Thursday, September 15, 2011

What My Life Is Like with Illness

Fibromyalgia is invisible, so most people obviously don't always remember that I even have it.

I in no way blame them for that. But I do admit to getting grumpy {yes, I get grumpy!!} when family forgets, specifically my husband and my father.

I have more sympathy when other people tell me they're in pain than I used to, but when it's someone I'm close to I honestly struggle with it. I feel an innate need to speak up and remind them what I'm going through and how much daily, all over pain I have every moment. Every day. It never goes away. It flares up and settles down, but no matter what it is always, always there.

So... it really bothers me when Tim or my dad forgets {or at least they're forgetting from what I can tell}. I've always had this thing in me that made me feel like I needed to prove myself to the men in my life. That if I didn't, they'd leave and get sick of me.

Behind every fake smile, behind every genuine smile... no matter what I'm feeling like that day, I never have a 100% pain free day. Every single part of me hurts constantly.

I know that's a hard concept to grasp. Sometimes it still baffles me.

But what I love is that it never baffles or surprises God. He knows. He understands. And that still, small voice of his that speaks into me when I'm quiet enough to listen... He always gently reminds me that He knows and is carrying me through this time.

That doesn't make it automatically easier, but it settles my hurt and anger. It settles my frustration when I'm ready to lash out and tell people to stop complaining about their pain. If they only knew what I was going through.

And if I only knew what other people with worse pain were going through.

Ouch. Whenever God speaks that into me, I'm reminded to not be so quick to speak. After all, I have no true idea of what's going on in someone else's body. The reality is, I'm just speaking up because I'm being selfish. I'm being blind to the needs of others and only caring that I make sure they understand me.

I find this really {really, really} hard when it comes to my marriage. I know Tim has had to wrestle with a lot as a result of my Fibromyalgia too. I know that neither of us are the same person we were when we got married. I know that we both have days where we are ready to throw in the towel. I know that he's got a good heart and that he loves me, but sometimes, in my most sinful moments... I actually feel myself refusing to draw close to him as a defense mechanism.

Because why would anyone want to persevere with me in this life-long journey with Fibromyalgia? I don't want it, why would he? He didn't choose this. 

We are learning what "for better or for worse, in sickness and in health" really means.

We know that with God, all things are possible. We know that if God is for us, who can be against us? We know that He will give us the strength and ability to get through this.

But in our dark days, when the Fibro is too much for me to even get up out of bed... we have our moments. When the Fibro has me glued to the couch while he's stuck doing all the housework... I feel more guilty than I ever thought possible. And there's nothing I can do about it.

It's awful. It's demeaning.

And yet, I know that in the end, God will redeem this too. He'll redeem every battle we fought in our marriage. He'll redeem my Fibromyalgia so that the world will see that He is God... for His glory & His name's sake.

He has poured out His grace on us, and I am unceasingly baffled as to why Tim is still even standing next to me. God's grace is sufficient for the least of these. And right now, I for sure feel like the least of these.

For other Chronic Illness Awareness Week topics, visit this website, go to their Facebook page, or visit Bloggers Unite for Chronic Illness Awareness

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