Monday, March 26, 2012

This Is Not What I Signed Up For!

Today we welcome Leslie Payne as our guest...

After traveling by airplane and automobile for two days, we finally arrived at our destination – Lake Tahoe!

We were there so my husband could ski with friends. Mom and I had plans for relaxing and exploring. It was going to be fantastic!

The description of the place we rented was so wonderful I could hardly wait to see it in person. It even came complete with our own private spa.

Traveling always brings on extra aches and pains to my injured body, so I was ready to relax my muscles in that hot tub.

I imagined the cool, crisp mountain air on my face, as I relaxed in the bubbling hot water. Perhaps there would be a view of the nearby ski slopes. Maybe a wide expanse of the night ski to watch falling stars as I soaked. Whatever the details, I was ready.

However, the property owner’s definition of a hot tub spa was different than mine.

It was a hot tub in a storage closet!!

As an extra special touch, there was a small television on a bar stool for our viewing pleasure.

Okay, I’ll admit that before laughing I came close to crying. A tub in a closet filled with enough chlorine fumes to knock you over was…..well…. it was not what I had signed up for!

So I never used it.

It was easy to avoid that hot tub. But too often life presents us with situations we did not sign up for, situations that are a big piece of our lives...

A beautiful child with special needs
A boss that demands more than you have to give
The happily ever after that never happened
Bad news from the doctor
The death of a loved one
Chronic conditions
An estranged child
A broken dream

When I was confined to my home with horrible pain, and desperately struggled to see God’s faithfulness in my life, I had some very honest prayers with the Lord.

I even reminded Him of Scripture.
(Kind of nervy, don’t you think?)

Out loud I’d pray, “Lord you said,

‘For I know the plans I have for you.
They are plans for good and not disaster,
to give you a future and a hope.’

You said that in Jeremiah 29:11.

I sure cannot see it.
I am choosing to trust you, but you are going to have to get me through because I cannot do this!"

It felt like that long, desperate season in life would never end.
But it did.
And now I’m living some of the good future He had planned for me.

If you are in a difficult season of life that just won’t seem to end, hang in there.
Hold on to Him.
Hold on to His Word.
Dare to trust Him.

There's a lot I could say about what I used to do: swing dance, interpret for the deaf, bicycle long distances, and exercise daily. But one snowy morning in 2001, all that changed.

As I sat in my car at a red traffic light, a large delivery truck rear ended me at full speed. The impact left me with a rare nerve injury to my neck and shoulder (a severed long thoracic nerve and winging scapula) and my neck straightened out where it should be curved.

For more than a decade, I've been in chronic pain and weekly physical therapy. I would never have chosen pain, but it has taught me much. Through it all, the Lord Jesus has been so faithful as I cry out to Him in my need.

He has even brought good things out of my pain. Three years after the accident, at 42-years of age I married for the first time. On my wedding day, my name became "Mrs. Payne." Not only is the Lord faithful, He has a sense of humor.

Pain also slowed me down enough to develop my love for the written word. I’ve had short stories published in compilation books, a feature article in Focus on the Family Magazine, and I regularly contribute for a local magazine
More information about my novel and my other credits are available at My blog Living With Payne: Thoughts on Pain’s Purpose and Life’s Joys is available at


  1. This was soooo good! The hot tub thing made me laugh. Thanks for joining us today.

    1. Thank you, Kristi. When something goes wrong I like to think "it always makes for a good story later." I'm glad that proved to be true.

  2. I love the configuration of your poem and what it expressed. The hot tub is priceless (but as an old infection control RN you probably are safer that you didn't go in to the hot tub!)Thanks for sharing your heart!

    1. Recently my pain doctor sent me to warm water aerobic therapy. So much better than a hot tub in a closet! Thanks for your encouragement.

  3. Great post, Leslie - we all need that reminder. Thanks for giving it to us - and for visiting!

    1. Thank you Joanne, it's a pleasure to find a site with such a treasure of blogs.

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