    • Pam! This is a great quote. Thank you, friend!
      Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement. It took me a long time to sort through all of my garbage and find anything worth cleaning off, examining and sharing. It’s funny (not funny haha, funny interesting) what God will use in our lives. Many times during a worship set, I will just open my hands in front of me. I’m still not totally comfortable with it, but I do it because it’s my way of saying, “My hands are opened. I’m letting go of everything that I think is important in an effort to receive what Christ has for me.” It is so much better than anything I could ever conjure up for myself.Thank you for reading, commenting and investing in my life.

  5. When I started reading your post, it gave me a little chuckle. I’ve never had laser but have thought about it. Hmmmm…..blisters don’t sound too fun and now I’m not too sure. I pray you heal quickly. I love how you tied this story to Jesus. I have recently had a conversation with my mentor about the amount of time I spend with God. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Thank you, Kathy!
      It’s interesting how most things that I worry about turn quickly from a grain of sand to a mountain in my head and they never come to pass.
      The things I don’t worry and toil over at times surprise me with their intensity. I never worried about laser 🙂
      I think it comes down to how badly you want it, or don’t want it in my case 🙂 My next appointment is in June.
      Thank you for reading and taking the time to share your thoughts. I truly appreciate it.

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