“For my sighing comes instead ofmy bread, and my groanings are poured out like water.For the thing that I fear comes upon me, and what I dread befalls me.I am not at ease, nor am I quiet; I have no rest, but trouble comes.” -Job 3:24-26
This post isn’t going to be something great. I can’t even promise that it will make total sense. But it’s going to be real and honest and open.
I need prayer. I need strong prayers. I lay down in tears last night and I woke up crying this morning. I’m crashing hard after a long week of fighting particularly hard to be strong due to withdrawal symptoms from going off of an antidepressant that wreaked havoc with my already poor health. I’ve been next to a complete invalid all week, even needing help to shower, laid up on the couch, watching any movie I could think of and trying to keep my chin up, knowing the week would have an end. And it did. I made it. But instead of running over that finish line in style, I crawled – exhausted and in tears.
It all comes down to these words: I am so tired of being sick.
More over, I am so tired of what being sick does to my life; it’d be impossible to assume that I could get away with something like this not affecting every area of my life in some way. I am so blessed and I truly believe that, but I cannot help but feel that every blessing of my life is tainted by the struggle that is chronic illness. And yet I must realize again and again that that same illness has brought about many, many huge blessings in my life. I wouldn’t trade this illness for the world, not because I like the illness, but because God has used to illness to bless me. And even now as I collapse in deep exhaustion and depression, I still cling to the fact that God is working.
And yet, in the spirit of honesty I must say that the past three weeks have taken their toll on me spiritually. I have all of the excuses in the world and they’re probably good ones; at least most of them. I’ve been too exhausted to think, so out of it I cannot speak sometimes, my mind is a chaotic mess of thoughts I cannot trust, I can hardly concentrate enough to read, my severe vertigo from the prescription made it hurt to even think. In the end, I’m too exhausted to fight and I can feel the distance growing between me and my Savior. It hurts. And I can feel it affecting me.
I want so badly to be drawing near to Him, to seek Him day and night. To be studying the Word and growing from it. But as it is I can hardly read my Bible. I cling to the verses I already know and the only prayer I can muster is an honest, tearful plea for help. In my exhaustion I cannot move, both physically and emotionally. Physically I shake from fatigue, and I feel that is a good representation of how my heart feels; too exhausted to stand strong, too worn to keep pressing on, too weak to carry all these burdens. Life is so hard. Every area of my life feels hard, there is nothing that seems easy. And all I can muster is crying out for help and asking God to be near to me in this time.
I hate this. I hate illness. I hate the tenseness that keeps my exhausted body from resting. I hate the way that this affects the relationships that I have, the burden that this is on those who love me. I hate the weakness that it puts me in, the way that I cannot handle situations that arise. I hate feeling unwell. I hate lacking strength. I hate feeling helpless.
The doctors run me in circles. Some days I wonder if it’s all in my head and this agony is the result of my own mind. What if I’m not really sick? What if this thing that plagues me so is my own fault?
The hardest thing that I have had to come to terms with is that God knows exactly what is going on in my body and as we search and test and question and contemplate, He already has the answer. And it takes a lot of trust from my heart not to allow that to frustrate me. My mind runs from fighting against God to pleading for His presence. As I lay in bed last night crying I wanted nothing more than to be in the presence of my Savior and to truly feel His comfort. I need that. I need Him.
So why am I sharing all of that? It’s rambling, I know. I cannot think well enough to word things properly or contemplate sentence structure. This is as it comes from straight from my heart and I share it because too much time is spent believing that we are alone in our struggles. I share it because I know the way that honest passages of scripture that expose in depth the true humanity of people like David and Job are the greatest comfort to me in my distress. Too many of us buy into the lie that we are alone in our battles and that no other Christian must struggle as we do.
Well let me stop you in your tracks and say that I am so done with fighting. I am so done with being sick. I am so exhausted from my struggles. My heart is struggling to be where I know it needs to. My mind is daily battling the urge to give up, to reject all that I know in God and run far away from all of this pain. I am human. My strength is gone. And then I read verses like this:
“Why is light given to him who is in misery, and life to the bitter in soul,who long for death, but it comes not, and dig for it more than for hidden treasures,who rejoice exceedingly and are glad when they find the grave?” -Job 3:20-22
And I see that I am not alone. And so I cry out to my Savior in an honest plea for help. I look to Him day and night. I cannot study His word in a deep way right now, I cannot spend hours in prayer, talking of this thing or that. All I can muster is a plea for help and all I can hope for is an answer. All I can hope for is that in this season of utter weakness, He will hold on to me when I am too weak to hold on to Him. I must remind myself that His love isn’t based on how deeply spiritual I am being or how well I am working for Him, but purely on the fact that I am His and He loves me because He is love. And right now in my weakness I need to know that love. I desperately need Him.
“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” -Psalm 34:17-19