I was looking up some verses this morning in an attempt to encourage some hurting friends. I ended up in the book of Isaiah. I was reading and typing the words I thought may help my friend and BAM there I was, just sobbing on the floor. Overcome with emotion. The words pinged my soul. Sometimes, when we least expect it, God grabs us by the shirt collar and gives us a little proverbial shake to reality.
Iv’e been trying so hard to be so normal lately. Im eating well, despite not wanting to eat anything. Im cooking even though looking t food makes my stomach churn. Im doing more around the house. Ive been exercising every day. Ive set so many goals for myself and Im doing so well. But Im weary. When you start a lifestyle change, adrenaline keeps you going for awhile. But then, muscles get sore and eyes are tired and its just becomes so easy to sink back into old slumps. Its difficult to find balance with POTS. Just because I can do things today, doesnt mean I wont pay for it tomorrow. Knowing when to push and when to rest is an art Im still trying to master.
These 4 little kids need mama, so no matter how I feel, I get up and I make breakfast and wash faces and fold laundry. I cook lunch and nurse the baby and change the diapers. I havent been sleeping. Its been weeks since I slept more than three hours a night. I AM SO WEARY. I shove that feeling and I press on, because thats what needs to be done. You dont realize how weary you are and how much you have been compensating, until one day it just hits you like a ton of bricks. For me that manifests, in shortness of breath and an irregular and fast heart rate. It usually puts me on the couch. If I try to keep going, I will pass out. Its my body’s way of saying “enough”. Its my body’s way of not giving me a choice but to rest. I sit here feeling like I have failed. I sit here and worry about all of the things I could be doing if I were normal. Self pity and guilt try to creep in. My husband will come home to a messy house. My kids wont brush their teeth until bed time. The laundry collects. The kitchen sink fills with dishes. All while I sit here. I know I need to rest. My husband and family knows I need to rest. But, allowing myself to do so, is not easy.
But then I read these words and realize, Im not meant to carry this alone:
“Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Isreal, “my way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God”?
Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the Everlasting God, the creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will WALK AND NOT BE FAINT.”
These words, I needed them today. My God, he knows about air hunger and he knows about passing out. He knows my desire it to keep going for my husband and for my kids. He knows Im weary and he promises to renew my strength if I place my hope in him. That doesnt mean I dont need to take time to rest. It means I am allowed to rest. This is not my race to run alone. The strength comes from the Lord.
“They will walk and not be faint”
BAM. Cue that waterworks. I needed these specific words. So few people understand what its like to live with POTS. The air hunger, the passing out, the stomach pains, the vision changes, the headaches…I look normal, but inside, im at war with my own body. “Do you do this for attention?” , “Just push through it” , “it cant be that bad”, “Dont be so dramatic”. I crave an empathetic ear. I often feel like no one understands how hard I fight to be functional. God knows. He knows me because he created me. Broken and POTsie me. He created me with a very specific purpose. He gives me the strength needed to complete my race. Some day, be it here on this earth, or when we meet in eternity, He promises I will run and not grow weary, I will walk and not faint. At that moment these words will change from metaphoric to literal. How I hope for that day! For now, I take hope in knowing that He knows this burden and offers strength if I choose to believe in Him.