Wednesday, May 19, 2010

moving slow

Waking up this morning I crawled out of bed very slowly. It is one of those days where I had much planned, but my body is saying, "Um, no you don't!" If a body could scream I think mine would today. Every inch of my body is hurting today as a night of sleep did not come as I so wished it would.
When you suffer from chronic pain with Fibromyalgia, you never know what to expect. As you try to plan your life, this disease seems to plan it for you. There are days I wake up in pain, and others where I have no energy to move.

You learn to plant a smile on your face. I think mine is permanently glued there now. You try as you might to press forward, but with every inch you move comes more pain. As you so well know your pain by name, you hate those visits. You hate even more how long it stays, for this is one visitor you don't want to open the door to, but even though uninvited, it walks in and takes over pushing you aside and begins to make all the rules.

If I clean too much, if I play softball, if I go shopping, if I exercise I pay for it that night. When you know your family needs dinner and you are not able to get up and move to the kitchen, the guilt begins to creep in. I am blessed to have a family who understands and sees my pain for what it is, and they not only take care of me, but do all those things I cannot do. There are many nights after my husband works he will come in and prepare dinner. He not only prepares it, but brings it to me with a smile.

For this girl who loves to be outdoors, this is a lesson that is hard to learn. For this girl, who just loves to grab her purse and go, it just doesn't happen that way any longer. I have had to give up many things for this disease. I have had to step back from many activities I love as this seems to take control of my days.

Others just do not seem to understand how one day you can play softball and the next you can't move. My mother gets so angry at me for playing softball. But for this 43 year old I am not ready to give up everything I love. I am not giving this disease every area of my life.

As the sun is shining today I will venture out taking in all I can. The warmth is my friend now. On those days I move outside to enjoy the weather, to read a book or just relax, those whispers creep in, "You should be doing more, there is much to clean, you can prepare lunch, you could work on that book, you could, you could, you could." All the while I am saying back, "I can't, I can't, I can't." This disease that roller coaster ride you don't want to get on. Its the one that has too many twists and turns, and seems to last forever, while all you want to do is to get off.

Please, as you read, don't think I am having a pity party. Even though this disease is tough, and one that I don't want, it has brought with it many blessings. I have learned much about myself too. You learn God has other areas for you to work in, and you learn everyone has their limits. I learned not to be a yes girl, and I have learned to slow down and just enjoy each day, each moment. For each moment I don't have to live with pain is a blessing I am well aware of. Each day I wake up without pain or a migraine is a day I am praising God all the more. I have learned to hold on to Him. I have learned to seek Him more, and I have found it easier to reach out to others who are hurting and share.

This is a disease that at times you don't want to share. Others see it as if you could just take some meds it would go away. Others see you as weak. Others see you as giving up. I am so glad it doesn't matter what others see. I have had those people call and say, "What are you doing, reading a book?" I just want to cry when I hear those words. I wish I could do more, I really do, and on those days I can I seem to soar. Its like God opens a window, and you spread your wings to fly, and He just lifts you off the ground for a moment. But then that window closes and your back to moving like an inch worm.

I praise God for His strength and His grace. I reach out to Him and He is always there. I call out to Him and He always answers. It is my faith in Him that pushes me forward. It is His strength that allows me to overcome. You find that in the moments of pain, you don't keep your eyes focused on the pain, but on the blessings you didn't see before. I don't think Jesus gave me this disease, but He has blessed me through it, and has challenged me in ways I never thought possible. I no longer look to myself for strength or the answers, I know just how small I am, but I have also seen just how mighty I can be with Him leading the way.

If you are struggling today, reach out to Jesus. I have found we all struggle in one way or another, mine just seems to be physical for now. We learn to overcome as we watch God move in areas we cannot. Faith grows stronger when we see Him do things through us that we never could do on our own. This disease has humbled me. It has taught me I am not independent. I am forever dependent on my Savior. Not one day has gone by that I have been alone in this. He is always with me, every inch of the way.
Romans 5:3-5 "Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who He has given us."
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