Remembering that my Body is Amazing

383185_8493I spent the last five days in bed with a nasty virus. One of those ones that has you staggering home from work on the first day, crawling into bed with the quilt pulled high, and shivering uncontrollably. (And this is Australia remember, it was 32 degrees that day. Celsius)
After sleepless nights, and constant doses of Panadol, a sore throat, sore ears, (sore everything), the fever finally eased off and I had a few hours respite.

The following day the fatigue hit and I found myself almost more debilitated than when I was fighting the fever.

I had an amazing moment though as I lay, crashed out on my stomach on my bed. ‘You know what?’ I thought, ‘I don’t have to do ANYTHING.’ As I lay there I thought about what was happening in my body. It was as though a legion of microscopic soldiers were in there, primed for the cleanup job, and all I had to do was lie still and let it happen.

Somehow, completely apart from my thoughts or intentions, my body was going to clean away the rest of the virus and then gradually restock its depleted energy sources. Within a few days I’d be better. Just from lying there and letting it all happen.

And I wondered: which takes more faith? To believe that there is a God who designed and orchestrates it, or to believe it all evolved by chance? I know which one I find easier to believe.

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The Loneliness of Chronic Illness

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Chronic Illness can be a very lonely journey, even when you’re surrounded by people who love and care about you.

Often you become isolated, unable to go out with friends, and over time, those friends move on, and you’re left behind.

Eventually people stop asking about your health; and you’re glad, because there’s nothing fresh to tell them.

After years of suffering, adjusting, changing and recalibrating you settle into a new sense of normality. When you have a rough day, you don’t bother to tell people anymore because there’s nothing they can do. You get good at hiding the pain; you carry a burden that affects you every day, and while others forget, you have a constant reminder.

I have been so blessed in my illness (which has claimed the majority of my adult life) to have been surrounded by supportive friends and family, but no-one can fully walk the path with you. No-one knows what it feels like on the inside.

Everyone else can walk away; everyone except God.

He is the only one who has walked every step with me. He’s done every day at work, every night of insomnia, every holiday, shopping trip, restaurant experience, social gathering and solitary day on the couch. No-one knows what I experience every day, except Him.

The silent solitary path of chronic illness is a lonely and often isolated one, but I am so blessed to say (in the words of Matt Redman) that ‘never once have I ever walked alone.’