I feel compelled to write. It’s ten of three in the morning. I’m not one to talk about these kinds of things to people (usually talk only to the Lord ’bout ’em), especially in a public forum like this, but I feel like I’m supposed to; here goes! After months, and now I’m realizing years, of experiencing symptoms and a month of casual researching, I have come to a pretty solid conclusion that I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and/or Diabetes I in this body the Lord gave me. Right now, I honestly feel like death warmed over. I don’t feel quite so bad (henced the ‘warmed over’) since I ate some Craisins a moment ago, but I still don’t feel like a healthy 29-year-old man ought to feel; this much I know!
The Holy Spirit is prompting me to write this. I know from Him, contrary to what certain supposed members of the body of Christ might say, much like those poor comforters of Job before them accused, that this illness that’s in my body right now is NOT a punishment for sin. When I sin, I repent: fully and immediately. I’m all repented up, I can assure you. My God, my loving Father, has allowed this affliciton to wreak its relative havoc upon me for some time now, and I don’t see it relenting. It renders me unable to sleep at night, leaving me pretty fatigued during the days. This fatigue causes a physical weakness, a lack of mental focus and sharpness, a lack of acuity in recall, and it affects most if not every area of my life.
I realize now, looking back, that I experienced the beginnings of this way back in 2005! While working at the Rescue Mission I encountered bouts of tiredness. At this point in my life, however, I worked the third shift, so I attributed my almost constant tiredness to that. I took up running in hopes that it would give me more energy. I was also seeking to see if I could get my body to be within the BMI guidelines for my height. In my earnest attempt, I found that I would plateau and that the only way I could (seemingly) break the plateau was by employing unhealthy means. I would run between 3 and 6 days a week and I would eat as little as 1,000 calories per day. Anyway, I remember having momentary, one-day-at-most bouts of extreme fatigue at this time, but nothing serious. Over the years, though, it has steadily increased.
This most recent season of my life has been close to intolerable at points, what with being unable to sleep, unable to work as hard or for as long as I’d like to, and having to plan my schedule around the constant question, “Lord, will I have enough energy to do THAT? Lord, will you provide me with the special grace so that I’ll be able to do this task and do it well, as unto you?” Even social outings have to be planned around, “Lord, will you allow me to stay ‘with it’ during this social event? Can I be fully present here? Will going to this utterly wipe me out for the next day or two?” Although I can TOTALLY see a positive side to this, in that my present health situation FORCES me to be utterly dependent on the Lord in a whole ‘nother way / at a whole ‘nother level, I must also be honest about how I feel as well.
I praise the Lord in the midst of all my outwardly dire circumstance, knowing that He is truly in control of everything that happens in the most overarching way possible, yet I must also be honest with how I am feeling too: pretty darn crappy! This illness makes me feel like less than a man. In the recesses of my mind, I fear that I will be unable to have a family one day, that I wouldn’t have enough physical wherewithal to care for an infant, nevermind multiple children at once. And the crazy thing is I REALLY LOVE CHILDREN! I still have a child’s sense of wonder, loving to play and to look upon life with fresh eyes as often as I possibly can. Seems like a cruel irony in a way. Yet I will praise the Lord because I know He has a great plan for my life: a plan to prosper me and not to harm me, as it says in His Word.
I know that reading this, some might think that I’m ‘double-minded’ or ‘back-and-forth’ about my faith, yet I must say that I have never been more resolute about my faith in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as I am right now. More than ever, I seek to serve Him with every ounce of strength I have, even if it be far less than I used to know or than I see at work in the lives of others. Sometimes, in comparison to how healthy I once felt, it feels like I’m dying. I realized tonight, just moments ago, in these wee hours of the morning, that EVEN THIS is another possiblity for the greater glory of God. If I feel like I’m dying, or if I am actually dying, would this not be the greatest impetus to share the good news that is the Gospel of Jesus Christ with as many as I can before I pass on? Each painful step on my path can serve as a reminder that this life withers like grass, and that the human life is but a hand’s breadth in the expanse of eternity. May I use it well. May any suffering, pain, affliction, persecution, trial, tribulation, testing, sorrow, joy, rejoicing, reward, humbling, or wrath that I incur only serve to make the person of Jesus Christ more famous on this earth. Selah. . .
In His Name,