I have come SO far. Yes, I'm still struggling with pain issues. But they are different than the constant, horrible stomach pain I had before surgery. I wake up every morning withOUT cramps and stomach aches. I don't walk around clutching my stomach. I don't curl up in a ball during class. I can eat. I can walk up stairs without my joints groaning. No, everything is not perfect. But I'm so much better than I was, and my quality of life is probably about 500% better now.
Today I saw an advisor who hasn't seen me since before surgery. She commented on how much livelier I look, with color in my face and a spring in my step. My advisor struggles with some very serious health issues, which have resulted in her life motto: "Life is hard, but God is good." She told me that it may sound trite, but it is so true. We have this expectation that life should be great; that it should be heaven on earth. But God made no such promises. Really, He promised that in this world we would have trouble. Trials, pain, sickness, sin, suffering - all a result of living in a fallen world. This earth is not heaven. But God is still good, all the time. Life is hard so that we'll learn to trust Him alone! Even when life is good, but especially when life is hard, knowing God is truly better than anything.
But sometimes I need to be reminded of that.