Looking Back at One Year

Welp, we’ve officially reached a year since I had my injury that started all of this. This year has not gone like I had expected. In fact if you had told me last May that 365 days from then I’d still be unemployed, unable to walk for long periods of time, and dealing with the further diagnoses’ of NASH and Fibromyalgia…. I might have given up right there.
 
This year has not gone like I expected… There have been many tears, sleepless nights, close calls, and hard discussions. There have been days where I’ve felt like I would give anything to make the pain stop even just for an hour…. there have been days I’ve wondered if I’ll ever have an income again. I’ve taken direct hits to my pride in places I never even knew I had pride.
 
Becoming a burden on those you care about, losing your freedom to do what you want, gaining weight no matter how hard you exercise or how much you change your diet, being open about mistakes in the past, being barely able to even do your own chores, not being able to help others do heavy lifting or shoveling of snow etc because you physically can’t keep up, wondering if you’ll ever be able to be self sufficient, wondering if you can ever be a breadwinner in the home, wondering if you’re even worth marrying or could even raise a family, getting judged as “just not trying hard enough”, the fear of going bankrupt, the fear of getting cancer, the fear of never being able to walk again, the list goes on…. but at the same time, it was all pride.
 
My situation may not have changed and my health my be in shambles, but even if my situation is still the same after a year, I am not. God has been working hard on me, and I don’t know why. But there are times in life when we aren’t meant to question. They’re times when we’re just meant to rise up to the challenges He presents.
 
I have become more organized, more studious. I appreciate the fleeting aspects of life, that I don’t have to stand alone. I used to believe that as long as I could have a house and a family and live a peaceful life, then that would be enough. Now I realize that I don’t want that, and can’t just settle for mediocre. I want to push myself to what only God can do through me.
 
I’ve realized that blame is pointless. It’s not about whose fault it is, but about what you will do moving forward. People can waste their lives obsessing over those who wronged them, those who couldn’t understand them, God for letting it happen…. but what do they gain from it? Can being angry at someone undo what was done? Did those who wrong you even do it JUST to wrong you? Chances are they were acting as best they could. And quite honestly it wasn’t other people who decided whether you rise or fall but God. And God does all things for your benefit, not your loss, so why blame him and miss the strength He is teaching you through it?
 
The truth is that all the things around you…. finances, relationships, health, comfort, future, world order, peace, chaos…. they are all nothing but waves crashing around you. Nothing but a distraction that doesn’t even matter. Keep your eyes on God. The rest doesn’t matter. Keep your eyes on God and He will strengthen you to endure waves that come at you, or may even block the ones you are not ready for.
 
How can I know this? Because it was not by my own strength that I have made it this far. I believed that all things would end come December, and yet here I am still standing. Things are still pretty bad, but this has been a peaceful walk compared to what it could have been. Compared to what it should have been. God is still working on me even though I fail Him time and time again.
 
Yes this road is getting to me. Yes there are days that I break down. But can I truly despair? No… because no matter how bad things get…. no matter how hopeless the future looks… I truly believe that God could undo all of this by tomorrow morning if He so wished…. but even if He doesn’t. Even if things continue to get worse (which I pray that they don’t) I have come to realize He will be with me to help me endure… and to protect me from that which I cannot.
 
There are a multitude of speakers out there who have been through rough times and are now on the other side. But I think it’s equally important to speak up when you’re in the midst of the storm as well. It is easy enough to say things like “I lost my job and it was the best thing that happened to me because now I have this successful company!” or “I was destitute in $80,000 worth of debt and now I’m a millionaire!” but… what can that give other than a brief moment of encouragement? It is good to hear that there is an end to the tunnel, but isn’t it better to hear what the person did to get through it? How they coped on those days when they could barely wake up? Or on those nights when they were so stressed that they couldn’t sleep? To realize that they were stressed and hurt…. and it’s alright to be human like that? That feeling too weak to move forward at times doesn’t mean that you never will?
 
And so if I can encourage anyone else standing in the midst of the storm, I’ll speak now. Because to ignore all that happened this past year would be to waste it.
 
My hope and prayer is that I become strong enough that I will rely on God just as desperately in a time of plenty and blessing, as I do in a time of pain and want. I’m not where I want to me, and there are days when I’m tired or scared…. but even still… God is in control. Whether I am blessed or cursed, does it really matter? Does my current situation limit what God can do through me? Does my current situation deem my worth? Even King Nebuchadnezzar was raised to a seat of power by God, and then later had it taken away by God. Even though he believed it was his own doing.
 
So no. While I do want to live without pain, or have a lot of the stresses crushing in on me to disappear…. I’ve come to realize it is not my ability that will determine which way life will go…. God will bring me out of this if He so wishes, or provide for me to endure if He decides for me to stay.
 
God never asked for us to provide results, only to do the best we can with what we are given and to keep our eyes on Him throughout it all. and quite honestly, that is labour enough! So, as we pass the one year mark, no I am not where I want to be… but I am where God has placed me which means I am where I am meant to be.
 
Amen.
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I Blinked…

I was driving along the 400 a few days ago, when all of a sudden a car appeared right in front of me, clearly not aware (or caring) that I existed.
 
Now thankfully, I grew up in the city, and therefore was pretty used to such homicidal driving styles, and as such, was able to slow down, even on icy snow, enough to not get a newly reshaped front bumper… but I had to ask myself, “How did he appear out of nowhere?” and then it dawned on me…
 
I blinked…
 
Now, a normal person would have just left it there, but anyone who knows me should realize, that I am most definitely not normal… so it really got me thinking….
 
I blinked…
 
See, people know about blind spots…. They know we have areas we are naive and unwise in… we invest millions in technology and training to minimize the effects of those blind spots (much like how we install mirrors on the sides of our car and train ourselves to look way back before turning so we can keep an eye on our blindspots) but that doesn’t change the fact that….
 
We blink….
 
This usually doesn’t affect us much. It’s usually something we don’t have to pay much attention to. After all, we usually only blink for a second, and we can usually catch ourselves afterwards pretty quickly… but as any gamer can tell you…. a lot can happen in the fraction of a second…
 
and so we blink….
 
we miss stuff… we get blindsided by things… We make incorrect assumptions due to corrupted observations. It’s not always bias. It’s not always pride. It’s not always incompetence, laziness, stupidity… sometimes…
 
We just blink…
 
I think this is important to realize. ESPECIALLY in today’s modern age. I see so many people running themselves into the ground with anxiety. They have to micromanage every aspect of their children’s lives or their children will rebel! They have to micromanage every part of their finances or they will be blindsided by debt. They have to micromanage every calorie of their health, or else they’ll end up overweight, sick, and dying of cancer…. but here’s the thing…
 
You can learn every technique, manage every detail, download every app, buy every fitbit, protein shake, gross kale combination, and non-everything recipe book you can find… but at the end of the day….
 
You blink….
 
You can manage your health as well as you can, but then one accident will send you down a rabbit hole of slow recoveries and missed medical issues because….
 
you blinked…
 
You can save every penny. Squeeze 50 cents out of every nickel, live as frugally as you can… but then one lost job and bad economy later, you find yourself having anxiety attacks every bill you get, because…
 
You blinked…
 
You can focus on “Fixing every mistake your parents made with you.” Read every pinterest article. Be the most empowering parent you can possibly be giving your children every frivolity and experience you feel you lacked in life, yet still have them rebel against you and say they hate you when they hit teenagehood because while you were focused on what to do you missed that….
 
You blinked…
 
You can do every thing you can imagine. And study further to learn things you couldn’t imagine… but no matter how responsible, strong, or mature you may become…. you will never be able to fix the fact that you are human…
 
You will blink…
 
And that’s why we can’t take the stress and strain of the results of our lives on our own shoulders. We were never designed to be able to handle such a vast and broad thing. Our perspective is tiny and limited. No matter how much experience we gain, we will never be able to grasp every detail we need to to know what the result will be.
 
But that’s okay. Because God knows that we are weak. He made us this way. God never asks us to “Make this happen.” God tells us what He’ll do through us and asks us to trust Him enough to follow Him as He does it…. And it’s hard… and it’s scary…. I write this honestly not knowing if I even have a future worth seeing…. In all honesty, if I was to carry it all on my shoulders there would be no point… I am way too small and far too many of my plans have fallen short by this point… but I’m going to keep following, and I’m going to keep trusting…
 
Even though I can’t say I feel it every day… God is with me… I may not see any freedom… but I would not have lasted this long without Him… It is honestly one of the hardest lessons to learn…. but at the end of the day I give me best… that is all I am ABLE to give… Sure, I’ll look back, and there will be things I SHOULD have done differently. I’ll see things I was dumb on. See things I could have avoided… I already do… but as I’ve kept saying…
 
I blink….
 
So I’m not going to rely on my eyes which blink. I’m not going to rely on my ears that misshear. I’m not going to trust my sense of touch that can go numb…. I’m going to trust God, who says to keep moving forward and trust in Him… because if I do that, the results are His, and it doesn’t matter if…
 
I blink

In His Hands

You know… when I really think about it, there’s absolutely no difference between living a life of comfort and ease, and living a life where every day is a battle and any moment everything could fall apart.
 
No matter how rich, powerful, or well off you are, God could wipe you out in but a single word. No matter how weak, broken, or destitute you are, God could raise you up just as easily.
 
Whether we have freedom or captivity, our hope for the future remains the same. For it was never on our abilities that we were to rise or fall… But by the hand of God.
 
So do not take pride in your standing, and think “I did good and now I am safe to do what I want”…. even though it is easy to do so.
 
Do not despair and say “God save me! I am going to drown!” Even though it is so very hard not to.
 
Your situation hasn’t changed. Your potential hasn’t changed. Your future hasn’t changed. You were, are, and forever will be in God’s hands, whether you follow Him or not. Find comfort and humility in that.
 
Amen

How Long Is The Storm

As I read the story of the disciples in the storm where they cried to wake Jesus so he could save them… I can’t help but wonder…
 
If their faith hadn’t faltered, would the storm have gotten worse?
 
Would it have continued until they were battered and beaten against the walls of the ship?
 
Would it have continued till the ship was battered apart into pieces?
 
Would it have continued until they had floated to land, cold and scared?
 
If this was the case… wouldn’t God still have protected them? But the path would have been quite a trial…
 
CS Lewis once wrote “We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.” and I find I can relate to that a lot… especially these days…
 
As my funds whither away to nothing… as my attempts to move forward get beaten back one after another… as my paths forward get increasingly less and less as my health checkups reveal problem after problem… As my daily prayers go by and still my circumstances don’t change…. I think it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed….
 
I am not strong… I simply have forgotten how to give up at this point… there are days I feel like a mutilated corpse, dragging itself forward by muscle memory alone… but even still… even should this whole life prove for not… God is still in control….
 
I see His hand in the little things in life. I see His comfort come when I ask for it. Though the giants still stand before me, and their execution axe are nearly at my neck…. though I feel chained to the ground by past stupidities and circumstances, and in spite of my cries God will neither loosen the chains nor defeat my attackers… it is impossible to say His hand is not present… it is impossible to say He is not in control. It is impossible to say He has abandoned me or Cannot save me… God is God. God is good. God is always here…
 
But it is also impossible to say I am not scared… I know God will look out for me. I know God will always be there… but that doesn’t mean there aren’t paths I’m scared to go down…. that doesn’t mean there aren’t paths I’m not scared to trust God even if He decides to take me down them. It doesn’t mean there aren’t paths I pray day after day and night after night that God will pull away from me lest I be forced to face them..
 
This is probably a lack of faith… This may be even why He does not bring them away until He proves that He is still God when brought through my fears… but that is where I am currently at in my state of human weakness.
 
But God is still God… God is still good. For all who go through life problems. For all who suffer and strain. For all who fear in spite of weakness…. I don’t know if I can say you’re right or wrong… but I can say you’re not alone…. I can also say that while Jesus did scold the disciples for their lack of faith, He also did dispel the storm in the end… Though I write this from the center of the storm. Though I write this at the peak of exhaustion… All I can say is pray. Give your best and trust in God. At the end of the day it was never your shoulders this was all resting on anyways. God is in control. Let Him be.
 
Amen

Lessons From Weakness:

It’s been over 5.5 months since I injured both my legs, and I still have over a month to go before my appointment which will take me (potentially only one step) closer towards finding out if I’ve really had Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome or not (which the more I research it, the more I’m surprised of, if nothing else, how many people have lived through surprisingly similar stuff as me) and there has honestly been a lot that I’ve learned. Some positive, some negative, but all of which can be used to either make you grow kinder or harder hearted.

 

  1. It’s Surprising What You Can be Secretly Confident/Proud Of:

 

I have never considered myself to have that strong of an upper body, (though a lot of people apparently thought I did since I’m short and stocky…) but I had always been proud of my leg strength. They honestly always felt like they were made of solid iron. I could leap several feet away with a flick of my ankle, I could jump off walls, my sense of balance was pretty awesome, and mixed with a quick reaction time, there wasn’t much I felt I couldn’t do with them.

 

Ever since the injury however, walking on them has felt like they were being supported by bones of shattered glass. They randomly start shaking and give out on me. I tip over, or roll my ankle quite often, and quite honestly, merely stomping, jumping, jogging, or bracing myself feels like a series of tiny fractures popping all the way up my leg at once.

 

Where once my legs were the force I could rely on, their strength now pales in comparison to my upper body strength… and I’m not gonna lie, that’s hard to take.

 

  1. You’re Gonna Still Feel Like You Should be Able to do The Things You Once Did, And Will Feel Like a Wuss for Failing:

 

There are so many times these days that I go to lift something that originally was barely even noticeable, only to find me having to put it down 4 steps later lest your legs collapse underneath you. And you mentally kick yourself for it.

 

Because you know “It’s not heavy” that “This isn’t hard.” that “If I just push myself I could do it.” But that’s your muscle memory talking… not your body.

 

I honestly thought that if you suddenly lost half your strength, trying to lift 25lbs would just feel like lifting 50lbs did. But that’s not the way it works. 25lbs, still feels like 25lbs, but your body will NOT carry it long before screaming at you for being an idiot trying to carry it across the yard.

 

  1. The Pain is Not the Worst Part:

 

People don’t like pain… I have come to discover this… I don’t like pain… this is why, when I discovered people don’t normally live in chronic pain 24/7 I felt kinda jipped/furious! But the fear of pain will always be worse than pain itself.

 

If you live in pain long enough, your body will start to try and mask it out. On a lower level this works fairly well… you may notice you have less headaches if you take a painkiller instead of having your body try and compensate (though you will instantly regret that decision once the painkiller wears off) but when the pain grows to certain levels, it turns into a maddening numbness.

 

If you have ever pulled an all-nighter, you may know what this feeling is like. It essentially feels like your brain is too big for your skull. Like the parts of your body are layered on top of you vs actually being a part of you. This mixed with the feeling like your body is honestly hollow (Like mentioned above) creates this very surreal and rather unpleasant feeling that honestly, I would rather live without.

 

The worst part of all though, is when your body just “Gives out.” it’s not that you’re tired. It’s not that you notice your muscles aching because you’re pumping so much stinking adrenaline… but you’ll be walking along and suddenly *BAM* it just tries to collapse under you. You try to pick yourself up again only to find it doesn’t work… it is such a helpless feeling and honestly you feel ridiculously vulnerable during it. It is hard to take.

 

  1. There Really is a Bias About Guys and Manual Labor:

 

This one’s gonna get me in trouble… but I’m sorry… it’s real. And it’s frustrating. The amount of times people look at you like you’re the scum of the earth because you can’t be the uber strong guy doing uber strong things is ridiculous!

Not wanting to touch on this too long because I feel the angry mob forming outside with every word I type, but all I can say is this… the same way it’s frustrating for a girl to be told they can’t do ____ physical job, it’s frustrating to be told they’d rather not hire guys for _____ mental job. I mean I have a diploma in business, am acing a BA in business, taught myself to hold a basic conversation in Japanese, am teaching myself programming, write essay length Facebook statuses on rather advanced topics that was asked to be turned into a blog (check out www.macyaks.wordpress.com for shameless plug), can write professional business letters off the top of my head, am able to manipulate large amounts of variables in my head at one time, basically think in Gant charts, am a certified Excel Specialist, and more! I have abilities! Please stop judging my worth by how many heavy boxes I can move in how short a time!

 

  1. There are Many Ways to Keep Moving:

 

Life changes… you find yourself struggling to do things that you couldn’t do before. You’ll find it hard to carry down your laundry, to carry in your groceries, to drive for long periods of time, walk on uneven ground… there are so many things that change so quickly… but that doesn’t mean you just roll over and die.

There are many ways to move forward. If you can’t push past something, look for a way to work around it. Put it on wheels. Go down one step at a time. Cruise Control is an amazing invention. Park benches are as well. You may have to give more thought, but you don’t have to give up!

 

  1. It is Alright to Admit It Hurts:

 

This is one of the hardest parts for me. It’s one I’ve struggled with for a long time. However, reading through life stories and testimonies of people suffering from EDS I’ve come to realize I’m really not alone on this.

 

It is alright to say you hurt…. in fact, if you don’t say you hurt, no one is going to know.

 

Some people will roll your eyes. Others may try to tactfully trick you into “Growing up.” but realize these people can’t live in your body. Nor can you live in theirs. We can say “I’m in pain.” but what does pain feel like? Do we all feel it the same way? Are we all used to the same level?

 

The concept that someone can live with a distracting level of throbbing/stabbing pain in multiple parts of their body 24/7 without having a visible injury or doctor’s note saying “Their bones are broken.” is ludicrous to some people. Their bodies have never worked that way…

 

But the thing is, if they just continue believing your body feels as healthy as theirs is, you’re just going to frustrate and confuse them when they wonder why you can’t keep up with the same activities they do.

 

Admit it’s hard for you. If they can’t accept that from you, they would’ve never accepted you in the first place.

 

  1. You Will Get MANY Mixed Reactions:

 

We live in a world of polarized extremes. “Invisible Disabilities” seems to be a word that drives people to their respective pitchforks and torches.

 

Half the people you talk to will cry out “You need to go to your government! And demand that they give you supplements! You need support workers! And medication! And we will rally with signs to protest for you! (which not gonna lie is kind of encouraging to have people fight so hard for you… even if in some cases it’s more they want to have a cause to get behind)

 

The other half will cry out about how “Kids these days are such wusses! You just need to get out and exercise! Get desperate! Light a fire under you backside and put your nose to the grindstone! Then things will look up! You just haven’t really tried yet!” (and admittedly there are times you want to slap these people upside the head and yell “IF EFFORT WAS THE PROBLEM THEN YOU GUYS WOULD BE FAILING MORE THAN I AM RIGHT NOW!” but honestly, they do mean well, and there are a bunch of people taking advantage of the system, but ya… tact people, tact)

 

The truth though is… you are what you are… they are what they are… people will either accept that or not accept that, but reality is reality…. Keep fighting to give your best, not to keep up with them, but because that’s how we grow as human beings! You are neither entitled to an easier life than most, nor condemned to a miserable one trying to keep up with others.

 

  1. Your Best is Good Enough…. (But it Will Rarely Feel Like It!):

 

You hear it a lot these days: “Just give your best! Don’t worry about the results! Just keep giving it your all and realize that things will always work out for someone who gives their best! Great things happen for those who give their best! You can accomplish anything if you only give your best!”

 

But here’s the thing… Just because you give your best… doesn’t mean you’ll hit the standard…

 

No matter how hard you try, a failing grade is still a failing grade

No matter how hard you try, if you go broke you go broke

No matter how hard you try, if you’re unemployed, you’re unemployed

No matter how hard you try, if you can’t afford food you starve

 

There is a reality that people rarely talk about… either the people who write these posts are lucky enough to never reach those points of worry, or they just try not to think about these parts. But these problems nag at you. And all the inspirational speeches in the world can’t compete with the frustrations you feel.

 

But here’s the thing. You’re still growing! You may not be able to deal with the threats that are stressing you out right now. But you are still growing! You’re growing wiser! You’re growing stronger! You’re growing more compassionate! Don’t underestimate what you’re earning through these times!

 

Our life experiences may not always be pleasant… they may be painful, and they may feel like we can’t get what we want. But if you just throw these moments away as “Wasting your life.” That is all you’ll have…. Years of your life that you’ve just thrown away, when you’ve learned so much through that time that WILL help you for years in the future! Don’t underestimate the value of what you’ve learned!

 

  1. God’s Still in Control:

 

You’re not here to please others. You’re not here to acquire great wealth or power. You’re not even here to survive as long as you can manage. These are not the keys to your success or failure! You are here to serve God and go where He leads. You are here to see the amazing things He can do through you.

 

Once again, this is a touchy subject because of the divide. Beyond the “Religion/IHATERELIGION” sides which seem to be growing more and more volatile these days, there is also, within the church the “God will give you everything/God wants you to provide for yourself.” Sides which grow further and further apart ever spurned by their fear of the other.

 

God will provide for you… I cannot begin to point out how many verses in the Bible point this out. Even the parable of the talents that many like to turn to as to say “LOOK! GOD WANTS US TO TAKE CHARGE AND MAKE OUR OWN WAY!” ….let me point out, that

  1. a) They did not “earn” money, they invested it
  2. b) The servant was not scolded for not earning money, he was scolded for doing nothing with his talent
  3. c) God was the one who gave them the talents in the first place, not them.

 

God will provide for us. God WANTS us to rely on Him. This is not to say, “Oh just C’est la Vie! Life will do what life will do, but God will save my butt no matter what I do!” no… the Bible is also very clear that that is ALSO not right…. But stop beating yourself up over what you will eat and where you will sleep… God literally says that He’s got that covered. (Full disclosure: I rarely sleep or eat for fear of these two so I am not condemning you as weak if you are worried about it, just reminding you of what’s promised.)

 

But realize as well, that God providing doesn’t mean He’ll prepare the path YOU want… in fact it usually means the reverse of that.

 

We like our control. Well… let’s be honest, I’ve never met a human in my life who is truly in control of their life so… we like our ILLUSION of control. Whether we’re being led by our emotions, our desires, our fears, or our idols, we like to believe we are the ones taking charge of our lives and plowing the way.

 

God doesn’t beat around the bush. He isn’t here to give you freedom and power to make your dreams come true. He is here to lead you down the path He has in store for you and grow closer in relationship with you in order to show you the good He can do through you as well as how much your dreams PALED in comparison to His reality!

Though the road may be scary. Though you may lose things you thought you could not do without. Realize He’s got you and He’s still looking out for you!

Don’t run off the road when things look scariest and you want to grab the wheel and run for where you think looks safest… those are the times you need to rely on Him most! Don’t make a dark situation even worse! He doesn’t just want to make you happy, He wants to make you mighty! He made you, He knows you, He loves you. TRUST!

 

  1. You Haven’t Lost Until You Give Up!

 

I used to say “You haven’t lost until you’re dead.” But this isn’t entirely true… There are many who did not succeed until after they died.

 

Don’t give up. The moment you do, it’s all over. But as long as you keep fighting, there’s still a chance you’ll succeed!

 

You’ve come too far to give up! We are far too limited in our perspective of the here and now to see just how the present will be used in the future… but nothing is wasted. No effort is useless. No life accomplishes nothing.

You are strong.

You are influential.

You’ve got this!

Hang in there

 

 

A Prayer of Exhaustion

A prayer for when pushed past your limits:
 
Lord I am scared. I am worn out, defeated. I wake up dreading each new day, I go to bed late not wanting the day to end. I’ve given you my best, but it consistently has fallen far short as has been needed, and quite honestly I can’t even tell which way is forward anymore let alone how to get there.
 
But still YOU are GOD.
 
I pray that you save me. That you give me a path forward. For I am weak and cannot walk this path anymore. But even moreso I pray that if this is truly the path you would have me walk that you give me the strength to move forward. For how many could you save through one servant’s suffering? How many years of blessings could you bring in turn for this short period of pain?
 
I am broken, and in pain. I have lost so much yet still fear losing more. Each time I feel I’ve hit bottom, I am shown that there is still lower I can and will go. But more than my fear of losing what I have… I fear leaving your plans when they are still only half finished.
 
No matter where I am, nor what I have, nor what I am dealing with, you are watching over me, and you will provide. Even if many of my things I think I need go unanswered… even if I feel powerless watching those around me hurt and suffer knowing I have nothing left to give them… you will still provide when it is truly needed. You will let me feel the heat. You may even let me scorch. But you will not let me be destroyed.
 
Lord I pray again for I am scared. I am truly afraid and terrified. Yet I have seen your hand working so clearly throughout this all. I have seen you again and again working even if not in the areas I wish you were. Lord I am scared. I am scared. I am scared. These giants in my life are far larger than me. And I lay here chained in place half by my own doings. Lord forgive me for what sins I have done to bring me to this place, but also do not let your work be hampered by my own weakness. Lord to me these chains are lethal. Choking and restraining. To you they are brittle. Petty and weak.
 
Lord. I pray not for you to save me. Though I truly desire to be saved. I pray that you use me. That you use these circumstances to help me grow, and to encourage those around me. What a waste of suffering it would be if you brought me this far just to bring me back to where I left off. Lord I pray. I am not some victim struggling to survive. I am YOUR servant! Servant of the most high God!
 
Lord, if you are willing, I pray that you take this meager life, and use it to create an impact that only you can. For what do I have but you? What can I get that is not from you?
 
Lord, strengthen my heart, widen my understanding. Let these things soften me to become empathetic, not harden me to become bitter. Lord I am struggling. Lord I will fall. Lord I already have many times. Please Lord. I am yours. Do your way with me.
 
Amen

Relativity

Relativity:
 
In physics relativity is a word you hear a lot… what it essentially means is that the measurements you make are relative to your own movements and therefore not exactly “Accurate” from a theoretical “Stand Still”
 
For instance… we see a shooting star go whizzing by us and we think “Man it is moving so fast!” But here is the thing…. we are currently on an earth, which is both spinning and moving fast, in a solar system which is rotating fast, in a galaxy which is moving fast… This raises a number of possibilities.
 
1) The shooting star really is moving ridiculously fast, even faster than we are.
2) The shooting star is actually moving slower than we are, and we’ve overtaken it
3) The shooting star is moving at an average speed, but in the opposite direction as us, which makes it seem to be moving uber fast
 
As you delve into how relativity affects things, you realize that the speed at which an object is moving is not NEAR so important as the acceleration it took to get to that speed.
 
For instance, if you were in a movie car chase (DISCLAIMER: Don’t do that, it’s really dangerous) and your car was speeding at 100km/h and you jumped onto the car moving 101km/h, it would be a lot less lethal than if you jumped onto a car moving 101km/h when you were standing still. (unless you slipped then you’d just be dead either way)
 
Or consequently, you would be much more likely to survive a car coming at you at 15 km/h standing still, than if you were being thrown straight at it 15km/h the opposite direction of where it was going.
 
Are you still with me? Need a moment to de-science your brain? Need a lemonade? A backrub? I can wait…
 
So where am I going with this?
 
Pain is relative.
 
I do not mean this in the way many buzzfeed articles like to use relativity as in “Reality is different for each and every person. You really just have to find your own truth and live by it.” NO! Truth is truth. The car going 100km/h is STILL going 100km/h even if you are going 100km/h with it.
 
Truth is truth whether you see it or not, or whether you notice the effects as much as someone else or not. It’s still truth. But realize it is not the speed of which we are going, but how it compares to the speed we started that affects things.
 
I see a lot of people who say to others, “YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO FEEL BAD BECAUSE ____ IS GOING THROUGH MUCH WORSE!” or people who will say about themselves “Well I feel horrible, but I must be weak to feel this way, after all, there are people who go through _____” Or even still, people who say to me “Wow… after hearing what you just went through, I feel bad about complaining about _____!”
 
No! There is no scale of pain, where you have the right, or no right to feel weak. The question is not, “What are you going through.” but “How does this compare to what you are normally weak in?”
 
Let’s say for me…. I live in chronic pain. I have for as long as I can remember. Every time I move my joints there is bone grating against bone and it hurts like crazy. When someone like me rolls my ankle (save for when I then drop an autoscrubber on it) it really doesn’t affect me much. I feel stiff for the rest of the day and then keep going on. In fact I fall to the ground rolling my ankle at least once every other week. It’s kind of normal for me.
 
Am I then going to snort and laugh at pro athletes or friends who roll their ankles and have to get carried off by two people, have it held up with ice against it, and possibly can’t walk again for weeks???
 
No of course not!
 
My body is not their body. My normal is not their normal. I can empathize with the frustration and pain, but just because it is my state of normal, doesn’t mean I can then go and roll my eyes at how week and wimpy everyone else is.
 
Our bodies, hearts, and minds need time to adapt to the changes. They need time to slowly rev up to the next stage. Over the years I have talked with broken hearts, frustrated children/parents, rape victims, addiction strugglers, people worried about their grades, people worried about when their next meal will come, people worried about themselves, people worried about those around them….. in all these cases they are still in pain… That is a constant.
 
Pain is not a state of being, as much as a stage of transition. The further the transition for us, the more pain we notice and feel.
 
I say this not to justify people to give up and just seek others to take pain from them… no, pain is very much a part of life. It’s our greatest teacher though also threatens to destroy us if we reject it.
 
I say this to let you know, you aren’t weak. You aren’t worthless. If your life problems seem so absolutely petty compared to someone else’s it is not a sign that you’re too weak to get through life. It’s not a sign that you should just give up now.
 
Don’t obsess over the things you cannot do! Focus on what you can do, leave the rest to God. As you face what you can though, you’ll find yourself adapting, and growing, becoming stronger and stronger. You may rarely feel it as life tends to hold struggles no matter who you are, but others will.
 
Life is tough, but you aren’t alone! You can do this! Hang in there!