I hesitate to call this a post about my New Year’s Resolution (I hardly ever keep those), but with the ending of last year, I feel the need to make some.
I have lived in the Blackburn House for almost 6 months now. I am NOT a sickly person. Actually, I could count on one hand the number of times I was sick in college. But this year was different. I was sick 4 times within the last 3 months. The last time was the worst.. it wasn’t just being sick, it was an embarrassing and excruciating infection that rolled on for nearly 4 weeks. I am still fully recovering from it.
I am also the busiest I have ever been in my life. Between two jobs and my responsibilities at the Blackburn House, I have gauged that I work between 50 and 60 hours a week. I am also what my boyfriend and my boss have declared as “too responsible” – I am a people pleaser and a perfectionist wrapped up into one, which can be a dangerous combination if you are committed to too many things and you don’t handle stress well.
So, I got sick.
And I ate horribly because I was too tired to go grocery shopping and I stress-ate, and I gained weight because I was too tired to exercise after work, and I neglected my friends because I was stressed and angry with everyone but Glenn, and I neglected God because it was so much more appealing to wind down and watch 5 episodes of Grey’s Anatomy than to push myself to exercise my brain.
And I got sick again. And again.
And I continued to eat terribly and not exercise, and get behind at work because I had to take sick days, and watch entirely too much TV, and neglect being with the Lord because I was frustrated and tired and guilty and so stressed out.
And finally, I was dealt a really bad hand. Two infections, excruciating symptoms, hardcore antibiotics that made me really sick, embarrassment, more and more stress…
So I prayed, and I prayed for the Lord to take it from me – to take my sickness and to take my pain. There were a lots and lots of tears. It’s easy to believe in “His plan” when it’s happening to somebody else, but I realized how difficult it is when you’re the one in pain and you just don’t understand why the verse “Believe and it will be given to you” doesn’t apply to you for some reason. I had an emotional breakdown. Four weeks is a long time when you’re in pain and your prayers aren’t being answered the way you’d like.
I realize that I took my body for granted and my mind for granted and the Lord for granted. I realize how important it is to take care of yourself. Jesus said that the two greatest commandments are to love God and to love your neighbor as yourself.
How can we expect to love others if we do not first learn to love ourselves?
So after all of this, I want to learn to love myself: to take care of myself physically and emotionally and spiritually. I am convinced that if I do, if we all do, that we will have the ability to be more on fire for God and for each other.