A crisis strikes.
Hope appears lost.
There is pain, discouragement, and feelings of uncertainty.
You’re not sure what to do.
Life with a chronic illness is full of ups and downs. At certain points, the ups don’t reach very high and the downs seem to go deeper than you ever imagined.
Things are hard. There’s no denying that.
But what happens next will determine the the character of your life.
Do you ever wish you could take back something you said?
Do you think about what would have happened had you done something differently?
Do you hold onto regrets?
Holding onto the regrets of my past keeps my mind in a place of frustration. It keeps thoughts swirling and then spiraling until I convince myself that everything in life is horrible. I know it’s not, but when you combine the neurological symptoms of Lyme Disease and co-infections with normal insecurities that people face, I can quickly get into a place of deep, deep melancholy. This kind of mentality isn’t healthy.
When I hold onto things I did wrong and think about ways I didn’t “measure up,” I miss out on the present. Not only that, but negative feelings regarding my past keep me from embracing the woman God created me to be.
Throughout my time of living with chronic illness (pre and post diagnosis), I have made a lot of mistakes. I’ve said and done things that were not kind. I became the needy person I never imagined I would be. I tried to control in whatever ways I could because nearly everything in my life was falling apart.
Sometimes in life you get to a point where you start to evaluate the ways you spend your time to figure out where your priorities truly lie. Being chronically ill, I tend to evaluate my life so frequently that it sometimes ends up happening on a daily basis. When every day is a challenge and doing regular “adulting” is just too hard, I have to decide how I should spend my limited energy.
Most average people can make choices (whether they like to admit they have choices or not) about how they’ll spend their time, what they’ll eat, what they’ll do, etc. But when you can’t control your own body and never know if you’ll be able to function, it can be nearly impossible to plan for anything.
Right now, I’m in a season where I don’t make plans. Aside from trying to maintain as normal of a work schedule as possible, whenever I speak with someone about tentative plans, the plans are always met with the caveat that I may not be able to fulfill the obligation. For me, in this season of life, that’s okay. I’m learning to be all right with the fact that I can’t predict how my days will look.
Even though I can’t plan and schedule my life right now, something that seems to fit into this unknown territory is my love for writing. Even if it’s only a few words per day, putting pen to paper in my journal or typing out a few sentences in Evernote releases something in me. It’s something good.
When I pour out through writing, I come alive. I start to become the truest version of myself.
Processing through words on a page is what I crave. It’s what I believe I was created to do.
I often think about “calling” and what it means to walk out in faith to do the things that God has prepared for me. Sometimes the call of God is clear, but other times I wonder if I heard Him right.
As I stepped outside to walk my dog a few nights ago, I was shocked by how cold it had gotten. Snow had softly fallen and the air was crisp and cool. Wow, I thought to myself. I’m tired of being cold all the time. I can’t wait for spring.
You see, I find my reaction quite humorous. As soon as I began mentally complaining, I stopped myself. I was frustrated because I want to have a good attitude. I tell myself that I want to do everything without arguing or complaining (Philippians 2:14). So greatly do I desire to just be thankful for the circumstances God has given me, but there are times when I slip up. As unfortunate as it may be, I’m human. :)
And, so, I laughed. Right there on the quiet street as my dog jumped through the snow, I laughed. Oh, Emily. Embrace the season. I felt the Holy Spirit speaking to me. So, I listened.
As good ‘ol Corah and I walked up and back down the street, I thought about how each season of weather serves a purpose. Right now as we are in winter, it can feel dull and dreary. At first the fresh snow is exciting, but as we experience week after week of coldness and little sunlight, we become less enthusiastic about this time of year (at least up here in the Midwest!). We can’t wait for the day when snow and ice melt, carrying in the new life of spring. Read more