Oftentimes, I find myself at a point of experiencing some feeling, some emotion, some frame of mind that is the antithesis of what I think I should be. There was a time, when I would feel guilty for having these feelings, since they are seasoned with pinches of dismay, disappointment, weariness and a few other mood disrupters that people of faith just aren’t supposed to have, at least that’s what they say. You know (they), that opinion leader who lingers around everywhere, but you have no idea what they look like.
That feeling I’m talking about lands hard from time to time. You feel vanquished in a way that tends to shake your mental and emotional infrastructure more than anything physical about you. Of course, when you’re emotionally and mentally challenged long enough, the body is guaranteed to follow likewise. From listening to chronically ill people, I think this feeling lies in wait to prey on us. Before, you get all judgmental, this feeling I’m talking about has nothing to do with loss of faith. After all, if we’re honest, faith if graphed, probably wouldn’t look like a straight 45-degree line. Faith is authored by God, but exercised by faulty creatures called human beings, who find themselves confronted with all manner of challenges daily; challenges that come to rob and steal whatever peace we’ve been granted by the grace of God. These challenges cause jagged interruptions in our faith line graph. Those of us who truly have faith in God continue to experience upward movement of our line, though jagged, the dips are temporary.
When you have a chronic illness, or two, or maybe even three walking with you as you go through life’s journey, some days are good, and some aren’t. I’m not assigning qualitative evaluations to the actual days God presents, but more so one’s ability to take each day in and enjoy it for all it presents. Some days the drugs you take, as maintenance, to keep that cancer from recapturing the territory it conquered before remission, have an accumulative effect. It’s during those times, that the beauty God projects on natures 360-degree screen is just hard to appreciate. You’re tired, seemingly void of energy reserves, challenged to put one foot in front of the other. Add to that, the human interactions, which should be an unquestionable blessing, are just not gliding smoothly. People are asking for this and for that, with what seems to be an unconsciousness of your condition. I know that sounds a bit like self-pity, doesn’t it? But when you’re tired, you’re just tired. Self-pity has nothing to do with it.
The great Civil Rights Heroine, Fannie Lou Hammer is known for saying, “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.” Hammer was dealing with the depths and breaths of injustice nurtured by the Jim Crow Laws of the South. The tiredness which I’m referring to in this piece is no way equal to what Hammer was navigating; however, on a personal level, the symptoms are certainly similar.
Writing has, a cathartic effect. Believe it or not, I don’t feel the same as when I started this piece. I’m still “tired”, but not too tired to realize God continues to bless me despite my feeling like a balloon still trying to hold onto its circumference, but without enough gas inside to float. Yes, I’m tired, and my prayer is that this state of mind doesn’t set up permanent residency in my being ever. I pray that I continue to be the one of faith walking with confidence “through” the valley of the shadow of death.
I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.