Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Chronic Love

Chronic illness is boring. I'm what people in the olden days used to call "sickly" and "fragile."

Every day I make plans, every day I watch them fall through.
Every day I have goals, every day I don't achieve them.
Every day I want to help, every day someone helps me instead.
Every day I want to feel better, every day I don't.

I cannot tell you how ridiculously bored I am of chronic illness.

The guilt is boring, too. If only I were thinner. If only I were more disciplined. If only I took more vitamins. If only I drank more water. If only I went for more walks. If only I ate different food. If only I got better sleep.

Even this blog post is boring.

(And whiny.)

It occurred to me this morning, on a deeper level than I've acknowledged up 'til now, that this circumstance is not going away. I keep waiting for it to end. It's not ending. More than that, I keep pretending it's not happening. That I'm not sick. Not tired every day. Not in constant pain. Some days, that works for me. I just go on about my life as if nothing is wrong and my body is fine. Those are the days I overdo it. Then I spend days recovering from overdoing it. Then my I-don't-really-have-chronic-illness expectations of myself go unmet, and I get behind. Then I overdo it to catch up, then I recover from overdoing it and get behind. It's a very boring cycle.

When I seek God on this matter of chronic illness, He pretty much gives the same response every time.

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness."

I believe this.

And I know what it means. It means I need to delete my I-don't-really-have-chronic-illness expectations and replace them with some I-have-chronic-illness grace. The grace everyone else already gives me. (Except, you know, the people who don't believe in chronic illness. But I forgot to keep paying attention to them.)

It means I need to simplify even more. Not that I can even see how that's possible. My schedule is already as simple as can be. My house could use some simplifying, but that requires energy and mental clarity.

And it means I need to rest well. Still. Cuz I haven't had enough rest yet, apparently.

How do I rest well? I have no idea, really. I can't knit because it irritates my dislocated shoulder injury. The same goes for any repeated motion I do with my left arm, like coloring or crafting or crocheting. Anything that starts with C, really.

But I can write. And God wants me to write, so that's a bonus.

So here I am, writing. Feeling like it's all I have left. Feeling like I have nothing useful to say. Feeling like my writing sucks.

But I know I'm obeying God. And I know my weakness shows His power. My weak body, my weak writing. His power. His grace. My filthy rags. His perfect righteousness. My lethargy. His divine plan. My ashes. His beauty. My mourning. His dancing. My sorrow. His joy. My chronic illness. His chronic love.

Hallelujah. What a savior.