There it was again. That look. There’s that person walking past you on the street or maybe in a store. They innocently glance your way as they pass by, and then they do a very subtle little double-take. Or maybe their eyes linger on you just a bit too long to be natural. I know those looks. I know what they mean. They see it. They see the pain, they see the weariness, they see the pallor.
Yep, they see the Lupus.
I’ve been noticing a lot of posts on social media lately about “invisible illnesses”. Lupus is certainly one of them, and I always appreciate the fact that awareness is being raised about all the sneaky diseases that silently invade our bodies. It’s challenging to live with an “invisible illness” because frequently people judge your degree of sickness by how you appear on the outside. This can be difficult because outside appearances definitely don’t tell the whole story.
I saw a meme the other day that read, “We may not look sick, but turn our bodies inside out and they would tell otherwise”. It’s so true.
But, honestly, I see the invisibility of Lupus as a mixed blessing. I don’t want to look as bad as I feel. I’ve always liked to look my best – even before Lupus. That’s just who I am. Even now – I want to put my best self out there because I believe it makes me feel better to do that. Besides, I want people to see ME, not my struggles.
Basically, I just want to look normal. I want to live normal. And, really, I just want to BE normal.
Today, though, I’m definitely not normal. Today, I’m struggling. Regardless, I had two doctor appointments this morning, so I fixed myself up and headed out the door. It made me feel a bit better to dress up, fix my hair, and put a little makeup on. After the appointments, I decided to press on and do a little shopping, since I was already out.
That was when they started. The looks. I knew. I knew that people could see it. The weariness, the pain. I happened to walk past a mirror and I realized that no amount of makeup could erase the look of strain in my eyes. I’m sick today. I needed to just accept it and go home.
So, here I am back in my recliner – staring at this little sign again. Hopefully just for today, though. Hopefully, I just need to take a rest day and tomorrow will be much, much better.
Even if not, I’m very thankful for those looks I got today. They reminded me that I’m not normal. God has set me apart and given me something special to deal with. And he wants me to deal with it in the best way that I can.
He doesn’t want me to pretend it’s not there. He doesn’t want me to try to be normal. He wants me to trust him. He wants me to believe that he loves me, and that he always, always gives me what’s best. He wants me to be still and to listen. And he wants me to stop faking strength today, and simply rest in his.
Thanks so much for growing with me.
“In you, Lord my God, I put my trust.” (Psalm 25:1)