That's what this week has been all about. I knew something was off when I came out of therapy on Monday night feeling dejected. It was a very good session, with lots of me getting to share victories and growth and a lot of positivity- there's no reason I should have felt down. Tuesday I woke up feeling very down still, and it took me forever to be motivated to start my workout. Shortly before I did actually start, I discovered that my period seemed to be starting. Well, that could explain a lot. I also had been feeling lightheaded and weak, so all this seemed to be going together. I did my workouts, and even took the kids for a walk while they ate lunch. I continued to feel icky and crampy and awfully moody. Then came the response to a post i submitted to a collective blog for publication. long story short on that, it was a no. My period is usually pretty light on day 1, so I expected day 2 on Wednesday to be pretty rough, and since it was a scheduled rest day, I was okay with that. Except nothing picked up, but I felt like garbage physically and emotionally. Scott came home and tried to let me nap, but I couldn't. Then yesterday (Thursday) happened. It was just awful. I woke up extremely anxious and fixating on something small and silly and beyond my control, and still no progress on my period. I couldn't unwind enough (even after using my thought record tool) to do my workout, but I did manage to have some devotional time.
The title of yesterday's chapter of I AM was " I am Weak". Ummm yes. Yes I am. The key verse was 2 Corinthians 12:9, which says
My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.
The author talked about how fear is the enemy's tool to cripple us, and how even Paul, a hero of the faith struggled with weakness (2 Cor 11:29). She reminded me that self sufficiency does nothing to display God's power, but that dependency allows us and others to see His strength shine. Weakness is a vehicle for God's power to move in and through us, and His strength will never fail.
This was exactly what I needed to be reminded of, and I pray these truths come back to me often when I need them again and again.
I felt encouraged, and buffered a bit from the storm in my head…
Then, mid afternoon, a well meaning neighbor brought me a newspaper clipping about mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus being found on the Richmond/Henrico border. The article had many what i like to call "reality facts" that communicated that the risk of infection from this was very low (there have been no cases in RVA this year, only one in VA, and the past 5 years only 0-2 per year in RVA) and that for the VAST majority, even being infected results in no symptoms, and less than one percent of those infected have serious illness. I did a thought record on the topic to help me calm down. But my brain cares not about your Reality Facts. I was spun up to the max the rest of the day and evening. Poor Scott was having back pain and that made his tolerance level for my nonsense much lower, so that was hard on us both too. He was adamant that we not let this affect our lives and we took the kids outside. Unfortunately, our previously amazingly effective bug spray has not been this year, and the kids, despite being slathered, got lots of new bites last night. Insert me wailing and gnashing teeth. Something about how Lexi plays resulted in her getting bit to HELL in her panties area. I have read that mosquitoes like spandex and she wears spandex shorts under her little dresses, and sits or squats in one position for long periods. Anyway, we have ordered new repellants off of Amazon and she will be suited up in heavier fabric when she plays out back from now on. So, I kept repeating the truths and Reality Facts all evening as the waves of terror would wash over me. And over me. And over me.
I'm not sure when it occurred to me, sometime in the night, that this was a perfect example and application of my devotional topic from yesterday morning. I was and am so weak and helpless, both emotionally and in reality, but God is not. I can do all the things in my power to prevent bug bites, but those things are extremely limited, really, and most likely, my kids are still gonna get some bites. It's summer. It happens. Reality tells me that, and rationality ( or, it's voice through Scott, ) says that it's an annoyance, not a danger. But more than that, God is in control. So many times yesterday, I felt Him saying to my heart, *just trust me. I've got this.* And He does. Though i am weak, and full of fears, He has this covered, and there is no better or more trustworthy protector. I'm still learning, very slowly, it seems, to trust Him more, to look and listen for His voice every day, and to find rest, peace, and confidence in His power, but, I am so thankful for this gentle shift. So many times i have had these same sensations of fear and helplessness, and just started to drown, but I don't have to! Overcoming the fear, even in small ways, is His power shining through my weakness.
I still feel uneasy and want to avoid us getting bit- a bit more passionately than before yesterday, even, but I am not overcome with terror this morning. My hormones are still whacked, and my mood with them, I haven't done a real workout yet today, I'm still shaken up by all the bites Lexi got last night, but over all that is the reminder that as weak as I am and feel, God is using that to show me -and hopefully others- His strength, power, and glory. Even small victories, visible to nobody but me, are God at work in me, drawing me closer to Himself and working to heal me.
I've been singing snippets of this song for the past 24 hours:
In your weakness He is stronger, In your darkness He shines through
When you're cryin He's your comfort, when you're all alone, He's carryin you!