That Old Familiar Feeling
I was hoping Mum’s bathtub had cured me of my fibromyalgia. Really, I did. Well – not the bathtub but God’s healing touch through it. I’d spent 7 days in Sri Lanka fare-welling Mum. Amidst the blessedness of being with loved ones and celebrating Mum’s life together, there came the tiredness that went with extra busyness and grief. I’d caught a nasty bug before leaving for the funeral. So I was up coughing most nights in Sri Lanka –not the best recipe for tiredness. My fibro exhaustion visited me often.
That last day in Sri Lanka, my sis Ranmali and I trotted off to the shops to buy a few last minute essentials. After a couple of hours, the familiar fibro tiredness and weakness suddenly crept up on me – I knew I had to get back home before I crashed. A delicious lunch at no. 10 chatting with my siblings revived me. That evening though, I wondered how I’d cope with the 36 hour trip back home. I was exhausted.
A few hours later, after my packing was done, I boiled a kettle of water and added it to a filled bathtub – the same bathtub I’d splashed around in as a little child in my parent’s home. I added the few grains of Epsom salt I’d managed to purchase that day. The water was tepid with only one kettle-ful of boiling water in the mix – so I found it cold. Brrrr. I was determined to derive maximum benefit from it though – so made myself lie there for 30 minutes. But guess what! When I was showered and dressed again – I felt good.
Better. Much better. In fact, after a cup of tea, much of my usual oomph had replaced my tiredness. Yay! And you know, in terms of weariness, that journey home was definitely the best trip back ever. I was amazed. And very grateful. Was it the bathtub that did it? Or Mum’s parting bequest to me – making me fibro-free? God lavished many gifts on me that flight back – 3 empty seats next to me on the first flight so I could stretch out and sleep – what luxury. A room at the airport hotel so I could be revived.
Strength for the journey. Privacy to shed tears and grieve Mum’s loss. It was precious. I believed it was a series of special gifts from God in answer to the prayers of many. I was deeply blessed. The next few weeks back home in Adelaide were good ones physically. I did have one attack of my fibro exhaustion – but it was short-lived. As for my usual fibro pains? No! They were gone! What joy.
Three weeks after I returned, as I went off to have my evening walk after a busy two days, I realised that my body wasn’t happy. Doing one lap around the Oval was difficult. Doing the second lap was like climbing a mountain. I’d been cruising through five laps on previous days, but after just two laps that evening; I knew I had to go home. The next morning, as I switched my alarm off at 7 a.m. my body screeched, loud and hard; a foghorn screaming in my ears. The old familiar pain was back. Unwelcome. Like a hungry baby waiting to be fed, it could not be dismissed.
And there I was, thinking Mum’s bathtub had cured me. I wish. Never mind. It was lovely while it lasted. I praise God for those three marvellous weeks when pain was a dim distant memory. The old familiar feeling was back. Do you know what I am talking about? Those old familiar feelings of whatever? We all have them, don’t we? In different ways. In differing circumstances. At different times.
What do those old familiar feelings conjure up for you?
Anger and resentment?
Tiredness and exhaustion?
Wishing life was different?
Feeling depressed and unhappy?
Shame and guilt and condemnation?
The frustration of a life that’s way too busy?
The realisation that you’ve not forgiven someone after all?
We all have ‘old familiar feelings’ visit us from time to time. If those feelings are negative ones, what do we do with them? As with anything and everything, my first choice would be to take those feelings to Jesus. He created me. He knows me from the inside out. He can change me from the inside out so that the old familiar feelings will be replaced with hope. With courage. Love. Wisdom. Healing. A way out. The refreshment of the Saviour.
Would you come to Him?
He waits for us with outstretched arms. And He is Able.
“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:14-16