My last post was written at 3 a.m. while I was high on an energy burst that unaccountably descended upon me. I buzzed. I worked! In those few days of actually feeling happy and normal, I could barely sleep, and I felt so hopeful. Maybe I had turned the corner.

But I’ve now been mostly flattened for the last two weeks, and I had to fight off a secondary ailment that followed my energy burst. I wasn’t healed. It was a brief reprieve. Next time I feel energy like that, I won’t necessarily assume that the thorn has departed. I will be grateful for the gift it is and not attach any expectations to it.

Even though I’m zealous to learn how to live with a chronic autoimmune disorder, I freely admit that I’m clueless. This is like a grand experiment on myself, a spiritual test.

Can I apply my faith to the collapse of my health? Can I trust God no matter how this goes?

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I’m throwing everything at learning to do this in a way that honors the Lord. Noting my heart responses and whether my complain-o-meter shows more activity requires introspection.

Those days of wellbeing got me editing on #FallenNovel again. I had been spinning my wheels, because I felt so weary. But once the ball is rolling, the momentum pulls me along, and I’m now more than halfway done with my edit. Maybe that was the only purpose. God leads and aims me specifically, even if I don’t immediately recognize it.

It took days of reflection to arrive at that epiphany. Remember, clueless.

Editing fiction is one of the few things I can do in a horizontal position. Lay down. Work on fiction. This makes me intensely happy. God cares for me in even this little detail! I had wondered what the Lord was trying to show me! Now I know.

When I was healthy, I would throw myself into one project after another, always running overbooked and overwhelmed, trying to do it all in my own strength. Now I can’t. And I’m glad.

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The Lord is teaching me how much he loves me, even if I can do nothing to “earn” it, even if I can’t be the hardest worker around, even if almost everything has been eliminated. No matter how little I can accomplish, God’s passionate love for me never wavers.

Jesus values me even if I can no longer write the Bible study material for my church or if I have to miss helping with VBS or going to prison ministry on a given week, because I’m sick. He has never loved me merely because I can produce.

That’s a flaw we people have—valuing others for what they can do for us. God is not like that.

Jesus loves me simply because I’m me, and he loves you because you’re you. Do you feel like a failure? Or like your contribution doesn’t amount to much?

That is a lie.

Jesus created you, and he wants you to be yourself. The best you is you relying on him, trusting him, and watching him for his leading. Lord, please help me to grow ever closer to you as I learn this.

“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:8-10 NIV).