This feels like the beginning of a difficult season for my family.
My little sister is having a busy and stress-filled senior year of high school; Dad is continuing to push through work and battle financial stress; my older sister is recovering from a breakup while dealing with a new job, new home, and severe financial troubles; and Mom is balancing a full-time job, keeping an eye on her aging mom, and -well- being a mom herself to three daughters including one (hey, that’s me) who is battling a mysterious illness.
Phew. This is a lot to deal with at once– for mankind, at least. Fortunately, as He has done so faithfully before, the Holy Spirit is (the only thing) holding our family together. Though the aid of the Holy Spirit is constantly with us, it is sometimes in the roughest patches that we sense Him the most. And this is so, so good for me to see.
Over the last few weeks, my energy and physical abilities have diminished so much that my mom had to pick me up from school and bring me home urgently because I could not care for myself adequately.
While this illness is mysterious and my many doctors have yet to put their finger on it, the way it saps my energy and leaves me with little desire to do anything is not unlike the flu. I am spending my days lying on the sofa or in my bed, writing and surfing the web and passing the time. But, as much as I try to ignore it, that’s a really big deal for me right now: time, I mean.
How many more days will I spend wasting away on the sofa? How much time will it take me to graduate with my degree? How much time until I receive a diagnosis? How much time until I can travel again? How great an effect could this illness have on the rest of my life? How much time until I can work again? How much time until I can finally say to the wonderful man who just asked me out on a date: “yes, I’m finally healthy and back at school and I would love to get together with you!”
Yes, I have had many things taken away from me recently, and as things push on with my health, I do not know what else may be taken from me. But I have been given, in turn and with great irony, so much time! Time to turn my eyes on Jesus, to soak up His word, to talk to him, to ask him questions, to cry at his feet, to reflect on his mysterious but magnificent way of molding my life.
It is simple: I have been given the gift of time.
When I’m lying in bed or on the sofa it doesn’t always seem fun to turn off the computer and lift up my voice in prayer, but perhaps the emotional pain and fear I am experiencing will fade a little when I trust and seek more fully my gracious God.
*Quick Note: In that last sentence I did not intend to spread the message that I believe there is a correlation between how much time one spends with the Lord and how happy they are. Take a glance at David, Moses, Job, and so on– they all adored the Lord but struggled deeply. What I do intend to hint at is my belief that while not a correlation between happiness, there is a correlation between how much time one spends with the Lord and how deeply satisfied their soul is in pushing through even the most difficult circumstances because they know the mightiest warrior is right next to them in the battle line.
Peace and thanksgiving for you, my WordPress family