Being Still

St. Augustine, Florida“He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth’.”

~Psalm 46:10~

I’m doing things a little differently today. I’m going to write as if I’m writing in my journal. It will probably be a bit abstract. After all…my brain is a bit foggy and the pain level is extremely high.

I just wrote a private note to a friend yesterday saying how thrilled I was to see some breakthrough in my daily routine.

For years, my health has been up and down. For over a year, it’s been difficult. I’ve had several hospitalizations, emergency room visits, doctors visits, and appointments. I’ve been through test upon test to find out what is causing me to get worse and worse.

However, for the past two or three weeks, I’ve been seeing some progress. I’m not “better” better but it’s a start. I was beginning to think maybe…just maybe…things were changing.

Today I woke up in excruciating pain and weakness. I was not able to walk without help from my parents. My brain started feeling fuzzy and anything touching my skin was unbearable.

Neuralgia. It SUCKS! Any contact to my skin feels as if shards of fiberglass are being rubbed into it. I don’t know which is worse. The pain or the weakness. This is when my brain starts playing tricks on me and false guilt takes hold. I feel guilty for having to burden others with the need for help. I feel bad that I can’t be more productive in society or focus on anything substantial. I can’t focus on anything BUT the pain and weakness and it makes me so angry and frustrated.

I’m angry and frustrated UNTIL I turn my thoughts to God. Okay…I admit…I am still angry and frustrated but I turn those emotions over to God. My small inner voice says, “I know…I know. It’s hard right now but you know it will get better.”

Coffee on my porchWhile I visited with one of my friends this week, we were talking about misunderstandings. When others ask me how I am and I tell them I’m fine, they often think that I’m ALL better and won’t need to deal with the constant changes of chronic pain and illness. Then, when I have a setback, others become annoyed at the changes and probably think, “What next!”

That’s how I feel sometimes. What next? The truth is I never know, from moment to moment, what will happen next. I am constantly living with that “walking on eggshells” feeling.

Then I think about what the Bible says and turn those feelings over to God. I don’t take life for granted. I don’t take people or relationships for granted. At least, I try not to. I am thankful to God for the good days and even the bad. Yup…I said EVEN the bad.

Without the bad, I wouldn’t be able to experience or recognize the good. Without the bad, I wouldn’t see the beauty and healing available in the little things. I’m not saying I am “all better” when I mention healing.

Healing can reveal itself in different ways. Sometimes the healing is physical and illness is no longer an issue. Other times healing is not so noticeable to those around you. You see it more in the way you begin to think about things and no longer dwell on only the negative.

Sometimes healing is experienced from those you are surrounded by instead of you personally. Then, there are times when healing doesn’t happen in this lifetime. Sometimes you suffer your whole life and are forced to take inventory on you and your own emotions.

So, what can I learn about what I’m experiencing right now? First of all, I can just breathe. I can focus on my breathing and block all thoughts from my mind. I can listen to the sounds of nature surrounding me. I can hear the bark of the chipmunk, the chatter of the squirrel, and the song of the cardinal. I can also hear the fan in my room and the air conditioner running through the house.

Tessie and Elmo KittyI hear the tip-tip-tip of my Black Labrador Retriever’s toenails on the kitchen floor as she dances in front of whoever is near the refrigerator. I hear my fat cat, Elmo, thumping down the stairs as he lets everyone know he’s enjoying his “unbearable lightness of being” after he uses the litterbox. I hear my mom putting the dishes away and my dad moving around the house trying to figure out what he can break…I mean FIX next.

These things bring a calm to my heart and a focus back to life and what matters. I still have pain and still feel crappy but I find myself smiling a little at the subtle constants of life. Then, I’m brought back to feeling thankful for all these things and how God uses everything to bring my attention back to Him.

I can be still and KNOW that He IS God.

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