Mornings can be rough, can’t they? Even before getting sick I wasn’t ever really into mornings. Nowadays it’s even more taxing. Sometimes I feel like my eyelids and limbs are made of weights, and a massive body-sized bean bag is on top of me. Waves of groggy and foggy add to the predicament. Grunting and flailing become my native language and I bumble about for hours. Can I still play the jet lag card after living a few years in the same time zone? On days I sleep until noon, my husband cheerfully reminds me that the morning is behind me so the worst is over! Haha. I sent a text to my sister yesterday noting my can’t-get-out-of-bed dilemma: “Maybe gravity is just stronger on us = mystery solved”. She agreed.
Burnout, exhaustion, fatigue, chronic illness, etc. can take away parts of our lives we previously took for granted–like mornings. At least that’s the case for me. Most of the time I’m hopeful and optimistic about my health, but there are plenty of moments when I miss my old self and my old life–my life before Chronic Fatigue. I cry, get overwhelmed, panic and lose my hope. What I would give for just one day with my health restored!
A few weeks ago while in church I felt God challenging me to rethink some things on how I deal with sickness and recovery. It’s helped me and maybe it will help you too.
We were singing “Hosanna/ I See The King Of Glory” which describes God’s passion to reach us, wash us and restore us, and our response of praise, boldness and “selfless faith”. As I prayed and sang, a brief visual of a gal trying to surf came to mind. She was only shoulder deep in the water, and struggling to get out beyond the waves. She wasn’t making much progress. When the waves came, she’d jump out of their way and deflect them with her board. “Go under the waves!” I wanted to tell her. It’s the only way out. Psalm 23:4 came to mind. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me[…]”. Interesting. I knew I was just like that gal trying to surf. I too have been spending lots of time dodging danger. I’ve been afraid. All this time, though, God’s been beckoning me to take a deep breath and follow Him out under the waves. It might be tough for a while, but as I chewed on this thought, I knew I wouldn’t regret where He’s leading me. God never promises a charmed and easy life, but He does promise true life full of purpose and blessings if we follow Him. We have nothing to fear with Him by our side.
The song continued, “Heal my heart and make it clean/ Open up my eyes to the things unseen/ Show me how to love like You have loved me/ Break my heart for what breaks Yours/ Everything I am for Your kingdom’s cause/ As I walk from earth into eternity.” I’m still going to cry, get overwhelmed, panic and lose my hope sometimes, but I want God to heal my broken and aching heart. I want to see the bigger picture He sees, and I want to follow where He leads even if it’s through valleys; even if it’s under waves.