Does anyone else ever push themselves too far when they're feeling sick? I mean, it's just a cold, right? And at the first sign of healing, that means I should venture out all day -- starting with McDonald's breakfast, of course, and ending with an Ikea haul, then coming home and putting everything away only to then decide to do dishes and laundry before making dinner, leading to not sitting my 35-week-pregnant butt down for a grand total of 6+ hours straight? Really though, I felt pretty good yesterday until I realized, Oh, I still feel sick. Oops. And guess what I didn't get while I was out? More cough drops, more eucalyptus essential oils, and more tissues. All things that'd be very nice to have on this brisk day, which I'm forcing myself to stay indoors for.
I don't know if it's because of the ridiculously limited number of sick days offered at my old job, or because I'm put off by looking like a big wimp to the doctors, or if it's just the cowboy/farmer work ethic I inherited, but I've never been one to really fully rest when I've been sick, no matter the ailment. Cold? Pfff. Can't keep me down. Fever? Well, there's medicine to help with symptoms so even if I'm not healing, at least I feel better. Bladder infection? Medicine. Ear infection? Medicine. Pregnancy? Ha! This is what my body was made for. High blood pressure? I'll just "try not to be so stressed". Emergency c-section and life-threatening delivery of a teeny-tiny 4lb baby? Are you kidding? I'm a mommy now, and I have to go back to work in just 12 weeks, so, I don't have time for this "recovery" stuff.*
You'd think by now, after 30 years on this earth, I'd've learned at some point that my body is actually not a machine, but rather a living organism, and that it should probably take a time out to heal every once in a while.
And in the same way I try to push past physical illness by ignoring the fact that it's there, I sometimes ignore -- or neglect to nurture -- my spiritual and emotional needs.
If you read my blog at all, you have probably gathered that I am an advocate of She Reads Truth. Yesterday was Day 4 of their "Open Your Bible" study, and it was a fantastic message (and especially if you have a black thumb, like myself, the analogy was golden). Amanda wrote, "As if my heart and soul are as inconsequential as a houseplant, I’ve gone days and weeks without filling up on the living water and living Word. I nourish my life with good intentions and expect it to thrive when only Jesus can quench my soul-deep thirst."
This is so much like what I do to myself! I can't physically heal if I'm running around, as busy as ever; "I cannot water plants with my good intentions;" nor can I quench my "soul-thirst" with good intentions, happy thoughts, and "me-time".
I need Jesus and I need God's Word more than anything.
Here's what I've learned over the years as a believer re-born, in my dry and in my abundant seasons: He will meet me right where I am. If I am running around, as busy as ever, He will meet me while I'm running errands or taking care of our home. If I'm lying in bed, too exhausted to even lift my head from the pillow, He will meet me at my weakest. If I'm at a social event, if I'm at work, if I'm on the bus or the subway, if I'm at home reading or painting, if I'm spending time with my kids or if I'm on a date with my husband, He will meet me right where I am.
That's the thing about God -- we don't really need to "go out of our way" to find Him. We do need to be intentional about spending quiet time with Him and in His Word, but it doesn't have to be just another thing on our To-Do Lists that we need to "make time for". He will meet us right where we are.
So. Rest up. Take it easy. Take time to heal and to nurture your body and your soul, because He will come to you.
*In the States, yeah, you can get OTC meds for a fever, and even for a bladder infection. Here in Austria, you cannot. So, thank God I haven't had any sickness worse than a cold in the past two years. I'd hate to have to bother the doctors with such ridiculous requests. (I know, it's me who's ridiculous.)
I feel like I need to add a defensive note here, that even when I'm sick, I'm very hygienic (I've retained some of my old OCD hygiene habits), and unless I'm actually spitting in your face you probably won't get sick from me. (And if I must blow my nose in public, I will find a bathroom stall and will do it in there.) Also, please, people, cough or sneeze into your elbows, NOT INTO YOUR HANDS. Geeze.