The Elephant in the Room

I’m going to make this quick because I feel silly even mentioning it.  I haven’t been feeling well the last few months and last week I finally received an answer; arthritis.

Yeah, I laughed too.  I was certain the doctor must be joking.  Nope.

I like to think of myself as a private person.  Yes, I’m catching the irony from all angles as I write this on my *blog*, which is published on the *internet.*  However, if my goal is to give a somewhat accurate account of our family’s story then I should include some of my failings and faults; not just covering the diagnoses or mishaps of my children, but occasionally turning the mirror on myself.

I’m not writing for sympathy.  In fact I’ve been struggling to write much of anything.  It’s as though I have to leap over this first hurdle – getting it out there – and then the steady flow of words will be released again.  I especially hate to write about this subject; giving life to something that I’m hoping to smoother to death.  That and I can’t stand it when people complain about their ailments.  As life would have it, I now have an ailment to complain about.

So…long story short, this winter while my immune system decided to take a break, some sort of virus made itself at home in my body and the result is something called reactive arthritis.  All of my crazy symptoms right down to the random case of pink eye make me an almost textbook case.

The good news according to my rheumatologist, {My mom and I traveled over to Seattle to seek out a specialist} is that this form of arthritis should go away.  Halleluia!  In three months to two years.  Seriously.  In the meantime, I’m popping pain pills left and right because my body actually thinks I have arthritis.  Some days I feel outright silly; the pain is at bay and I’ve been making a mountain out of a molehill.  Of course this is often followed up by a day when I am selfishly consumed with myself and my pain.  Pain has a funny way of not only affecting your body, but playing with your mind.  {Nope, despite what Alex might think it’s not called *over* reactive arthritis.}  And yes, I realize that there is always something *worse.*  But I don’t think the goal is to out-suffer one another.

My saving grace is that our children have no idea and despite everything, our days operate as usual.

I wish I had some wonderful theology to offer, scripture I’ve clung to, or great lesson I have learned.

I don’t.

But these words struck me and seem worthy of sharing no matter what sort of trail you may be facing:

Some of us have the privilege of being able to hide our brokenness from the world, but others cannot. Christian theologian Francis Schaeffer referred to humans as “glorious ruins.” We are all God’s creation, glorious in our likeness to the Creator, but also, because of sin, ruins of what we were originally created to be. In 2 Corinthians, God tells the apostle Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” I often thought this verse meant that as God’s power was made perfect, my weaknesses would be taken away. But as I have studied this verse more, and lived more of life, I know this is not the case at all. Our weaknesses, struggles, and scars remain, but the God of the Universe transforms them and shows His power and love to a broken world. In the Bible, Jesus tells us over and over again that we must be like little children. For those of us who have spent time with children, we know that they have many perceived “weaknesses” from the world’s perspective. But time and time again they rise up to face the world around them – they stand up, dust themselves off, try again, and, most importantly, they trust. These “weaknesses” are in fact not weaknesses at all. They are the tools God has given all of us in order that we might grow, discover, learn, and be transformed. He has allowed each and every one of us, in our own unique way, the opportunity to partner with Him in His work in the world. And luckily for us, He is in the business of bringing glory from ruin.

So there it is, out there.  Let’s move on shall we?


5 thoughts on “The Elephant in the Room

  1. I’ve been praying for you, worrying about you. I’m glad that you have a diagnosis – I think it’s important to have a “name” to associate your pain with. I hope that you can get past this soon! Have a great day with your adorable boys. :)

    • Thanks to you both Jen and Debbie for the great reminder…I know that God doesn’t make mistakes but I’ve certainly questioned Him on this one. As a mom of young children and one with special needs that will most likely need my care into adulthood I seem to have entered into a *nothing is allowed to happen to me* sort of contract with God…so thank you.

  2. Truly been praying for you. It’s so hard when you are a Momma to three littles and you are NEEDED so much. I have been struggling with my hands and after several visits to specialists, I think I may have arthritis too… and it is not fun. There is so much depending on us. That being said, God will provide. You are doing God’s work here on earth by showing your kids love, faith, perseverance. Even when wiping boogies and bottoms. He’s there with you.

  3. Oh sweet friend… I am so sorry that you are going through this. I wish so much that I could take it away. Thinking tons about you and your gorgeous boys… love and hugs. oxox,h

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