I’ve been mired in self-pity. Wallowing in Woe Is Me. Grouchy. A Whiny Pants. The Crab Master General. It hasn’t been pretty.
We all survived the first 13 days post-surgery and even though those days were intensely painful, I still managed to find things to be thankful for. But somewhere around day 14, I fell off the Grateful Road of Recovery and started limping under the Gray Whiny Cloud of Ingratitude. And let me tell you, being a Grouch is exhausting work.
I figured if I was going to be in pain no matter what I did, the best choice was to keep sitting around feeling sorry for myself. Anyone who knows me, knows that sitting around is a recipe for disaster. I can’t do it to save my life and it makes me increasingly grouchy the more unproductive I am. Somehow I failed to remember that reality.
So I sat, unproductive, and I wallowed. Hopefully, for everyone around me’s sake, I didn’t voice it as much as I inwardly felt it. “Woe is Me. Poor Jodi. Once so active, now an invalid and you’ll be 80 years old before you’re fully recovered. Boo hoo.” That line of thinking deflated me and I felt my spirit sink deeper and deeper in the mire. I was happy to share my story of woe with anyone who showed concern about my knee.
This week I made my way back to the gym. I missed the camaraderie of sweating with the regulars, and as a matter of principle wanted to start implementing this discipline back into my schedule. I reveled in the sympathy from all my friends and gladly told in gory detail about the journey I’ve been on. This morning I didn’t plan on sweating, so I limped into the gym sporting a new-to-me running coat and feeling quite proud of my matchy-matcherson exercise outfit. After telling my story to the umpteenth person, I found a shred of motivation and started my wimpy leg lifts and stretches. Before I knew it, I was sweating and I actually had to take my stylin’ coat off.
It was like God released the poisonous toxins of grumpiness along with my sweat. I got the proverbial slap in the face as God reminded of the passage in I Thessalonians 5:18 that says, “In EVERYTHING give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” It doesn’t say, “Give thanks when life is good and smooth and let everyone in a 100 mile radius know when life is bad.” I confessed my sin and was reminded of one of my favorite songs that says, “I’m trading my sorrows. I’m trading my pain. I’m trading it all for the joy of the Lord.” I had neglected to intentionally trade up for the joy of the Lord.
Over the course of today, I’ve been doing a lot of trading up. Leaving behind grouchiness, frustration, and pain and exchanging it for the joy of the Lord. It’s time to stop whining and resume living.