Admittedly, it has been too long since I have last written, but it was not intentional. Life happened. Work happened. Events happened. Illness happened and continues to happen. Training and even simple exercise has ceased to exist. Just months ago, I was perfectly at peace with my new healthy lifestyle: regular exercise, eating healthy, and limited stress. I was well on my way to celebrating my 37th birthday with new-found optimism!! However, on this Monday evening, I find myself quarantined to the couch, again due to yet another diagnosis of an upper respiratory infection. This is the fifth URI in the past five months and my high hopes of participating in 37 awesome adventures in my 37th year of life seem to be fading quickly. How does a 30-something, active, optimistic woman come to terms with the reality that her body is tired, her immune system is low and her body can’t do what it used to be able to do? Apparently I need to rest. My body continues to chant, “slow down,” but my mind weeps and grieves the loss of my healthy routine of diet and exercise? It seems that even a regular day wipes me completely out. This is not normal and I am working with doctors to figure out why, but I am really struggling. Furthermore, as part of my 37 adventures in my 37th Year, I had signed up to participate in a dualthon in April and my first half-marathon in May! I was beyond excited to work hard to accomplish these goals, that I once would have never dared to dream. However, I have not been able to do any exercise in the past two months and I don’t believe it would be safe for me to run those races, with such limited training. I wonder if this isn’t what others wrestle with when they are diagnosed with a disease, lose their identity, or they are no longer able to participate in something they love to do? They loose hope.
Thoughts, feelings, anger, emotions and moments of hopelessness flood through my body, and I have come to a crossroads. We’ve all been here before. We can choose to simply give up, or, in the words of my running buddy, “B,” we can choose to see this adversity as “minor set-back for a major come back!” Her words weighed on me like a ton of bricks. What an incredible truth? As much as we would like always stay on the “mountain top” that is not a reality. There will be times in life when we are forced deep down into the valley and even worse, the abyss. But rather than drown ourselves in sorrow, we must soar on wings like eagles. Our Heavenly Father provides us with a promise in Isaiah 40:28:31:
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
How timely are these words tonight? I truly needed to hear them, and more than that, I need to trust them completely! At present I am feeling weak and tired and worn. I will stumble and fall, but our amazing God promises that He will “increase the power of the weak” and will “renew our strength.” Thank you, Lord, Jesus for that promise! What blessed assurance for those who are feeling overcome by adversity.
(photo borrowed from www.youignite.me)