I’m dealing with exhaustion, or exhaustion is dealing with me.
No one knows why or what or how. I can’t prove what I feel or show them my weakness. The one thing that is symptomatic about these spells is that my lymph nodes swell and I run a low fever. What can’t be verified are the pains that dully throb in my arms and legs, kind of like growing pains, but I’m pretty sure my growing days are over, unless it’s the opposite of growth and I’m shrinking. It doesn’t affect me all the time, in fact, in between spells I’m actually quite energetic and useful. I have a good life, and I enjoy what I do, all that I do. The doctors can rule out depression.
I suggested to my doctor that perhaps I’m just a very convincing (if not severely deluded) hypochondriac. I like him. He’s a nice guy, but I’m frankly tired of seeing him every few weeks, and my wallet is really over him. He laughed when I said that and dismissed my fears, “I have met a few of those, and they would LOVE to be able to make their lymph nodes swell!” So..there goes that theory.
All I know is… my body isn’t right. I can’t explain it, no one can diagnose it, but I know it. And quite honestly, it sucks. (Sorry for my language, mom.) I know she will forgive me. She cried the other day. She knows my frustration. She wants answers, too, but when there are none to be had, she does what good mothers do best, she feels. And, that is beautifully comforting.
I’m not dying. It’s nothing critical or fatal. That much we know. So, I’m happy with that. The most it is is frustrating. It stops me, slows me down, and forces me into what our family refers to as “couch days”. Usually those days were made up of me, beating myself up for being unproductive as my family lives life around me and willing myself to push through and only feeling like a failure when I couldn’t…those days were long and mostly consisted of guilty sleep and frustrated kids that weren’t getting their fair share of mom time…while dad picks up the pieces not unlike Michael Keaton in Mr. Mom.
This weekend I was there again. It hit me on Thursday evening and by Saturday I was on the couch. But, somewhere in the midst of self-hatred and self-pity I heard the voice of God. Funny how on those days I find myself so lonely His voice is expected and longed for more than any other time, and He is faithful to meet me and speak to me of my worth when I feel so worthless. He spoke gently, “Be still.” It wasn’t a correction or a tone of discipline, rather it was like a mother pleading with her child that cannot stop shaking her leg or looking around her, “Be still.” And I felt my soul stop.
My soul heard the voice of it’s Creator and Father and without my having to think about it, my world stood still. Craig Groeschel reminded me this weekend, “If you are having trouble not thinking about what you have to do, think about what God has already done.” That’s what I did. I looked at all that I had fretted about the last 24 hours and said, “Daddy God, you have been faithful in the past, if you have to you can multiply my time, or minimize my tasks, regardless, this time with You isn’t wasted.” And I rested.
I’m waiting on more test results today. I’m not fretting. In fact, I’m actually thanking God for my couch days. They have helped me put things in perspective…His perspective! And He is our Great Physician.