Slow down, take time.
Breathe in, He said.
He’ll reveal what’s to come.
The thoughts in His mind, always higher than mine.
And He’ll reveal all to come.
Take courage, my heart.
Stay steadfast, my soul.
He’s in the waiting. He’s in the waiting.
Hold onto your hope.
Watch your triumph unfold.
He’s never failing, He’s never failing.
(lyrics from Bethel Music’s “Take Courage”)
Warning: I’m not going to sugarcoat. You’re getting the real, very raw, Laura right now. Hope you don’t mind because I prefer truth over gloss, even when it causes discomfort. Plus, it’s my blog, so, there’s that! So, here goes.
Pain sucks. It just does.
There are days I can mask it, or at least minimize it, to accomplish things I had planned. Today is not one of those days.
Today was a barely make it through my shower day. Today was a lie in bed because it’s the softest place I could find day. Today was an I don’t have energy to eat day.
There are days like this. (No, Momma did not say there would be.) And yes, they kind of suck. Ok, they do, they suck. There, I said it. They suck the life out of me.
Today, I’m not going to “hyper-spiritualize” how grateful I am for the pain, it’s just too difficult to convince myself, much less you.
While I’m thankful God is with me, comforting my spirit, I’m not particularly grateful for the pain, fatigue or disease. That’s just being honest, brutally honest.
It’s not easy for most people to share their struggles. Prior to the bottom dropping out years ago, sharing had never been natural for me either, a byproduct of being the oldest child with a responsibility streak that runs deep. While I’ve become more well-versed in sharing “what’s happening” with me, I’m not always very eloquent in saying the hard stuff.
The real stuff isn’t particularly easy to accept, much less share with anyone.
As a Christian, especially one on church staff, I ask people to tell me how they’re really doing. And yet, here I work tirelessly to guard how I am really doing so I don’t burden someone else. UGH.
I am pretty good at rattling off test results, doctor appointments and medical procedures. I’m even rather accomplished in asking for prayer over the details. I freely write and speak about my faith carrying me through the hardships of life. I am fully determined to give all glory to Jesus Christ.
Yet, I’m also the woman whose fears kick her mind around like a soccer ball. The woman afraid of sharing how darkness closes in on days such as these, when the body won’t cooperate and the spirit feels defeated. The woman who seems more like a young child afraid to say what their nightmare was about for fear it will become real.
See? Us Christians really aren’t anything special on our own. We still fight battles unseen and unspoken. We suffer from disease, illness and pain just like anyone else. And though we are thankful in all circumstances, knowing God is our source of strength and comfort, we still abhor suffering. We remain uncertain of the reason behind things seemingly unfair happening. In short, we struggle too.
Today was not my best day, at least by my own measures of productivity. Today was not my best attempt at serving others. Today, all I could manage was a phone call to order pizza for dinner. Today, there were moments, I felt like a failure.
Actually, know what? Scratch that.
Today was one of my best days.
I leaned on Jesus. I faced my disease head on and accepted rest. I released frustration and sadness. I asked some of the most non-judgmental, compassionate women I’ve met to help me make a difficult decision. And I was honest, authentic and genuine with you.
I even managed to enjoy our favorite, local pizza alongside my husband in our cozy, new home.
On second thought, today really didn’t suck after all.
(Forgive the puffy-faced picture, but it happens more and more these days. Plus, I felt it valuable within the thread of authenticity.)