Friday morning was dark and as the day eased in, it was veiled in a sheet of clouds so that it was as bleary-eyed as I. Hesitantly, I started the morning cycle. Dogs outside, release the chickens, prepare daughter's medicine, mop laundry room, usher out the pig, toss her food around while letting dogs in, feed dogs, feed fish.
The fogginess of my eyes did not stop the words. Lots of words swirling around in my brain with nothing to latch on to or give them meaning but they wanted to be free as much as the animals. Some days my brain wants to write. Maybe it is the days of incapacitation these past 2 weeks. I am grateful those days are coming to an end. It has been many years since I have been in this place. It is not something I have a name for but I know it and when I was younger it happened often.
First, it starts with encroaching fatigue and something under my skin feels wrong. By day 2 or 3, it exposes itself with small patches of itchy eczema and in a few days it feels like it is consuming me. Strict diet, sleep, lotion, antihistamines, loads of supplements.
Any glimpse in the mirror exposes a person unrecognizable externally. Groping around in my head I recognize my soul is the same and, when awake, so is my mind. It is me. My thoughts are mine, the memory is mine, and I recognize the familiar sins. The shell is different but the inside is still what it was before.
The problem is that I struggle during these times. It is tough to sleep, fatigue never lets up, and the pain and itchiness are enough to drive you insane but that is only part of my battle. The other part is pride. I hide not wanting anyone to see me, not wanting to be stared at, not wanting to be repulsive.
How foolish am I.
The outside is a small, temporary part of who God created us to be. Oh, but how we like to dress that part up, decorate it, and show it off as if it makes up for what we lack inside. If the outside looks like what is brewing on the inside, we are exposed. Trapped in our skin and our sin. That is what these times feel like. What is amazing is that Jesus is still here. He is not put off by the outside and He already knows the worse inside. He knows that this is just a short season of who I really am with or without a swollen, rashy face. There is more to come for me in eternity.
I will be grateful that I feel better. The outside is looking better and the inside is being improved, too. It is a great God who does not leave His people in the state He finds them.
- Zechariah 13:9 "And I will put this third into the fire,
and refine them as one refines silver,
and test them as gold is tested.
They will call upon my name,
and I will answer them.
I will say, ‘They are my people’;
and they will say, ‘The LORD is my God.'"