Friday, February 25, 2011

I see Jesus

By Sue Schmidt
I know and understand what true physical pain feels like. For no reason it seems, pain occurs, pain that is off the 1-10 chart jumps to an easy 12-15. Today I started out feeling fine but one small twist to make the bed told me something was wrong. Within an hour of time I was in intense pain. The pain was so hard to endure that even after dealing with it for several minutes I couldn’t wait for it to end. Plans were canceled, disappointment set in. Why today? Yes, the past week had been busy and stressful. Yes, there is a storm approaching that affects my fibromyalgia. I want to blame this pain on someone or something. Please Lord release me from it’s grip. There is nothing to take my mind off the pain. I can’t concentrate on any movie or book; there is no position such as sitting, standing, or walking that eases the migraine that has settled in my back. I feel the fingers of pain surrounding my abdomen, down my hips and up towards the middle of my back. I finally saw the end of this pain eight weeks later after a trip to the emergency room and four steroid shots. I’ve never had a flare up last this long. It was during this time I had four evenings scheduled at a local county fair to launch my book. I was uncomfortable to say the least but God saw me through it as He always has. If Satan was involved in this he didn’t win again. I choose to follow Jesus every day.

In some small way I feel a little of the pain Jesus endured on the cross. I feel a connection with him. While I want to cry like an unwilling five year old Jesus suffered so readily. The Creator of the Universe handled Himself during His trial and crucifixion the way we would expect Him to -–silently. Jesus was sinless He had done nothing wrong. Loving us too much is the only thing we could accuse Him of. I may be suffering silently today but I’m certainly not suffering willingly. My pain can’t be compared with the torture Jesus endured before the cross and on the cross. That would be minimizing what Jesus did for you and for me.

I praise Him for keeping His promise and rising on the third day. I praise Him for my gifts of faith, belief, and trust. I praise Him for my heavenly home. I know and understand His mission. I understand why He prayed, “Please take this cup from me,” in the Garden of Gethsemane. He knew what lay ahead of Him. He wanted most of all to be obedient to His Father. Prayer strengthened Him and got Him through that predestined day.

Jesus’ plan or will for each of my days is not always easy to accept. He does not want to intentionally hurt me. I know He sees my suffering and He hurts with me. I don’t have the answer to, “why is this happening to me today” question I know Jesus does. I like to think that God doesn’t bring pain into my life without a purpose. God is showing me His love as we walk together each day of my fibromyalgia illness. I serve a compassionate God and somehow these past few weeks fit into His plan for my life. It’s natural as human beings to look for the answers but I want to trust in the God of the Universe who holds all the answers.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think God could use me to write about my fibromyalgia experiences. Following the will of God has been the most exciting and adventuresome event in my life. God had a message that He wrote through me to share with others who live with daily pain. It all began with picking up the phone and calling a couple friends who knew a couple more friends who all lived with fibromyalgia and my support group was inaugurated. We began with basic lessons but after a year it seemed something was missing. One of the gals from my group mentioned she needed more spiritual help. We all agreed to include Jesus as our guest for all future meetings. He filled the void we were all feeling.

I immediately began writing a six week Bible study that I presented to my group in as many weeks. After several months of rewriting and editing these lessons turned into a book of faith and the journey I took with God. This is the closest I’ve come to sorting out the, “why do I have

fibromyalgia” question, God used my limitations for His glory. I’ve never kept a diary but writing in this type of format helps me vent and in my own way cry out to God how unfair life can be. He sees and knows all that I am dealing with. It’s enough for me that I will be in Heaven one day with Jesus and have a body that will never know pain. But that’s how I get through these fibromyalgia flare ups, I see Jesus.
“I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul.” Psalm 31:7

Life—it’s all about Jesus!
Leave a comment to get your name in the drawing for a copy of Finding Faith through Fibromyalgia.
Read more about Sue's journey Here
Find her website Here


  1. Oh, how I can relate! Have had FM for 26 yrs now. Some meds have made it more tolerable. I'm still looking for that something God has for me in this time (I also had back surgery 3 times).

    I would love to win you book. Thanks for being faithful.

    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

  2. I truly felt your pain as you described because mine has been worse than usual lately and I am sorry to hear that another person has to suffer the way that I do. I look forward to the day that I will go home to Jesus and not have to suffer anymore. I hope that we and many others will find relief on this earth before that glorious day.

  3. Coffee will be ready at 4 a.m.

    Prayers for all those afflicted with this illness.


  4. Hi Sue, I've asked every question you've asked, prayed for God to relieve the never-ending pain or at least, make it bearable, ranted at Him, pleaded with Him and watched in amazement as He worked through me and my family as I've journeyed through living with pain for the last 27 years years since a patient attack me and destroyed my back. I spent four of those years so angry at Him for 'allowing' this to happen to me until someone answered my question of "Why God?" with a "Why not?" After that, I decided I could either have a life with pain or LIVE a life with pain. I chose the latter.

    The last couple of years haven't been easy. The most unbearable pain stays with me most of the time; sometimes, I'm unable to sit or stand for any amount of time so to write, I have to write it longhanded first while lying flat on my back. Not the most productive way to get a book out, but just being able to write is a gift from God.

    Thank you for sharing your words--I appreciate what you had to go through to get them down. I have a hard time talking about my injury, mainly because I don't want to be defined by it so thank you for taking the time to read this.


  5. Yes Helen, you said it. Prayers for each of you. It seems Sue, that you have a tremendous perspective. Thank you for sharing it with us. I trust He DOES have a reason. But I'm still sorry there is pain at all.

  6. So sorry to hear about your suffering. Glad you have friends to help ease some of it and think it's great you wrote a book so no one has to suffer in silence alone. God Bless!

  7. Oh my gosh Sue, what an amazing post! Thanks so much!

  8. I know so many people with FM and I am sure your book is a help to them. I was staying with a friend who has this and I saw her go into a flare by a simple thing of a shopping trolley hitting her and not even hard but it affected her for days. I know alot of people dont understand it cos they cant see the problem. Thanks for the post and book.
    Dont enter me there are people here who would benefit from this book way more than me.

  9. I don't have FM, so I can't say I feel your pain or in anyway understand. But, I'm very interested in reading your book b/c there are other pains in life and to be reminded that this is "not our home" is always good for me. What a witness you are to me by just reading this post. Thank you! Blessings to you!


  10. Thanks for sharing your powerful testimony, Sue! Your ability to praise God through the pain has touched my heart. It must give you strength to know that God is using your struggle to teach others, especially through your book. A dear friend of mine has FM, and I'd love to share this book with her. Please include me in the giveaway. Blessings!

    reneeasmith61 [at] yahoo [dot] com

  11. Welcome to Seekerville, Sue! And thank you for sharing your perspective on the journey through this painful and debilitating disease. I have a friend who suffers from this and I have no idea how she keeps going--except for God. I'm sure she'll find your book encouraging.

  12. Hi Sue!

    It was such a pleasure to meet you and your husband at the booksigning at Crossroads.

    I understand your disease as I have a friend that suffers with it also.

    You are strong and brave and rely on the right person, Jesus!

    Wishing you much success with your book.


  13. My sister has been legally handicapped for many years. She has more issues than I can name and new ones keep popping up. They once thought she had FM but it turned out to be something else. I will add you to my prayer list, Sue. Thank you for sharing how God is working in your life!

  14. I also have FM. It's fine if I take care of myself and get the rest I need. But who does that! If I feel good one day, I usually wind up doing too much and pay for it the next day. I would love, love to get up in the mornings feeling great. But most of the time I get up feeling as if I never went to bed. I know this book would be a great help. Sue, thanks for sharing your experience.

  15. Sue, what a lovely, heartfelt, giving post. First, I wish there was no pain for any of you, because I know you're not talking the passing, niggling pains of everyone, but something else. Something deep and gripping beyond our realm.

    Chronic pain can be such a downer, but you approached it in a beautiful manner. Thank you. And bless you. My prayers are with you all who suffer from this or other ongoing, debilitating conditions.

    I brought gentle food today. Upstate New York is in the middle of a blizzard type snow right now, supposed to last all day, so I've got plenty of time to cook and bake as needed. Having the oven on will warm things up.

    We've got fresh apple pancakes and real maple syrup. Scrambled eggs and sausage. Home-fried potatoes because it's Friday. ;)

    Muffins and bagels with toppings are to your left. And Helen's coffee alongside the soda bar.

    Diet Cherry Coke and Diet Sierra Mist Ruby Splash seem to be today's favorites.

    I only wish cyber food could be more help.

  16. Dear Sue, Thank you for sharing with us today. As others have already done, I'm sending prayers up for all of you who suffer with this pain.
    I'm also praying for those who are inspired to find a cure, may God open their eyes to see what can be done to rid those who suffer of this pain. With God all things are possible.

  17. Dear Sue,

    I read your post and my initial reaction is to slap myself silly for all the times I complain about a headache or a fever blister -- dear God, forgive me for complaining at all, especially when I don't encounter the pain that plagues your life and others'. Thank you for bringing this to our awareness today in this truly incredible post, and definitely one of the upsides of FM (if there are any at all) is that nothing brings one closer to Jesus than pain, and NOTHING, in a world full of pain and grief and sin, is better than that.

    God's abundant blessings on you and your writing, sweet lady.


  18. Loves 2 Read Romance - LauraFebruary 25, 2011 at 8:57 AM

    Thank you for sharing with us. I have added you to my prayer list. It's great to see how God is using your FM to share with others.

  19. Oh Sue,
    Thank you for this post. When Mary emailed me to let me know you were going to be on today I knew I'd definitely have to make sure to come by. I was diagnosed with Fibro in December. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis too which was diagnosed about 5 years ago. But it's been a solid 8 years trying to diagnose all my medical problems, for lack of a better term. This doesn't sound like long in the grand scheme of things but I'm only 18 (soon to be 19!!!!) it's been a lot.

    It is truly a constant daily struggle. I know what you mean. But thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to be here with us in Seekerville. Don't enter me for the book because Mary so kindly sent it to me. Thanks again, Mary!! *big hugs*

    Also just a quick note, I'd love some prayers today. Am heading home soon and you can't even see 2 feet out the window. The weather is miserable and I need to get home. Seeing Bye, Bye Birdie with my sister tonight so I need to make it there even if there are times I wish I didn't have to go on lol....but anyway. No morbid thoughts this morning, need to stay positive because it would be too darn easy for something to "accidentally" happen on the way home. So can't think negatively....

    I'll try to check in later. *hugs to all*

  20. Sue, thank you for your inspiring post. I have a friend with this dreadful disease and have seen her suffering.

    By forming a support group and writing your book, you've allowed God to use you in the midst of your pain, and have blessed others afflicted with fibromyalgia. Proving God lets nothing go to waste. May He give you the strength you need to face each day.

    Hugs, Janet

  21. What a beautiful post, Sue. Thank you so much for opening up your life and journey to us today. I'm sure your book will be a blessing to many!

    And Amen to Sandra's prayer of finding a cure!

    Hannah, be careful!! I love Bye Bye Birdie! I played the Ann Margaret character in the play in 9th grade. :) When I went to see the play last year, I wanted to burst into song the whole time! LOL

  22. Sue, thank you SO MUCH for sharing your story! I don't have fibro. but I know people who do, and there still seems to be a lot of misunderstanding about it.
    I can only imagine how terrible it would be to live with constant pain. Praying that God will heal you, and that there will be better treatments for it.

  23. Please put me in the drawing, because I have a good friend I want to give this to if I win it. She's too shy to comment. Actually, she feels like there is a stigma to having this, that most people don't believe it's real. I don't know if that's true or not, but it's really sad to me that she has gotten that impression. So please put me in the drawing. Thanks!!!

  24. Thank you so much for being with us today, Sue and for sharing your testimony. It's a total pleasure to have you!

  25. Thank you for sharing, Sue. And how wonderful you've reached out to others through your pain and shared the amazing love Christ has for us!!! ~ I truly understand about living with excruciating pain (it's a long story, but I had 4 spinal surgeries this past June---the Lord was with me the entire time and has blessed me in soooo many ways through my experiences!). ~ I'm praying for you as you live with the often-horrible pain of fibro.
    Blessings from Georgia, Patti Jo

  26. Sue,
    My heart goes out to you and anyone else with FM. Living with pain is so debilitating. I find it hard to pray--really pray, that deep-down-feeling-God-within prayer when I'm in pain. That's why prayer warriors are so necessary. They lift us up when we feel like we can barely survive.

    I don't believe God sends pain or disease. It comes from our human state. But God CAN transform the pain, the illness, the suffering and use it for good, which He did with you. You started the support group, created the Bible Study and published the book that God will use to help others with FM. Good has come from your suffering.

    A lady in my church had RA as a young woman. She couldn't walk, couldn't function. Cricket changed her diet and saw results. Now she's a runner, has 6 children and has touched so many with her story. Have you ever tried a radical diet change? So many are talking about the macrobiotic diet now. My friend did away with meat, processed foods, white flour, sugars, etc, and encourages others with chronic illness to do the same.

    Sue, thanks for being with us today. You're an inspiration!

  27. Melanie, I scoped this out on the Mayo Clinic website:

    It's a great eye-opener written by a nurse practitioner on their staff and TELLS IT LIKE IT IS...

    And just because they didn't recognize this ailment fifteen years ago, doesn't mean it didn't exist. We're soooo..... human.

    Hannah, just envisioning Janet playing that part is reason enough to get there, honey, but be careful. We're in that storm too and it's a doozy.

    But Bye, Bye Birde.... So fun!

    And talking about pain opens us to the possibility of discussing it rationally and that's a huge plus.

    And if Ghirardelli chocolates help, I've got some to share. I might just throw some in a drawing. Or two. Or three. You never know, but watch the Weekend Edition, okay?

    While chocolate doesn't always HELP, it rarely hurts. And tastes good.

  28. Oh, man, it was MISSY who played the part.

    I'd love to blame Google for my snafu but can't.


  29. Hi, Sue! Thanks so much for coming today and sharing your story. I've been ill most of my life, but didn't know what was wrong. I was diagnosed with fibro in spring of 1998. Winter of 2006, Chronic Lyme disease was added. So, I am intimately aquainted with your post. I'm not normally a big non-fiction reader, but I'd love to read your book. Please put my name in the drawing.

    lr dot mullin at live dot com


  30. Thanks for sharing your story, Sue. I understand what you live with as my dear mother-in-law suffers terribly with this. She used to spend winters in Arizona which kept the pain bearable. But now that she's advancing in age and lost her partner who did so much for her, she can no longer travel. Living up North in the extreme cold has really got her down. She's been in bed most of the winter. And I know she doesn't make proper meals for herself. It's so hard to watch loved ones suffer like that.

    Good for you for writing this book! My MIL was thought to maybe have Lupus too, but it wasn't that. I don't know much about Lupus so I don't know which is worse.

    I also have a step-sister who has FM and got it really young - in her 20's. She seems to keep it under control for the most part. It is so sad that so many people don't recognize this condition as a real chronic illness. They think it's all in their head sometimes.

    God bless you and all of you who deal with this type of chronic pain on a daily basis.

    Sue (another one!)

  31. MELANIE:
    Your friend has reason to feel the way she does. Many in the medical community think it's a "all in your head." Then, because no one can SEE the disease, you are accused of being lazy by many - friends and family. It's the same for Lyme. It's very sad and causes more stress to those who have these disease which brings on more pain and depression. It's very sad. Just keep encouraging your friend the best you can. So much psychological damage is done by people who don't try to understand and who judge you for what they see. This, of course, also means you are labeled a liar. It's very hurtful to have people you know, love and trust not believe your pain is real. Please tell your friend about my blog: I was diagnosed with fibro long before I was diagnosed with Lyme. I am completely acquainted with skepticism. She doesn't have to comment, but it might help her to read some of my posts. It might encourage her and make her feel less alone. Chronic pain/illness can be a very lonely existence. I also have a support group she can get to from my blog is she chooses.

    Thanks! I want to join you where you are, get cozy in a big comfy chair, watch the snow fall, and share in the pancakes and other goodies you have going there. Mmm......

    Thanks for the prayers and encouraging words for those of us with chronic pain/illness. I don't think we expect you to understand. We don't always understand it ourselves. But, it's wonderful to know that there are those with hearts loving and compassionate enough to care and pray and encourage and TRY to understand. Thank you for your loving support!

  32. Made it home, jsut wanted to letcha know. Missy, I'll be thinking of that the WHOLE time now!!! Bahahaaha : )

    Hope I make it through the whole thing without falling asleep. Energyless now after that drive. Phew.

  33. Hi, sorry I'm slow checking in today.
    My book yesterday was centered around the bible verse, "My strength is made perfect in weakness." And that seems so perfect today for this post.

  34. YAY! Hannah made it home okay.

    Why will this winter just not STOP?!


  35. Linnette....

    You rock, sistah. And you're welcome anytime! There is a cool foot of snow in my driveway...


    Love it, Mare! Not the snow. I'm somewhat tired of that. But the term??? Oh, yeah!

    Hey, I've got hot chocolate all around. And whipped cream. And animal crackers.

    I love hot chocolate and animals. Perfect pairing.

    Sue, Linnette, and all: My daughter Beth had a nasty concussion when she was 8. Scary. Lost consciousness.

    Five years later she and another player going for a ball slammed head-to-head into each other in a softball game. Another concussion. She had headaches and orientation problems for years, but the neurologist found no cause.

    Fast forward to Harvard today, doing a study on athletes brains (posthumously) and discovering the effects of multiple concussions.

    Just because science takes a while to catch up with symptoms, doesn't mean they don't exist. And that has to be so frustrating.

    But God knows. Cares. Loves. Blankets us. And I agree with Deb that I don't think our God afflicts us, I think things happen as a result of our human-ness and then we have to deal with them. But it's so much easier to handle this stuff with that gift of faith.

    And of course, the chocolate.

    And a good book.

    I'm just sayin'...

  36. P.S. Should've added this earlier when I posted (was hurrying to run errands with my daughter!). But I echo what Debby Giusti wrote earlier about having prayer warriors. They truly DO lift us up!! (waving at Debby--who, by the way, was the BEST prayer warrior during/after my spinal surgeries---I just love her!). ~ Thanks again for sharing today Sue. ~ Blessings, Patti Jo :)

  37. Sue...thanks for being real and sharing what you've walked through and being brave enough to put it in a book:) Jesus, really does get us through hard times:) I agree with Julie...I feel bad for all the times I've complained about a headache ...there is no comparison with what you and others with FM live with daily:( Sending a prayer your way today!


  38. I feel like I've made a lot of new friends today. Thank you so much for your positive comments and prayers. I haven't had the best of weeks. It seems as soon as I over do just a bit I need 36-48 hours to recuperate. Today is cold so another day feeling caged in. We're having a beautiful light snowfall today. Beautiful and snow don't belong in the same sentence do they!! Again thank you all, today was amazing and such an honor to speak for the Lord and encourage others. In Christ, Sue Schmidt (Finding Faith through Fibromyalgia)

  39. thanks for sharing

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com