During this last spring, I spent time at home while a longer spell of the Lyme disease symptoms hit. I remember this time as being one of the longest and discouraging ten days, as my parents and I would email and call doctors who wouldn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know, and couldn’t offer any advice that actually helped. I was in bed one night when I woke up around two in the morning to the feeling I was going to pass out. I scrambled to get out of bed so I could find someone to help me, but instead I kind of fell to the ground out of weakness, and tried to lift my legs up against the wall to flow some blood back to my head. I panicked as my head still felt fuzzy (this fainting thing is a fear of mine, as it’s happened way more than a couple times, though usually always when I’m surrounded by people) and called out my sister’s name as her room is the closest to mine. My mom, who unfortunately has insomnia as one of her biggest symptoms of the same disease, heard me call out and came quickly down the hallway. I was able to think a little bit clearer as the blood spread back to my head, but as she suggested I get back into bed, we discovered I couldn’t move my arm to help support me up. I tried moving my head, and couldn’t do that either. I looked at my legs against the wall and they had now slid down to the bottom. I couldn’t move any part of my body because my muscles just seemed to shut down. My mom hurried to go wake up my dad, and while he sleepily came and lifted me up and into my bed, my mom ran to the kitchen and returned with a cup of our often consumed grape juice drink with added electrolytes, and lifted it to my lips to help me drink it.
The weakness eventually went away and my mom lied in bed with me for a while until I was able to sleep again, but those almost-fainting spells didn’t go away. That grape juice became my constant companion because especially on the more symptomatic days, my body could feel faint at random times, day or night. I pray God blesses my mom so much for all the work she’s done, because since that night it seemed that time went back to that of when I was her newborn baby, toddler, or small child, and any cry in the night would wake her, immediately knowing something was wrong. I feel so deeply for her, especially during all the months without a correct diagnosis, because while several other mothers celebrate their young adult child finishing up school and being off on their own, mine had to go back to the all-too-familiar stage of constantly taking care of her child while having several sick days herself.
This season has been a lot like that scary night; not knowing how or what I’ll feel day to day, and having to give up my control of so many things. I’m a twenty-one year old, in the “prime” of my life, and yet I can’t experience any of those things I would like to.
That reigns true for a lot of us though. Once we lose control, we panic, and then panic more once we realize we can’t do anything to help ourselves. It’s the feeling of losing the independence we worked so hard to gain, and then being forced to become dependent on others. It’s what anyone goes through who is sick, what the elderly must experience when their abilities slowly degenerate, what any of us feel when our lives throw us into situations that are uncontrollable by our own attempts and actions.
Looking back, it seems I’ve had a lot of times where I’ve been forced to the ground, whether it’s the weakness from that one night and the moments to follow, the anxiety attacks that brought me to my knees, or the migraines that keep me stationed in bed or on the couch all day.
I think that the ground is where God wanted me in all these situations…not so much in a physical sense, but in a mental sense; from a place where I could only look up.
Maybe when it seems I am forced yet AGAIN to the lowest of places while in the highest of pain, that is where Christ says, “Just give it up, stop your striving. You will never have complete control, and you wouldn’t want it anyway if you knew what I am capable of. Just look at Me.”
Because you see…
From the lowest places appear the largest miracles.
From the smallest places, God appears the biggest.
From the most impossible of situations, God can best show HIS possible.
From the lowest places, we have no choice but to look UP.
Imagine standing at the foot of the cross on Calvary. From the bottom of it, you can only look up to see it’s full entirety. You can only look up to see the magnitude of the sacrifice of Christ and the huge promise of Who He is. Standing farther away at a distance, you can see the picture of it, but it is smaller and the vastness may be lost. The closer we come to Christ, the more His good character is revealed and fully seen, and the more we come to Him, the more the posture of our hearts is changed.
God uses those moments when our physical posture is brought down low so that our mental posture is directed above.
During every rain storm, it’s almost natural to walk outside and look up. Look up at the dark skies and at the clouds that miraculously produced all that rain. During every situation, our first action should be to look up as well, rather than side to side. It’s only in looking up that we can fully see the character of God, our minds can stop striving, and we can surrender control, all because we have just gazed into the face of our Savior.