Just a minor life change, NBD

Well, this is not a post that I ever expected to be writing.

 

There’s a lot of fears that present themselves in the lives of people who are chronically ill. Illness forces you to think in ways you never have or would have. Fear of abandonment by family members, friends, SOCIETY in general is one of the more overwhelming fears. And just as you try to tell yourself these fears are unfounded, the unexpected happened.

I haven’t really talked much about this to anyone other than those closest to me or who I knew would pray, but my husband and I have separated. I don’t want to turn this into a bloodbath of any sort, so let’s just say we didn’t see eye to eye on some things. I don’t want to speak for him. I know he had his reasons, and I’ll leave it at that.

Still however it leaves me in quite a predicament- rebuilding a life that was already on shaky footing, already broken. And NEVER ever thinking that as close as it felt we were, that this would be the outcome.

God doesn’t require you to have a neat and tidy situation to help you rebuild. He is all about rolling up the sleeves on his white robe (thinking back to all the Jesus pics with him and a lamb from my childhood). He gets into the mud with you. He ain’t scared of your broken, your ugly. Not one bit.

So….here we are, rebuilding and taking each day as it comes, cause reallly- what else can we do??

I’ve had to let go of a lot of people I cared very deeply for, because I need time to heal. And I am very serious about that. I don’t have any energy to spare, and the most of it is going to be wasted on the people who most obviously have been placed in my life by God – my kids, my family, my church family. Anyone else, I might not have the time or energy for.

I see life very differently since I have been “sick”. That’s really a whole different blog post, but I have stopped praying some things. I have stopped praying (for the most part) for my healing. I have stopped praying for the removal of “bad” things in my life. I stopped praying to received only good things. I really feel like across the Christendom we have it so messed up and so backward. Instead, I want to pray for God’s idea of what I need and don’t need. And He really delivers. But we have got to get out of that first world mentality, that everything has to be my way, right away. What happened to the honor of suffering? Rejoicing in trials? Did we forget that we are in the upside-down Kingdom, the one in which everything is backwards? Blessed are those who mourn. Count it all joy. We so quickly forget all that when hard things hit.

I am being stretched, my faith is being stretched, my love is being stretched. I thought I would hate every minute of it. But you know what? I don’t.

Who is Me?

 

As I have been typing out my prayer tonight- which I haven’t done in a while- I realize that most of what made me who I am has been stripped away.

I live in a bed, basically. I’m not really able to go and do with my kids like I used to, which I loved. I’m not much able to get out and lunch with friends, which I used to enjoy. I don’t wake up at 4am and have my quiet time with the Lord anymore. I’m lucky if I even have it at all, because most of the time I don’t, it seems. I certainly have the time on my hands! I am just not plugged into the power source, as my pastor put it during one of his messages. I have tried to get back into good habits and for whatever reason, it ain’t happening for me. Maybe it’s my fault, I really don’t know.

Furthermore, no one wants to hear my whining and complaining. So while I’d like to complain 24/7, I try to stuff as much as possible.  Sometimes, much to my dismay, it comes out.

I don’t want to be ungrateful. I mean, I’m still alive, still breathing. My kids are healthy. I do have a husband willing to work while I can’t. We have food on the table and the bills get paid, although discretionary (fun) money is scarce. We are certainly getting by, which is more than I can say for a lot of people I know. Furthermore, I have friends in way worse shape. I just hate to see anyone going through this stuff, even though the Bible says to rejoice in trials. I know this trial is making me- making me a new person. But man, is it ever painful, in every way. It is exhausting.

I used to be a nurse. While I wasn’t the best nurse in the land, I loved serving people and helping make their lives a little better in some way. That part of my identity has left the building, also. Heck, I need a nurse myself probably.  Now my nursing is done behind a computer screen and on a phone. I find this ironic and comical, as much as the Lord knows I hate talking on the phone. But, the ability to work the way I do is a huge blessing.

I can’t clean my house. I can barely get dinner made. I live vicariously through people on TV.

I can’t always make it to church. If I do get there, I can’t wait to leave- simply because I’m in pain and I want to be home.

I can’t drive or sometimes even ride long distances anymore. Something about being in motion in the car makes me miserable. So that greatly limits my visiting the area I was from. I have to keep in touch with everyone via social media.

There’s a whole lotta can’ts in my life right now.

What CAN I do?

I can blurt out little prayers to the Lord on behalf of my family and friends. I can usually make dinner- maybe 4 nights out of 7. I can mail doo dads to one of my special friends (well, I can put the stuff in an envelope and my son will usually mail things for me). I can encourage my kids to lay with me and I can rub their backs and play with their hair. I can joke and enjoy their company and laugh. I can work my telephone triage job for brief intervals and for the most part enjoy it and feel useful. I can read encouraging Christian blog posts. I can comment on my friends’ posts and let them know how I feel about them. I can text people and do the same. I can manage our finances and make meal plans for a few days at a time. I can fold a load of laundry and put it away. I can’t do all these things every day, but I can do them sometimes. And I’m gonna try to figure out what else I can do.

 

So, Lord, in obedience I come to you, and I thank you for what I CAN do. I also thank you for this trial, in obedience to your Word. Although it is a literal pain, I thank you for the good things that have come from it and I do know that you work things out for my good and your glory. I thank you for your patience with me as I navigate these unchartered waters. I thank you that as I sink, you are there to pull me up. Thank you that I have friends who care about me and check in on me.

 

Why did I type this out? To get it out of my system, so I can start tomorrow fresh and new hopefully. Why did I post it, you may ask. Because I know someone somewhere out there feels the way I do. They have lost their “me”. And I want them to know they aren’t alone. This is my only floor, my only podium, my only voice. I’m not interested in pity, I loathe pity! I am just trying to figure me out. Trying to make sense of what’s going on. Something we all need to do for ourselves.

 

Thanks for hearing me as I journey.

Andra

thisgirlcan

Differently-abled? or Handi-capable?

Last week, I received my handicapped tag in the mail. Very bittersweet- on one hand, I can now go shopping (MAYBE?). On the other, I had to look at my condition as it lay right in my hand. My doctor had approved me for a handicapped tag. At 43 years old. My heart broke. How did this happen? I mean, I asked for it- I wanted it, I want to be able to go to the store and other places with my kids and actually make it in the door and through the store. So we eliminated the problem of getting into the store, now I just have to get through it. But to actually hold my status in my hand- it was more than I could bear. However- I used it for church this morning and could see the benefit! After cleaning out one of my small raised garden beds yesterday (and afterward coming inside and sleeping for two hours!), I was extremely sore. Heck, I’m still sore, probably getting sorer. If that’s a word. But since I was able to park in the handicapped spot at church, I had no problem getting in and sitting down, and usually I’m in massive pain just walking through church. I may get over the heartbreak of handicapped tag, just saying.

tag

The other thing I’m dealing with -primary on my mind- is filing for disability. I am going through the process as we speak, and I should have an answer in a month or two. I had my medical evaluation over a week ago, and I have my mental evaluation this week. I would be so happy to have disability awarded. It would probably be another kick in the teeth initially, but it is sure needed. I have trouble even getting through an hour of work. The exhaustion is more than I can take sometimes. I’m also tired of trying to come up with ways to make money- things to sell, etc. People who are sick should not have to deal with things such as this. But I cannot sit by and let my husband shoulder it all. If it’s saving money somehow or making money somehow, my brain is all about it. I don’t want him to worry. And my medical status brings quite a few bills our way- it’s just the nature of chronic illness.

Couple of good websites I found:

http://www.ratracerebellion.com- if you want to find something from home full time or even just part time to add to your income.

http://www.laurengreutman.com – Kinda Dave Ramsey-ish, budgeting and financial help, menu ideas, freezer meal planning