April 24, 2018
Its amazing what you notice when you slow things down. In my previous life, before I fell ill, I ran on high speed all the time. I went from one thing to the next without stopping. If I wasn’t sleeping I was running and while I was running I was planning my next task. Whether I was taking my son to an after school program, packing lunches and planning meals. Or I was preparing affidavits in my head and planning for court dates along with dealing with the constant onslaught of emotional and verbal abuse coming from my ex. And lets not forget working full-time night shifts. I never stopped. I simply didn’t have time if everything was going to get done.
I am coming to understand that human beings aren’t meant to live this way. The human body is an amazing God-built machine, so complex in its ability to cope and manage under enormous amounts of pressure. My lifestyle’s fast pace created an illusion of control, that if I just could get things done to my satisfaction everything would be okay. I am beginning to grasp that my running only accomplished one thing…it made me good at running. It was nothing but a one-way ticket, at a fast pace, to nowhere. I believed that if I just did this or got that done then I would earn my rest. But if I did try to rest I was never comfortable, there was always something else to be done. Something else I felt too guilty about to let slide. I thought if I kept running I could stay ahead of my thoughts and feelings. The things I lacked and the overwhelming feelings were just one more thing on my list, the very bottom of my list. I would just deal with them later, when I was stronger. I would tell myself “I’ll take care of that when things calm down”. But there is never calm, even when standing still or “taking a break” when the true ciaos is your head.
For almost nine months now I have been experiencing chronic fatigue and constant pain. After two major things were taken care of, getting a restraining order and speaking to the police God knocked my pace down a few notches and set me at a crawl. It was his way of telling me that I needed real rest. I fought hard against it, looking for a diagnosis to explain it, a solution to fix it and any way possible to speed the healing process up. Looking for any way to get back to “my life” and quick!! I spent my time angry with God, feeling useless and helpless. Thinking if I could just walk or be alert long enough to drive my car I would be out of here so fast! I would run away again. I realize now that my biggest fear is stopping. If I stop then I have to feel. And I am more afraid of feeling my pain then I have ever been fearful of anything in my life. It seems to have no beginning and no end. Like a taught ball of rubber bands, there are layers of lies that have been stretched to fit over more lies. There are secret hiding places that I know nothing of, that I couldn’t begin to unlock even if I wanted to. When the ball of bands got too big for my brain to comprehend it flipped a switch and transferred the weighted ball to my body. Which is now processed as unrelenting physical pain and fatigue. My only problem now is that to stop the physical pain I must start to unravel that mountain-sized rubber band ball. God knew that if left to my own devices I would have continued to run, with this huge rubber band ball gaining momentum behind me. But running isn’t what God created me to do. I can’t be whole on the run. So hypothetically speaking God cut me off at the knees, not only because being on my knees before him is a healing posture, but so l learn to be patient and love the people who tell me to “walk it off”!
In fleeting moments of peace I could look at this season of my life as a vacation with God because it is the first real break I have ever had. The rest of the time however, I spent wiggling in my chair, restless to get up and go. Angry with the people in my life because they get to leave after a visit and go back to their lives. I know now that when I leave this season my life will be completely different in structure and perspective. The things I learn during this time can’t be unlearned. The value of time for example, even in the simple things like going for a walk. With my long legs I was used to walking at a fast clip and didn’t think twice about stepping over old ladies that hogged the sidewalk. Now I am winded and tire so easily that if I don’t pace myself I wouldn’t be able to go half a block without needed a ride home. So I have no choice but to pace myself and purposefully put one foot in front of the other. To take deep breaths and look around. I am starting to enjoy and appreciate things like to colour of the sky against the contrast of the mid-day moon, the sound of birds chirping and the smell of a rain storm coming. I am starting to see all the things I took for granted and the grandeur of God’s creations.
When it boils right down to it impatience is a lack of trust. I didn’t have patience before because I simply didn’t have time to! I didn’t have time to trust God or listen to the Holy spirit because I was trying to fix everything myself. But only half of those things are in my purview. I can’t fix my situation or heal my body without God’s help. I must want it, seek Him and be obedient but He does all the heavy lifting.
God loves me as I am, I don’t have to earn his love, it’s a gift. He loves me so much that he doesn’t want me to stay this way. Jesus meets me in my brokenness and walks with me into healing. Promising never to leave nor forsake me. His love says its okay to be broken. But it is also the path to healing. We are broken and have been from the start when Adam and Eve chose not to trust God’s instruction and ate the forbidden fruit. They stepped out of the security of the garden because they thought they knew better. God loves me enough to help me walk away from my brokenness, to go back to the whole person I was created to be. But I can’t do that if I am running. You can’t hear that small still voice unless you are still. “Be still and know…” (Psalm 46:10 NIV). Know that he is God (not me!), trust that his timing is perfect. There is a real peace in being okay where you are, and with who you are, its not until then you become the proud owner of everything that can’t be bought (Paraphrase Matthew 5:5 the MSG)
So I must trust that God has me hemmed in. He knows my needs, He knows the right people to meet them and He will bring them. He has the keys to unlock and unwind my rubber band ball of pain. Its hard not to fear but I need to remember that he will do it at a pace I can handle and be with me every step of the way. He will bring comfort and fill in my gaps of confusion. Above all I must be patient and trust the process of healing, trust God’s way is better than mine and allow myself to submit to it. Only then can I be at peace with the direction I am heading and know it is the one God has designed for me.
April 24, 2018