A chronic illness is a rough thing to deal with. There, I forewarned you just in case you ever decide to tackle one. Maybe that’s part of the issue: I didn’t get to decide. Had I been given a choice, I think I would’ve chosen something different. Maybe something a little more physically obvious…or a little less noticeable when it really hits…no, I don’t think that would’ve been a good decision to place on my shoulders. I’ve tried changing my diet in any way you can imagine, from less meat to no meat to more veggies to starchy veggies to 6 meals a day to 3 meals with snacks. I have gulped down and sometimes chewed my smoothies, as I read that this was more beneficial for the enzymes in your stomach, (this makes you feel a bit stupid, by the way) for weeks on end. I’ve attempted exercise from Hip Hop Dance parties to yoga to Tae Bo to situps to walking to sitting. Sometimes getting up and fixing a peanut butter sandwich is all the exercise I can muster for the week. (I’ve also eliminated legumes, including lentils and peanuts, from my diet for awhile in case anyone was thinking this could be the cause of my troubles.)
I’ve prayed, “God! Where are you?? Why do I still have to deal with this?? Haven’t I given you enough time to fix it?? Are you even working on it?”
I’ve thought things like, “Maybe I haven’t read my Bible enough…or prayed enough…or learned what I needed to yet…after all, this HAS to be a life lesson of some sort and I’m pretty smart, so it should take no longer than 3 years to become a lesson of the past.”
There have been many “A-ha!!” moments throughout this journey, such as, “Oh! Have you had your Vitamin D levels checked?” leading to another trip to the dr (there was a time I was there every single week to report symptoms, barely able to sit up in the chair for lack of energy.) Then, “A-ha! My Vitamin D levels are low! A weekly pill will alleviate all of this!” I grin all the way to the pharmacy thinking “Thank You God! I knew you could pull me through! I knew I just had to trust you!” And here I sit, pains, fatigue, headaches, muscle aches just as abundant as they ever were. My body gives out to a point where I can’t move. My muscles fail me and I sit as though I have no abilities whatsoever, not even a smile. There are times when I couldn’t lift my head or my arm to reach a drink if I were in the Sahara desert. There are times when I’m sure my head will spontaneously combust and my husband will be left to pick up the pieces…literally and figuratively. There are times when my joints hurt so much I feel like a Tin Woman who needs oil.
“I’ve said all of this to say this” as an old Pastor friend of mine says:
I continue to learn over and over and over that I am not in control. If I was, there would be a lot of things changed. I would mess it up royally I’m sure, but I surely wouldn’t run out of energy to do everything I wanted to do. I’d run, literally, I’d run to the grocery store and leap tall buildings just because I could. I’d never take another supplement again, as there was a time when I was swallowing 40 each day. I’d outplay my kids. I’d show the enemy what I could really do. I wouldn’t find myself crying in pain, but then remembering what my Grandma taught me: There’s always someone who has it worse off than you do. That woman could be laying under a cartoon-like boulder making this statement. I’ll press on. And learn something as I do. Possibly the same lesson God tried to teach me last year at this time but I wasn’t ready to listen. I’ll try to take care of my temple and try not to point fingers and judge others as they do not. I’ll continue to read God’s Word daily and diligently. And I’ll remember that I am so very blessed to have everything that I have instead of focusing on what I don’t. I will remind myself that it is God Who’s got the answers and if He isn’t letting me in on them, then there’s a good reason.
Disclaimer: This is so blatantly honest I almost didn’t post it. I don’t want anyone to think I need a pity-party (maybe a little one some day would be nice) and I would never want anyone to describe me as a complainer. But in an effort to provide myself with free therapy and spend some time seein’ what God has to say to me through the written words on the page, I decided to go ahead and share.