#Write31Days – Post 14 – The Daily Grind


Ten years ago or more, I couldn’t understand “invisible illnesses”.  They were those things that I heard people complain about, but thought to myself: But they look totally fine.  Invisible illnesses are the ones that steal things from you, but the rest of the world can’t see.  And, there are a lot of them.

Most invisible illnesses are not even fully understood, we know very little about them.  They hide in plain site, and often go undiagnosed as we attribute our symptoms as aging.  Or, they are misdiagnosed by doctors … and in many cases they are just simply dismissed.   People with “invisible illnesses” are often considered hypochondriacs, making things up or making excuses for things they just don’t want to do.  Some are given psychiatric care and medications for anxiety and depression.

This lack of treatment or mistreatment leaves the person no better than they started, and sometimes worse because the medications add to the problem instead of solving it.  I didn’t understand invisible illness myself, and definitely could have been put into the camp of people who made cheeky comments about those who claimed to have one.

Then, I was diagnosed.

When you look at me, what you see is a person who looks totally normal.  I’m not a svelt super model, long since have been the days where I could shop in the juniors section.  What you don’t see is the war that goes on in my body every single day.

At first I dismissed my symptoms, thinking the toll of three children and getting older was to blame for how I felt.  I thought it would be as simple as changing my diet, hitting the gym, taking a multi-vitamin and I would start feeling better.  I just got worse.

My memory was shot.  I used to be the type of person who could exist without a calendar, recalling details with ease.  Now I was having to write down everything. As a trained actress, I learned to memorize & recall information quickly.  Now I live with a phone full of alarms  to even remember to do the things that are apart of my DAILY life.  If I don’t write it down, count on the fact I won’t remember it.

My brain is in a constant state of fog.  Some days it is as if someone just pulled the plug on my brain and all the information drained out.  I can be listening to a speaker or reading a book, and find it absolutely impossible to comprehend what they are saying.  This is why I am a fastidious note taker.  I need to be able to read through it later to comprehend it, when I am in a clearer state of mind.

My energy is a small percentage of what it once was, some days it is a battle to just exist.  I can see the things that need to get done, but I just can’t.  There are days where my skin literally hurts to be touched.  There are days where my body is swollen to the point it aches.  Add in night sweats, body tremors, fatigue and exhaustion and it doesn’t get much better.

For my particular disease there are over 300 possible symptoms.  I have a prescription medication that I will take for the rest of my life.  I have 14 supplements that I take due to deficiencies in my body.  I see several doctors to address the various ways my disease impacts my body.  I’m giving vials of blood every three months to see what is working, what isn’t, and what has changed.  Dosages increased.  Supplements added or removed.  Try this.  Try that.  Knowing that no matter what I will never get back to where I was, I will never be cured, or 100% better.  Instead I’m just trying to make the best of what I have been dealt.

Some days, it takes me really … really low.   But, then there will be spikes when I have energy, and my outlook on life is a lot more positive.  I try not to burden others with my illness, and I do believe in part it is because I know they simply will never totally get it.

It’s a daily battle.  It’s my daily grind.

Will today be a good day?  A bad day?  Will I give into those feelings and symptoms, or will I push through them?  Is today a day I just need to stop and relax?

I have prayed for answers, and for healing.  I believe with all sincerity in miraculous healing.  Yet, I have never been angry with God that I am still sick.  It doesn’t diminish my faith or increase my doubts about God.  In fact, it strengthens them.  My faith is stronger, because I am not relying on myself.

My Pastor’s wife once called me “high capacity”.  If you talk to others who know me, they will agree with that.  I am a person who gets things done, quickly, and efficiently.  I can multitask with the best of them.  As much as I am a creative person, I also have a gift for administration.  I’m usually the person you want on your team, I thrive on deadlines, and I always give my best.

If this is how they see me now, since being diagnosed, can you only imagine what I was like before I was sick?   It would make your head spin.

The difference between now, and then, is that today I do not work in my own strength.  Everything that I do… is in HIS strength.  He gives me the energy, drive, and motivation.  He gives me the physical strength and mental capacity.  When I look at what is accomplished I can ONLY give HIM the glory.  My flesh is weak, tired, and broken.  His power is perfected in my weakness.   My joy comes from the Lord.  My peace is from Christ.  My strength is from the Holy Spirit.

My thorn keeps me meek, humbles me… so that I do not exalt myself and what I am capable of.  Instead I keep my eyes on the Lord, where my strength comes from.  I know that He goes before me, and comes up behind.  I know that He shields me and protects me.  He will give me charge to battle, or call me to lie and rest.  He is the one who provides the words, lays out my path, and guides my journey.  I simply say:  Here I am Lord, use me.

2 Corinthians 12:7-9

7Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me– to keep me from exalting myself! 8Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. 9And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.…



Do you find yourself caught in doubt? Have you ever wondered what God is doing in your life, circumstances or in the world around you?

I wonder what God is doing in this situation?

I wonder what God is trying to teach me?

I wonder when God is going to answer my prayers?

Most Christians will admit to a time in their life where they wondered about God and his plans.

Isaiah 55:8-9 (MSG) “I don’t think the way you think. The way you work is not the way I work. For as the sky soars above the earth, so the way I work surpasses the way you work, and the way I think is beyond what you think.”.

It is comforting to me, in my moments of doubt and wonder, to cling to this scripture. I may never on this earth or in paradise know what God was doing, but God definitely knows what He has in store for us. However, I still can’t help falling into moments of wonder.

I wonder what God sees in me? God sees what no one else sees, because He created me and He chose me to belong to Him. This has been part of His plan since the foundations of creation. (Ephesians 1:4-6 & Ephesians 1:11)

Ephesians 1:11 – We were chosen to belong to him. God decided to chose us long ago in keeping with his plan. He works out everything to fit his plan and purpose.

I wonder if God hears my prayers? God may not be appearing to answer your prayers, but what you may not see is what God is doing in the background. We have to trust that He has our best interest at heart, and that all things will be done in His perfect timing. Our prayers will be answered according to His will, not our own.

Jeremiah 17:7-8 – Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by the water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when the heat comes, for it’s leaves remain green , and it is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.

I wonder what God has planned for me? If God does see something in me, if His ways are not my ways, and God is hearing my prayers…. then what exactly is it that God is doing in my life? What does he have planned? Scripture tells us that God knows us well.

Psalm 139:-4 – O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise, you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down, you are familiar with my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely.

God knows what we are capable of on our own, and what we are capable of when we let Him guide us. He takes our natural gifts and magnifies them. He equips those He calls & at the appointed time He has called them.

I wonder if others can see what God is doing? Sometimes we begin to wonder if others can see what God is doing, even when we can’t. We may be getting better at our prayer life, digging into the Word more, attending church regularly… but are we really different? Are others able to see Christ in us? Are we a good representation of Christ in the world? Growth and change take time. Others may see changes long before we recognize them. But God is working in us so that we become that “new creation” spoken about in 2 Corinthians 5:17. As we grow, God will move us along in His plan. It is a journey, and for some of us the journey will be longer than others.

Colossians 1:10-11 – And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience.

I wonder if God really cares about me? I am just one little person in this big world. God cares so much about us, He sent is own son to die on a cross for each of us. You and me. He has known every day we would live before the first was written. He created us, knitting us together in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13). He puts support in place for us, to help us on our journey through this life. This support comes in the form of the Holy Spirit within us, His Word that we can depend on and learn from, our Church and sisters in Christ that we can lean on and grown with.

I wonder what will happen if and when I mess up? I am not perfect. In the parable of the prodigal son, we see a son who was raised just like his brothers… but went off on his own path. But when he returns home, his father accepts him, arms wide open and tends to all his needs. (Luke 15)

God isn’t finished with us yet. We will stumble and fall sometimes, but God doesn’t give up on us. He welcomes us back with open arms.

I wonder what I ever did to deserve the love that God has for me? Nothing.

God loves us, because God is love (John 4:8)

God loves us, because God created us. (Genesis 1:26-28)

He loves us when we don’t love him. He is faithful to the faithless (2 Tim 2:13)

I wonder if God knows how much I love him and how thankful I am for his blessings in my life?

What are you doing in your life to answer that question?

*Written for the TC3 Women’s Ministry Devotion Blog