Not in Lost and Found
I reluctantly took a forced hiatus from writing. Fibromyalgia and I arm-wrestled all year, and I lost every match.
Fibromyalgia stole my words.
I can write when I am in pain. I can even write when the muscles in my arms and legs twitch so hard they shake the whole bed. My nerves are fed up with the constant stimulation of pain and act out.
Writing is impossible without words.
The fibro fog’s thickness is relentless. I created unintentional comedic moments when my mouth blurted out words that my mind never meant to say. I realized my mistakes while looking at the confused faces.
Didn’t I just say I wanted to go to the movies?
No. I said the garage is open.
I made no sense!
Lord, how can I write for you if I can’t even speak?
Lord, Speak for Me
I am also a Speech-Language Pathologist. Between my two careers, words are very important to me.
I laid my forehead in my hands and prayed before every speech session. I prayed God would give me the words I didn’t own anymore. I prayed for God to help my students and let me be His vessel since He intimately knew each and every one of their needs. God worked in amazing ways. I saw these kids do things I never thought possible, and I looked up and thanked Him for this gift.
His gift of words.
Each day when work ended, I fell exhausted into my bed until the next day rolled around.
I cringed when I look back at some of my paperwork. Words. They aren’t kind to me, and my paperwork constantly reminded me of my ineptness.
Did I really write that?
Words became my nemesis mocking and laughing at my stumbling attempts at communication, and the Enemy’s laughter reverberated in my head.
“You are nothing. You can’t even speak a clear sentence. Who do you think you are? God can’t love a writer who can’t write. A speaker who can’t speak. You are nothing to Him. You are such a quitter and undeserving of His love.
What I discovered during this long time off from writing is that even though my words stopped speaking to God, He never stopped speaking to me.
I chose to hold onto Him. I praised Him in the quiet of my mind even though my words were left blank on the paper. I prayed and asked what my purpose is now that I can’t use words, and I knew He wasn’t disappointed in my wavering faith. I still felt strongly He wanted me to write. I just couldn’t see this as a possibility anymore.
I was honest with God, vulnerable, and a child in His hands.
Isn’t’ that what He wants from all of us?
I laid in bed, cradling my broken body and befuddled mind (What is the word for “plate” again? I couldn’t remember!)
Do I still have a purpose, Lord? Do you still love me?
Yes, child. I do.
I grew up in a very conservative religion. Fifteen years ago I attended a more expressive denomination, and it blew my socks off! I found my church home.
I’m still conservative in some of my worship though. Laying hands on me to pray for healing never occurred to me. When it was offered, I found reasons to brush the idea aside.
A few weeks ago, I willingly went into the circle of believers. I received their hands upon me and allowed the prayer of healing to wash over my brokenness.
I bent my knee of pride.
My dad is always trying to find ways to relieve my suffering. He bought supplements from a Chinese doctor when he taught there for several months. Heating gadgets, creams, supplements, yoga videos, memberships to recreation centers for swimming, and articles he delivered to my inbox trying to help however he could.
Recently he offered an evaluation from an acupuncturist.
What a great Dad.
Answer to Prayer
Then he found a woman who cooks meals that decrease inflammation. New studies revealed that people with Fibromyalgia present with inflammation of tissue surrounding the brain and spinal chord.
He bought me three weeks of meals-breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.
It has given me back my mind.
Pain is still real, but tolerable. Flares happen, but my meds now work on those bad days. They stopped working a while ago.
I walked around the zoo with a few breaks. Me! I walked for three hours!
I am not cured. This is life-long, but I can think! I can use words! God answers if we are willing to hear the answers He gives. If we are willing to humble ourselves. If we are willing to kick off pretenses of how we think things should be.
He answered when I was willing to let hands touch a body that is sick of pain. Fibromyalgia stole my words, but God returned them to me.
Thank you, Lord, so much for words.
Thank you for the words you speak to me, and the ones you allow me to speak to you.
What a gift.