Because my Inner Nerd just isn’t happy unless I’m taking some kind of class, I’m currently enrolled in an online class by Ronna Detrick called “Soulstice“. In it, she guides you in working through various stories of women in the Bible, and the story I’m currently studying is the Old Testament story of Hannah, one of whose themes is that of Longing. Hannah desperately wants a child, but has spent years and years unable to conceive. And while I don’t long for children, I am quite familiar with this flavor of desperation-tinged wanting.
Because I am just so tired of being sick. I hate this fibromyalgia, and I desperately long to be free; free of pain, free of exhaustion, free of having to live my life through the filter of illness.
I long to wake up in the morning without being in pain from the moment I open my eyes ’til the moment I fall asleep at night. I long for a day that doesn’t involve pushing against the Sisyphean boulder of chronic pain and exhaustion, trying to get things done, but knowing that it’s only a matter of time before it overpowers me, and then steamrolls me flat on its way back down the mountain of my day.
I long for the energy and capacity of healthy people. I long for a time when picking out an outfit and getting dressed does not feel like having to climb Mt. Everest. I just want to feel better.
But I know that for right now, as well as for the foreseeable future, I can’t have any of this.
I want, and the answer is no. And I know I’m not the only one. I know you’ve been here too.
We want. And sometimes the answer is no. And That. SERIOUSLY. sucks.
I really wish I had some zippy punchline to end with, but I don’t. But I do think I can offer us at least a tiny bit of hope.
Because somehow, we do still get up every morning. We do find a way through our days. We do experience moments of relief, of happiness, of contentment, and we do survive the awful. And I think this could only happen if, as we’re rolling that stone up the mountain, we occasionally stumble into a pocket or two of grace.
So let me wish for us, my friends: may these oases of grace and comfort run deeper and wider, and occur more frequently that we ever could have dreamed possible.
And you know what? I’m pretty sure the answer to that wish is most definitely, “Yes!”