The dawn of a new day always has with it a sunrise. Sometimes brighter than the day before, and sometimes just as soft and subtle as possible. But truth is, we wake up to the break of a new day. And for me, how I welcome each new day has changed.
Here’s why …
On January 8th, just last week, I sat right outside of this ultrasound room wondering … “what is wrong with me?”
You see, I have been experiencing for some time now a good bit of fatigue and pain. My lower back never seems to stop hurting after a pretty bad injury this past summer, and my body seems to have little to no strength. I felt great and wonderful … up until the end of October and the first of November. Also, it was right around that time when “personal things” were not as they normally are.
I would wake up and feel like I had not slept at all. I seemed to keep this very drained feeling and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t shake it. And not only drained physically, but emotionally, too. A little bit of crying always seemed to find it’s time and place in my daily life…somehow in some way. The joy that once seemed to overtake me, was just not being “felt,” and to be totally real with you, I began to recognize this looming sense of sadness.
I tried everything – more stretching to help my back. More praise and worship to lift my moods. More time in His Word in hopes of a mental and emotional breakthrough. More prayer. More activity with others. More work added into my days just to keep me distracted and busy and focused on someone else and what they need. But then by the time Thanksgiving was here, I knew … I knew something was wrong. I hurt with a unique pain in my body. I felt like I was only going through the motions of my life, and not genuinely happy and fully enjoying life. (Anyone who knows me at all knows that THAT is not me!) My days felt like they had this layer of “heavy” on them and … I just couldn’t shake it. I ate as healthy as possible, tried to exercise …
Then December came, bringing lots of clients and that meant plenty on the calendar….and my first thought was “This is GREAT! This will help me get out of this funk and after all, it’s Christmas! This is to be the happiest most joyful month of the year!” But … the lingering depression and fatigue just would not go away. It stayed dead center and in front of my life.
Rip and I left on December 19th to go to TN because his dad had taken a turn for the worst. While we were there, literally by his dad’s side, he breathed his last on December 23, and we had his funeral on December 27 … still having our traditional Christmas celebration with the family on December 24 that evening.
By the time we were walking the cemetery locating the plot for Harold … I fought back (for the sake of my family) what I was feeling – as an emotional and physical wreck. For our family’s sake, I prayed every day, “Lord, help me be strong. Make me a pillar of strength for this family. Help me to be there for each of them.” There was nothing I wanted more than to “be there” in every way for my family, and I literally begged the Lord to equip me and sustain me, while secretly grieving myself.
Rip and I came home on Sunday, went right into our jobs Monday morning, January 31st, and then … WHAM! On Tuesday, January 1, New Year’s Day, it all hit! It was as though my body and my emotions and my mind were in total agreement – “She’s done.” I sat in my chair hurting all day, (no medicine alleviated the pain) and sleeping most of the day.
By the time January 8th came, and I was sitting outside of that ultrasound room, the Lord and I had a little visit …
“Father, what is wrong with me? I know I am here, but I am here with You and I know You have me here for a reason. I trust You to care for me, because this body is Your temple. Fight for it, will You? Make it bring You glory, at whatever cost.”
I had already had my blood drawn and examined by my doctor. He ordered a few more blood tests (the results from those tests will be coming in this week). But then he asked me to come to his office after the ultrasound results were shown to him.
I plopped down, placing my purse on the chair beside me and grabbed a peppermint out of his little dish on this desk. I wanted to have something in my mouth to keep me from crying … I just felt it was coming!
He said to me in the kindest way,
“Lisa, your ultrasound showed no sign of fibroids, no cysts, your ovaries look great and because of the degree of pain you’ve been experiencing, and because we have had to treat you for this before, I believe your endometriosis is back. We will check that again in 3 months, but only AFTER you do some things. Ok?”
(I nodded…kept crunching on my peppermint and fighting back the tears.)
“Now, I’ve known you since you were 16, and if I were a betting man, I would bet that Lisa has been doing what she always does and that is, you live your life ALL IN!” (When he said this, he flung open his arms and spread them as wide as he could get them.) He asked me about what I’ve been doing. I told him that up until last October, I had been working 2 jobs – on staff at our church and running our business, Interior Inspirations. Then he looked me square in the eyes and said;
“Lisa, whatever it is you do, you go all in. You give it your all even if it means staying up until wee hours of the night and getting up in the wee hours of the morning. You’ve always been like that. But I want you to understand something: you can’t do at 50 what all you did in your 20’s. And most importantly, what I am seeing right now is a woman who is literally worn out and exhausted. You’re tired, Lisa, and you need balance in your life. You don’t have to be superwoman. Now, it’s time for you to be taken care of. So, I want you to begin carving out time each day “for Lisa.” I want you to exercise. You have always taken care of yourself and that needs to continue. You need to stop wearing yourself out for other people when it costs you your own health. You need to bring balance to your days, ok?”
I heard all that…but what rang in my ears the loudest was this…was when he looked at me smiling the kindest smile and said,
You don’t have to be superwoman.
I knew I was hearing the voice of God. I knew it. Because as my doctor talked to me SO tenderly and with genuine concern, he also gave me specific instructions in what he wanted me to do to begin restoring health (in every sense of the word) to my body.
He also gave me a low dose of Lo-Loestrin and is waiting on the results to come in to show if I have a hypothyroid. Both my parents do, and there is this possibility that my thyroid may be the cause for some of what I have been feeling. If, after taking the Lo-Loestrin (.5 milligrams of estrogen) the pain is still there, he wants to do a laparoscopy to cauterize what he strongly believes is returning endometriosis. I trust him. Until I see him again in 3 months, here are the life changes (doctors orders) I have added to my life:
- I journal all that I eat, drink and also record all the BeachBody on Demand workouts that I complete. The only days I will not workout is Saturday and Sunday. I will walk outside on Saturdays, if the weather is pretty 🙂
- Take time for what I enjoy – my girly hobbies center around 2 things: 2) homemaking, and 3) writing
- Get enough sleep – a minimum of 7-8 hours
- Work so many hours a day – and then stop
- Enjoy simple things
- And I added one to the list because of where I’ve been with God, and it’s this —> to REST – not sleep, but live all day long from a place of REST. Resting in trusting God. Resting in His plans. Resting in His presence. Resting in my freedoms. Resting in my inheritance. Resting in His authority. Resting in His provisions. Resting in Christian disciplines. Resting in His promises. Christ shed His blood on a cross so I could LIVE IN a place of restored REST in Him. I truly don’t want to miss out on this position of joy.
And that is why I chose the feature photo that I did for this blog — it is the most beautiful lake here in Madison. Peaceful and serene, especially at the break of a new day. You not only see the rest of a dawning new day, but you feel it, smell it, experience it.
Ya’ll, this is why and where the new series, “A Home at Rest is a Home at Best” is coming from…it’s such a personal restful place. And I’m seeing that REST doesn’t mean “non-activity or the absence of productivity.” But it does mean this — greater and more personal experiences with God.
And to think … it took my doctor looking me in the eyes and telling me something so liberating that it instantly, and I do mean instantly, made my peppermint fail me and brought tears streaming out of my eyes …
You don’t have to be superwoman.