What do you do when your prayer is answered but leaves you with more questions than answers?
The past few months, although truly, it has been longer, I have been dealing with unexplainable pain, “brain fog,” headaches, exhaustion, and other random issues. I had an appointment with a specialist this week, and my prayer was that God would provide a name to what I have been feeling.
He did. I received a diagnosis. Fibromyalgia. Pain and exhaustion and not a lot that can be done for it. Chronic. I look fine yet I don’t feel fine.
In the past when I struggled with my health issues and other issues in my life, I ran. I used running to hide behind. I can’t run this time. I can’t physically run because I truly don’t have the energy to do this. Ironically, the physical difficulty with running this past spring is what first alerted me to knowing something was not right. And, I can’t figuratively run this time, either, because the pain is always there. I cannot hide behind my running.
The week before, I received answered prayer in the form of a blessing…a job offer that is everything I have been wanting. I have been praying, surrendering my current job situation, trusting, and waiting. And one week later, another answered prayer, but this situation, different, much different.
How do I reconcile joy with pain?
I believe God has lessons for me He needs me to learn through fibromyalgia. This is another opportunity to trust Him. This is another opportunity to rely on Him. Perhaps, the greatest lesson I need to learn is to rest….to rest in Him and to simply rest.
I am not good at resting. In the story of Mary and Martha, I can relate to Martha. I am distracted by all the things that need done. While Mary sat at the feet of Jesus listening to what He had to say, Martha was busy and distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. I can relate to Martha. I have always multi-tasked doing a million things at once trying to get everything done. Now, the exhaustion and the pain are forcing me to slow down. And, I don’t like it. I don’t know how to rest. I don’t know how to be still. I don’t like it.
I think there is a lesson here I need to learn. A lesson in being still. A lesson in resting. A greater lesson in trusting.
In this season of Thanksgiving, can I find something to be thankful for in fibromyalgia? That is my challenge to myself…to have an attitude of gratitude despite pain and fatigue and to learn to rest.