Fifteen months today. That is how long I have been in relapse this time around. Fifteen months. Studies show that each time I go into relapse–especially long ones like this–my odds of recovery greatly diminish. But I haven’t given up hope. Life awaits.
Today, however, seems like a good time to reflect on how my past fifteen months have gone–not so that you pity me, but to help you gain understanding into my (and my family’s) reality. In the past fifteen months I have felt up to attending church three–maybe four–times. I have been able to entertain a guest maybe seven or eight times. I have talked on the phone around half a dozen times. I’ve received two cards and one meal. (Though a friend–who never expects anything in return–leaves a potted plant on my porch about once a month just to let me know she still cares. I’m getting teary-eyed about that dear, old friend even now. And a couple of sweet gals send me little “I’m thinking of you” texts. God uses these three in particular to remind me I’m not forgotten.)
I still need to rest in bed around fourteen hours a day–about nine asleep, the other five just lying there. (My remaining ten hours are spent mostly on one of two couches.) I often go days without even leaving my home–not even to step into the back yard. When I do take a mosey out, I frequently need the assistance of a cane. Because Brad now upholds the responsibilities of shopping and schlepping, we rarely have a home-cooked meal–just what we call “scavenging”–so I eat the most basic of meals that I can prepare for myself. Maybe a can of peas or a piece of peanut butter toast. Perhaps some brown rice. (Though recently we’ve discovered that if Brad can get a crockpot meal going on Saturday evening, we enjoy a lovely family dinner on Sundays! And I can usually manage whipping up one meal a week–generally pasta.) Or maybe Brad just grabs something on the way home.
Since my sweet little housekeeper, Amanda, has been away at college, dust abounds. And don’t even mention soap scum! But I’ve managed to stay up pretty well on laundry and emptying the dishwasher.*
And such is my…our…life.
I suppose you may wonder why our lives are like this. I mean, you probably understand that I have ME/CFS, which keeps me off my game, but you may be trying to figure out what happened to the people. I guess I’m not wholly sure myself. I know Brad feels, as a pastor, awkward about asking for help from our body; biblically speaking, he’s been called to serve our body, not the other way around. And, frankly, I understand helping me could be difficult. Meals? Not everyone knows how to handle a gluten/casein-free menu. Housework? Not everyone knows how to clean with baking soda, vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. (And I’m honestly too exhausted to explain either issue. And don’t forget how difficult it is for me to have someone in my home.) At the beginning, two people wrote me notes on facebook telling me to let them know if I needed help; honestly, I was too tired to figure that out, so I told them to talk to Brad. I don’t even know if they talked to him, or if he knew what to answer them. And, hey!, I can’t forget all those people–one mama in particular–who totes our son around. (She pretty much thinks Josh is partly hers now! *giggle*)
So the bottom line is that we just leave it to God, and don’t worry about it. Dust is dust. Scum is scum. Peas are peas.
This reality, however, must continue: my hope rests in Christ alone! As with all other situations in life, if I (or you!) look to others, we will become disappointed and disillusioned. We will lose heart and hope. God never designed other people to fulfill us. AND I trust that God will make something beautiful out of this season. I simply refuse to live a wasted life.
When I was a little girl, I had a grandmother who sewed and quilted. She absolutely loved beautiful fabric. LOVED it! And with all those pretty floral prints, she would sew up for herself some charming, sweet dresses. In her retirement years, she took all her leftovers and hand-stitched gorgeous quilts for each of her five grandchildren. She had tucked away each and every salvageable piece of her dearly loved fabric, and turned them into inheritance pieces for her descendants.
If a simple, homespun grandmother would do such a sweet, kind thing for her grandchildren, how much more would a loving, heavenly Father do for His children? He wastes not one thing. He saves and savors each precious piece, and through His own hand-stitched process, turns scrap material into lovely works of divine inheritance.
“For I am confident of this one thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).
He’s making something beautiful in me! How could I not feel His excitement?!
*I would find myself remiss if I failed to mention that I can take myself to my weekly chiropractor appointments (now), as well as stop off occasionally at Sprouts unattended. In addition, Brad takes me out to eat every once in a while. 🙂