My disease silently hides behind a thirty four year old shell. I don’t look deformed or unable. I look healthy. I also try to dress and prepare myself in such a way to help me feel better. I want to look good even if I don’t always feel good. That helps me fight against staying in bed all day. Lately, staying in bed is all I want to do. It isn’t because I am depressed. I have just been incredibly tired. Fatigued. Physically and emotionally weary. But, when I walk out the door of my house, weariness isn’t always easy to read on my face and that is often due to my mild caffeine intake 🙂 . Disabled isn’t always an easy label. Unless, of course you see me with my walker. I get strange looks. I feel like reading people’s minds, “What’s wrong with her?”, “She looks healthy.”, “She just walked five steps without her walker”, “She just lifted that forty pound four year old”, “She is so young”, “She looks ‘normal’.” Some might even be trying to figure out how one minute I can run and leap and the next minute I will walk with a walker. It is kind of funny. Just because I can do it doesn’t mean I am comfortable doing it or that my body feels good after doing it. I can do a lot but I physically pay for pushing myself.
I’m still trying to figure it out so I get that it would confuse other people too. I have physical strength because I lift light weights and I ride my indoor bike and I do mild Pilates. I am physically strong but that strength only lasts so long. My legs can give out in a split second. My legs will suddenly hurt and feel incredibly weak. My arms ache just holding them up to type this blog. I still have feeling in my body but in many places I am raw numb. Poke me and I feel it but it is often a strange feeling. Rub my skin for long and I will probably ask you to stop because it is irritating. My nerves are damaged. It just doesn’t feel good.
I am incredibly, ridiculously sensitive to temperature. Standing by the refrigerator my feet will swell just because of the warmth that the “fridge” is pushing out. My legs slow down as soon as my body heats up. Just holding hands with my hubby causes my hands to ache and sitting close to another body causes my body to go achy weak. This disease is tricky. Some M.S. patients have entirely different kinds of symptoms because their scars on the brain or spinal cord are in different places. A sweet friend of mine has experienced loss of sight in one of her eyes. Some have seizures. There is such a wide range of revealing symptoms for M.S. patients and still there are many illnesses that are hidden. Unaware are the people around us.
Some of us may be dealing with mental illness, Fibromyalgia, Hashimoto’s, deep wounds from our childhood or deep wounds from today. There really is so much that sits deep within us, silent until we open up to someone else. I encourage you to find someone you can be real with. Not everyone can handle our ugly. Not everyone can walk you from the darkness into the Light. Not everyone will even shine light into the darkness. Many will hinder you from escaping the dark and a few will shove you right into a pit. I am praying for you tonight. Praying you have someone to listen to you and walk the journey with you. I am praying you will become that person for someone else.
Many of us are hindered by fear! We don’t walk in the path God has called us to because fear locks us into a prison. Fear keeps us from living life fully! Jesus said that He came to give us abundant life! Abundance is meant for us in trials and persecutions and all the ugly of this fallen world. Many of us stop living life fully today because our thoughts are on the unknown of tomorrow. God has been speaking sweet words to my heart as of late.
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. ” Isaiah 41:10
” For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13
He is your light in darkness. And thus, if you are His child, you are light. Jesus said, “You are the light of the world”. If you are reading this then you are still here for a reason. You are loved, valuable, precious, thought of and fully aware by your Maker. When no else understands you or your illness, God does. You are here for a reason. In spite of the pain, the wounds, the illness, whatever the ugly may be for you, your life is worth living to the fullest. God turns the ashes into beauty. I believe He is ready to do that in your life and mine. Are we willing to receive it, take up our cross and follow Him? Are we ready to let go of the bitterness that got us here? Are we ready to live fully through whatever disability or different ability we have?
God is good my friends. His love never, ever fails. Let’s link arms together and believe His good character. His plans for you and I are always, always for good.