Weaknesses

Many of you know me in real life. I am very determined and usually have a good attitude. But, today I want to talk to you about weaknesses.

My physical weaknesses are obvious. I’m not physically strong, and I’ve tired out easily since the MS became a thing (especially because I always seem to push myself so stinkin’ hard).  I know that there are a lot of things that I can’t do, and I have mostly stopped trying to do them. I could make this a whole big long post about the many struggles I’ve had with this over the last decade, but I don’t want to. Just know that it was a process, and it certainly didn’t come about easily.

The internal weaknesses of every person are unseen and personal. It was a huge mental battle to overcome the fact that I couldn’t take care of Lydia by myself, but I’m finally okay with it. I love the nannies we have that come to help me at home when Doug is at work! I can’t pick Lydia up and move her, but I can entice her to come to this other corner of the room with me. I can’t keep up when she’s crawling away (foot drop), but I can grab her foot and drag her back toward me, which makes her laugh (she laughs when I’m trying to crawl after her, too). I can’t walk around with Lydia, but I can hold her and cuddle her when I’m seated just fine. I can’t manage taking Lydia places on my own, but God always sends somebody to help me. Besides, it’s way more fun for them to get to be my blessing. Another plus? I usually get a good chat out of it.

I manage my energy well. I no longer try to do the things I can’t, but instead be the best at things I can. I am thankful for my physical weaknesses, because they don’t allow me to be the perfectionist at everything I wish I could be. That, in all honesty, is not at all realistic. I’ve done the whole “trying to be perfect.” And it’s exhausting. When I think about how I can’t physically do something, I think about how trying to do it could hurt me more than help me. This is where I am at right now.

This last week, I was talking to God about my hopes for healing one day. His response? “Don’t focus on what I can do. Focus on what I am doing right now.” Since this revelation, my eyes have been opened to random conversations I’ve had with strangers here and there, and how much it has impacted. Maybe it has impacted them, but each time, God tells me, “See? I have a reason for everything. You were needed right here, right now.” Why do I have to go get infusions every month for my medicine? To have wonderful conversations with other patients and the nurses who work there. Why was it taking me so much time and energy at Walmart this week? So that the couple walking past me could help put my groceries into the trunk of my car. Why do I still have my blog, though it has fallen out of a routine and is random, most of the time? So that you, the person reading this post right now, might just be encouraged.

Anna

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Letting You in My Walls…

I was diagnosed with MS when I was thirteen years old.  It will NEVER define me.  People who know me don’t see my limp anymore, unless it’s worse than usual.  People who know I have MS forget because I don’t let it get me down and I am positive a lot of the time.  I don’t let people see in on the secret that every single day has its own struggle.  I cover up the knowledge that I’m getting a teensy bit worse with a smile.  If I could, I myself would forget about the disease, as well.  But it becomes more difficult to manage when I pretend it’s not there.  If I tuck the disease away for a time, its shadow gets bigger and bigger until I can’t handle it by myself anymore.  And then who besides God do I tell?  Will anybody hear me?  Will anybody help me?  Who can do something about it? I do not want to be treated differently.

Anna, I hear.  You’re not being selfish by letting others know your struggles.  You find joy in comforting others who are struggling.  Let them find joy in comforting you.  Asking others to pray for you is not selfish, either.  It’s what I want you to do.

At the words I am reminded of my hope and the reason for my positivity: Jesus.  No, I can’t physically keep up with others.  I let them encourage me or give me a piggy-back ride.  However, I can spiritually run alongside someone else.  I can encourage them and lead them to one who is stronger than me who won’t hesitate to lift them into his arms to carry them: Jesus.

I worry because I don’t know what each day will bring, especially regarding the MS.  But Jesus whispers, Pass it over here to me.  When I do, it does not weigh me down any longer.  I get frustrated because I have more responsibility than I want; have had this responsibility for too long.  But Anna, I hear, it doesn’t have to be such a big responsibility if you keep letting me help.  So I pass that over to my Lord, as well.  There are people who care about you, Anna.  Let them in.

So I make a list, because I’m good at those.  In my list, I give reasons why I’m frustrated.  I share that even though people don’t notice my limp anymore, I do, because it’s hard walking with a limp.  I share how quickly weakness sets in and what that sometimes affects.  I share my frustration of the symptoms I deal with that nobody sees, the ones I don’t like to talk about because nobody understands them.  I make another list, a list of lies that I’ve been believing, lies that transform into stress that in turn affects my symptoms.  I make a final list, a list of ways that could help people experience and try to understand.  But who would want to make themselves physically tired and then walk around with a weight around their left ankle, just to feel how heavy it gets by the end of the day?  Who would want to wear gloves doing everyday activities just to experience my daily struggles?

I am reminded once again of the fire that burns inside now, the fires of my passion and love for my savior and redeemer, Jesus Christ.  I’ve struggled, too, I hear. And you have me.  No struggle shall overtake you, for I am bigger than it all.  And I PROMISE that we will get through this—together.

Jesus Christ is my reason for everything.  He is my shield and my refuge.  He is my strength, and he is my smile.

 

“Always” by Passion

 

My foes are many
They rise against me
But I will hold my ground
I will not fear the war
I will not fear the storm
My help is on the way
My help is on the way

Oh, my God
He will not delay
My refuge and strength always
I will not fear
His promise is true
My God will come through always
Always

Trouble surrounds me
Chaos abounding
My soul will rest in You
I will not fear the war
I will not fear the storm
My help is on the way
My help is on the way

I lift my eyes up
My help comes from the Lord