The black and white type on my screen entices me and I start reading those emails sent and received years ago. I’m swallowed by the memories, and as I read it’s like I’m my young teenage self again.
I cringe at the early emails, the “drama” and the shallowness of it all. I was so young. I want to reach out to that 13 year old, to tell her life creates enough drama of its own, to stop creating her own. I want to tell her life is more important then she realises.
Time moves on and I’m shocked by the bitterness and anger in my emails. I want to shake my 15 year old self and tell her to be generous with forgiveness, to tell her to take responsibility for her mistakes, to tell her not to turn sadness and hurt into anger.
More time passes and the tears roll down my cheeks as I re-live broken hearts, as I remember the stupid mistakes I made, as I see myself turning away from all I know to be good and holy. I want to visit my 17 year old self and wipe away her tears, and tell her to stop before it gets worse.
I want to take hold of my 18 year old self and restrain her, make her stop and really realise what she’s doing, make her turn around and set her feet on the right path again.
As I keep reading the rolling tears turn into floods. I weep from deep within. I’m desperate to grab my 19/20 year old self, to hold her tight, to speak to the scared, broken, hurting child inside her, to tell her there’s healing, to tell her life won’t always be so bitter, to tell her good and wonderful things will come.
But I can’t… I can’t go back…
That teenager has gone now, those years have been lived, and nothing can change what as been. I speak to myself of the grace, faithfulness, provision, and love that God has shown me. I pray I have learnt lessons that will stay with me, and I pray I can pass them on to others.
I love catching up with friends I rarely get to see. I love spending time with them, talking, having tea, exchanging hugs, being with each other, even in the silence.
I love catching up with friends I see regularly. To sit down and talk, really talk. To laugh, and cry, to sit in each others homes.
I love people. I will travel for miles to see them, just for an hour… literally I will get on a plane and fly for hours just for a few hours with some people. I will re-route my journey and go hours out of my way, to spend an afternoon with a good friend. I will make an unplanned trip to see a friends relative who needs a smile, when my friend can’t go. I love people, they bless me so incredibly, they bring joy to my life, and they help me see Christ.
One of the biggest changes I’ve had to make the past 9 months, is not being able to do that anymore. Not for now anyway. I’m told once I get a treatment that works, my energy will slowly start returning a little, and my pain will decrease, and life will be more predictable again. I used to hate predictability, it’s so mundane, and boring. Now I crave a bit of predictability!
This is my confession… I’m bad at learning this change. I push myself, it’s what I do. I push until I get ill, I push before I’m really better, I push for what I want, not what I need. I don’t listen to my body, I don’t listen to God… I “tough it out”, because that’s what strong people do.
This is my second confession… I’m wrong. I’m wrong to push, I’m wrong to not listen, and I’m wrong a strong person is not someone who just toughs it out, but someone who is willing to be vulnerable, to accept help, and to know when to stop, and when to go. So I’m trying to learn.
What I really want to say is... I don’t have the energy to be constantly on the go, to take that 2 hours detour, to travel across the world for a day with someone, to spend a week driving around the country seeing various people. To constantly visit others, with just a few hours at home in the evening. It grieves me, I miss my friends, I miss socialising.
I hope that in this new season of needing time at home, to rest, you, my friends, will bear with me, will be understanding of my limitations. Most of all I hope that you will know I still care, that I still think of you, pray for you, replay memories in my mind. I wish dearly I could jump on that plane, make that long drive, sit on that always delayed train. Hold you close, giggle with your kids, cry on your shoulder, give you my ear, see your eyes, and hear your voice. Just be. I cling to the hope that one day I will have that level of energy and health again.
Until then… know I still love, and care, for each one of your my dear friends.
PS Don’t get me wrong. I am VERY thankful for the great amount of time I am able to spend getting out, able to travel to see people. For nearby friends who I can see.
I sigh as I hear my specialist on the end of my phone: “It’s time to start taking the steroids again”
I know they will help me feel better, and I knew it was coming, but I really dislike steroids. They are not the worst medication I have taken… but they’re certainly horrible. BUT they will get my health back to a good level, and hopefully decrease my pain.
So I’m welcoming back the sleepless nights, the mood swings, the constant inching skin, the high energy followed by a mighty crash, and the overly emotional state of being. Oh and the puffy face, so far I’m clear on that one… but it’s only been 2 days. I’m welcoming it back thankful to have been spared another hospital stay, and thankful that they will improve my health. There is much I could complain about… but there is also much to be thankful for, so here it is:
I am thankful for…
1) Being at home, out of hospital.
2) Having access to medication that helps me.
3) Still being able to eat solids.
4) Friends that keep me encouraged, that go with my mood swings, and don’t take my overly emotional state too seriously.
5) For a sister who is also stuck at home (although I’m sad for her broken pelvis!)
6) and of course for a God who is carrying me though this latest storm.