Mar 9, 2015

Finding Healing In Rest

Today I'm having a bad day.  Can you tell?  It's not quite as bad as the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day that Alexander had.  No, this is just a day where I really feel the need to stay in bed and take some pain medication.  It's a day where all of my joints and muscles hurt, even when lying down or sitting still.  My body feels weak and I'm exhausted even after a good night's sleep.

I haven't had these kinds of days in a long time but most recently they have become more frequent.  I transitioned from prescription medications to homeopathic remedies about 6 months ago to treat my chronic tick-borne infections.  I was really quite surprised that I didn't crash the way I had in the past when I stopped my medication.  This time has been different, my pain has been mild and not as consistent, that is until recently.

I have to tell you that I'm fascinated with this new to me world of homeopathy and naturopathy.  I'm learning so much about my health and also that of my children.

In the past I would have been told that my pain and fatigue were just a Lyme flare but I found that it's actually something completely unrelated and I would never have known if I had stayed with my previous doctor or treatment plan.

I've learned that our immune system is more wonderful than I had ever imagined but I'm not surprised by that because I know my Maker.  As our immune system works to heal our body it is selective in what it chooses to heal first.  It doesn't tackle every disease or illness at the same time but works on the one that is most needed at that specific time.

We could learn a lot from this, especially when it comes to time management, by choosing what is most important first and dedicating our time to working through one thing at a time rather than doing everything at once.  (I'm guilty!)

So, recently I found out that my body is trying to deal with several things, one of which I didn't even know I had.  Both are infections I probably picked up years ago.  I don't remember getting sick long ago except with the Chicken Pox but then again how would I have known?

Typically, we go to our primary care doctor when we fall ill and they quickly diagnose us with a non-specific viral infection or they think it may be bacterial so we leave with a prescription for antibiotics.

When we get some sort of infection our body will go through the process of being ill in order to heal itself.  Symptoms are generally a result of the effort the body makes to rid itself of the infection on it's own.  Once the body has healed, those infections hide away in our spinal column or lymph nodes and when our immune system is compromised and weakened that virus can come back out causing symptoms again, sometimes manifesting differently.  An example of this is how the Chicken Pox later in life causes Shingles.

So, here I am feeling quite "run-over" and worn out but as usual and if at all possible I get up and push myself through my normal routine.  I cover my face in make-up and a smile and pretend everything is as usual.  I might grumble here and there but usually try to trudge through my day hoping I can crawl in bed as soon as possible.

This seems to be typical for those of us living in the American culture.  There are those however, like my husband, who when not feeling well will still go to work during the day but as soon as he enters the house in the evening will go straight to bed.  I used to get annoyed by this but I learned that this really is the best way to let the body heal more quickly.

I guess wisdom does come with age or maybe age is catching up to me, whichever the case, I am now more likely to go lie down in the middle of the day for a nap and have also been found napping in the van while my daughter is at her Homeschool Co-op.

For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.   2 Corinthians 12:10

I've learned that it's OK to tell those closest to me that I'm not well and that I need help.  Some of you don't have that help or support and may even have very young children.  This is more difficult but I know from experience that you can still find ways to entertain young children while you get the rest needed. 

Snuggle up on the couch with a blanket and look through books.  Put on a video or tv show while you rest on the couch for 30 minutes.  Put the baby in a pack-n-play and let him play with his  toys or take advantage of a nap when he does.

As chronically ill moms we sometimes need to overlook the sink full of dishes so that we can lie down for a little while to let our body heal.  From my own experience, a neglected sink full of dishes hasn't changed anyone's life except mine and only in a positive way because I was able to rest when most needed.

When we change our focus from rest being a burden to rest being a productive and needful thing for our bodies to heal, then hopefully we will find it easier to make it a priority.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

I realize that some of you are much sicker than I've described.  You're really tired of resting and you haven't had the choice, it's been a really long time of illness for you.  You don't have the strength to get up and pretend.  I was there once and you're right, it's discouraging.

I hear from women all the time who share their stories with me. I often wish that I could help every one of them, that's one of the reasons I started my blog.  I can't clean your house or take care of your children but I hope that I can reach sweet moms like you and bring some encouragement.

Always look to the Lord for your provision and healing.  Learn to find joy in the little things, listen to encouraging music or the Bible on audio, watch a comedy or have a loved one come sit and talk with you.

If you're up pushing through your illness and trying to keep the same pace as before, may I encourage you to slow down, cut back on your obligations and find your healing in the rest that your body needs.


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