Why “2020 Fatigue” May Be a Good Thing

A few weeks ago, I drove to the park and wept in my car.

Because, 2020.

I’m guessing you can relate. Maybe you’ve had your own moments of hiding in your closet or alone time in your car. Perhaps the stress of this year is wearing on you, too.

I’ll admit, the last 6 months have been a bit much. My aunt died, most of my family got COVID-19, I lost a friend to cancer, my work dwindled, and the chaos of the world flared my chronic illness and PTSD.

In truth, I’ve got a bad case of “2020 Fatigue”. I’m tired of the stress, tired of the mess, tired of waiting for the next shoe to drop. Each new circumstance cues my anxiety like clockwork.

It’s like the world is on fire (oh wait, it is) and someone just keeps turning up the heat. And this girl can only take so much disaster bingo.

So I cried out all the feels in my car. I asked God to just make it stop. I was too weary, too weak, too inept to handle it all.

And perhaps that’s the point.  Continue reading

When Your Healing Doesn’t Come

My journey with chronic illness has been both painful and long. My story is being featured this week as part of a series on Brave Women.

Truth be told, I have been more afraid than I have brave.

The last five years my life has revolved around immune-suppressants, flare-ups and fear. I did everything I could to optimize my health. I went dairy-free, gluten-free, corn-free, egg-free; all at the same time for a long time. I saw a naturopath, took enzymes, a regimen of pills, and drank dirt.

But I was still sick.

For years, I wrestled with God. Why me? Where are you, God? Did you forget about me? Don’t You see? Do you even care? 

If you’ve been curious about my journey with chronic illness or ever wondered where God is in the midst of chronic pain, please check out this post! God is answering my prayers, just not the way I expected.

I hope and pray my story will encourage you wherever you are at, in whatever battle you may be facing today.

Click here to read my story

Check out more inspiring stories in Becky Beresford’s Brave Women Series

Finding Hope When You Feel Hopeless

This couldn’t be happening. Not again. Not ever.

My heart beat wildly as I pressed a firm hand to my chest. Like lapsing waves, one hardship rose after the other, sweeping me into a sea of despair.

Anxiety. Depression. Disease. Inability to conceive. Now this.

Panic threatened to overwhelm as inflammation increased and my knee swelled for the third time. After four years of ceaseless prayers, all my hope for the future was shattered.

Again.

I thought I was getting better. But I was still broken. Continue reading

Finding Joy in the Midst of Pain

For many of us, the changing season ushers in a renewed sense of thanksgiving. But what happens when your season of change is marked by pain? When you don’t feel very grateful?

As we approached Thanksgiving, I felt anything but thankful. A serious illness had darkened my door, filling me with disappointment and heartache over what was being lost: hopes, dreams, expectations on how life would be. Yet it was in this difficult season I learned two important lessons about gratitude, discovering that hardship, not happiness, is the forerunner of joy.

Is your season of thanksgiving overshadowed by pain? Are you looking for a way to harvest more joy in your life? Join me on (in)courage to read more and discover how you can find joy in the midst of your hardship!

 

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3 Critical Reminders About Pain & Suffering

3 critical reminders about pain and sufferingAt some point in our lives we will all experience a tragedy, a physical illness, the death of a loved one or the loss of a dream.

In these moments, doubts and questions will arise. How could this happen? Why me? What did I do to deserve this? How am I ever going to survive this? Where is God in all of this?

I have been there. Three times, in fact. Continue reading

1 Unique Way to Uncover Your Purpose in Life

one unique way to discover your purpose in lifeYesterday I sat by my fireplace wrapped in three blankets. And a bathrobe. Drinking coffee. And it was 50 degrees outside. Yeah, I’m cool like that.

All snuggled and warm, my mind drifted to memories of last year. My first winter on autoimmune meds completely changed the way I functioned. The cold weather suddenly presented an entirely new problem for me: sick season. I was scared straight with the never ending list of risks and side effects, creating a bout of anxiety for my compromised immune system.

So every year when the weather begins to chill, I give a half-hearted wave to the world and tuck myself in for a long winter nap. I spent the majority of last winter in self-induced hibernation, away from the public, reluctantly canceling plans with friends who had a sniffle. I felt like I had to screen guests with a “symptom questionnaire” before they were even allowed to enter my home.

That first winter was a very lonely season. But it was also a surprising season of transformation. Continue reading

Why you must lose your leaves this season

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It wasn’t until I moved north that Fall took on a whole new meaning. The charming season now warms a special place in my heart. The very word conjures up memories of apple picking, pumpkin carving, hot cider, and the delicious aroma of Grandma’s pie baking in the oven!

Every year I look forward to pulling out my weathered box from its nestled place in the basement, rediscovering the rustic decor that will soon adorn my home. This year, as I sat down to admire my handiwork, my eye caught a glimpse of the trees out back. Tall and proud, they line the yard with their fiery blaze of reds, oranges, and yellows announcing that summer is officially gone and winter is sure to come.

Soaking in the moment, I was suddenly struck by the irony of it all. The very leaves I admire are actually dying before my very eyes. The thought was slightly disturbing and fascinating all at the same time.

How could death be so beautiful?

I was compelled to rustle through my memory from the old school days when we learned about the abscission of deciduous trees (science words make my head hurt). If the trees were going to survive the season, they must toughen up and dispose of their leaves. Not only is the loss of the leaves important but the nutrients that are received from that loss, and the chance for regrowth, is what guarantees longevity and new life in the spring.

I’ll be honest. Science makes me yawn. But as I gazed at the foliage, God whispered in my heart. There was something I needed to learn from the leaves. Continue reading

The Broken Road: my journey with disease

the broken road my journey with diseaseIt started out as a normal summer day and we couldn’t have been more thrilled. Hubs and I had just purchased our very first home. And it was yellow. I had prayed for yellow. Moving day was set, our boxes packed. We were moving right along with our list of goals: New house, check. Jobs, check. Furniture, check. Search for a dog, check. Our future was looking bright.

And then it happened. Something didn’t feel quite right. My energy started to fail and I found myself getting easily fatigued. Over the next few weeks my knees began to swell until they became the size of cantaloupes. As the swelling increased, the pain grew. It hurt to walk, it hurt to stand, it hurt to move.

I spent my 30th birthday and a good part of that year battling a crippling disease. Instead of gracefully waltzing into a new decade, I hobbled my way through. Within two weeks of our move I became confined to our couch, utterly fatigued without even enough energy to make myself a sandwich. Even hobbling across the floor to the bathroom became a tremendous feat. My body was rapidly breaking down before my very eyes and there was nothing I could do about it. Continue reading