Be Kind to Yourself

On top of the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia, I came down with a wretched cold. One that has kept me blowing my nose and coughing and a general sense of malaise. I know I am susceptible to colds and have a weak immune system. It was one of the things that spurred me on towards finding a diagnosis and not just letting my symptoms go unnoticed. However this cold has had the worst timing.

Where the potential has been to find a few good days, more energy, less pain, this virus has swooped in and knocked me down to the ground. Which means I have even more time. Time to be idle and think and stew and wait. Time I could be praying for others or talking to Papa or all sorts of “holy” things that are all the right answers.

The truth of the matter is that I haven’t really done those things.

I scroll Twitter, Instagram, Facebook… I look at the perfectly manufactured images crafted to convince the world that all is right. I read about Paris and Beruit and my heart breaks for this world. I wake up only to wonder when I can go back to sleep. I try to conserve my energy for the work week yet longing to be with people. I bargain for my old life, one with the Jock or the Missionary or even without them.

You got all that emotion that’s heaving like an ocean
And you’re drowning in a deep, dark well
I can hear it in your voice that if you only had a choice
You would rather be anyone else

be kind to yourself

I have to confess that there has been an unexpected darkness in this journey. There have been moments when I’ve screamed in rage at the hand I’ve been dealt. The despondence and disappointment and depression rolls off my tongue and hits the tears streaming down my face. I’ve been face down trying to catch my breath at the overwhelming thought of a new way of life to live. Feeling my hopes and dreams stolen from me.

I know it’s hard to hear it when that anger in your spirit
Is pointed like an arrow at your chest
When the voices in your mind are anything but kind
And you can’t believe your Father knows best

be kind to yourself

And after these fits and rages and freak-outs I find myself ashamed and embarrassed. Knowing the reality and truth of my emotion but believing years of Bible School Teaching telling me to ‘have more faith’ or ‘be better’ or ‘try harder.’ To not let any one in to my mess and the utter ugliness breaking out of the my perfectly crafted shell.

How does it end when the war that you’re in
Is just you against you against you
Gotta learn to love, learn to love
Learn to love your enemies too

be kind to yourself

 I’ve only let my kind and patient mama into this dark hole I’ve fallen into. I’ve let her cradle me in her arms like when I was a small girl. Reminding me that I am not nor will I ever be alone. She allows me the space to be where I am without judgement or fear. She climbs into the darkness and holds me there, stopping the free fall. She gives me freedom and courage to admit that all is not well. And it allows me to hear from another gentle heart  that I am in good company. And I can allow this to be what it is. And I allow myself whatever space and grief and emotion. But I do not stay and I do not wallow. I do not become of a victim of something but I become a victor with battle wounds.

You can’t expect to be perfect
It’s a fight you’ve gotta forfeit
You belong to me whatever you do
So lay down your weapon, darling
Take a deep breath and believe that I love you

be kind to yourself

Jesus has been infinitely gentle with me. He continues to meet me in my moments and whisper the sweet words of comfort and knowledge. Of peace and understanding. Of love and redemption. Of His glory and my refinement.

I love you just the way that you are
I love the way He’s shaping your heart

be kind to yourself

So when my breath shudders out of my body and my swollen eyelids finally shed their last tear of the night, I fall asleep as one who conquers and not one who has been conquered. I will fight to be kind to myself.

I remain confident of this:
    I will see the goodness of the Lord
    in the land of the living.
     Wait for the Lord;
    be strong and take heart
    and wait for the Lord

be strong and take heart and wait. 

*lyrics and music by the brilliant and wonderful Andrew Peterson. Check out the awesome video for this song here.


2 thoughts on “Be Kind to Yourself

  1. You AREN’T alone, but I know how it is to feel that way. Thank you for your vulnerability. And thanks for introducing readers to Andrew Peterson. I’m an instant fan, based on this one wonderful song. (And, I like his beard. 🙂
    Praying for healing…

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