Late night reflections, November 2, 2017.
It’s past 2:00 AM, I️ feel more awake than I️ have all day/night, I️’m hallucinating and seeing a spider on my bedsheets, and I️'ve come to the following realization:
I️ don’t want my life back
Yes, many, many times, on this blog, on my vlog channel, on twitter, instagram (@lymestealsgodheals), in person, I’ve uttered the phrase, “I️ just want my life back," or, “I️ can’t wait to get my life back,” or any variation thereof.
I️ understand those sentiments when they come from others, because until recently, I thought I did want my life back. After quite a bit of reflection, I️ realized I️ don’t actually want my life back. The person that lived that life is no more–and I️ honestly think it’s something worth celebrating, as counter-intuitive as that may sound.
Lyme and friends have taken so much from me. Physically I️ can barely manage a fraction of a fraction of a million of a fraction of what I️ used to be able to do, around the house, holding a job, driving, walking, being the wife I want to be...
It has taken up residence in my brain, physically and mentally, and to be completely honest: I don't even really remember who I️ was before this. While I️ have some days on which it feels like the negative emotions are too overwhelming, the pain too severe, the fatigue too flattening, I️ still would rather be this person I️ am today, who happens to be going through a lot of hard stuff right now, but who also feels closer to Jesus than ever before, and has a deeper yearning to know Him more each day, following and submitting fully to His will, and longing to share that with others.
Chronic illness has given me a platform to do so. Of course the human me would prefer to not endure illness, hardship, breakdowns, pain–but over the past several years, it’s been revealed to me more than ever before. It's been slowly unraveling ever since my battles against an eating disorder, OCD, depression, many other health issues and trials, began, and I realized God was the only reason I was alive. But the revelation has been made particularly more clear to me over the course of this battle against Lyme and friends:
God’s will is not something we can wish away.
We can beg for our will to happen, and yes, we are even instructed to ask him for the things we need (not just “things” to have, but whatever it is we truly need or desire), and He will always answer–but it’s His will above all else. Period. I’ve learned more each day how extremely vital it is I’ve had this transformation in my relationship with Christ, as I’ve been enduring these battles–growing closer to Him has helped me be better able to chose joy and to smile and celebrate the positives when they do happen. And His will ALWAYS ends up being so far better than anything we could have dreamt for ourselves, even if He answers prayer with the exact opposite of what we asked of Him.
Earlier tonight, I️ told God that if it is His will to not heal me, I’m okay with that, and we will adjust and manage conditions and still live our life together as a young couple, embracing the joys and happy moments we have. I️, of course, want His will to be healing for me, and I️ do believe He has impressed that a message of delivery on my heart, but since I️ would never profess to know the ways of God, it could also just be my humanity deciding His will is for healing. I’m truly not sure.
But I️ told Him that if this was my/our path, to please just guide us along the way, and please illuminate places we can permeate with Your light by being examples of you in this world. Because the reality is this:
Every time I say "I want my life back," I'm effectively going against His will, which is exactly what I DON'T want to do. Yearning for my past life, a life where I was still yearning for His presence, but not necessarily 100%, all the time, 24/7/365.25, completely yearning for His will. A past life where I proclaimed I wanted His will, and truly thought I did, but deep inside, I also wanted my prayers answered my way. I'm human. But over the past year or two, I've come to realize my inherent depravity as a human, and all I yearn for is to know Him, to have His will revealed in His time, and to have the patience to wait for it to unfold. While, obviously, healing is what I want and what we want, and also is what I truly believe God has told me is going to happen in His time, I also am okay with however He chooses to answer our prayers, because His will is perfect, and in whatever timing He knows is right, we will know, and fully accept and embrace His answer.
As a control freak, I still can't think of anyone I'd rather have in control of my life than God, including myself. Especially including myself. So I'm daily making a choice to be joyful, as I have inherent joy in my heart from just knowing Jesus and knowing who He is. I'm making sure I find a way to laugh every day, even when I don't feel like laughing (thankfully I have a husband who is awesome at helping with this one!). And I'm starting every morning, before thinking or saying anything else, by either singing the whole song I learned as a child, or by just speaking the phrases, "This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it." You'd likely be surprised at how much of a positive difference that one seemingly small change to my morning wake-up routine makes in my daily life.
Lord, whatever Your will is, I ask that You just give us the patience, understanding, and comfort as we wait for it to unfold, and the heart to embrace it as it does. I thank You in advance for the plans Youare going to reveal, not just for me, but for Roger and me as partners in this life, serving You, being the best lights we can for You in this world.
Remember friends, this the day the Lord has made, and so was yesterday, and if I'm granted the blessing of tomorrow, it will be, too, and I choose to be rejoice and be glad in it, because I know no matter what happens, eventually, things are going to become clear and I am completely at peace knowing God has this covered. The good news is you can rejoice and be glad, too.
So no, I don't want my life back.
Instead, I yearn for the day I reach the new life God is forming for me, even as I type these words. Thank You, Lord, for your grace, mercy, goodness, and promises.