Monday, May 25, 2015


Yesterday, our pastor reminded us that a diamond can only be created under intense pressure and intense heat. I thought about fibromyalgia. For me, the leading cause of flare-ups is atmospheric pressure. My sensitive body feels the weight of the air.

Here. Pretend I'm this water bottle:

This plastic bottle was sealed at approximately 14,000 feet altitude, and was crushed by the increase in atmospheric pressure —at 9,000 feet and 1,000 feet— as it was brought down towards sea level. Attribution: Wikimedia Commons 

See? On a great day, I'm the bottle on the left. Pain free. Pretty rare. On a normal day living with chronic pain, I'm the bottle in the middle. Regular pain. I can manage it. During a flare-up, I'm the bottle on the right. Crushed. Down for the count.

The atmospheric pressure that crushed that water bottle is the same force that closes in on me. And the result? Widespread burning pain. Some days I feel like I'm on fire. The intense pressure causes intense heat. But I gotta say. On those days, I sure don't feel like an emerging diamond. I just feel useless. And I hate being useless. I want to be useful. And I really think I could be more useful if I weren't being simultaneously crushed.

Evidently, God disagrees. He is not forming me into my personal definition of usefulness. He is conforming me into the image of his Son. The same Son who was himself crushed to bring me peace.

Apparently, in God's kingdom, fibromyalgia is my path to peace. My road to holiness. My intense pressure into diamondhood.

Thus the crushing. Oh, bother.

But, you know, yay at the same time. Sort of.

You may not have fibromyalgia, but I'm sure you feel crushed. We all do. Know that you are not alone in your feeling of crushedness. Jesus Christ was crushed, too. And just as his crushing brought peace, yours will bring a diamond, perfectly formed by the intense pressure and intense heat you now feel.

Don't give up.