A tough morning…

This morning I preached on trials and temptations from James 1. Three times. By the third I just felt like it was so completely insignificant. When I looked out and could pinpoint the people who I know are REALLY going through it and it felt like all I was saying was ‘it’s ok, because Jesus loves you and he’s with you’.

Of course I know there is so much more to it, and I know “all” I was saying is an amazing truth, but I think by the 3rd time my words just felt so utterly useless, and I just sobbed. I was sharing about a friend who died from cancer and the awful reality of that hideous waste of a life just hit me. 

Sometimes things are just totally shitty aren’t they? and really there isn’t anything you can say other than that. There’s no way to explain – why did she die? Or why are people I know facing awful trials? Or why good people who love the Lord get sick and live with constant pain. Why God? why?

And I’m aware this week particularly, of several people who I need to visit who are going through it; of friends who are facing really difficult stuff; of people asking me to pray for those facing suffering. And it makes me wonder what on earth can I do.

I reflected on Pslam 13 earlier this week, where the Psalmist asks those same questions…

How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
    How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
    and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
    How long will my enemy triumph over me?

Look on me and answer, Lord my God.
    Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
    and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

But I trust in your unfailing love;
    my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the Lord’s praise,
    for he has been good to me.

Even when we know the amazing and wonderful truth of who God is, and even when we can feel his presence with us in difficult times, it can still be totally awful. Even tough I know my friend’s life was not really wasted and she inspired so many people with the word of God, it’s still so raw sometimes.

And what is it like then when you are going through something and you are seeking God and you just can’t see him within it?

The Psalmist says ‘but I trust in your unfailing love…’ despite the fact that he can’t find God in his situation. That is amazing faith, amazing hope. And how hard is it to hang on to that…

And that’s the thing, that’s what I can do, what I have to do, what I need to do, in all these things, with the people I need to visit or those I know going through it. All that I can do is bring them before God, trusting in his unfailing love.

Look, I know none of this is about me, what I’m feeling right now is pretty insignificant and really it’s about what God will do with the words I said this morning and now all I can do is hope and pray it spoke to people today. You can read it here if you want. And I stand by everything I said, God is good in all things, he is ALWAYS with us and we have to have hope in him, because what else is there? But flip it’s hard isn’t it?  

just needed to say that I think…

 

 

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‘Still Emily’ book review

StillEmily

I’ve just read ‘Still Emily’ in one sitting, on holiday surrounded by people, and have had to stem the tears pricking my eyes on more than one occasion. Emily’s story touched my heart, not with tears of sympathy but of love, of admiration, and in some sense, of understanding.

Emily began life healthily and despite what could now be seen as warnings, the shock of an NF2 diagnosis at the age of 17 was huge. This condition would go on to rob Emily of her hearing, her balance, ability to walk and more, yet she has refused to give in to the condition, not willing to be defined by it, and continued in her walk with God, perhaps closer than ever might have been.

(Neurofibromatosis Type 2 (NF2) is a disorder that causes tumours to grow on the body and throughout the nervous system. Depending on where they grow they can cause conditions like deafness, severe balance problems, facial nerve paralysis, spinal cord compression and swallowing difficulties.)

‘Still Emily’ is a movingly honest memoir of Emily’s journey with NF2. Of the highs and lows – of which there are many, including the moment at age 17 when Emily’s family said goodbye to her as she lay in a coma, not expected to wake up. Like the times when she has been robbed of her sight for a period as well as hearing, in order to allow her eyes to rest and recover as they work harder than ever. I’m not sure I can begin to image the isolation and fear that must induce.

It is also a story of a family thrown into turmoil, but choosing to respond in love. Choosing to support, choosing to demonstrate the love of God in the face of adversity, united in their faith. Christian faith is of course a theme than runs through the book, not in an ‘in your face’ way, but in a gentle undercurrent, God’s presence and faithfulness the foundation in this inspiring story.

As anyone with a long term condition will know, it can be hard to remain always positive, even with God at your side, and Emily is honest about this, but also reminding herself, and us the readers, to focus on the bit that can be done, not the bit that can’t, as she recalls learning to sit again, able to do 20 mins at first but not the half hour she hoped for. The subtitle to ‘Still Emily’ is ‘seeing rainbows in the silence’ a choice that Emily has made – to always seek the moments of joy: ‘I choose rainbows. Every time. Even when they are invisible, I carry on looking…’

One of the things I love about this book is the truth that we are all worthy, no matter what we can or can’t do. A simple reminder that came to Emily when all she could do to help a fellow patient in hospital was press the ‘call nurse’ button, but in that moment, that was what was needed. This was something I too learned when recovering from back surgery last year, even in the tough times, in suffering and in the moments when we feel useless, helpless and alone, that to God we are perfect and he can use us all, whatever the circumstance.

This is a book about endurance, the faithfulness of God and above all, hope. In endless operations, physio and appointments, in pain, in disappointment, there is still hope.

 

‘Still Emily’ is available now from Malcolm Down Publishing, priced £7.99.

 

One Year On // Post Op

This was me post-op, listening to an 8 hour long worship playlist which got me through!

It’s now just over one year since I suffered a ruptured disk in my back and had surgery to correct it.

Recovery is ongoing.

They told me it would be at least a year and they were right. It has been so up and down throughout the entire year and yet hitting the 12 month mark did seem to bring a realisation that actually it is basically ok. The ups and downs are less violent and the swinging fear of it happening again, and euphoria over new things I can now do again are less pronounced.

I still carry a cocktail of painkillers with me wherever I go, along with my trusty back chair or roll cushion. I have to plan long journeys carefully and take time out from sitting for long periods, often choosing to work at home from the floor of my study, propped up by cushions laying in front of the laptop.

As I write a lone runner zooms past, red, sweaty and clearly enjoying herself. A momentary pang of despair hits me. We are on holiday at Spring Harvest in France. Last time I was here I was doing the same, taking time out of each day to run along the river soaking up the sun and enjoying a new route that hasn’t bored me yet. Last time we were supposed to be here I was actually at home in the post surgery phase. Hard to believe that that was now over a year ago.

There are still things I can’t do, or more perhaps, won’t risk doing. There’s talk of going canoeing this week and whilst I am desperate to go the truth is I just don’t think it’s worth the risk. To get to where I am now, I’ve seen physios regularly, faithfully done my exercises twice, if not three times a day, attended Pilates classes, sat correctly and not done anything stupid, and it still seems any kind of full recovery is a way off. Why would I risk it now? And yet I also don’t want to live in fear, don’t want to be defined by my health. Don’t want to be the boring mum who can’t play football in the garden with the kids, can’t actually change the beds for fear of tweaking something, can’t push a trolley full of food round the supermarket (thank goodness for online ordering). It’s all so boring.  People still ask me regularly how is your back? I’d love to say yes it’s fantastic, never better, but the truth is and my stock answer is ‘it’s ok, bit up and down but I’m fine’. It’s actually nice, having moved churches for curacy to be somewhere where many people don’t know I had the op, so I can escape the questions.

But as this is an update, for those that want to know… I am still doing physio twice a day (at home, I have a set of exercises to do), I walk every day, 3 miles if I can, to keep my back mobile and from seizing up, it’s also the only exercise I get. I am allowed to cycle too but I’m not a cycling fan to be honest so walking it is. Clinical pilates is once a week and boy do I notice it if I miss one. The pain is up and down, I still get nerve pain in both legs and numbness in one foot occasionally. It’s varied and changes from day to day. Sitting for long periods produces latent pain (ie: it appears after the event -usually the next morning), and I know when I’ve pushed it too much like lifting something I shouldn’t, or twisting awkwardly and usually the results last for a few days or longer. Paracetamol and Nurofen are my best friends and I don’t go anywhere without them, but I am thankful that the super strength pain killers, which I also carry with me in case of a relapse, have not been used for months now.

However. It’s all ok. Yes it can be frustrating at times and I hate carrying my back chair or cushion with me like some old lady, but it’s all manageable and I still say I wouldn’t change it for the world. Earlier this year I found myself focussing on the pain too much and I made a choice to remember the blessing of it all every time I felt weighed down by the pain. After all the pain is a reminder of a time which I doubt will be repeated. A time with God that was a gift. Such a special time, unable to do much at all except rest in his presence, read his word, pray. It was like being soaked in him for weeks on end. Oh how I miss that.

So now every time I feel the pain I remind myself of the blessing. And a blessing it was. Is even. It has changed my life, my faith, altered my view on so many things, given me more empathy and understanding and I hope helped me to be a better minister.

So for now I focus on that gift, that blessing and move forward…

Vulnerability & Isolation // Pt 2

Now if you know me personally I want you to know that these are not self-pity posts (actually even if you don’t know me personally I want you to know that!). I still say that my time off with my back was a total blessing and I wouldn’t have changed it for the world.

Neither are they finger-pointing posts, ‘why didn’t you do something?’ posts. I have thought long and hard about publishing them and the reason I am now is because I want to highlight things I learned in this time, that people who need help, or support or even just a quick hug, can be so easily be hidden from those who can help. And that for those who can help, sometimes we think we know what a person needs, but really we need to dig deeper and actually find out.

So, all that said, I don’t want people to feel bad in what I am writing. But I think it’s more important to say what might help people so if you do feel bad, well sorry but also, tough!

LoveOneAnotherJPG

In my first few weeks of being incapacitated, I felt very alone. In fact probably for more than a few weeks. I love being with people so to find myself at home with pretty much no one to talk to for days on end was tough. I felt starved of human company!

And although I joke slightly, I actually did feel very alone. Going through one of the toughest times of my life, which many people knew about, and yet in the early days no phone calls, cards or visitors (well that’s not true, one friend was a very faithful support from the very first few days and was totally amazing). But on the whole, nothing. (It did improve as time went on, I should say!)

Imagine that for a moment. Going, literally in an instant, from a full life, out at college one day, work another, family, home, seeing people, talking, helping, sharing, doing. Every day. To then nothing. To lying on my back for weeks on end…

In that there were several things.

Firstly pain is debilitating. At times completely. There was a stage when even getting up to go to the loo was agony. And I’m not exaggerating. I waited until I could wait no longer because I just didn’t want to move. I got my husband to make me a little station on the floor or in bed where I could reach all the things I needed while he was out and the kids at school. So this was bad, yes. But what was probably worse was that I couldn’t do anything for my family. No school runs, no cooking, no tidying up. And yes of course that was a good lesson for them (although they all seem to have forgotten it now, conveniently). This affected all of us, not just me. Working out what on earth we were going to do to manage daily life was a mission in itself. Frankly how people cope with this kind of stuff without Jesus I do not know.

Then there’s support… Now here’s the thing, and please don’t think I’m judging or condemning, we are all busy I know that so well. But do you know what, the little support I did get, didn’t come from the church. In fact one of my neighbours told me she had put together a meal rota for me. Didn’t ask, she just did it. This was an amazing blessing that I feel sure both my husband and I would have said no to had we been asked. But the very fact that it was done and there was so wonderful I just sat and cried. A lot. And the people who filled this rota? My neighbours here in the village. Most of whom are not Christians or church goers. In fact I even asked people to sign up to it, which was a massive big deal for me, I can’t tell you how much. I find asking for help so hard even in my desperate need, and yet no one did.

In fact the neighbours and locals here cooked for us for about a month (if not longer). That is a pretty big commitment and yet we had meals every night, some people cooking several in that time, some bringing lovely treats too and going the extra mile. I am so grateful for all they did.

So then I found myself in that time questioning myself – was there a reason people didn’t visit, call, offer to help? Was it me? Am I not a good enough friend? Did people not care?

Of course some of those may be valid questions for me to ask of myself, and I shall continue to do so, but to be honest it’s not really what you want to be thinking about when you are at such a low point.

..o0O0o..

The reason I am writing this is because I think this is a challenge to all of us as Christians and for our churches. If I felt like this and I was so visible and well known at church, what about those who are not? Those on the fringes, those who don’t come because they can’t, those who don’t have such a strong connection? Our faith is built on love and compassion so are we really showing it?

And as individuals, are we all too busy to actually reach out in love to those around us? Are we too focussed on what is going on in our own lives to think about others?

I know that in all this, if nothing else it has been a lesson to me. A lesson that if I call myself a Christian, take on the name of God, the God of love that is, then I jolly well need to show it!

I’ve writtten before about the verse that really spoke to me in that time was from John 13:

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

Jesus died for us in love. There is nothing we can do to beat that, so then anything goes surely?! We cannot over-love people! And love looks like lots of things…

For me in my period of being ‘unwell’ there were some key things that stood out to me. Here’s a few:

One was when a friend, unsure what to cook for me (as I have food intolerances) found a jar of gluten free chocolate spread and brought that over! Another friend came and visited, and texted in between with encouraging words that really kept me going. There’s my lovely neighbour who organised the meal rota which was such a blessing. My husband bringing me back gluten free chocolate cupcakes unprompted. These are all such small things but meant so much and are real acts of love. In fact they made me feel loved at a time when I was struggling to feel anything good about myself.

..o0O0o..

The challenge to me now, and that I want to pass on to you too is: are you loving people in need? Are you showing the love of Christ? Are you seeing people who need support? Are you doing anything about it? Or are you too busy?

I have started to make more time in my diary for just this, no matter how busy I am. I read a quote this week – that is particularly appropriate for clergy – which said ‘when you die no one will remember your sermons but they will remember the time you spent with them’. But for all of us, clergy or not, the thing people see of us and the thing they will undoubtedly remember is how we respond to them, how we spent time with them or how we loved them. I’d much rather people remembered that about me that what I preached on!

Vulnerability and Isolation // Pt 1

Another looking back post, there’s going to be a few I think. Another one that was written months back and yet needed time to settle and reflect on. These next two are really about how I found myself feeling vulnerable and isolated when unwell. My whole perspective changed.

Under his wings

…o0O0o…

So this one is about getting out, well in this case, getting to church. Something I do every week, have done for years. It’s a place where I feel at home, loved, have friends. I have never had a problem going into a church, I spent a lot of time in churches as a child (due to my parents being bell ringers) and so I’ve always felt at home in a church building. But this, well this was different. Suddenly for the first time in my life, church was the hardest place to get to.

So a week after my back going, feeling very emotional, either from pain or pain killers, or both, I attempted to get to church. And boy was it hard. I mean physically it was hard but way more than that was the mental struggle. I am a pretty outgoing person, wear my heart on my sleeve and talk about almost anything but one thing I find really difficult is showing weakness, in whatever form. I don’t need you to psychoanalyse this, I have done enough of that myself, but I do know it about myself. And you know what I’m ok with it, bold and open as I may be we all need some things that are private. So going to church, feeling a shell of my usual self and in a lot of pain was, flippin’ tough.

I wanted to arrive early to avoid seeing people and get a seat at the back so I could hide (we usually sit right at the front), but everyone in my family was late. I was so cross with them because I had specifically said how important it was for me to be able to hide. In fact I was pretty much crying in the car on the way to church and desperately trying to get a grip! I don’t think I’ve ever felt so vulnerable.

So we arrive late, I had to try and sneak in (hardly inconspicuously as I was hobbling along on crutches) then first of all my husband left me to go and get some tea and my kids ran off to find friends. All of a sudden I was isolated.

And wow, did I feel it.

I felt conspicuous and unprotected.

And all this in a place where there are people I love and am very close to. A place where most people know me. A place where I meet with God every week. And yet there I sat, feeling very alone and vulnerable.

The first song began and was all about singing and dancing – the worst possible thing to hear at that moment when I could hardly walk. Not that that is any fault of the church of course, it was just for me, more than I could handle, a simple song and one that I absolutely love normally.

Finally someone came and spoke to me. At that point no one had even said hello. Which on the one hand was a blessing – you know when you feel bad and just about holding it together when someone says ‘are you ok?’ and it all falls apart…

but on the other hand I just needed someone I know to come and just hold my hand.

So then someone did, but to be honest, what they said made it worse, they just didn’t get it. Didn’t get where I was at. And why would they of course? I didn’t need to be second guessed or cajoled, I just needed someone to give me a hug (very gently!) or to sit with me.

Eventually I went to hide at the very back. A few others came over and literally just stood next to me. That was all I needed right then. It made me cry but because I felt they were just standing with me…

…o0O0o…

Then I was literally pointed out to everyone from the front. So that they could pray, admittedly. Now I’m an extrovert but I didn’t thank him for that at that point, not at all, I wanted to hide, not be seen. Seen by the entire church, in my weakness and pain. 

…o0O0o…

 

I basically sobbed through that service. In fact it was the last one I went to for a while as after that I was advised to rest at home on my back, then after the op I couldn’t get out for weeks anyway. I don’t know what I expected it to be, I think I just needed to be there. I was drugged up and can’t remember any of what was preached. In all just a handful of people spoke to me. Two in particular really knew what to say, they weren’t people I know amazingly well, but enough, and they understood exactly what I was going through. In fact they made all the difference that morning.

…o0O0o…

The thing that really got to me was just how hard it was to get there. I have always known that for some it is hard but this really brought it home to me. If someone like me, who knows the church and the people and has felt at home there, can find it hard, how much harder for those who have never been, those who are struggling like I was, for those who feel unworthy, or unloved, or out of their comfort zone?

How often do we either expect people to just come? Or how often do we not even see the difficulties they have to get over in order to come to church? How for so many it’s just way too much to even consider.

And if they do come, how do we support them? make them feel welcome? encourage them? Stand alongside them?

I don’t have any real answers, just that I feel very much more aware of this now. I am so thankful for this opportunity to see how tough it can be, for so many reasons. And I pray that God will help me to keep my eyes open to this and for people who might be struggling…

Pain, pain and more pain…

painkillersSo I’ve been looking at pain a bit recently as I’ve been suffering from a bad back, and I’ve asked a few people to do some guest posts on this. It’s such an important area of faith, learning to deal with pain and suffering, and how we relate that to our own faith. For many we don’t think about this issue until we are faced with it ourself, which then makes it hard to see with any clarity as we are affected by the pain we are in.

So, the plan is to publish these guest posts over the next few weeks when I’m likely to be more incapacitated than I am at the mo, as I have my back op. I hope it’s going to give some different viewpoints on pain and maybe be a conversation starter, so watch this space…

 

Here’s some other resources on pain and suffering too:

Article by Lee Strobel

Some thoughts from Jen Hatmaker

The Gift of Pain – book by Philip Yancey & Dr Paul Brand

Amazing story of Martin Pistorious

Pain: The Price of Compassion from @DigitalNun at iBenedictines

Talk on personal experience of stillbirth by our Vicar & his wife

 

My previous posts are here:

Beautiful Pain

Seeing God in the Pain

Some more thoughts on being in pain

 

Postscript

I’m now including the guest post links here so they are all together:

Death & Resurrection by Stephen Canning

Even if he Never Tells me Why by Nigel Freestone

Seeing God in the pain…

11/05/15 This post was originally published at my old blog here.

Strength of My Heart
I feel like shit. And I’m not even going to apologise for swearing. It feels like the only word that explains it right now. Worse than ‘I feel terrible’, ‘I am in pain’ or ‘I am fed up’. It’s all of those things and so much more. So, I feel like shit.

I’m in pain, not sure if it’s an old back problem flaring up or something new. I haven’t been able to walk properly for a week and now I can’t even move off this one spot I’m sitting on the floor without being in pain. And I don’t mean an ache or a something akin to a headache, I mean an excruciating, acute, knife in my leg kind of pain, the kind that means if I find a position where the pain is manageable, I ain’t moving. It’s the kind of pain that means weighing up the options on everything I do: how badly do I need the loo? how much do I actually need a drink? do I really want to read that book over there? How long will the laptop (my lifeline at the mo) last without being plugged in? So far the things that have got me moving are: finding the painkillers (and oh how I praise God for painkillers) and getting a cup of tea (well, needs must when you feel like crap and tea helped although it did cost me).

I’m not writing all this to invite sympathy, I’m not good at receiving it anyway, I just want to explain how I’m feeling as a kind of intro to this post. Which I guess is really just some thoughts on pain and how we (well, I) handle it… So here’s some things I’ve journalled in the last few days:

..oo0O0oo..

I made it an hour out of bed this morning before the onslaught began. I thought I can handle this, today is a new day, repeating to myself:

Thou, Lord and God of power, shield and sustain me this day….

I willed myself onwards: I can do this. Get a grip you stupid woman. Don’t let people down. Let yourself down, that’s bad enough but DO NOT let others down. We are a team, we support each other. But not willing to be supported. Everyone who had asked I snapped ‘don’t be nice to me, I’ll cry’. Truth of course, I was only just holding onto my composure by a thread as thin as a cobweb. Even a gentle breeze would destroy it.

And that was it – a simple and sympathetically voiced ‘are you ok?’ from someone who cares. But I had to shut it down, not willing to fall, to break.

But to no avail… I am broken and in pieces anyway.

Sobbing, heaving, sighing. Broken.

Thank God (and I mean that) for a dear friend who came and gently picked up my pieces and didn’t attempt to stick them back together, she just held them and gently gave them back to me.

..oo0O0oo..

As I lay in my little cocoon of self pity all sorts of devil-sent-lies were in my head…

You’ll have to take pain killers for weeks

You’ll be in pain forever more

There will be horrible side effects

You won’t run again that’s for sure. You are useless. You won’t be able to walk, you’ll put on weight and be fat. You’ll have to sit around all day doing nothing…

People will be talking about you – did you see her – what a wreck, she can’t cope

Your team will think you are useless, you never pitch in, how selfish of you

Your family will get fed up with you always needing help

..oo0O0oo..

Well what a difference a few hours makes. Not sure if it’s painkillers, the emptying of tears and snot or just: a few hours.
Now there’s just anger and frustration, oh and the fog of the pills of course. Can’t think straight, can’t read properly, can’t remember anything… There’s the pay off.

..oo0O0oo..

I hate this. I really do. It’s like my boundaries are being reduced each day. First I couldn’t run, then it was walking, then a week off work, then, well then just whatever I can find that is pain free – well it’s not pain free, but managable in the pain is the best I can hope for…

..oo0O0oo..

When will this end?

..oo0O0oo..

I am so frustrated and angry right now. Oh yes I know, I know, God will teach me through this – of course He will, that’s what He does and already is. But I’ve had enough of that at this moment in time. If I’m honest I don’t want to be taught anything right now. I’ve had enough illness and infirmity in the last 7 years to keep me going for a while.

Can’t He see that? I’ve had enough.

..oo0O0oo..

But then…
Then I’m ashamed.
I am so blessed, I have so much more than so many. I am so much better off than so many.

How arrogant am I? To say that I don’t want to learn from the living God? How dare I? How can I rebuff his teaching, his love, his compassion and comfort?

..oo0O0oo..

And yet now I seek, I feel like I’m in a whirlwind, a hazy fog, where is He in all this? I am seeking, looking, not knowing or understanding…

Where are you Lord? what am I not seeing?

Pain

Saw this quote twice on Twitter today within the space of 5 mins.

Coincidence? I think not… ;)
So anyway I liked it so I made a pretty little infographic…

Seeing God in the pain

I feel like shit. And I’m not even going to apologise for swearing. It feels like the only word that explains it right now. Worse than ‘I feel terrible’, ‘I am in pain’ or ‘I am fed up’. It’s all of those things and so much more. So, I feel like shit.

I’m in pain, not sure if it’s an old back problem flaring up or something new. I haven’t been able to walk properly for a week and now I can’t even move off this one spot I’m sitting on the floor without being in pain. And I don’t mean an ache or a something akin to a headache, I mean an excruciating, acute, knife in my leg kind of pain, the kind that means if I find a position where the pain is manageable, I ain’t moving. It’s the kind of pain that means weighing up the options on everything I do: how badly do I need the loo? how much do I actually need a drink? do I really want to read that book over there? How long will the laptop (my lifeline at the mo) last without being plugged in? So far the things that have got me moving are: finding the painkillers (and oh how I praise God for painkillers) and getting a cup of tea (well, needs must when you feel like crap and tea helped although it did cost me).
I’m not writing all this to invite sympathy, I’m not good at receiving it anyway, I just want to explain how I’m feeling as a kind of intro to this post. Which I guess is really just some thoughts on pain and how we (well, I) handle it… So here’s some things I’ve journalled in the last few days:
..oo0O0oo..
I made it an hour out of bed this morning
before the onslaught began. I thought I can handle this, today is a new day,
repeating to myself:
Thou, Lord and God of power, shield and sustain me this day….
I willed myself onwards: I can do this. Get a grip you stupid woman.
Don’t let people down. Let yourself down, that’s bad enough but DO NOT let
others down. We are a team, we support each other. But not willing to be
supported. Everyone who had asked I snapped ‘don’t be nice to me, I’ll cry’. Truth of course, I was only just holding onto
my composure by a thread as thin as a cobweb. Even a gentle breeze would destroy
it.
And that was it – a simple and
sympathetically voiced ‘are you ok?’ from someone who cares. But I had to shut
it down, not willing to fall, to break.
But to no avail… I am broken and in pieces
anyway.
Sobbing, heaving, sighing. Broken.
Thank God (and I mean that) for a dear friend
who came and gently picked up my pieces and didn’t attempt to stick them back
together, she just held them and gently gave them back to me.
..oo0O0oo..
As I lay in my little cocoon of self pity all sorts of devil-sent-lies were in my
head…
You’ll have to take pain killers for weeks
You’ll be in pain forever more
There will be horrible side effects
You won’t run again that’s for sure. You are useless. You won’t be able to walk, you’ll put on weight and be fat. You’ll have to sit around all day doing nothing…
People will be talking about you – did you
see her – what a wreck, she can’t cope
Your team will think you are useless, you
never pitch in, how selfish of you
Your family will get fed up with you always needing help
..oo0O0oo..
Well what a difference a few hours makes. Not sure if it’s painkillers, the emptying of tears and snot or just: a few hours.Now there’s just anger and frustration, oh and the fog of the pills of course. Can’t think straight, can’t read properly, can’t remember anything… There’s the pay off.

..oo0O0oo..
I hate this. I really do. It’s like my boundaries are being reduced each day. First I couldn’t run, then it was walking, then a week off work, then, well then just whatever I can find that is pain free – well it’s not pain free, but managable in the pain is the best I can hope for…

..oo0O0oo..

When will this end?

..oo0O0oo..

I am so frustrated
and angry right now. Oh yes I know, I
know, God will teach me through this – of course He will, that’s what He does
and already is. But I’ve had enough of that at this moment in time. If I’m
honest I don’t want to be taught anything right now. I’ve had enough illness and
infirmity in the last 7 years to keep me going for a while.

Can’t He see that? I’ve had enough.
..oo0O0oo..
But then…Then I’m ashamed.

I am so blessed, I have so much more than so many. I am so much better off than so many.

How arrogant am I? To say that I don’t want
to learn from the living God? How dare I? How can I rebuff his teaching, his love, his
compassion and comfort?

..oo0O0oo..
And yet now I seek, I feel like I’m in a whirlwind, a hazy fog, where is He in all this? I am seeking, looking, not knowing or understanding…
Where are you Lord? what am I not seeing?