Authentic Rest

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30

My legs have become generally very weak and that is an ongoing symptom of SM. But occasionally and more frequently lately, they seem to briefly “short-circuit.” This means I experience temporary paralysis, lasting a few seconds to a few minutes. It happens when I am standing or walking, so I fall or grab onto something to lean on until I can get to a seated position. The neurosurgeon, I am currently seeing, compared it to a “light bulb going out.” Because the syrinx (cyst full of fluid) is constantly pressing on nerves that control muscle movements, the muscles will not always function properly.

Two days ago, my family and I were at church. My husband went to pull up the car so I wouldn’t have to walk far. He asked a friend of ours, a nice, strong fellow, to escort me to the car while he got the kids. This young man obliged and firmly held my arm as we walked to the exit. Well, sure enough, my legs turned to Jell-O and there I was, literally dangling. Oh did I mention this guy played football and can probably lift a Volkswagen? He could’ve picked me up but did not, which didn’t really matter because my husband was headed back in and swooped me right up in his usual King Kong style. Yes, my husband reads this and, yes, he considers that a compliment!

{Side-note: I communicated with the young man later and he said he wanted to pick me up but didn’t because he wasn’t sure if it was “crossing marital boundaries.” I am pointing this out because the thoughtfulness impressed me! I assured him that this was a special circumstance and therefore he could’ve thrown me over his shoulder for all we cared, but I did appreciate his respectful, considerate response.}

Yesterday, friends of ours, a newly married couple, very graciously offered to take the boys bowling and out for dinner. It was nice for the boys to get a special outing and really great for us to get a break. I spent some time talking to my sweet friend last night when the couple brought the boys home. She had witnessed the “scene” at church and said she almost had to look away because it was difficult to watch. It was difficult in the moment, but God continues to give me the grace to laugh about it shortly after.

She and I also talked about coping in difficult times. I told her the one thing I MUST do everyday before I do anything else. Each morning, I pray. I know some people say make time to sit somewhere quietly and all of that. That is great if you can do it and I usually can later in the day. But in the morning, it NEVER happens.  But, to me, it doesn’t matter how quiet it is for this prayer. It matters what I am saying. This first prayer of the day, I am GIVING MY DAY TO GOD, surrendering control and asking Him to be my hands, my feet, my lips. Admitting that I CANNOT do it in my own power. (get through the day with ________, _______, _______ fill in your own blanks!) That way I am starting the day walking in the Spirit. 

This used to feel incredibly scary and difficult to me, being someone who likes to be in control. Not so anymore! Now it is amazing relief. The pressure and focus are off of me and on “him who is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think…” (Ephesians 3:20)  I believe God says to us, “Cast your cares and anxiety on me because I can handle them and you really can’t.” (I Peter 5:7) I couldn’t admit this before, but God has humbled me so that I can now readily concede that I can not handle my cares and problems as well as He can. I am happy to give them to Him each day. The pressure is off. The cape is off – no more “supermom” here. What a relief! Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.

Journey with me.

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