If you follow my blog, you know that I have struggled with my health since getting a bad case of mono several years ago. I could feel my energy level was lower than the normal low over the last couple of months, but I pushed through it. Well, my body let me know that it did not appreciate that I pushed through it, and I came down with shingles.
The nerve pain is extremely intense, but I thought I can tolerate this. So, that part of me that would rather not take meds, turned down the offer of Norco from the PA. That part of me that thought I would just... you know... diffuse some essential oils, was begging for the prescription of Norco the next morning.
While Norco helped with the pain, it also made me feel jumpy and agitated. And that combination makes for a sleepless night. So, ibuprofen it was.
"Okay, Valerie," I told myself, "you can do this, you can get through this."
And then that bad upper respiratory infection our kids had, hit me. Hard.
Shingles, one of the worst colds I have ever had, on top of the usual chronic fatigue, and that was more than my body could handle. There were actually a couple of times that I was seriously considering going to the hospital.
You know, I was finally getting to a point where I was feeling the best I have felt since mono. Not fully myself yet, but gaining ground. And then this. The tears are flowing as I write this because I don't get life sometimes.
And I can keep a perspective that there are a lot of people suffering a lot worse than me. I get it. But, man, when you are going through it... you are going through it. On top of it, I believe that part of the reason I have struggled with my health is because of personal tragedies over the years. I had been drained mentally and emotionally, and now physically.
So, on Monday, I sunk into the depths of self-pity. The "I have not felt well for six years, I can't live the life I want to live and do the things I want to do, now I have shingles, and a bad cold" abyss. I had been thinking about reading from Job all morning, but it wasn't until the afternoon that I emotionally felt like I could read my Bible and write in my journal. I went out and sat on the back porch, I knew I needed to read the passages when God questions Job. In my journal I wrote from Job, "Can you get the attention of the clouds, and commission a shower of rain? Can you take charge of the lightning bolts and have them report to you for orders?" I finished writing and looked up, and this was what the sky looked like:
Yes, God, I am listening. I know you love me, but sometimes, it's hard to feel you love me. Help me trust you. Jesus never doubted your love for him, regardless of his circumstances. Let that be me.
Later, David and I took a walk around the farm and I had to stop and rest half way around. I was discouraged. We turned a corner on our walk and one of our neighbor's lambs had its head caught in the fence. The video of the lamb rescue is on my Instagram. Being able to rescue that lamb felt like a gift from God. A display of his love for me, a reminder of how he gently removes the ways I have entangled myself.
This morning, I was processing through all of this knowing I would blog about it and I read a blog post from Nathan Foster. In his post he shared a quote from Brennan Manning that has been slowly sinking into my soul throughout the day. "May all your expectations be frustrated, may all your plans be thwarted, may all your desires be withered into nothingness, that you may experience the powerlessness and poverty of a child and sing and dance in the love of God who is the Father, Son, and Spirit."
May every moment of suffering draw me closer and deeper into your unfailing love. May I sing and dance in your love. Amen.