This is a post I’ve wanted to share for a long time. I’ve written probably fifteen iterations of it over the last few months and every time I let fear win…I delete…I walk away…I keep it to myself.
I’ve not landed on a word for 2020 yet. I had one last year…I’ll probably decide on one this year, but it’s something I do with prayer and intention…but I can tell you that a theme I keep hearing in music, in scripture, in prayer and in life – is SHARING. So, I’m going to DO THAT. When I feel something resonate with me that I hope can help others, I have a natural inclination to want to share it. So here it is today:
Having something wrong with you that others cannot see is a struggle. When I show up at Bible Study with my hair curled, a dress on and my shoes actually match…you don’t know that I had to wash my hair the night before because there’s no way I can wash, dry and fix my hair without a break in between. You don’t know that I had to pick out my clothes the night before to make it easier for myself the next morning or that I decided against makeup because holding my arms up for extended periods of time makes me exhausted. You don’t see the tears I cried last night because I didn’t feel like cooking dinner for my family because I knew it would wear me out and that a bath would be out of the question….because even that is tiring. You don’t see the depression that cycles from missing out on life events…the anxiety that comes with planning anything – literally anything – because I am afraid that when it rolls around I will be too fatigued to show up. You don’t see the worry that comes from letting people down and fearing that they won’t give you grace – again. You don’t see the disappointment from getting excited about getting out and doing something but then it’s “one of those days” and there is NO way you can make it out of the house….and quite frankly, the bed. You don’t see the way I miss the race of deadlines and a work family and last minute presentations.
Chronic fatigue syndrome is a THING. It is one of MY things and I have truly tried to own it. To just live with it…to give MYSELF the grace that I’d extend to any of my loved ones. To pace myself. To do what I can and focus on THAT. Focusing on the things I can’t do…the things I run out of steam for…the things that do not get crossed off of the list? That leads to frustration, shame and sadness. Which puts me in a funk…which leads to a depressive state…which….are you seeing a pattern here?
When you see someone with a cast or a sling or hear them coughing or see visible scars – is your inclination to judge them or feel a certain pang of hurt for their illness/injury? Just because all scars are not visible does not mean that we don’t all have them and need that sympathetic/empathatic smile you’d give someone that you knew was going through something based on their appearance. I have to tell you, I barely made it through this afternoon. I overcommitted myself this week and I was struggling this afternoon. Once I had the chance, I got comfy and I slept for HOURS. I needed it. It didn’t mean I am lazy or worthless or unproductive. It meant I was taking care of a need. I needed rest. But don’t think I didn’t go to my calendar, make a line for rest, draw a box AND CHECKED IT OFF. Focus on what you CAN do, friends. It makes a world of difference.
*******SIDE NOTE TANGENT BELOW*******
While I’m at it…a reminder…check on your friends. The sick, the well, the strong, the weak. The busy, the bored, the employed, the retired, the traveling, the homebodies….ALL THE PEOPLE. Ask how they are…and listen to the answer. And y’all…if someone asks how you are, TELL THEM. I don’t know about you but I mean it when I ask someone how they are really doing….I want to hear the truth. I don’t want to a hear a standard answer or a flippant reply. I want to know HOW they ARE….how can I be praying for them….have the prayers I’ve been praying been answered? I value my friendships…I value my prayer time…and I want to be sure that my friends know I am praying for them with intention, as specific as possible and as often as I say I am.