2010 has been a fast-paced year for me. I’ve been in the air almost as much as I’ve been on the ground. I’ve flown all over the east coast. Been a bridesmaid. Lost 55 pounds. Read 48 books. Been to Missouri for the first time ever. Modified my new home. Started a bible study. There really hasn’t been a dull moment! What I’ve shared breifly before here is that while I’ve made this year one focused on improving my mental, spiritual, financial, and physical health – this may be the toughest year I’ve had to date – especially physically.
Let me elaborate. As my Dad was driving me to the airport last night after a Colts victory up in ‘naptown’, we were talking about both of our recent weight loss experiences and he said ‘Do you just feel 100 times better?’. I paused to think of how best to word my answer. The truth is I feel the best I have in years about the way I LOOK but this year is probably the least healthy I’ve ever felt. This may sound backwards – that’s because it IS! When you exercise more and eat healthier you should feel better, right? That’s what we’re told. But in the process of transitioning into this healthier lifestyle a stomach problem that had been dormant for years – came back with a vengance.
For years I took for granted being healthy. Feeling healthy. I’ve been blessed to have a minimum amount of sickness along the way. No broken bones. No hospitalizations. No surgeries. By 25, and after surviving 3 bad car accidents they told me I shouldn’t have lived through – I was still holding strong with all those records. Actually, I still am now. So this year when I began getting sick (to my stomach) 3-4 days a week for hours at a time, I was shocked! Here I am finally doing what I’ve known for a few years I should be doing – getting healthy and I feel like absolute poop. What gives?
As the blog entry I linked too earlier in this post shows you – I really had to do some spiritual battle with myself. I had to examine my ungrateful heart and my selfish attitude and really get down to the truth – would I accept good from the Lord and not hardship? Could I keep my joy when times got tough? As I battled through that and wrote to you all the cries of my heart and the Lord’s merciful response in ‘Miracles Happen’. But here’s the trick: the miracle wasn’t that I got better.
What I know for sure is the Lord is with me in times of trial. He may not take away the tough times, but He doesn’t leave me alone. He was with me in Cincinnati, Ohio – the sickest I’ve been in the 8 months of battling what they can only define as of now as ‘IBS’ which is without cure. He was with me as I sat in my car and cried after being told, they really just don’t know what’s wrong, or how to fix it. He’s been with me as I’ve battled crushing disappointment after disappointment as I’ve tried eliminating things from my diet (dairy, caffeine, etc) and as I’ve upped my exercise, changed my diet, and taken hundreds of probiotic supplements, only to have them work briefly (a week, 3 weeks, a month) and then fail me. He has remained.
So while my body grows stronger with all my hard work, I feel perhaps the weakest I have ever felt. Brow beaten by my bodies fight against itself and the failure I feel at being powerless to get control. I have run the whole gamut of emotions – embarrassment, weakness, powerlessness, failure, frustration, anger, disappointment, discouragement, maybe even a little depression. I have cried out to the Lord in my pain and while I know that my cries never fall on deaf ears, I continue to struggle with my health.
I wanted to share this with you to show you my weakness. That I fall so terribly short of being in control and of being graceful in affliction because my friends are always telling me that I seem so ‘together’. And in case any of you thought I was super girl with my color coordinated planner and my regularly updated blog – here’s the behind the scenes. I struggle! Like everyone else. Maybe worse. Because mine involves a full sweat and a toilet. My life isn’t always neat or pretty – sometimes it’s straight up crappy (pun intended).
Here’s what I know from embracing the most successful year of my life-to-date at the weakest point I’ve ever been – God doesn’t need my strength, he wants my faithfulness. My ‘anchor’ verse for this time in life has been this:
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9
Knowing though, that I am not the only one enduring some tough stuff these days, I wanted to offer you some comfort. Comfort that I can give you, but that is not my own. Because as we’ve established today – I am weak. What I take comfort in is that the God I serve and the God who’s looking out for me, is not. Here are some verses I hope you can draw peace from in your times of trial.
1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.[a] 2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” – Psalm 91:1-2
31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. – Isaiah 40:31
1 Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him. – Psalm 62:1
I know these deep, soul-searching blogs aren’t my norm so for those of you who are new here (welcome to my 6 new followers in the last week) – I hope I haven’t overwhelmed you yet! This has been laying heavy on my heart this weekend as I traveled and I wanted to share it with you. While I won’t weigh you down with all my troubles – I do think it’s important to share with you the big times in life and this is one of them. The Lord is teaching me and stretching me. I have hope that eventually I will feel great again physically but even as I wait for that day I’m encouraged at how well I feel spiritually.
The Lord has been so good to me.