Bloggers typically create content ahead of time. I just wanted you to know this upfront, so you’re not overly concerned about me today. I wrote this three weeks ago.
I don’t handle sickness well. I just confessed this to a friend who is coming over to clean my house today. I crawled out of bed to tidy before she arrived. Then I caught myself and stopped. I’m not used to needing help from anyone. I’m unaccustomed to being sent into bedrest by events that used to be a normal part of my life.
Yesterday, I finished polishing my latest novel and prepared the proposal to send to my publisher. That’s a big task, and I worked on it for five hours from a nearly horizontal position in my recliner. Proposals have to be perfect.
In the days prior, friends came to help us move items from our water-damaged basement. My task was to sweep. I made them let me do that. We ate sandwiches together at a favorite spot. The following day, I went to see my pulmonologist for the results of my lavage and biopsy. My husband drove. It was good news, but we had expected bad since she had us come in. I skipped out of the office, overcome with relief.
That’s the setting. See, not much. Typical everyday stuff. In fact, a nice mild autoimmune-life schedule.
After I sat in my recliner to do the work I enjoy best in all the world, I sent that proposal off then performed a one-person conga dance around the circle of my house. Within four hours my autoimmune diseases had all flared, I had a heating pad on my belly, my eyes weren’t working, and I could barely crawl out of bed today.
That’s how limited my energy is now, and that’s the vicious nature of autoimmune disease. I can push through a necessary event, even of several days’ duration, but I will pay for it later and pay big. My body is as hard on itself as I ever was on myself all those years I spent as a perfectionistic workaholic.
All my life I’ve been my worst critic, hard on myself emotionally, spiritually, and physically. I pushed myself beyond what was humanly possible for decades, and as a result here I am. Now my body has taken over the crushing of me.
I’m really glad Jesus isn’t like this.
Now that I’m flattened, He’s drawing my attention to His unconditional love that cherishes and cares for me no matter what I do, even if I cannot now “perform” to my own high standards. He’s teaching me to simply bask in His love. He’s showing me how valuable I am to Him. I’m glad for these lessons.
Back to my friend. She arrives within an hour to clean my house. Her children will be helping her. What a gift! And a blessing for the kids!
She arrives on a day when simply having her in the house will drain my energy. I feel the tension in my body, the desire to talk with her, to chat, to laugh, for I am used to being the encourager, the one who wants to uplift those around me.
But, if I do the lifting today, I will grow worse, and we’re traveling soon, so I must take care. Learning to be chronically ill means I must allow myself to be sick and in need of care when another person is present. For me, this is one of the hardest challenges.
My house is a wreck. I don’t even remember the last time anyone dusted. We merely keep the bathrooms fairly clean, swipe at the kitchen floor as needed, and mow through the main paths with the vacuum.
This is humbling. Therefore, this is exceedingly good for me.
My worth is not dependent on what I can do or on the cleanliness of my house. I am inherently valuable, simply because I am created in the image of God and He loves me. I will be begging God for the grace to simply believe this and to rest in it while she serves me. The growth achieved merely by being sick is astonishing.
Lord, thank you for wrecking my pride and self reliance. Continue to deconstruct as You see fit.