For the past few weeks, at the urging of my nursing student daughter, I’ve been seeing a chiropractor for the persistent pain in my lower back. After a three-hour consultation but before treatments began, the doctor sent me for a series of x-rays. I think I had more x-rays done that morning than all of the other trips to the radiologist over 51 years combined. I commented on this, and the tech laughed and said, “Yes, Dr. Roberts like to be very thorough.” So thorough, in fact, that on my return visit, Dr. Roberts went over every single inch of every x-ray, pointing out the arthritis here, the degenerative discs there, the minor scoliosis at the top and bottom of my spine, and many other irregularities that resulted from a lifetime of untreated injuries.
Many of the things that were pointed out to me came of no surprise. I’ve had lower back spasms and pain (sometimes excruciating) for about thirty years, and I’ve suffered from upper back pain for about five years. What did surprise me was all of the trauma he identified at the base of my skull and in my neck. I have pain and stiffness there that I didn’t even know I had…
He had many questions for me:
“Have you been in one or more car accidents?” An easy yes.
“Do you often suffer from headaches at the back of your head?” Um, how did you know that?
“Do you have a sand-rattling, crinkling sound when you turn your neck?” Yeah, what the heck is that???
“Do you have a limited range of motion in your neck?” No none at all…
Boy was I wrong about that.
Today was my third day of electric pulse treatment and back and neck realignment. The entire drive home, I kept turning my head, marveling at how far it went. Why have I never noticed before that my neck barely turns? Why have I never felt the stiffness or paid much attention to that strange crinkling noise (which, by the way, goes away for several hours after treatment)? Why did I have absolutely no idea that I always have a dull ache at the back of my head? Why did it never occur to me until now that my migraines–which always begin at the base of my brain–might have something to do with that stiffness and noise?
So often, we go through life completely unaware of even the most obvious things, even things that we feel or see or experience every single day of our lives. Often, we don’t even know that we are suffering or in pain.
Often, we choose to ignore the obvious. We look the other way, close our eyes, or pretend we don’t see or hear what is going on. Other times, we truly see right through the things our mind or heart doesn’t wish to acknowledge. We act like all is good or that we don’t really know what’s going on; but deep inside, somewhere in our ever-attuned bodies, we know what’s there, what’s happening, what’s in front of us, or what lies ahead.
It’s like that feeling you have when you know that a relationship, a friendship, or a romance is over. You have a sense that something is off, wrong, or just not the same, but you don’t want to face it or don’t want to hurt or be hurt. You try to go on, acting as if things are normal, but eventually, reality will catch up with you, and you will no longer be able to outrun the truth.
Or like when you know a loved one is headed for trouble–with love or a job or just in life in general. Sometimes it’s easier to act like you don’t see it happening, or you simply don’t want to let that person know that you’ve been waiting for the other shoe to drop. Most of the time, they don’t know it either.
Or it can even be like seeing someone who needs something or someone, who has no hope or faith, who can no longer cope with life as he or she knows it, and you so badly want to tell them that there is hope, there is something better out there, there is a greater joy than they’ve ever known or imagined. Sometimes, that person without hope or faith might even be you.
I’ve lived with this pain, this stiffness, this limited range of motion my entire adult life. It’s so much a part of me that I never thought of seeking a way of making it better. It took my daughter years to convince me that there was hope out there. How I wish I knew how to do that, how to reach out to those who are hurting and tell them that there is hope out there. It’s not in a pill, it’s not in a liquid, it’s not on a massage bed, and it’s not on a couch in someone’s office. It’s not always tangible or recognizable, but it’s there and can be seen and felt and touched, physically and spiritually.
To those who are in pain, who are without hope, who aren’t coping or aren’t truly living, there is hope.
There is a physician who heals both the body and the soul. There is a teacher who teaches only love and kindness. There is a shepherd who looks for us and carries us home like the lost sheep that we are. There is a king who took away our burdens, carrying them on His shoulders down on a road of tears, sweat, and blood. There is a carpenter who, with the wood of a cross, built a whole new life for everyone. There is a bridegroom who loved us so much, He sacrificed His life for ours. There is a man who reaches out for us every day, stretching His arms beyond time and space, to give us what we need.
All we have to do is seek His help, pay attention, open our eyes and our hearts, and listen for His voice.
Have you been hurt?
Are you in pain?
Are you living with noise you can’t even hear?
Do you feel as though you can’t move?
The only solution for your hurt, your pain, the noise, and the paralysis is to turn to the Divine Physician. Let Him heal you body, mind, and soul.
Be sure to catch Amy next at:
October 16-17 – Book signing – Maryland Oyster Festival in Leonardtown, Maryland 10:00AM-7:00PM Saturday; 11:00AM-6PM Sunday
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Amy Schisler is an award-winning author of both children’s books and sweet, faith-filled romance novels for readers of all ages. She lives with her husband and three daughters on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Her books, Picture Me, Whispering Vines, and Island of Miracles are all recipients of Illumination Awards, placing them among the top inspirational fiction books of 2015, 2016, and 2017. Whispering Vines was awarded the 2017 LYRA Award for the best romance of 2016. Island of Miracles has outsold all of Amy’s other books worldwide and ranked as high as 600 on Amazon. Her follow up, Island of Promise is a reader favorite. Amy’s children’s book is The Greatest Gift. The suspense novel, Summer’s Squall, and all of Amy’s books, can be found online and in stores. Her latest novel, Island of Promise, was recently awarded First Prize by the Oklahoma Romance Writer’s Association as the best Inspirational Romance of 2018 and was awarded a Gold Medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards 2019 for Inspirational Fiction. It is the 2019 winner for Best Inspirational Fiction in the RWA Golden Quill Contest, Best Romance in the American Book Awards, and a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award of Fiction. Amy’s 2019 work, The Devil’s Fortune, a finalist in the Writer’s Digest Self-Publishing Awards and winner of an Illumination Award, is based, in part, on Amy’s family history. The third book of Amy’s Chincoteague Island Trilogy, Island of Hope, was released in August of 2019. Amy’s book, Desert Fire, Mountain Rain begins her new Buffalo Springs series. Book two will be out in early 2022. The Good Wine, the sequel to Whispering Vines, is now available in all formats.
Amy’s books: Crabbing With Granddad (2013), A Place to Call Home (2014), Picture Me (2015), Whispering Vines (2016), Island of Miracles (2017), Stations of the Cross Meditations for Moms (2017), The Greatest Gift (2017), Summer’s Squall (2017), Island of Promise (2018), The Devil’s Fortune (2019), Island of Hope (2019), A Devotional Alphabet (2019), Desert Fire, Mountain Rain (2020), The Good Wine (2021).