Monday, June 8, 2015

To My Fellow Warriors

This is for all the lyme warriors, my fellow spoonies, my chronically ill friends. To those of you who deal with physical pain and fight mental illness. To those who can't get out of bed because they either are mentally or physically unable to. To those who have been told a medical answer that made your stomach drop. To those of you who fight everyday for your life. 

You're not alone. 

I know the pain of blocking off from the world because the anxiety is too much. I know what it's like to not have any consistency with your health. I know the fear in seeing your Dr's number come up on your phone. I know how it feels to not know why you're not okay. I know pain. I know so much pain that it's physically and mentally torturing. I know how it feels to wake up each morning and not know if it'll be a good day or a bad day. If you'll end up in the hospital or even be able to get out of bed. I know choosing to fight for your life. 

You are brave. 

You are some of the bravest people I know. It takes guts to fight day in and day out. This thorn in your side is not for the faint of heart. Not many people can keep fighting when they don't know the outcome. You are brave and courageous. You have a warrior heart. You are some of the strongest people I know. Every time you get knocked down you get back up. That's true bravery. 

I know you see friends and family on Instagram and Facebook going on adventures, getting married, attending school, having babies, climbing mountains, and going places. And I know your heart aches to do the same. I know you can't wait to do things and see things. And it's actually physically painful that you can't. 

I know the grief of wanting something so bad and it being impossible to achieve. 

But beloved, there are things you can do that they can't. There are things they are not able to do too. What you see on social media isn't everything. Learn to enjoy what you can and find beauty in where you are. No matter how much darkness you are walking through there is always something beautiful to be found. Look for it. Seek it out. Rejoice in the 5 min walk. Laugh with your family and friends. Enjoy sitting outside. Do what you can and enjoy it. Don't compare you accomplishments to others. Be proud of yourself. Learn to enjoy where you are in life, otherwise the jealousy will eat you alive. 

Please do what you can. Don't push yourself so much that you'll compromise your health. It's not worth it. Nothing is worth your health. Do what you can and enjoy exactly that. Add on a little at a time. 

Say no. It's okay. It doesn't matter what people think or expect of you. They don't know you. They don't know how much milk you like in your cereal. Only you know what you can do. Only you know what you can do that won't jeopardize your health. Don't let people's sighs or comments or looks put you in a place of people pleasing and sickness. It's not worth it. Your health is your #1 priority. 

And that's okay. 

You are not a failure because you can't climb mountains and travel the seas. You are not worthless because you ask for help. You are beloved. God cares and sees and loves you. The truth is you are courageous. You have learned things very few people have learned. You have compassion most people never get to feel. You are part of a world that has opened up your eyes and made you intelligent and selfless. 

You are so much more than your battle. Don't own that. Don't call your illness yours. Don't put value in what your Dr calls you and speaks over you. You are a child of God and are not a slave to fear. You are hidden in Christ- not Lyme or anxiety or fibro or MS or depression.  Know who you are and who's you are. 

Dream my warriors, dream! Just because you can't have it now doesn't mean you won't ever have it. Let your dreams help you fight and push forward. Let them give you something to live for. God doesn't give us desires to torture us or tease us. Let's retrain our thinking. Let's see dreams as medicine for the soul. I was once told that the right thing at the wrong time is still the wrong thing. And that's okay, friends. Because the right time could be just around the corner. Choose your health and dream. Hold on to hope. 

Just because you can't do a,b and c doesn't mean you can't do r, s and t. I think it's more beautiful to find beauty and enjoyment where you are than to mark things off a bucket list. Your heart is what matters. You could travel the world, have all the babies you want, and have a killer body... But if you don't know how to find beauty in the hardest of times, what do you have? 

Friends, your battle is not in vain. This is not your forever. I am so proud of you. You are a fighter and a warrior and brave.  Your life is of value. Look for the beauty. And dream big dreams. 

~"There’s hope for the hopeless
And all those who’ve strayed
Come sit at the table
Come taste the grace
There’s rest for the weary
Rest that endures
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t cure"