Are you a dreamer?
I sure am!
I absolutely adore thinking and dreaming up big plans and goals. The idea of fresh starts and new ideas spurs on excitement in my core. Growing up, I couldn’t wait for the first day of school each year. The newness of crisp notebooks, freshly sharpened pencils, and clean erasers made me quite the happy camper.
For me, enjoyment can be found in laying out goals with a plan in mind.
But now, as we approach the new year, I find myself contemplating how goal setting should look when battling chronic illness.
Realistically, my goals may not come to fruition.
It won’t be for a lack of trying or desire. It might be because as hard as I try, my body and mind just won’t let me do it all.
I’m learning that it’s okay. It’s all right to be unable to achieve everything we want, even if the world around us gives us messages about working harder and prioritizing.
Those of us with chronic illnesses are already fighting an uphill battle just to get through the day.
We’ve all seen it on social media. A friend is going through a personal struggle and asks for prayer. Tens, if not, hundreds, of their friends chime in with sentiments such as “I’m so sorry you’re going through this! I’m keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.” They might say they love the person or that they are always there if their friend needs anything.
Those who comment have good intentions. They truly feel bad and want to help in some way. Prayer seems to be the easiest way to extend a helping hand.
After the moment passes and they continue scrolling through their feed, they might forget about the request. Thoughts of the person they had said they’d pray for may later re-enter their mind. They’ll think of the situation or wonder how the person is doing. But, did they ever stop to pray?
For this post, I’m linking up with one of my favorite writers Emily P. Freeman to share what I learned this summer. Emily, along with an amazing team, runs the online writing community Hope*Writers. Hope*Writers came into my life at just the right time.
For the past several years, I have enjoyed occasionally blogging but never made a big commitment to consistency. Throwing health issues into the mix left me without an ounce of energy left for producing creative content. Now, though, even though by the end of the day I am usually drained to my core, writing gives me a breath of fresh air. It seeps life into me – life that had been lost in this dark season of health decline and the unknown territory of it all.
This summer has pushed me to my limits. On some days, I felt like I could do this. I could do this whole being sick and going through treatment to get better thing. But, on other days…I just wanted to give up. As sad as it may be to admit, I have had many days where I have wondered if life is even worth it. I know it’s the neuro Lyme leading to my emotional distress, but when I’m at my weakest, I can’t make rational decisions.
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Jonathan and I haven’t had the easiest relationship.
…and that would also be a bit of an understatement.
Those who know my heart know how much I adore him and am proud to call Jonathan my boyfriend. I love him more than I ever imagined I could love. Yet, throughout our relationship I have had a roller coaster of emotions, making me question again and again whether it was all worth it. The answer to that question has relentlessly been “YES,” even amidst the trials we have endured as a couple.
When you bring two people from two different backgrounds with two very different schedules together, conflict will arise. It’s bound to happen, but how you deal with that conflict will either make or break the relationship.
These two years of dating have taught me more than I ever could have imagined. Without ever having a real long term relationship, I thought I knew what it took to make it work. I had watched many of my friends date and I figured that if I found a good Christian guy it would go smoothly. After all, he should know how to lead and would be intentional with everything. That’s the way he should be if he wants to glorify God, right?
I didn’t stop to think that maybe the way he saw life was just different than the way I saw it, even if we followed the same God and both wanted nothing more than to make Christ known. I never realized how much personality differences would either help or hinder our connection depending on how we responded to one another. A few thoughtless words here or a lack of communication there could turn our seemingly smooth sailing relationship on a downward spiral out of control.
Over and over, we didn’t know why we kept getting into the same arguments. We had the same goal, but different ways of going about it. This caused us to keep turning against instead of toward each other.