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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Wake up, your soul is calling

If getting better is all you got out of being sick, you got cheated

The pain was excruciating! It woke me from a sound sleep, and I sat bolt upright with a yelp. My whole upper right side had gone into a muscle spasm and wasn't releasing.

I tried standing. I tried sitting. Lying down in any position brought no relief. I popped some aspirin and stumbled into the shower, turning on the water as hot as I could stand it. I fitfully got through the rest of the night propped up in an easy chair. It was Oct. 3, 1985--a day I'll not forget.

For the next month I bounced from one specialist to another. Pain killers, muscle relaxants and physical therapy kept me barely functional, but being stubborn--and increasingly angry--I kept working, only to get worse. Finally, I couldn't push anymore and collapsed in bed where I was instructed to stay for two to three weeks. All my defiance, resistance, and refusal to give in had only made matters worse. With anguished cries of "Why me, Lord?" I gave in.

(Article contains eight tips for "soul-making" in illness.)


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October issue

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