The last several months have been quite difficult for me. I have had some unexplained, overwhelming tiredness. This has led to a feeling of not-quite-depression but something similar to it. A few other symptoms have been there as well. So, just before our holiday to Florida, I took myself off to the doctor. Honestly, I had a probable diagnosis in my head, although I never said it aloud. After listening to what has been going on, my doctor said, "well I bet it is "x" so let's run a few tests to confirm that.:) "X" happened to be what I thought it was as well, so I was totally reassured. It is something easily controlled with medication, and it runs in my family, so it made sense.
I came back from holiday and the next day went to get my test results. The doctor looked at me, rather puzzled, and said "well it isn't 'x'; in fact all your test results are totally normal." "What??" She said that perhaps it was depression mimicing the other results, and did a screening for that---which came back low to no depressed thoughts. I had said all along that I did not feel depressed, but more suppressed in my thoughts. Her conclusion was that maybe it was a Seasonal Affect Depression since we had a rather dismal winter and that we should just monitor it now that the sun was out to see if the symptoms go away. I'm to go back in 6 weeks if nothing changes. Not what I wanted to hear, but thanks.
Fast forward three weeks. I am feeling better with the sunshine, but the tiredness and overwhelmed feeling is sometimes still there. I spoke with a friend soon after my appointment and I said "if it isn't physical and it isn't psychological that only leaves one thing." She agreed that maybe it was a spiritual suppression and partnered with me to pray for a release. Almost immediately I began to feel more free and in control of what was going on. Don't let anyone fool you--spiritual battles are real and can be crippling.
The past few weeks have been all about persevering. I want instant results, but that is not how God works. Ironically, the In Other Words quote this week was one of my favorite by Spurgeon, "By perseverence, the snail reached the Ark." I didn't take the time to write this week, Tuesday was hectic and I prioritized time with the girls over time with my computer. But it was a great reminder that persevering will see victory. In His time, in His ability and by His grace. Not on my own merits. So, thank you Deborah for being a conduit for God to remind me to persevere.
As I persevere through this journey, I'm seeing some trends that I allowed to creep into my life over the last six to nine months, that must be reversed.
* My Bible Study that I lead had become very hit-and-miss with the busy schedules; I let other things take the place of that time rather than keeping it reserved for Bible Study, even if personal study time. I am being more diligent that the time is God's time even if the other ladies are unable to come.
*My personal quiet time had become almost non-existent as the girls' schedules change. I often used their nap time for my quiet time, that is not possible now. I am seeking to find other time in my day to set aside as my quiet time. I need to make it a priority.
*I've let go of scheduling the things that I need to do and therefore get overwhelmed by what needs to be done and when. So, I will go back to posting a weekly menu schedule on Mondays. I will make a list of things-to-do on Monday morning and stick to it for the week.
*I've totally let go of the hobbies that give me 'down time' because I've been too tired to do them. This week, I've gone back to stitching an hour a day. It is my reward for getting the house stuff done. And I have felt a ton better just having that time as my own. (okay, not as my own since the girls are playing or reading in the room with me, but it is still doing something I enjoy and not something that I have to do.)
*I get too focused on the negative things that are going on in my life, or family life. I am considering renewing my Gratitude Journal from a couple of years ago. I am going to begin participating in the Thankful Thursday meme to help refocus.
So that is the plan. I'm surfacing from the chaos of allowing things to pile up and not take them to the throne immediately. I believe the battle has been real. It is not coincidental that the overwhelmed feelings began at the same time that I accepted a new, challenging ministry opportunity. I believe whole-heartedly that God was in that endeavor, but it has suffered greatly with my lack of energy and focus. I'd welcome your prayers as I reorganize the chaos, and reprioritize what needs to get done. I know that God has a better plan. He doesn't desire for us to be in a spiritually suppressed state, but He uses the time to make us better. More to come, as I make this snail's journey.