My relationship with God is an ironic one. Thursday and Friday I spent every last second walking through my fears and doubts for how I was going to handle the upcoming weekend with the family, knowing I was going to be full on manic. We discussed his guidance on mania and the underlying dark themes affecting my subconscious. I railed at him for giving me a test I knew I needed to sit for but didn’t feel I was ready to pass. I begged for my ability to shelter the children from my mania and allow them to see our love that tethers me to sanity. I pleaded for an easy set of parameters to outline the problems I was looking to resolve.
All the time I spent talking to him, prepping myself for the test I knew was coming, was nothing more than me psyching myself out about something I could handle easy-peasy. I freaked myself out so much for my “test” that he morphed “my test” into a pop quiz 30 minutes into my first evening with the family. And within the first hour we had resolved my manic misunderstanding without any lingering mania paranoia and even the added bonus of me finally grasping how well my husband “gets” me. Friday night was good. I passed with flying colors and was going to enjoy a blissful weekend with the family.
That is of course until Saturday came along. Because on Saturday the real test began. The one I didn’t prep for. The one I couldn’t know was going to lay me out, strip me down to nothing, and make me beg for an end to the unrelenting pain and torture of it all. The one I couldn’t have planned for in any way, shape, or form. Because it was to be a test of who I am and what I hold to when I am knocking on death’s door.
God wanted to know where I am at in my journey with him. How firmly I hold to my faith in his unending love and how deeply I trust in his eternal protection. And so he stripped me of all that enables me to hold myself together. My health and my comprehension of life. I got sick. Really scary sick. To the point where I “knew” I was dying and there was nothing I could do to avoid it. While I waited for my death to finally take me, He waited to get his answers.
I had a lot of the common symptoms you see with any illness – fever, sweats and chills, sore throat, runny nose, coughing and sneezing, trouble breathing, nausea, vomiting, lack of energy and aches and pains. They didn’t all come on at once but they did all flare up to make my reality a living hell.
The sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, and nausea and vomiting were bothersome but of my symptoms they were the most minor. Minor annoyances compared to the tragedies my other symptoms felt like.
My skin started itching. All over. To the point where scratching felt like I was taking a flame to my skin but I couldn’t stop because it itched so irritatingly badly. I was scratching myself so hard and so frequently I was literally breaking open my skin and bleeding. On my legs, my back, my butt, my shoulders, and my arms. Benedryl provided some relief for this but the need to scratch myself never went away.
The fever had me constantly stripping down and bundling up. I would get socks, pants, shirt and a hoodie on, huddled under a warm blanket chattering and shivering myself into a painful frenzy, and twenty minutes later I would be pouring sweat, panting to get out from under the sweltering heat of all my layers. As soon as I freed myself from the heat, I would be shivering and chattering again soon after. It kept me tossing and turning, trying to find the right mixture of hot and cold so I could lay somewhat comfortable. Never found that formula.
The coughing was unbearable. My chest felt like it couldn’t expand properly to allow me to get the oxygen I desperately needed to clear my lungs. The coughs would just keep coming while I gasped for the air I was desperate for. My chest muscles got sore from the violent hacking and my insides felt raw from the abrasive illness I was trying to expel from my chest. The more I coughed the more pain I experienced. Coughing pain increased exponentially as my health plummeted.
My inability to feel fulfilled from breathing was terrifying. I couldn’t take a deep enough breath. I couldn’t get enough air into my body. My lungs refused to fill properly and my body denied the enjoyment of what made it in. Air didn’t go in my nose right and somehow choked me when I tried to breath through my mouth. The torture I felt knowing each breath was mandatory but each one was falling short of providing me the goods I needed, left me desperate. I couldn’t wrap my head around not breathing. And so I started to lose my grip on life.
As soon as I started to lose my grip on life, the aches and pains I was feeling morphed into an all out assault on my body and my mental faculties. I do not exaggerate one bit when I say every last cell of my body, inside and out, hurt this weekend. Every last bone in my body throbbed and felt as though someone were trying to fracture them at every possible point. The joints connecting my bones were used to a painful tormenting ping pong effect. Systematically two or three different joints around my body would explode in unbearable pain, feeling akin to having someone trying to twist my leg backwards over my shoulder, around my head, and meanwhile bending me back down to put that foot on the ground beside the other. The pain got to be so bad I would take myself to the floor of my sanctuary, the bathroom, sprawl out and start sobbing, all so my family wouldn’t be terrified at how bad I felt.
I couldn’t function at those points other than to beg God for understanding of what lesson I was failing to learn, because for a time I felt like the pain came from my avoidance of something.
I prayed for relief to my suffering. For an end to the life I didn’t want. Because at that point I didn’t feel I deserved to live. So many people face death and fight tooth and nail against it, and here I was longingly requesting to be wrapped in death’s loving embrace. All because I was in unbearable pain and unimaginable suffering.
And so I suffered. I got progressively sicker and felt increasingly miserable. The worse I got, the less I was able to reach out for help, or to feel the comfort when it was offered. My torture was so thorough, that even when help came it rang true as more torture for an already overwhelmed mind, rather than a cool compress to my feverish torture.
That being said, I am glad I passed my pop quiz on Friday, because had I not I would have had to face this trial alone without the comfort and concern of a family who just wanted me to feel better. My husband handled the family almost entirely on his own while I became a worthless wimp of suffering. He did so while constantly checking on what he could do to help me. My daughters once again proved they know my illness better than I do, acted well beyond their years, adhered to my crazy manic rules without pause, and helped me whenever they could in their beautiful little childlike ways.
While I said their help was torture for my mind, their presence was comfort for my soul. While there was not a darn thing they could do to help me other than leaving me to my suffering, they still wanted to help. And that was enough to buoy my spirits from taking a turn down the suicide train of thought. Which is so easy to consider in moments such as these.
Instead of wasting my time convincing myself of what I already know (I don’t believe in suicide), I was able to feel out the details of my pain and take it to God. I laid out everything for him. All that was wrong with me. All I need His help with.
I dug deep. Every last detail of my existence that I felt he might take issue with, I played out and taught him the lessons I learned from my past issues. I begged for his forgiveness if I misunderstood what I was supposed to learn and I prayed for understanding of the lessons I had missed.
I sifted through my fears with him. I told him I understood how fine a line I feel I’m walking believing I was sent to guide the world and how blasphemous I feel believing I could ever be wise enough to help that many people. I exposed my naked desire to finally start making the changes I feel I need to make but my hopelessness at not being able to get the ball rolling because society no longer believes in divine guidance.
I admitted that I didn’t want this life if I had to feel this badly for making mistakes. I spend my life doing everything I believe he is telling me to do, while simultaneously accepting that I can’t be sure I’m actually doing things HIS way, usually alienating myself from a society unable to walk in the light of God. I accepted full responsibility for my actions and unjustified fault for my mistakes, with the knowledge that I always improve for next time. With all the work I am doing to make sure I continue to walk in God’s light, all the effort he knows I am putting forth, I felt my continued pain and suffering in such an extreme fashion was something I couldn’t handle and something I didn’t fairly deserve.
I demanded that I fight tooth and nail to be who He needs me to be and that I’m not strong enough to continue on in a world that wants me to hurt so badly. Because when I was at my lowest point, I subconsciously found the pain and suffering I was experiencing to be directly correlated to society’s belief in God and the depth of hate, animosity, and lies that permeate this reality about Him. When I made that connection, I immediately wanted to be removed from a world that could so twistedly hate the very entity that gives them life, meaning, and purpose meanwhile touting themselves as superior to divine wisdom all because “God doesn’t show himself”. I cried for the depths of their ignorance and for my inability to penetrate their crusty exteriors with my Holy light.
I told him that I hated how deeply my words cut the untruths of this world and how I despised people attacking me for spouting the truths God gave me to dish out. I couldn’t understand how I was supposed to help people when all I seemed to do is hurt.
I told him I think of him first and filter reality around my belief in his way. And I plainly stated I wanted no part of a world that didn’t want every last part of Him. And so I was ready to put down my life to wait to come back again when the world wasn’t so jaded and cold. When I would had a chance to make their dreams come true in the best way possible.
He didn’t end my life. But he got His answers and I’m recuperating from my trial. I don’t know if I passed or not. I told him I couldn’t handle the life he laid out for me, and I did so honestly with full belief I cannot complete my task without the help of the world I was tasked to reconnect. While He didn’t bring me home, he did release me from the extreme pain and suffering, a huge relief. Which I feel is a blessing and I’ll leave it at that until I get my results.
In the meantime, I am going to check out until I am feeling whole again. I’m reading blogs, but I haven’t felt able to comment or keep up with Facebook – even though an exciting event happened for me this weekend – a blogger I have been following for sometime noticed me and wanted to learn more about who I am… And to be REAL friends. So amazingly awesome. But that’s for another post.