This past fall, I’ve had some pretty horrendous medical issues. Managing a chronic disease isn’t easy, and the past year or more, things have been spiraling out of control. I went to the doctor on the 8th of this month, and after having some labs done (yet again), my numbers are even worse. I think the hardest thing about this is knowing that this won’t go away. No remission, no cure. Just maintenance, doing the right things to keep my numbers low and my other systems functioning properly. I’ve been through a lot in my life, and it might come as a surprise, but this illness is by far one of the absolute hardest. I can live with depression an anxiety and PTSD and them, but this? This just never ends.
Seeing those numbers on my record today sparked a despair I haven’t felt in a long while. It was the starving type, the cutting type, the overdosing type, the dying type. Whatever it took to get rid of this illness that seems hell-bent on taking my body piece by piece, complication by complication. I want nothing more than to be healthy, but it seems that I have no way to do that. I know the daily habits, the routines, but my mental illnesses leave me with little energy to care enough to take care of myself. And even when I have the desire, and ask for help, I’m ignored or chastised. My parents don’t have the time or money for me to be sick, so I’m stuck here…slowly unraveling, getting worse, while they tend to the things that actually matter to them.
As I was lying on my floor today, paralyzed by this despair and betrayal, by the daunting and massive task before me, I faded in and out of a restless somewhat-sleep. What I was really doing was exhausting myself with prayer. It felt like shouting at an empty silence. It felt like my heart had been hooked on a lure that would only drag it deeper and deeper underneath the surface instead of up so I could gasp for air. It felt like the loneliness of an arctic desert. And so after I’m not sure how long, my pleas faded and I simply lay there. A broken puddle, a desperate thing, a wretch of self-pity and fear and she of little faith.
I don’t know when I “came to”, but there was music. It wasn’t anything I head; it was what my heart was singing. It was my soul calling my mind to remember, to hold fast hope, even in the dark. Behind my closed lids, the only two phrases I knew of the song kept floating by. And I would sing them, again and again, in that small-candled soul of mine stronger than my heart and mind, maybe a little more blind, but also more true. More faithful.
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust you,
How I’ve proved him o’er and o’er;
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus,
O for grace, to trust Him more.
I don’t know any more of the song than that, but that refrain has been more than enough in many a dire time for me. I don’t know how I’m going to get well. I don’t know anything, really–except that God has my body in His hands. God knows the weight this illness crushes me with, and He will help me bear it. God knows I can’t do this at all, much less alone. He will provide for whatever it is that I need. I can trust Him with the depression and anxiety and PTSD and them and so many other things. And I pray for grace to trust Him with this, and whatever else may come.