I have gotten really good at pity parties.
About two months ago I had the pity party of al pity parties. Chronic Lyme Disease can strip you of everything. There is not one part of me that has not been affected.
My eyes no longer allow me to read. When words are in paragraph form, all the words merge.
I cannot drive because I see phantom images that cause me to react. With the nerve problems in my legs, I can’t be sure they would respond for me to hit the break in an emergency.
Heat and aerobic exercise cause symptoms to flare. Even getting into the shower if it is hotter than expected can make or break a day.
My stamina is so low I am not able to do much without taking a break. I cannot make plans because I don’t know how I will feel. It changes hourly. I can only do one or two things per day, so I have to really consider what is most important.
To top it all off, my hair is changing from wavy to curly. It will be nice when it all grows in, but for now, it looks odd with only a few inches closest to my scalp curly.
Struggling With Grief
Before all of this started, I never understood the grief that coincides with chronic illness. You lose who you were. There are some things I loved to do that I don’t know if I will ever be able to do again, for example running.
So as you can see a good pity party is expected. As I mentioned, two months ago I had the pity party of all pity parties. I had gone to get an infusion of IV antibiotics. While I was sitting in the recliner, on the other side of the wall, I could hear the nurses talking. One young nurse went on the entire session about running. She was supposed to go on a run after work with a friend. She was trying to come up with a good reason not to go. She spent thirty minutes negotiating this with herself. I just wanted to scream, “Go do it! You never know when it might all be taken away.”
“I have not changed.”
I didn’t say anything, but it sent me into a week of an emotional mess. I cried and grieved over all my losses. During that week, I was telling God that everything had changed, to please show me something in my life that has not changed. As clear as day He said, “I have not.”
I had been so caught up in my pain that I had not seen how true this was. Jesus has been my everything. As Joni Erickson Tada said in a podcast, I listened to, “No one will ever understand the physical and emotional pain you are going through, but He does. There is a point where it is just you and Him.”
This statement is so impactful, no matter how hard others try to understand, they can’t. And that is ok because Jesus does. A friend has been teaching me to see Jesus in everything. In the good and the hard moments, I ask Jesus to show me where He is. In the pain, I always see Him right next to me. He might be hugging me, holding my hand, or sometimes I can see my pain in His eyes. The peace and comfort I experience from this form of prayer are beautiful.
That is not who I want you to be.
Towards the end of the week, my heart had changed somewhat. I am learning to lean more and more on Jesus for strength and to be ok with where I am. Then I hit another weak moment and I said to God, “I just want to be who I was, I am just a shell of who I was just six months ago,” again, clearly He said, “But that is not who I want you to be.”
I wish I could say the grieving stopped right then and there. It did not, but it has gotten better. Change is always hard.
If I had not gone on my trip to the middle east, I would not have been able to handle this disease as I have. While there God changed my perspective. When challenges come my way instead of asking, “Why God.” It has changed to, “Ok God, what are we going to do with this?” I can only explain this as a supernatural change in my thinking.
I encourage you to see Jesus in everything.Click To Tweet
I do not write all of this for you to join me in the pity parties, that would not help. I write to encourage you to see Jesus in everything. We all have pain in some form, and it can be intense. I would love you to experiment today. Ask Jesus to show you where He was in your last time of pain. If you don’t see Him, that is ok. Keep asking. If you do see Him, I would love to hear from you. You can share in the comments or email me by filling out the form below.