A while back I was stuck in a typical Orlando traffic nightmare and, as I sat there, my mind began to draw a mental parallel between the colors in the traffic lights and this bizarre, Lupus-laced existence that is currently my normal.
It went something like this:
Green light: Everything is pretty much a “go” today. What may be a typical day for most people, is a precious gift to me. Today I can forget I’m sick. Today I can look normal, and I can go take care of people with no worries of whether I’ll be able to actually pull it off or not. I just go “do it” like everybody else.
Yellow light: Yellow days are slower, but I can pull myself together enough to appear normal on the outside. I’m functional. I’m determined. But inside, I’m struggling. I’m weary and hurting – just muscling through this exhausting resistance to my every movement.
Red light: You know where I’m going with this. Life interrupted. Plans changed. I’ve been halted. Drained. Silenced. It’s rude. I’m in my recliner. Again. It could be a migraine. Or nausea. Weakness. Weariness. Joint pain. It’s probably all of them. Regardless, there is no normal on these days. There is no muscling through. Everything just stops.
It has to.
Just like we all have to sit still sometimes. Whether it’s in traffic, out in the world somewhere, or me stuck at home in my recliner. We sit still because we have to. And we stay there. Until we don’t have to anymore.
We all stare down that red light, silently willing it to hurry up and switch to green already. We are braced. We’re ready for it. Because we’ve been taught to expect that this is the way it works. The red will turn green and we can then be on our way again. Until we see the warning of yellow telling us to get ready to stop again. This is the logical and proper order of safe traffic flow.
Imagine driving without it.
Well … welcome to my life. Lupus laughs at any form of logic. There is no order to things. And absolutely no “flow”. And it refuses to follow customary traffic laws, as well.
This shameless randomness has absolutely been one of the most mind-blowing, life-altering aspects of this diagnosis for me. I don’t think me and my well-planned self will ever get used to the fickleness of the whole green, yellow, yellow, green, RED, RED, RED, RED, green, green, RED, yellow, yellow, RED, yellow, RED, green, yellow, green disorder of my days.
Aaaaaaannnnnd … just to make me even a little more nuts from all of this … I’m recently learning that sometimes your light can actually change from red to even redder. Or more red. Or is it a deeper shade of red? Not sure. It doesn’t matter. However you word it … you’re stopped. More stopped.
Here’s the thing, though. It’s not just what my body does during these color changes that’s disturbing. I can’t really help any of that. What’s happening on my insides is just what’s happening. I have no say in this.
What’s even more troubling, is where my heart and mind go.
It slips right down into that dark, hopeless “I can’t do this” place. I really hate that place – I’m absolutely miserable there – but it’s just so darn easy to get there in my weariness.
And I seem to do it over and over again. Even though this is the side of things that I actually can control. Yet somehow I head there, anyways. Even though I know I can’t stay there. I know this.
Sometimes my sinful weakness lets me forget for a while, though.
Then something happens – maybe it’s some lyrics, or the words of a friend – but I’m reminded that it’s really not so comfortable there, after all. There is a stench that rises to my nostrils from wallowing in that cesspool of sinful, self-centered, self-destructive thoughts and I remember that I have no business being in this place.
Because I know Jesus.
He saved me from all that. He reached down and plucked me out of that mire of filth. He washed me clean and called me “beloved”. His joy flowed through me and filled my heart with a hope that knows no bounds – regardless of what the day may bring. I know this. I do. And I thank Him daily, yet somehow my eyes drift from His and I forget. Again. Somehow … even after knowing His truths as long as I have … I still forget.
And somehow He still forgives. He wipes off the muck yet again and trains my eyes on His until I can see straight into His heart. Straight down into the precious heart of Jesus. And suddenly it ceases to matter what color the light may be. I’m His beloved regardless. Praise be.
Thanks for growing with me. ❤
“… let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)