Thanking the Lord this morning that I awoke an hour before my alarm went off feeling well-rested. What a difference that makes to my outlook on the day. I had a hard time falling asleep but as in all things, God is teaching me. What I'm learning is that I have to turn my brain off. You'd think with all the thinking I do I'd be accomplishing some remarkable things! It's astounding to me how hard it is for me to lay my head down and put my brain into neutral. Also astounding, once I do so I fall asleep within minutes instead of the average of 2 hours (seriously) it usually takes me.
I am experiencing what was once guessed tobe an ulcer; stomach upset and burning. Also suspecting I have fibromyalgia. Argh! I've teased about fibro because its existence is often doubted in the medical community. But having 16 of the known 18 pressure points is hard to ignore. I know I know I know, everything I am talking about is stress-related. And after several days of begging God to get me out of it I am sensing that this season is one where I will learn to be victorious in it.
My Gramma loved her family and that love was usually expressed in what was an overprotective attitude. We were coddled, never go to school or work with the sniffles. Being told, with love, that we were not strong enough to endure this or that challenge. That influence stays with me. What was love mis-expressed has a tendency to be a lack of my own confidence in my ability to deal with life today. That's not a good feeling. And since she is gone I will also say, it is not a good message to children. I still want to over-protect my own kids but the Holy Spirit helped me see the error in the good intentions a long time ago so I bite my tongue and encourage them to take a deep breath and face the hard things in life. Face them because we can. And what a gift it is to look back with pride and forward with confidence when you feel strong and able.
I would suspect that some of that influence could explain why my stress responses are so visceral...poor sleep, head aches, depression, body aches...Hmmm. The good news is that Jesus is not just savior but redeemer. He fills the cracks in our walls so that we can stand. So yes, this morning my elbows (how ridiculous) and neck hurt. My stomach is a bit burny. But I won't turn around and crawl back into bed. I'll go out with praise on my lips for the restful night I had and send the message to the enemy that I (and my elbows) will go to work and one day at a time, I (and my elbows) will gain victory.
Inside of this mortal skin I know I will always experience aches, pains and stress. That doesn't mean that I can't cope, Christ will strengthen me.
I can do all things.