I started out my Monday with my phone ringing at 0511. Apparently we’re short-staffed again today and the hospital was asking if I’d like to come in and “help out my unit”.
The thing is … in my heart, I really WOULD like to go help out today because I know what it’s like to be there on those short-staffed days. It’s not fun for anybody and I’d love to spare my work family from a day of those incredible pressures, but I can’t today. I just can’t.
So I gave a quick “You really don’t want me there today” response to the poor voice on the phone, and I set her free to go try to find last-minute staffing elsewhere. Definitely not a job I’d ever want to transfer to.
Normally, this kind of sleep interruption would be pretty devastating to me, but today I had already been awake for hours by then feeling miserable with all my usual chronic miserableness. The head, the queasies, the joint throbs – they were all right there keeping me company when the phone suddenly blared out its obnoxiousness.
You know … it’s funny the thoughts that swirl around my mind in that achey darkness. This is the place where worries consume me. All the anxieties I carry deep inside (about pretty much everything and everybody) seem to bubble to the surface and problems become larger than life.
This is the place where I groan.
Even louder than usual, believe it or not.
And today this was also that place where reality checks came crashing back in.
It’s strange because the past few weeks have actually been pretty good. There have been many really wonderful, productive things happening in my life and I’ve actually been feeling quite well, for the most part.
But, at the same time, these past few weeks have also been a little tough for me, as well. In the midst of all the good things, it’s also been what I fondly (okay, not so fondly) call “recheck season”.
Somehow the timing of all my various doctor appointments seems to fall within the same few weeks, and so every few months, I spend a lot of time sitting in waiting rooms, being poked, prodded and peered at, all while being forced to talk about things I’d honestly rather forget even exist. Really.
So this is the season I’m coming out of right now. And I suppose I should rename it “reality check” season instead. Because that’s what it’s actually been.
It’s funny how I think that I’ve spent the last six years accepting the fact that I have a chronic illness. It’s also funny that I truly believed that I’d found the key to successfully living life this way – amidst all the life changes and random sucker punches. It’s easy.
You just look for the beauty in it.
And the beauty in spite of it.
And the beauty with it.
Because it IS there. Believe me.
And, even better … after you find this beauty, you then share it.
You open up your story to others. You untuck all your uglies so that maybe somebody out there can hopefully learn (by watching me trip through my own tangle of hard-headedness) to accept their own stories, as well.
Whatever they may be.
But then I realized in this morning’s painful darkness that maybe I DON’T really have the peace with all of this that I’d like to claim I have. Because those reality checks somehow bring it all to the surface all over again. Just like brand new.
So I’ve been having an internal dialogue with myself over these last few weeks that, because I’ve been feeling so well lately, maybe it’s not true after all.
They’re all wrong.
Or maybe it’s gone now.
Or maybe it never was at all.
But then I suddenly wake in the night with a crushing migraine. So weak. Nauseous. And it feels like someone is tightening screws down straight into my joints. Ugh.
Oh yeah … there it is.
Yep, that’s it.
I remember now.
My ugly sleeping giant.
He’s still there.
And always will be.
So there I was this morning in the darkness.
Remembering all over again.
That’s when the phone rang.
When I was wrestling a bit with God.
But that’s also when He set me straight.
Reminded me who’s in control.
And perfectly stunning.
That’s right, Debi.
Focus on this.
Focus on Him.
This is where your hope lies, Debi. Not in how you feel or how things may appear. Your hope lies in clinging to the creator and giver of all things both good and painful. It’s the same God giving you both. They both hold purpose. They both hold beauty. They both overflow with love. Seek it out. That beauty. It’s there. Grab hold. Be encouraged. And then pass it on.
Thanks for growing with me. ❤
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men, yet they cannot fathom the work that God has done from beginning to end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
2 thoughts on “On being okay with what is, even when you think it’s not there.”
Debi, I believe this may be your most beautifully written and priceless article that I’ve been privileged to read! Such an honest and sincere picture of the suffering and the JOY and maturity in Christ you are experiencing. Thank you dear sister in Christ for sharing with us all so that we know to turn to our incomparable Heavenly Father for strength, peace and comfort! Much love and hugs are sent to you, Debi.
Thank you so much, Yolanda – I’m so thankful that the message touched you! And I’m also very thankful to have you here with me. Hold fast, sister. 🙏❤️🙏