The good thing about a bad day…

Foggy beginnings…by M. Lewis

Yesterday was not a good day. The non-stop activity of the last week caught up with me and my Fibromyalgia flared. So I stayed home from work and slept most of the day. Sounds like heaven, you say? Not so much…

One of the side effects of this condition is depression. It stinks to lay around and feel useless. And that’s what happened yesterday. I struggle with this regularly, and sometimes feel that all the progress I make is negated by one bad Fibro day. In a word – I hate it.

But feeling sorry for myself does not help. It only adds to the depression I already feel, which makes it more difficult to bounce back after a day like yesterday. You’d think I’d be used to it by now. I have lived with this for at least 11 years, probably more since it took a while to officially diagnose. But I still struggle. Most days I think: I am too young to feel this bad all the time. It shouldn’t be this way.

But that doesn’t change a thing.

So, I ask myself this: how then shall I live? The blessing about Fibromyalgia is that it is not degenerative. I won’t die from it, and it does not destroy the body. It just makes it flipping uncomfortable to live in my body! I am always in pain; my skin is super sensitive and will itch for no reason; I tire easily and can’t do as much as I’d like; I have to “pace myself” as they say, and if I don’t I pay for it with days like yesterday. Sometimes it mimics arthritis, and will flare when the weather changes, or a front moves through, with joint stiffness and widespread muscle pain. I am tired all the time, and when I am overly tired my cognitive function is impaired; it becomes difficult to concentrate, my short-term memory gets fuzzy, and my speech becomes disjointed.

Sometimes it feels like my body hates me.

And it is frustrating and annoying.

And what is the point? To learn patience? So far I’ve just learned how to be 20 shades of cranky. To grow in compassion? Sometimes it feels like all I’ve grown is a chip on my shoulder. And you’d think 11 years would be enough time to accept the reality and learn to work around it. But then I have one of those days, and all bets are off.

You may be wondering what this has to do with anything. I’m supposed to be writing about discipleship and pursuit. Where does this fit into that discussion?

Everywhere.

I am not sharing these things for sympathy or pep talks. Although I will admit: the pity party was in full swing last night! I realize that does not do me a bit of good. And I’m pretty much over those pithy (but true most of the time, darn it!) sayings about treasures in trials and so forth and so on. I’m kind of in the midst of the grit and grime of what Black folks call “real talk”. Because the truth of the matter is passion and pursuit are not on my mind a lot. It takes work for me to get there. And sometimes I just don’t.

And that’s okay. No, really – it is. And I’m repeating that for myself, because most of the time I don’t believe that. I feel like I should be able to do more, be more consistent, more focused…etc., etc., etc…and I tell God all about it – all the time – and ask why. And I don’t have an answer. So I keep asking.

And God keeps comforting. And reminding me of truth. And pushing and pulling at me, reminding me to stop being so hard on myself. And to trust Him. And in the midst of this, I realize: the lament, the crying out to Him in my frustration is my pursuit. Or at least a part of it.

One of the meanings of the word trust is “to confide in”. That I automatically run to God with my questions is a sign of that trust. That I do this even when answers do not come is a sign of passionate pursuit. Because I know – I know He can be trusted with it all. And even when I question Him or His ways, I still know in an indescribable way that it is okay. That there is a purpose, a plan, and that much of it is not about doing but being, and allowing Him to shape me through those things I don’t understand. In fact, I think the most important change and transformation happens in such places…

More later.
Until then…grace and peace…

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