When I started this blog, I was hoping to post every day or two. Clearly this was optimistic, to put it charitably. The past couple of months, however, my posting has been spottier than usual, with days going by with no posts (sometimes followed by days with multiple posts). There has been a lot of stress in my personal life, but the most significant issue has been pain. As in, a lot of it. All mine. Sometimes the pain — or the pain medication — makes it difficult to concentrate, and on other occasions it hurts to walk so I spend a lot of time at my computer.

I have fibromyalgia. I’ve had it for years, actually, and it has been an occasionally discomfort, and very occasionally significantly painful, for short periods.

Until this summer, that is. Since this summer, I have had more days in pain than otherwise. The pain ranges from achiness to, some days, severe enough to make it difficult to walk. And if I ignore the pain and “play hurt,” the muscles will stop responding, and it will be difficult to walk at all. A good day can be followed by a bad day. It is hard, on days when I feel “almost normal” not to do as much as I used to do all the time — because if I do, then the next or the day after that will be horrible. My doctor and I are working on ways to control the pain, and I have a referral to the Pain Clinic, but right now, I’m in pain. I keep praying that this is temporary, that the fibromyalgia will disappear as quickly as it appeared in June, but it hasn’t, yet.

I am trying to let go of this. I am trying to learn to turn this over to God. I am failing.

I do not ask “Why me, Lord?” I keep feeling that somehow I must have done something to deserve this, even though the rational part of my brain says it’s just a disease, and God doesn’t work that way. I do not feel anger at God, only shame before God.

I know that there are psychologists and theologians out there who have done work on the pictures of God that people have internalized. I want to believe that God is love; I really truly do. And part of me does. But part of me internalized an angry, vengeful God, who is punishing me for who I am and the sins I have committed. And all my knowledge of a nurturing, caring God flies out the window in the face of that picture. My understanding of the falsity of that theology — rejected expressly in the Book of Job! — does not to lessen its grip on my psyche.

This is another day, O Lord. I know not what it will bring forth, but make me ready, Lord, for whatever it may be. If I am to stand up, help me to stand bravely. If I am to sit still, help me to sit quietly. If I am to lie low, help me to do it patiently. And if I am to do nothing, let me do it gallantly. Make these words more than words, and give me the Spirit of Jesus. Amen.

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