Some of you may have noticed that my blogging has been less frequent lately and that recent posts have included reruns. The long and short of it is that I’ve been running on fumes. Last year was a year of great blessing for our family, as the Lord made it possible to become homeowners again. However, like the rest of you, 2020 was filled with many challenges as well.
There are times in our lives when we experience multi-layered trials; it’s not one big thing, but many difficulties layered on top of each other at the same time over a long period, imposing a wearying, at times even, a crushing kind of weight. For me, it’s been a year of many forms of stress, decision fatigue, and multiple health struggles. As an exhausting year neared its end, my father died in November, which added emotional grief to the mix. Three days later, I tested positive with coronavirus, which struck where it hurts me the most–at my energy level–leaving me with exhausting physical fatigue for several weeks. I’m still tired. Recently, I ran into a former neighbor at Home Depot who happened to have the virus at the same time I did and, while comparing notes, we both realized that neither one of us is back to full energy.
Additionally, I’ve been undergoing a number of tests to determine if there’s a physical cause behind my gradual increase in migraine headaches over the past few years. When I realized they had reached a frequency of three per week it was time to bring it to my doctor’s attention at my annual physical. While no subsequent tests have discovered anything connected to headaches, a brain scan revealed that I had had a very small “silent stroke” in the back of my brain at some time in the recent or distant past. It’s impossible to ascertain the timing, since I’ve never had this particular test before and, therefore, there’s nothing to use for comparison. Thankfully, it was very small and in the part of the brain that controls balance and coordination, not thinking and communication. For this, I’m exceedingly thankful. Still, to be honest, it’s disconcerting to say the least to have had a stroke (even a very small one) and not know it was happening. So now there is motivation to keep an eye on blood pressure and cholesterol, in order to prevent future ones. On top of that, I’ve also been in physical therapy for chronic neck, shoulder, and upper back pain which began in January. During times of severe stress, muscles that have compensated for a lifelong problem with rounded shoulders and forward head, i.e. poor posture, can get to a certain point and say, “Enough is enough!” A nerve block has brought temporary relief from headaches, and the physical therapy is gradually restoring muscular health. Progress is slow, but things are moving in the right direction, though often it’s still tough getting through the day.
I’d appreciate your prayers as I continue to learn to accept and adapt to the difficulties and weaknesses which slow me down and make me feel less productive. The Scripture that has fed my soul and nurtured my spirit is a powerful reminder of the strengthening grace that belongs to us in Christ.
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. 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 Cor. 12:9-11
The Lord’s ways are best. We know this, but sometimes we all need a reminder. Our greatest productivity for the sake of God’s work is accomplished when we are at our weakest. It is then that the power of Christ is displayed the most, and the name of Christ is magnified to the greatest degree.
As always, with all the blogs out there, I’m humbled that you would read mine.