"You don't look sick."
These were the words I heard as I faced another adult woman. Wow. It definitely stung. My initial thoughts were ‘I feel worse right now than I did yesterday.’ and ‘At least I am here.’ Neither were appropriate responses in this confrontation, so after a pause and a search of the other person’s eyes I responded, “Thank you.” And continued on with business as usual.
I had missed work recently and was struggling to live life even half way to the fullest. I was in survival mode - just do what has to be done: get up, go to work, work well, get home safely, and try not to be an ‘angry bear’ especially once my husband comes home.
I don’t believe people are purely defined by their struggles or their successes nor by their strengths or their weaknesses; however, I do believe God uses challenges of this fallen world to sharpen our resolve to live for His glory and seek His will. A difficult I am facing lately in this fallen world is dealing with some health challenges: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), chronic fatigue, weight gain, and insomonia. None of this are what a doctor would consider ‘life-threatening’ as in life or death, and yet, I find these compounding issues have literally changed my life and truly threatened me and my life.
I think of a ‘double-edged’ sword when I consider my health challenges. On one side of the sword you have all these issues that are being dealt with that cause outward symptoms but cannot truly be seen from the outside. The other side of the sword is the fact that each issue plays in to one another…
Women with PCOS often face issues with weight gain and/or weigh management as well as chronic fatigue. Now, do you want to guess what weight gain can result in? Insomnia. You know what can cause or happen as a result of insomnia? Chronic fatigue. You know what fatigue can cause? Insomnia. Now, imagine what restless nights and tired-some days can lead to: weight gain! Get the idea?
One of the largest challenges is hearing, “You don’t look sick.”
Oh my, sister.
I am. I truly am.
How do I respond in a positive way to that statement? Do you hear the accusation? How do I not file that questioning away and become defensive? What do you do when some one pours salt on an open wound?
Thank goodness I know THE Healer, the Comforter, the source of Eternal strength.
"God gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.” Isaiah 40:29.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10