Every now and then, I have people tell me that they simply don’t know how I do it, continuing to live despite my condition. The truth is, I don’t do anything, God does. Though I still may stumble, fall, sin, and don’t necessarily always put Him first like I should, God has always been there to pick me up off the ground and help me keep going. In the past years of my illness, there have been times where I have hit what I call a “brick wall” of emotion, and if you have ever had struggles or trials in life, you will know exactly what I am talking about. When you spend all of your energy trying to cope with symptoms, figure out what is causing the symptoms, and comply to various treatments and protocols year after year, sometimes your emotional, mental, and physical well-being simply cannot handle it anymore. This can also happen when you are called to do a variety of seemingly impossible tasks all at once, knocking you off schedule, draining you of energy, and suddenly life becomes like a whirlwind. As for myself, there have been many instances where the unknown outcome of a given doctors appointment, test, or treatment, has left me thoroughly exhausted and void of any hope to keep on trying. Somedays, I never thought that the the tears would stop, nor could I find any plausible reason as to how I was going to get up off of the floor where I had previously collapsed in utter despair. With the internal battle that continually rages on in my body, there have been times where I seriously cannot, and do not, want to deal with the symptoms any longer. Honestly, if it were ever up to me, I would have never gotten up from the crumpled pile on the ground, couch, or bed and pulled it together time and time again. Yet somehow, it happens, and there are many like myself who have lived to tell about it.
While there may be various earthly reasons that have gotten people through their heartaches in life, it is ultimately God who has allowed me to “keep on keeping on” despite how hard pressed, perplexed, and struck down my body becomes. However, this does not mean that I am always able to keep a calm, straight face, acting as though the pain and strife that I have encountered has not effected me. We are only human, and must show emotion as a way to grow from our experiences, and while crying to ourselves more than likely will cause a pity party out of our circumstance, crying out to God is an entirely different story. When we break down, we are proving just how much we do need God, and it is through the act of being down on our knees with a heavy heart, that we are surrendering our entirety to Him. This is one of the greatest forms of living out a life of sacrifice to our Heavenly Father. Yet it is not to say that this will not include many painful experience, as a life where we take up our cross and follow Christ will almost always involve the act of giving up any earthly attachments, desires, and pleasures. As for those like myself who have chronic illness, it means accepting that God might just want to use our weak, sick, and troubled body to prove His power and glory. Of course, it is not to say that we should simply give up on trying to find healing, rather, we must realize that the road to recovery is ultimately steered by God’s will, and if that means giving you another symptom or condition to deal with, it is not to make us suffer, but rather, bring us closer to Him, use us as His servant here on earth, and ultimately allow us to live our life poured out as a drink offering (Philippians 2:17). That being said, God has never said that we cannot show any emotion, or that we can’t admit to being completely worn out and helpless as we work through these difficulties Instead, this is when He calls us to draw near to Him and find safety in His wings (Psalm 91:4). Of course, this is certainly easier said than done, and as I struggle to get through this week, there have been a few songs that have been really hitting home with me, and have allowed me to turn my weakness into times of spiritual growth. These songs remind me that through Christ there is “hope for the helpless, mercy and healing,” and though I may be tired and worn with a heavy heart “from the weight it takes to keep on breathing,” the Lord can give give me rest. Though sometimes the way is lonely, and steep and filled pain, and if your sky is dark and pours the rain, then cry to Jesus,” as He is the ultimate source of all comfort and encouragement (2 Corinthians 1:3).
Psalm 56:8 “You number my wanderings; Put my tears into Your bottle; Are they not in Your book?”