The Clearing

The Clearing

After several months of ills and ailments, I’m slowly getting back on track with my overall health and wellbeing.

It hasn’t been at all pleasant this Winter, I’ve battled tirelessly with my gut, my skin, insomnia and worry about irrational things that I know I need not be worried about. Such anxieties can plague a person to the point of no longer seeing life or themselves without them. It sounds dire (it is in many ways), but I still acknowledge the blessings I’ve been given throughout these trials.

Though I am fortunate in my circumstances, it doesn’t mean they’re any less difficult to navigate.

Because despite all of the comforts and privileges, I haven’t been happy in myself for a while now. I have felt sick and ugly, defeated and afraid. I have been willing myself to have hope every day, yet in the same breath, exhaling shame and guilt and frustration at my own shortcomings. I’ve been disappointed at my lack of effort and discipline to do better and be more than what I am. To be who I know God is calling me to be. Whom He has created me to be.

I’ve fallen like this in the past, living with eczema and low self-esteem for as long as I can remember, where simple things like getting out of bed each morning becomes an extra challenging task. I fear the inevitable pain of washing my hands, the disgust of looking at my body in the mirror, the stress of thinking of how I’m going to combat and prevent the germs in the air and every surface that I touch.

Could it be an undiagnosed obsessive compulsion? Or is my awareness a sign it can be controlled?

I’m certain that the Covid-19 era we are living in has exacerbated my concerns around hygiene, but I’m beginning to realise that it is the lack of clarity in my life pursuits which is the greater culprit of my recent breakdowns.

I’ve just been going through the motions, doing the same things over and over, of course reaping the same results. I want more but I’m not doing more. I want better but I’m not doing better. I have settled into negative patterns of thinking and working, without clear direction of the future I aspire for.

We can only plan so much as life is unpredictable, but still, it’s important that we plan.

We need to set clear goals and create strong systems and habits to help us work towards them.

In the mess of my mental and physical state these past few months, I’ve lost sight of my goals. Or perhaps they’ve just been sitting there on my mind, very superficially, vaguely, hazily – too unfocused for me to truly grasp onto.

Without a good grip on them, the distractions become too powerful. The temptations, more alluring. My weaknesses exposed and ready to exploit.

Where is my faith?

Yet today, as I look down at my hands, my arms, the inflammation finally settled, my natural colour once again coming through and my skin softer to touch…I know that there is a Healer. His name is Jesus. He has plans for me and He is looking after me.

He is clearing up my skin, my mind and my breath. He is helping me to see what I can do, what He can do through me. In my weakness, His grace is perfected. In my trials, His power is magnified.

Life was never meant to be easy, suffering is inevitable. But it’s because of pain and sorrow, that we can feel and experience joy. It’s because of struggle that we learn to have hope. It’s the reason we need God.

It’s clear to me now.

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