Friday, November 22, 2013

present difficulties and future joy

I knew it was out before they even called me at home. I had been spending all week on the couch feeling extremely exhausted and in pain. I just could not pull myself together. But it was the third day of inactivity and inability that spoke volumes of my situation; when I felt a heavy depression descend upon me and I felt so emotional. I haven't felt this depressed in years and it surprised me, to be honest; it happened so suddenly.

I had just had my bloodwork done a few days earlier, so I was expecting the doctor's office to call me. I was hoping they'd just call into the pharmacy for a new prescription change, as they have been lately,  but since my levels are so far out (than typical for me), the doctor wanted me to come in. She wanted to determine if there was anything happening, such as, say, a pregnancy. Yeah. No. It's just my body being my body. All confused. Boo.

Dumb thyroid.

Unfortunately, the new dose hasn't helped at all. I may not be as depressed, but I still am absolutely fatigued, which means my body aches are back. Fun.

I wonder if I'll ever get past this. My Love is hopeful and thinks one day I'll be well again, but I don't share his outlook. (which is tough since I'm usually the Optimist) I just don't know. It's so easy to get into a negative mindset when things are messed up, and right now all I feel and all I remember are the many past days, weeks, where I haven't been able to accomplish anything in my day, and my history where I've struggled with this. Where I spend most of it on the couch in a semi-sleep-awake-state. It's tough. How do you remain optimistic in continual days like that?

I was reading an obituary recently of a woman who was described as having an autoimmune disease and in pain, but "she never complained or let it define her."  And no, reading obituaries aren't morbid. I am curious about these people. About their lives, their families, things that others will remember about them. Most are elderly and their lives were so much different than ours are today. Most immigrated from war-torn countries, lived during hard depressing times, struggled with loss, and their stories are interesting and importatant. One day, my life will be summerized in a few sentances. I wonder what my family will write? That I struggled with loss, but never complained? That I dealt with health issues but endured with strength? That I taught my family to persevere with joy?

I'm not feeling very joyful or strong lately. It's been a long, yet blurry, three weeks.

I was reading a post this morning on Ann Voskamp's blog, Holy Experience, titled "How the get through when you want to give up." It was actually a post written by Jon Bloom on giving thanks in all circumstances. I read it, skimming a lot of the words, but didn't really take it in. I feel like I've read stuff like this before and it's done nothing so far to help me. It's not that I don't believe it. I do. But somehow believing isn't always living, is it? So I read things and nothing changes.

But the last part has stuck with me for a few hours now. Jon Bloom says: "How do you give thanks in all circumstances? There's only one way: Jesus' way. Look to the joy set before you. Look to the joy! If the future joy Jesus promises is real and you believe Him, there is no circumstance that can steal your thanksgiving."

Yeah, I know. That can feel like just more words sometimes, can't it? But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. I just had to re-word it.  The Future Joy he is speaking about are the promises God has given us in the Bible. Such as complete forgiveness of our sins (Romans 6:23), all of our needs provided (Philippians 4:19), one day we will be raised from the dead and never die again (1 Corinthians 15:52, 53), we will receive all the grace we need (2 Corinthians 9:8), He will complete the works He has started in us (this one gives me hope! Philippians 1:6), someday soon we will see Jesus and be with him (2 Corinthians 5:8) and be like him (1 John 3:2), we will know complete joy (Psalm 16:11 and Psalm 43:4)...and many more!

So basically, focus on the promises that He has given to us. Focus on the Future Joy, not the present difficulties. This is where you find your joy.

"Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice and no one will take away your joy." John 16:22

Now, THAT is something to look forward to!


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