This week’s God-sized dream assignment gave me cause for concern.
There is a certain degree of guilt and shame associated with not being a fully functioning member of society. Sadly, those with long-term physical or mental health problems are often misunderstood, marginalised, stigmatised and unfairly treated.
Dark thoughts rose unbidden, like excreta from a cesspool, polluting my mind with their stench:“What will people think?” What will people say?” “I can’t do this” “It’s too hard”
Those old insecurities, low self-esteem and people-approval issues reared their ugly heads again.
Courage to speak comes from a Source outside of myself.
This isn’t all about me. It’s about being faithful in sharing, continuing on the journey, having confidence in the voice and story God has given me, being open, transparent and honest.
I wake for real, insomnia morphing into daylight-stirring, pinned in place by profound fatigue
and pain invading every pore, a soreness-stabbed and stiffened form
resisting all attempts to peel off covers and exit from the bed.
careful to avoid repetition of the fall I had some months ago when weaker than today.
Now, struggling to gather whatever wits I possess, as I gather cereal into bowl,
green tea and lemon teabag, lemon squeeze and a slice,
manuka honey dipped into mug at the ready (try to start the day healthy);
I seek to spend some time with You. Not at my best at all,
(though don’t know when I am)
I come to possess Your best for me this day
Asking for grace, strength, wisdom, guidance and clarity to read Your word,
spend time in Your presence and be fortified for what lies ahead.
I read and absorb the words before me
and I wait as I pour out to You and You reply.
Sometimes it’s words I scribble down, eager not to miss a thing,
or a peace, resting grace, healing joy, quiet balm for a wounded soul.
These days I hurry to the Throne before the phone.
The urge to hear from and communicate with You
exceeds the urge to let the noisy world in.
I come because I must. I come because You invite us to.
I come empty, dry and weary, in need of filling and refuelling.
I come disabled, resting in Your capability.
“..they who wait for the Lord will renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint” ~ Isaiah 40:31
I want to linger longer, though other things shout for attention.
You alone can sustain me.
Nothing else matters so much as these moments with You.
From this space I can find grace to be available,
eyes wide open to the needs around me,
with a heart to reach and touch lives with words that You alone can give.
Awareness, as I move into the day, that I can pray as you direct me to for those
who are hurting, lost, in pain, weak, weary, discouraged – for I know how it feels.
“Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. As they pass through the valley of Baca (weeping), they make it a place of springs..They go from strength to strength..” ~ Psalm 84: 5 – 7
Now breakfast eaten, drink made with usual slosh-splash
spills from joint-swollen hands unsteady;
plethora of pills, supplements – supporting a body out of kilter, immunity messed up,
pervaded by ball and chain of persistent pain – washed down, with more to come.
Connecting with others through social media – welcome distraction, friendship, support,
fellowship of believers world-wide to meet in blogs, groups and prayer.
This is church for me now as illness keeps me captive to the house.
I join in, ready to help, pray and support where I can.
Sit nursing coffee, speak to spouse, read, reflect, and try to wake up.
Consider it a good day if out of pyjamas by lunchtime,
even better if showered and better still if hair can be washed,
though it renders me pole-axed for hours.
Never thought life would reduce to this.
Going with the ebb and flow or burn and crash.
Image Courtesy of DigitalPhotos.Net
Potter and pace a bit with minor, manageable tasks at hand – some paperwork,
e-mails, a phone call or two if voice and hands hold out.
Life slips by on screen large and small and I am grateful to join in at all,
remembering days confined to bed when Dark and Quiet companion me instead.
If inspiration and energy flow, I write and write some more if able,
for here I come alive, energised inside for a while
as You give me words to share and bless.
Mountain-scale those stairs, one slow crawl at a time, seeking rest,
sleep, more rest; eat, bread baked and dinner made by my beloved.
Consider myself blessed to have him beside me,
cooking meals, tacking multiple tasks I cannot do;
his the physical effort, mine the emotional ballast, keeping all barely afloat,
caring and sharing, being strength, being grace, being light to one another.
“Many a man claims to have unfailing love, but a faithful man who can find?” ~ Proverbs 20:6
Image Courtesy of DigitalPhotos.Net
a snail in the pace of life
a Slow Lane dweller.
Grateful that my grown-up sons require a listening ear
rather than practical care.
I am asked, how do I see Your hand in the middle
of the ‘small’ and ordinary too?
Well, all is minutiae, all is small, all is ordinary,
until You render it great, Extraordinary,
impossible made Possible.
And You are all in all and here throughout it all,
Your love the constant that I rely on,
Your presence energy for my soul,
Your grace is manna for today.
I whisper quiet as I read again
Your words of Hope and Faith;
watch over me as I sleep fitful
for You neither sleep nor slumber,
and protect me from harm
until I rise again – Tomorrow.
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” ~ Revelation 21:4
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Thanks for sharing this beautiful insight into your life. It is not a life less ordinary. You are extraordinary for courageously facing life with ME. Every. single. day.
Thank you so much for the encouragement, Wendy. It means a lot coming from you. Your own life is a testament of faith and courage in the midst of great pain and adversity. May you be blessed and strengthened by His grace and peace. xx
Amazing, beautiful words full of courage and wisdom, lit by faith. Thank you for sharing, Joy. You encourage all of us who battle M.E. and chronic illness, while holding tight to the Father's hand! Blessings – Joyce xxx
Enabled and equipped by His Spirit, it is amazing what God blesses us to do. You know the battle all too well, my friend, and also His sustaining power to keep us. We share and are strengthened together. Thank you so much for your lovely comment, Joyce. Bless you 🙂 xx
Oh, Joy. So beautiful, poignant, honest, gentle yet powerful. The Holy Spirit shines through you brightly, even when you feel yourself only a glimmer. I feel for you and I admire you.Wonderful post. Never feel that your story is less important; the world needs words like these. We can all learn so much. Thank you.
You have left me speechless, Helen, by your kind words. All I can add is a humble and grateful "Thank you" for sharing these thoughts. Bless you, dear friend. 🙂 xx
Your post reminds me of this song, which was one of my favourites that we used to sing while Hubby was at Ridley: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qm1h4lcccto I hope you enjoy it 🙂
Thanks, Ame. It is a lovely song with great words. Bless you for sharing it here. :)x
This is so beautiful and dignified, despite the battles ME constantly presents. Thank you for being such an encourager both in faith and in fighting this tedious illness.
I'm so pleased it spoke to you, Mandy. You encourage me too by your friendship and lovely comments. In this "tedious illness" we need all the encouragement we can get! Blessings of health and strength to you :)xx
Thank you for sharing your story and faith with us. I was so blessed in reading it and even more blessed that you shared my photo with this beautiful message of encouragement. – Lauren
Hi Lauren. Thanks very much for stopping by to leave a lovely comment! I love your images and it is an honour to share them. Each life is a story of faith and struggle. We help one another in the sharing. Blessings :)xx
Wow – inspirational writing – honest and pure. There are so many others who suffer in silence, always feeling less than, and it is so important that those, like you, who can express what your suffering is like do so to the rest of us. We need to understand – acknowledge the depth of faith you have clinging to the cross for all its worth when the pain seems too much to bear. Bless you for sharing this – I'll be passing it on to my mum, who also suffers constant pain. Thanks again… Claire xx
Raw and honest, yes. That seems to be the path God is taking me down with my writing. There is a degree of pain in the opening up and joy in the potential of blessing others in the process. Thank you so much, Claire, for your sweet words. May you and your family be blessed with peace through the pain. xx
Dear Joy, I am not often without words, but my heart is filled with joy, not because of your affliction. I want you to feel better, to be healed. I am simply filled with wonder at the awesome grace of God; furthermore, you have touched my heart to want more of Him. That is the best thing of all.:)xx
You and me both, Debby. God's grace never ceases to amaze me. If He has used these words to encourage you to seek more of Him, then I am truly grateful. May you be greatly blessed and helped in your own health struggles. 🙂 xx
There was so much beauty in what might appear mundane. Anything done in Grace can be received as a sacrament. I pray that your best days are still ahead.Peace and good to you, Joy, in Jesus' name.Chelle
How you have blessed me here with your own words, "Anything done in Grace can be received as a sacrament". Indeed. Thank you for the kind thoughts. I do hope and pray that better days are ahead, while I marvel at how God uses all of our lives for His glory. Bless you! 🙂
Thanks for this post Joy. I really needed to read it today!
Hi Wendy. I am awed and amazed at how God so often gives us just what another soul needs to hear. Thank you! 🙂 xx
Lovely, lovely! There are many of us who may not struggle with a chronic illness or disease, but suffer or have suffered from afflictions and have felt less worthy because we are not "fully functioning". Not a pretty or healthy place, and one that does require more faith. I, too, begin my day with Jesus Calling, and was particularly struck by Isaiah 40:31 this week. I even printed it out and put it in front of my keyboard. :-)Carry on, GSD sister-you shine a great deal of light for others!
How I love those verses from Isaiah. They give us such hope and strength. Having them in plain sight is a great idea! We are all afflicted in different ways, yet the Lord gives grace upon grace when we feel we cannot go on a minute longer. Thank you very much, Kim, for encouraging me too on my GSD! I really appreciate it. 🙂 xx
Joy thanks for sharing your amazing faith journey even while in the middle of struggle ~ you are such an inspiration! Keep holding on and don't give up on your God-Sized-Dream 🙂 Praying for you today my friend!
Hi Lorna. It's lovely to see you here! You inspire me far more than you'll ever know with your words of encouragement and affirmation. They bring hope of seeing change and strength here in the waiting, dreaming stage. I truly appreciate your prayers, my friend. Bless you! 🙂 xx