Wow, it has been a WEEK. A week that felt like a month!
The Lord has really sustained me as I have lost a lot of sleep the past 2 weeks during Selah’s surgery/recovery and Jack being out of town. Several times, I have definitely felt low. But several prayer times, several conversations, and several just sweet moments have literally lifted me back to my feet again. I don’t know exactly what my motivation is in writing this blog today, but I want to share my health situation with anyone reading. So many times I’ve just known this basic fact: Because I look well when people see me, they really don’t know what is going on most of the time. There is NO ONE breathing down my neck about it, and I don’t feel like there is, but I just want people to know…yet I don’t want to bring it up and talk about it all the time either.
So here’s the deal. For ten years, since living in Africa (after some major sicknesses/surgery there), I have been living “half-mast”. I cannot keep a full time job; I cannot even keep a part time job. I’m so thankful that I don’t have to, and that I can focus on my family, health, and walk with God because when you have to conserve energy, you learn to do first things first. You really learn to prioritize. My symptoms and energy level are off and on. Sometimes I feel too bad to do anything for a few hours a day and then feel good a few hours in that same day. It was great to find out (after 9 years of no information) that I have “Chronic Adrenal Fatigue” or hypoadrenia; also, I’ve known for about 8 years that I have a sleep disorder “ideopathic Hypersomnia”.
In understanding these disorders, it has been a relief to know I’m not crazy or the first one to have this exact set of symptoms (which is basically just exhaustion and needing 12 solid hours of sleep every night to feel well). If you want to know how I feel, just think back to a time when you pulled an “all-nighter” or were jet lagged. You couldn’t think straight, had a headache or maybe stomach yuckiness because of the sleep deprivation, didn’t feel like doing anything but putting your head face down in a pillow. If you’ve ever done this for days at a time, you start to also feel jittery and your immune and nervous systems plummet and you’re scared to even drive a car because you really don’t know if you’re “with it” enough. Okay. That’s how I feel. That’s why for the past 2 years, I have learned to just say no to pretty much everything I’ve been asked to do, especially if it was in the morning.
Good news though, it was awesome to find out what I could do about the adrenal fatigue. I’m one year into treatment. I am definitely better, as long as I do everything in the book. Sometimes though, no matter how I eat, or what supplements I take, or how I have improved a myriad of things in my lifestyle, I still feel this way. The sleep disorder I cannot do anything else about, but pray. Right now I feel like the sleep disorder is the real problem and I’m considering going back for another sleep test. I take natural supplements and thankfully am off all prescriptions; but even though I sleep well, I still need 12 hours a night. I have slept 10-14 hours almost every night for a year, and it’s not “working itself out.” I’m not catching up.
Lately, I admit, I have felt a real despair about this. I was content and had adjusted my life around my bedtime, wake up time, nap time..just very, very limited, very structured, no room for anything or anyone else because I had to do these things for myself. But I guess I started to feel frustrated that I was in my bed 14 hours a day! I wanted to be able to meet with some girls who were looking for a mentor, I wanted to be able to sing again, I wanted to get out and do normal things like take my daughter to school in the morning. And maybe I can do some of those things, but it’s so hard to work around these disorders!!! Ultimately I’ve learned the happy truth that my life is GOD’S life and He can do whatever He wants with it. I genuinely mean that. If my life is for Him, then I won’t be worried if I can’t do everything I want to do…I can trust if He wanted me to do it, He’d provide what I need. If He wants me to exist on a better level than this, He will bring me through a healing process. And that is what I am asking for, that’s what I’ve been asking for for 10 years.
Sometimes it is very frustrating for someone to say, “Jesus healed everyone He met, so it is always His will to heal.” I agree that He loves to heal, but I know that He has been molding me during this time–honestly everything I have learned, great decisions/priorities I have chosen in the past few years, changes in my character–none of that would have happened without this sickness. It had purpose, and maybe it has more purpose. (If it has no more purpose, oh sweet Jesus, either heal me or bring me Home!) I like the idea that God wants us all fully functioning at our highest and happiest level, fully alive, just achieving like crazy for His Name. But I don’t know. Here’s what I do know: We are here to be transformed, to be made ready for the Wedding Day when Jesus gets His Bride, the Church. We’re getting ready to meet Him face to face, that’s what every minute of every day of our lives is about, whether we want it to be about that or not. In sickness or in health, whatever He chooses for me, I know I am going through the exact process He wants me in for His glory and for our eternity together.
I am filled with hope just in writing the end of this blog! I hope it encourages you in whatever trials God has chosen for your life. I wrote a blog in the past about suffering so I won’t re-write, but there are different sources of those trials and it’s important to decipher in order to not stay in an unnecessary wilderness. But if you are walking with God, remember He will raise a path in your wilderness, regardless of what it looks like in the flesh, we are alive in the Spirit! Thanks for letting me share, and for your understanding through the years. Hopefully this blog helped you understand a little more. 🙂