Acceptance

I have been so very tired for months now. As in really – really exhausted. As in scary tired. As in what is going wrong – tired?!? As in feeling decades older than my chronological age – tired. As in walking around in a fog of fatigue – tired.

The fatigue feels like a weight. It slows down my body and my mind. I feel like I have lost brainpower and IQ points.

There are days when our evening walk feels like a climb up Mount Kilimanjaro. (Our neighborhood is flat – very flat – boring flat – flatter than flat!)

Jason and Jack climbed Mount LeConte on our vacation last month.   They never even considered asking me to join them on their adventure – because they knew that I wouldn’t be able to handle the climb. Being left at home hurt my heart and my ego. I did not want to stay home. I wanted to climb the stinking mountain. But we ALL knew I couldn’t!

There are days when I can’t recall simple words. I haven’t had the brain power to read really nerdy books in months now. (Sure – I read for hours almost every single day – but not the super nerdy stuff I used to read.) I don’t retain information like I used to either and I certainly can’t recall information like I once did.

There are evenings when I get so tired that I stumble over my words.   This is exhaustion at a whole new level for me.

At first I was told the changes and demands of living through a global pandemic were taking a toll on everyone.   Nope – I didn’t think so. Then it was the fact that I have an autoimmune disease. Nope – these symptoms don’t match. Then – finally – a doctor actually LISTENED to ME (quite the shocking development for me – anyway!)

Then began a whole new series of tests. Tests – tests – and more tests. Doctors’ visits and a new-to-me specialist.

And then finally some answers . . .

This specialist declared last Thursday that he is my new lifelong friend. “We will be buddies.   We will get to know each other.   You will see me for the rest of your very long life.” – he declared.

I grumpily thought – “I have enough friends – thank you very much . . . ” But then – then – he said – “I can help you feel better. I can help you feel like YOU again.”

So then I thought – “Hi – new life-long friend!   Welcome to my world!”

It turns out that I have a rare disease . . . a second autoimmune disease (stupid body that turns against you and destroys important cells . . .).   I am absorbing this information.   I am mulling it around. I am learning to live with this knowledge.   Acceptance . . . I will get there eventually.

There isn’t a cure. BUT there is a treatment that helps a lot. I shouldn’t always be this tired. I will have more pep in my step and less fog in my brain in the months to come.

But for now I wait . . .

How are you at patience and waiting? How are you at acceptance of limitations? (I stink at all three!)

This weekend was a time of reflection for me. I did some serious thinking and praying too. . .

I am still so ridiculously tired. I cannot do what I long to do. So there weren’t any day long hikes at Perryville or Shaker Village. I can’t go over hill and over dale these days and honestly this frustrates me. There weren’t even any longer hikes at Broad Run Park. My body simply cannot handle hikes like this right now. I would find them not only tiring – but exhausting.

(Much to my dismay I have learned there really is a limit on what I can WILL my body to do. I find this incredibly disappointing and frustrating . . . Stubborn is my middle name – just ask the McFarland men!)

The hills and the mountains are calling – but they will have to wait.   I will have to wait.   Wait until my treatments are further along and my body has had time to recover.

But the weather was perfectly perfect for being outside. I love Kentucky in July.

So – Jason and I went for rambles around Broad Run Park right here in Fern Creek. We tried out paths and trails we had never walked before. We tried out paths and trails – we had ignored previously because they looked too flat and boring. We tried out trails – we had bypassed because they didn’t present any challenge before.

We explored. We explored with open hearts and open eyes and open minds.

I decided to delight in what was right in front of me. To appreciate what I can do – rather than dwelling on what I cannot do. To see the beauty in the moment. To accept that the hills will need to wait for now. But there is beauty all around me – if I look and listen and watch and wait.

We were blessed. Again and again and again we were blessed. We were deeply and abundantly blessed!

Would I rather be climbing mountains? Honestly – yes.

Would I rather be heading over hill and over dale?   Frankly – I would.

These are the places I tend to see and seek God’s presence most easily.

But I am learning to see God in new places too – in places I wasn’t expecting to encounter him – in places I was perhaps a bit too snobby to go before (those flat trails for instance . . .)

We all make assumptions. We all make assumptions – even about our God.

Have you ever looked for God in a place where you might not be expecting to see him? In someone you might not expect?

I encourage you to try looking for God’s presence in someplace unexpected today . . .

You are all in my heart – thoughts – and prayers.

In Christ and with Love –

Pastor Kerri

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