My dad didn’t say anything for a few minutes. He just sat on FaceTime with me as I sobbed.
I looked up at him as I tried to take a breath and slow down my tears, but it didn’t work.
“I’m just so confused, Dad.”
“I’m sorry, Scooter. I wish I could help more.” He looked just as helpless as I felt on the other end of the video call. “Everything you’re feeling is valid.”
Sitting here today, this post is one I truly don’t have the all the answers to.
As I’m writing it, I’m still fighting the feelings I’m attempting to write to you about.
Since starting back at UF, I’ve been in one of the hardest semesters academically I’ve had so far. On top of that, like always, adjusting to living on my own again has wreaked havoc on my body and pain levels. But lately, my shoulders have hurt more than ever.
I knew this could happen one day. As a full-time crutches user, you can probably imagine what I put my shoulders through daily. And admittedly, shoulder stretching and care has been the one thing that has fallen through the cracks in my PT routines.
And now I’m feeling it. Bad. In one week, I think I broke down crying four times, not always in private, just solely because I was in so much pain.
My physical therapist and even friends tried to help me stretch, but my shoulders are so bad, no one could do much. And the massage therapist at my PT clinic couldn’t see me until next week.
Last week, I sat on the mat in PT and felt like I was begging for relief.
I felt completely lost and helpless. This crazy semester plus my body trying to remember how to do a college paced life on my own, has wrecked me. Physically, mentally and emotionally.
In fact, on that phone call with my dad, my sobs were mostly not because of my pain. I was crying and have cried in recent days, because I am struggling to process what I’m feeling.
Let me explain.
I feel like I’m split evenly in thirds.
One part of me looks at my life, my complete independence, my community and my school that I love so dearly, and I am earnestly overwhelmed with thankfulness. I know full well that God has blessed me immensely. And I pray that never gets lost on me.
But I also feel the pain I’m in, knowing it will probably never go away. I do something small like go to Publix or do my laundry, and the simplest things feel so hard somedays. I feel these things and part of me wants to be so mad that I’m like this.
But then I look at the first part of me, that’s aware and thankful. I look at friends of mine who struggle even more than me physically. I look at them, knowing in another world, I should be right where they are. I start to feel like I have zero grounds to be upset or mad. And I feel guilty for being upset about my pain or my struggle, and I know I should never take how far I’ve come for granted.
So basically, I have been an emotional mess the past few weeks.
I’m thankful because I love my life, especially here in Gainesville. I have independence, the best pals out there and a heck of a family cheering me on.
I’m also mad. Because being disabled isn’t fun and it’s hard. No matter how high my pain tolerance, it feels like it’s been failing me lately. I look at my lifetime of pain and physical struggle ahead of me, and I get really scared and sad sometimes about how it affects pretty much every aspect of my life.
And after I get done being sad or mad about it, guilt literally eats me alive inside. Because truly, I’ve come so far. And it could be worse. So how can I be upset, when the Lord has given me such a great life?
My tears have been more turmoil than anything.
How do you process three completely conflicting emotions?
I’m hard on myself, I always have been. About school and just about dealing with my challenges.
In the midst of this, that’s still been true.
I’ve told myself to just suck up the pain, ignore all the confusing feelings and keep going.
Clearly, it hasn’t been working very well.
I prayed for answers, and writing this, I’m still praying the same thing.
I don’t have answers. I’m still fighting to process and be okay with everything I’m experiencing.
I lead a group of junior girls in bible study. They’re such a sweet spot in my life, and I love them lots. As we shared about life Monday night, I did all I could not to breakdown too bad in front of them as I tried to explain all of this to them.
After I finished, I swallowed the tears I was holding back, and looked at them. “Sorry, long and confusing tangent we didn’t need. I’m a mess.”
“Yes, we did.” One of them said. I didn’t look directly at her because I knew I’d lose it.
“You’re pain and emotions are valid, Jordan. Don’t beat yourself up.” Another one chimed in. I don’t think they know how much I was holding back the waterworks.
As they showed me love and as we prayed for one another, I was reminded of my dad telling me the same thing.
My feelings are valid.
My pain is valid.
I’ve found myself in Psalm 139 lately.
In my confusion, I don’t think there’s anything more comforting than reading about my God who knows me fully and hems me in from all sides.
It’s okay to not have all the answers. All my days are written and planned in his book.
And I think those are my points in this post:
Life is hard. It’s confusing. It’s okay to feel things that don’t all make sense together. And there’s actually no way we can have all the answers.
As I still wrestle with my pain and feelings, I’m trying to rest in being known by God.
I’m believing that everything I’m feeling is valid.
But ultimately, I’m hemmed in. I’m covered. And He is sovereign.
This will pass. And one day, it’ll make sense.
Because even though my emotions are valid, better yet, He is sovereign.