It is 3 o'clock in the morning and I am awake.
For the last 5 or so hours I have been lying in bed trying everything in my power to make myself sleep as my husband as softly snored next to me.
I have prayed.
I have meditated.
I have done deep breathing.
I have 'day dreamed'.
I have listened to audio books.
I have written lists after lists of everything in my head so it would all be out of my head and on paper.
I have changed pillows.
I took a short walk inside my house.
I played some games online.
And now I am blogging.
I have insomnia. Strangely enough, I also know why I have insomnia. I have insomnia because my doctor has given me some new pills to take to try and stop the ever increasing amount and severity of the migraines I get. When I felt a migraine coming on early this evening (or is it yesterday evening now...?) I dutifully took my new medication and went to bed so I would be able to work on Monday (today).
7 hours later.....
I think I almost prefer the migraines to the complete inability to sleep. It is strange how desperate you can become for sleep when it alludes you. I have nearly been in tears tonight because I am so damn tired and yet I CANNOT SLEEP!!!!! Needless to say, I am never taking these pills again. My desire to avoid missing yet another day of work has lead to the complete probability that I will miss work because I will be completely unsafe to drive the half hour country road to my work, let alone function at any kind of level that could be called acceptably human.
What if these pills last 48 hours.......??
So in my desire to sleep, I started writing sermons in my head (as one does apparently). My thinking around my topic went something like this:
I can't sleep
What if I can't work tomorrow/today?
But I took most of last week off because of migraines!
They will think I am slacking!
I am so useless.
I am a waste of space.
My life is pointless.
Oh yes, I am at my most cheery when I am slowly watching the minutes of my life/sleep tick away from me.
But then I got to thinking: if my being unwell (and unfortunately at the moment, progressively so) defines whether or not I am a useless or useful human being, then what judgement am I making about the rest of the people around me?
I know a lot of people, it's one of the perks of being an outgoing personality type. A lot of these people have illnesses. Some of them have chronic ongoing illnesses. Some are very open and honest about their daily life and their struggles, and some keep it quiet and hidden from all but their closest friends, of which I am honoured to call myself one. Some are in wheelchairs and some are not. Some 'wear' their illness, and some you would never know had one.
I have profound admiration and respect for all of these people. I have heard their stories. I have wept with and for them. I have laughed at the totally disgusting things that can happen to us. I have encouraged and been encouraged by them.
And I realise that when I say that I am a waste of space because of an ongoing illness, I am saying that, by extension, they are also a waste of space. And I don't believe that at all! These are beautiful and strong and clever and needed and valued members of my life and of society. They teach me so much about what it means to be courageous in the face of overwhelming odds. They teach me what it means to live in the faceof death. They show me what it means to really love, what it means to give, what it means to wear your heart on your sleeve because that is all you can do. By no means are any one of these people a waste of space.
And neither am I.
So I got up and I wrote an email to my boss (who is a wonderful man) and told him about my health issues and asked that he be patient as the doctors try and figure out what is going on and how we can best manage it. Because I am valuable. I am necessary to their business and it is better for them to be patient than to get frustrated and resentful.
And then I started this blog. Because I realised something.
I realised that if we are all the bride of Christ, if we are all part of glowing an blushing bride that will be presented to our saviour at the end of all things, then the bride of Christ is a disabled bride.
She is in a wheelchair.
She has difficulty speaking sometimes.
She has chronic pain
She is tired (omg is she tired!)
She is all of these things because we are all of these things. If we look at ourselves, even those of us who feel that we are pretty fit and healthy have something wrong with us. We are all headed towards old age. We are all one car ride away from the accident that puts us in hospital and changes our lives. We are all one breath closer to death and disability and even if we are at peak physical condition, we won't be there for long, or we will have something emotional/mental/spiritual wrong with us.
We are all disabled!!! There is no such thing as abled!!!
To be disabled is the norm! It is the constant state of humanity. We are broken and feeble and falling to bits. None of us can say we are not disabled in some way.
And isn't that so freeing!! Doesn't it just make you want to laugh and go "what the heck was I so worried about?? Getting old isn't scary! Death isn't scary! Being sick isn't scary! We are all disabled all the time anyway!"
I find it so freeing to think I don't have to worry about not reaching a certain performance level because that level doesn't really exist! No one can reach and maintain that level forever. No one is not disabled in some way.
And so yes, we are broken
Yes we are disabled
Yes we are falling to bits
We are loved!
And just as the love of a groom makes the bride her most beautiful on her wedding day, so the love of our groom, that is Christ, makes us beautiful. It is his love that embraces our flaws and our disabilities and makes them things of beauty and grace. It is his love that makes the very things we find shameful and embarrassing the things that are the most awe-inspiring. It is his love for his bride that makes all of this worth the hard day to day slog that we face.
Because at the end of it all, when we face him, he will hold out his hands, lift us from our chair, and say "Rise, walk, your sins are forgiven and you are my beloved."
A blog about life, love, theology and everything on my mind.
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