Categories: China, Faith

Amy

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About 12 years ago I was in a pretty horrible traffic accident in Beijing. It was a four car pileup and I was in Unlucky Car Number Three. We slammed into two cars and then the fourth car slammed into us, bending the back seat I was on into a very odd angle. In shock, I thought a rib had punctured my lung. Once I realized no one was going to come and help me or check if I was OK, I knew I had to get out of the car.

All four of the drivers were fighting over who was going to pay what. No one seemed to notice as I stumbled across many lanes of rush hour traffic and did all my shocked brain knew to do – hail another cab and go home. Long story short, when I got home a friend took me to the hospital. She did say, “Don’t take this the wrong way, but I’m so glad it was YOU who was hit and not Erin because she would never have let me photograph the whole process.”

Less in enough

She was right :).

Thus began problems with my neck, back, and wrists. Years of pain and money have been invested to find out I don’t have a wrist problem and do not have carpal tunnel syndrome. No, I have a neck problem that manifests itself in my wrists. I haven’t had a flair-up in over two years and had wondered if I had learned to manage the pain with better posture, exercises for my core, and chiropractors and massage.

I wonder no longer. Which is a not so cute way of saying I’m in discomfort at best and pain at worst most days. Typing is not the complete joy it normally is. Other forms of movement are good for me. Yard work, walking, using movement to try and soothe these muscles in my back that have locked up. I don’t like having to be this intentional about my days. Or think through projects I have for the week and pace myself.

I don’t like it. But I submit to it.

We might hear whispers that less is more, with the emphasis on not less, but more. Or bigger is better. I don’t think God is nearly as taken with less, more, bigger or better as we are. Instead He is a God of enough.

Even though I’m not able to write as much as I would like, these seasons of pain remind me of this truth: sometimes less is enough.

What could you do this week that will be less than normal, but enough?  

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  1. Shona September 30, 2014 at 6:09 am - Reply

    What could you do this week that will be less than normal, but enough? I am sorry you are limited by pain Amy. I am , however grateful that because of those limitations you have challenged me with this question. Thank you.

  2. Anand Meherwade September 30, 2014 at 7:03 am - Reply

    It’s true that sometime less is enough. I am 16 year old boy and i am kind of psychological person. You know, teenage wants more and more stuff for entertainment and few for educational purposes.
    Sometimes i think i want a windows phone but sometimes, life is more beautiful when you are not around those freaky gadgets lying beside you.
    I just feel, yeah, less is okay with me when i have most beautiful gifts i have ( girlfriend, my best buddie, parents, and of course life ).

  3. Mark Allman September 30, 2014 at 7:12 am - Reply

    We are a poor judge of what is enough. Just like the 5 loaves…. no one would think that is enough then or now. I do like trying to make the most out of what I am given today. How can I make it the best it can be with whatever restrictions I’m facing. I know you do the same and do a great job.
    I am sorry that you are in pain for pain is a place none of us wants to reside. I pray that you will find relief.

  4. Marsha C September 30, 2014 at 7:12 am - Reply

    What could you do this week that will be less than normal, but enough? I think as women we push ourselves to do more each and every day than is really normal or necessary. For me this week, I’ve had the stomach bug which is slowing down the way I spend my days. I will be content to accomplish those things which are most important and leave behind my dreams of cleaning and crafting grandeur.

  5. Tanya Marlow September 30, 2014 at 7:23 am - Reply

    Really sorry to hear this. Whenever I’m in pain, I just feel ANGRY. Praying it eases and you break through into new ways of managing it. Xx

  6. Emily Thomas September 30, 2014 at 8:26 am - Reply

    I love this. I am sorry about the pain you are in and had no idea. I’m sure it’s not your favorite topic of conversation. I’m thankful for this word though. It’s not one I like to hear but I do know it’s the truth.

  7. Nancy Eden September 30, 2014 at 11:10 am - Reply

    “He is a God of enough”. I like this sentence Amy. People seem to always want to do everything in one day but is that God’s plan for us, I don’t think so. People do learn this lesson of “Enough” but usually we must grow into it. (It takes time to learn to listen to God) Thanks for thereminder Amy. God is enough and He provides “enough” for our lives each day.

  8. Susan Gaines September 30, 2014 at 1:24 pm - Reply

    What person in her right mind enjoys pain and/or limitations? I’m sorry you’re having to experience both. I dealt with cancer in 2009; my husband from 2010 to the present. No pain, but lots of limitations for lack of energy. Inactivity is so anti-American. At various times imposed inactivity has brought to mind the 2010 movie Babies and in particular the babies and their mothers filmed in Nambia. They lived on a barren piece of dirt, grass hut, infants using smaller stones to bang on larger stones, mothers with ornately braided hair sitting in the dirt with their infants doing pretty much nothing. I didn’t like what I saw, this life in the dirt bothered me. And yet, that is the life those filmed live. The ornately braided hair was almost ironic until months after seeing it I realized the braided hair was a creative outlet for the Nambia mothers. There was absolutely nothing else to do but sit in the dirt and braid hair. Does God love those Nambia women any less than those of us who live differently? During a recent extended respiratory illness that lasted about a month it was a high five moment if I showered, or if I was able to unload and load the dishwasher after allowing days of dishes to pile up. There are times and seasons where very little is enough. May God give you relief in those hands that so encourage us with your words.

  9. Heather September 30, 2014 at 6:04 pm - Reply

    Thanks for sharing. After having thyroid surgery for cancer, I’m left with partially paralyzed vocal cords. Daily tasks are normal but any cardio exercise or talking loud when nervous creates some shortness of breath. I know God is able to heal me but at least now, that isn’t the plan. He has reminded by His closeness at times how much He loves me. In my search for “why?” One that struck me as funny but very possibly true is that I otherwise would be whitewater rafting down the Zambezi River in Zambia. He might be saving my life by limiting me in one way. Thanks for the reminder that less is sometimes enough and that we aren’t alone in our struggles.

  10. Aashdoda October 1, 2014 at 6:30 pm - Reply

    Amy: I appreciate your situation so much more than you realize! I’ve successfully finished 6 finger surgeries thanks to one whopper of an accident that left me disabled. Like you the pain in my wrists is from my neck and some days it simply bites the big one! I won’t tell you the extent of the accident only the effects that were my lessons.

    I’ve learned, listen to God and myself, move, stretch, keep going, and use whatever help I can get when the pain is off the chart. Thank God, the nerve damage I have is helped by a supplement made from B-Vitamins called Bio-Rutin, not the whole B just that specific part. It targets nerves and feeds them what they need to regenerate (IT IS NOT A CURE just a way for me to get thru what is now mine to live with until God finds something else He wants me doing). In case you are wondering I’ve also managed to write an entire book thru the process of the surgeries and use the keyboard to rehab one finger or two at a time. Now I’m finishing the editing with all 5 pins and 6 surgeries a memory. It is a book about hope when all else fails and the miracles God has done to ensure I live fully and still a bit wild.

    To take care of our body is our job and gift to God’s Temple He loaned us. I just wish it had less pain in the manual and more peace so that’s where I focus my search when I hurt.

    It is in my submission and surrender that I recall, even when I want to have a tantrum, that nasty little statement that is true, ‘this too will pass’. It gives me no comfort and in point of fact used to frustrate me all the more so I decided to come up with my own saying. I’ll share it with you in case it helps, “The winter of my discontent will end, just not necessarily today.” If it won’t end today then today is a vacation day with a 5 minute timer for my pity party but when it dings it is over and TLC is the order of the rest of my day. It works for me. I pray it might help you too.

    I’m so grateful that you told us today because now I know what else I want to talk to God about you, easing your pain and making His lesson for you a gentler one. You have been an oasis many a day for me blogging so I’m distracted yet engaged with a like minded soul of His.

    Your Yet To Meet Colorado Friend, Aashdoda

    p.s. GO BRONCOs!!!

  11. Jessa October 4, 2014 at 11:11 pm - Reply

    “I don’t like it, but I submit to it.”

    Amy, I can’t tell you how much I needed to read this post tonight. Yesterday, my therapist decided (with reluctant agreement from me) that I need to go on disability because of my PTSD. I simply cannot handle working in urban schools right now. Trying has put me on the edge of needing hospitalization, and I’m functioning so poorly that I can’t work at all. I don’t like it one bit. I feel like I’m abandoning the kids. I feel like a total failure at adult life. But I recognize that these are my limitations right now, and I submit to that. And I’m blessed enough to see confirmation that this is what God has for me right now both in how the Holy Spirit is ministering to me and through friends who are EXCITED to see me go on disability. Thank you for having the courage to share your struggle, and the wisdom to see–and call out–that less can be enough.

    Praying for your complete healing and relief.

  12. Sarah S October 7, 2014 at 5:03 am - Reply

    Less is enough. I love this. Feel better soon.

  13. Peter O January 20, 2017 at 8:09 pm - Reply

    I was just reading this and I know it’s been a while now. I hope everything’s okay.

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