With drop in temperatures combined with the rain from Hurricane Sandy, it is really difficult to type today. While my hands have fortunately been doing a little better lately, it has still been a challenge to do all my normal stuff thanks to my fibromyalgia. I find it really ironic that it has decided to settle into my hands making it almost impossible to move my fingers some days, especially when I want to write. And yet, I feel so thankful since I have nothing worse to deal with unlike so many others.
Despite the pain and difficulty, I really wanted to write today (or more accurately, these several days since it has taken me that long to type out this post since my fingers will only let me do a few lines at a time). The past few weeks have been hugely encouraging for me in regards to my fibro.
First of all, my brother gave me an amazing book a while ago called Break Free written by an awesome woman, Mary Henderson, who chronicled her journey as she learned how to live with this disease. I immediately identified with her story and her message of trying to live as healthily as possible: physically, emotionally and spiritually. Although I had it for years prior, I was only 18 years old when I was officially diagnosed with fibro and I struggled to reconcile my health with the life that I had always planned for myself. Even though it has been more than a decade, I still struggle with the reality of living with a chronic illness and the book reminded me of the bigger picture. I'm going to have Brian read it since he's been living this fibro battle with me and I think spouses of chronically ill people almost have a harder time. They don't get the direct sympathy of everyone else and they are stuck watching someone they love suffer through something they can't change. They get all the consequences by proxy... It deals so much with the problem of pain that I think people with a chronic illness or anyone who knows someone with one should read it. If you are interested in it, you can pick up a copy here. What is more, my really good friend, Kelly, met Mary Henderson this summer when they were working together and thought of me and also brought me home a book, independently. Mary was so sweet and passed along her contact info to me and felt so blessed to get a chance to talk with her. I really appreciated her taking time out of her day to give me a call; it was incredibly encouraging and I'm putting up her website as one of my favorite sites since I hope it will help others as much as it has helped me. It seemed like such a God- thing since two people who know me well independently thought that I needed it!
The second encouraging thing lately came in the form of a new friend, Jennifer. She is absolutely precious; even though we are in the same small group at church, we hadn't gotten to talk much until last week. I shared about how I have been struggling with my fibro since it tends to be harder in the fall with all the drops in temperature and Jennifer offered to help in anyway she could. It was so incredibly humbling to have someone so selflessly offer and just to have someone come over and hang out with me was the best gift; fibro can be so isolating since so much of my life seems to be devoted to my responsibilities that the first thing to give is my relationships and there are some weeks, I only end seeing people at church when I run out of energy for anything else. I really appreciated her friendship and am so thankful for someone who is so considerate and real as she is!
It seems like there has been a huge theme in my life lately about community between Mary Henderson and my friend Jennifer. The ironic part is having people pour into me makes me just want to go invest myself in other people more and focus less on what I can't do, but rather what I can. And sometimes, all it takes is a conversation to really be there for someone else.