Can’t (6/26/15)

My growing list of “can’ts” is disconcerting.

  • ·       Can’t focus on more than one thing at once.  Can’t walk all the way through Ikea.  Or Target. Or the mall.  Or even Trader Joe’s.
  • ·       Can’t go to a theme park for the day.
  • ·       Can’t hike. Or sight-see.  Or even snorkel.
  • ·       Can’t remember what I meant to do/who I meant to call/ what I meant to tell someone.
  • ·       Can’t garden/do housework/move around much for more than 15 minutes before I need a nice long rest.
  • ·       Can’t drive very far without feeling awful.
  • ·       Can’t work at the job I love.
  • ·       Can’t stand for more than a minute or two (don’t know why, but it’s harder than walking).
  • ·       Can’t remember words sometimes, heartbreaking for this girl, one who loves language.

Oh-so-easy to focus on those things, those “can’ts” that weigh down like the lead weights I feel like I’m carrying every time I move, the fatigue that pushes down on me like hyper-exaggerated gravity.

Again, in my time with Him (a great blessing that is part of this season of challenges), God realigns my thinking and reminds me of all the “cans” I should be holding onto.

  • ·       I can be present here and now with my family and have those “simple” conversations with them that wouldn’t happen if I was in my “normal” life.
  • ·       I can learn, as the apostle Paul, to be content in all circumstances.
  • ·       I can, again like Paul, do all things through Jesus’ strength.
  • ·       I can trust that He knows the plans He has for me, plans to prosper me and not to harm me, plans for a hope and a future.  Words spoken by the prophet Jeremiah to a people in captivity that ring true to this grounded sparrow’s heart today.  He knows.

And so you have it; I have my list of “can’ts” and my list of “cans.”  Where I focus my time and energy is up to me, my choice.  So I choose to hold on to Him, the One who is more than able to do immeasurably more than I can ask or imagine.  He can. Even when I can’t.

Limited (6/19/2015)

Limited.  I don’t like that word. I don’t like the idea of my activity, health, or energy being limited.  But limited is my world right now.  I struggle with debilitating fatigue, chest pain, and lack of answers.  I don’t want to be this version of me, unrecognizable when compared to the high-energy, bouncy, super productive, multi-tasking, motivated, high-achieving me.  I worry that I am disappointing to all of those around me; that’s what I see now when I look in the mirror on a “bad day.”  A burden.  Less than.  And whiny.  The opposite of productive.  Not me.  Limited.

I want a nice neat package of definitive: here’s the issue, here’s how to fix it, here’s how soon you’ll be back to normal.  But thus far no dice.  I enter doctor’s appointments with less and less hope that they will end in a direction and course of action rather than ruling something else out as NOT the issue.  Not cardiac, not diabetes, not thyroid, not hormonal.  The most recent “answer” is ridiculously lengthy mononucleosis caused by Epstein Barr virus.  Three severe bouts of sore throat, weakness and fever earlier this year coupled with all of this fun of the past two months and nothing but negative results in all other blood tests bring us here for now.  So I wait some more to see if I improve.  So I take my vitamins, listen to my body, rest A LOT, do my very gentle yoga routine (truly all I can manage), and I have embraced a very clean eating regimen (Whole30).

This is week 8 of my medical leave.  Please don’t misunderstand.  I’m not exclusively Self-pitying Whiny Girl.  I do realize many (myself included in the past) would LOVE two months to stop everything for a rest.  It’s not quite that simple,  but I get that part.  On the upside, I am so blessed and grateful to be with my husband and kids more, to have time to connect, in person or electronically, with people who are dear to me, and time to be still and present.

But still, this doesn’t feel like me.  And I can’t help but wonder if this is my new normal.  No longer the indispensable gal in my office, fixing everything for everyone and making my boss’s life easier, no longer being that woman who can climb Half Dome, do P90X and Insanity, walk all day in San Francisco and still play with her family, cook, clean and decorate her house.  I have no idea how this kind of new normal would even look.  But I’m guessing:  Limited.  I don’t know that this will be the case.  All the things I’m doing could really help, the virus could run its course and I could be back to where I once was.  But I can’t help but wonder.

Yet I am reminded in all of this that He is not limited.  He is strong.  He is more than enough.

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. (emphasis mine)

2 Corinthians 12:9