Today’s post is directly inspired by my current condition. I have caught a “something.” I have been calling it a cold but honestly, it feels a little bit like the flu.
I. Am. Miserable. To know me is to know a few things…
Monday I felt pretty good; like myself I dare say. But ooooh when I woke up Tuesday morning. My throat was sooooo scratchy, which for me is the first sign that sickness is coming. According to my reasoning, I had about 24 hours to OD on Vitamin C like I normally do; but to my surprise by the time I ran to the pharmacy on my lunch break, this “something” had fully manifested. Okay, so precautionary measures were out of the window, and I was officially in response mode. OH! And on top of that, I was having an eczema flare that produces itchy and painful hivelike blisters on my hands…great! The main objective was to do what I had to do to get rid of this cold and to calm this eczema flare. That night I started taking cold & flu medicine for my cough and runny nose, I drank lots and lots of orange juice with Emergen-C mixed in it, I took Benedryl for my itching, and I globbed lots of hydrocortisone cream on my hands for my eczema. I just KNEW when I woke up Wednesday morning, I’d be HEALED! But to my surprise, my name became even more engraved on the Sick and Shut-in List. My cough was worse, my nose was running like a faucet, my body was aching, and my head felt like a balloon. And coupled with sickness, I had dry lips from all of my mouth breathing, bags under my eyes from limited sleep due to a night of coughing, and that overall “Ooo child, you’re going through” look. Out of frustration I said to my best friend, “I’m still sick! I don’t understand why I don’t feel better yet!” His response was simple but powerful, “Chris, you just started taking medicine yesterday.” In other words… Chris, you JUST started healing.
Last night I had a minute to chat with a girl friend of mine that broke up with her boyfriend about two months ago. She told me how she has been still having a rough time with it, and some days are awful. She finds herself still emotional, crying over what was and what isn’t, and there are even times when she’s angry too. My friend was upset that two months later she was still feeling the sting of the break up. Being an expert on break ups and heart break, I gave her my best advice… “You can’t rush this process…healing takes time.” I know all too well how it feels to deal with the array of emotions that comes after a sudden loss, blow, setback, or infliction. Sometimes you bounce back and other times it takes time. Now if I could comprehend that with her break up enough to dish out that advice, how come I couldn’t comprehend that with my common cold…or whatever this is?
Transparent moment: I think my reaction to my cold is a metaphor for how I’ve been handling the many transitions that I’ve endured in the last 365+ days. In the past year or so, I have lost friendships, fell out of love, and had my heart broken, among other things. My blogs “Just Let It Go…” and “Heart Check: Seeing, Cleansing, Progressing” will reveal bits and pieces of my losses and gains, hardships and victories, failures and successes. Typically I am one who can “take a licking and keep on ticking.” I told you that I am resilient, I pop back up like a palm tree blowing in the wind. Unfortunately, some steps of my healing process have been a bit slow. No, I’m not still crying over what was and was is lost, but sometimes I get stuck at “Why aren’t I better yet?” In my mind, I am supposed to jump up, dust my shoulders off, brush my scraped knees, and take off running like it never happened. But what happens when time has passed but you still haven’t returned to “normal?”
“…I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I will heal you…”
2 Kings 20:5 [New International Version]
This text actually tells about Hezekiah who was told by the prophet Isaiah that he would die. Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed, and before the prophet could leave he returned with the above message from God, and 15 years was added to his life. Read the story; it’s pretty good.
Here’s a guarantee: God will heal you. As a matter of fact, Jesus paid the price for your healing (Isaiah 53:5). God wants you healed both physically and emotionally, and He is more than able to make this happen for you; however, there isn’t any rule that says your healing has to happen overnight over even immediately.
Have you ever had surgery or do you know of anyone who has had surgery? In the Pre-op appointment, the doctor goes over a list of cans and can’ts for that patient following their surgery. In addition, the doctor tells the patient how long their projected recovery time may be. This list of cans and can’ts as well as the projected recovery time is all dependent upon what type of surgery the patient is having. For someone having an outpatient surgery, they may go home after a few hours of monitoring and bounce back within a few weeks, days even. Someone having a more extensive surgery may need to spend a few days in the hospital, and he/she may have 6-8 weeks of recovery. My point: sometimes for more severe issues, you need more time before you are “normal” again. Even then, you may discover that you have a new normal.
For my friend recovering from a break up, it may be a while before her heart stops aching. There may even be a delay before she can trust herself and any other man in order to try her hand at a relationship again. And for me, my “cold” will go away but maybe not today. I’ll have to stick to taking my meds and try to squeeze in some time to slow down and rest so I can recover. Taking 1,000 pills isn’t going to make me any better any sooner, and even when I do feel better, it is recommended to stick to the treatment. Feeling better doesn’t always mean that you are fully healed. Sometimes you have to continue to take it slow until you have fully regained strength. And as for you… with whatever process you are trying to rush through, don’t. I know this process SUCKS and you are completely over it. You are ready to just be yourself and be okay again. That’s cool…I get it. I’m sure as heck sick of barking, blowing my nose, taking meds, and feeling yucky. Beyond my cold, I tired of rebuilding, starting from scratching, learning to trust again, and not being “there” yet. Like the patient who just had a major surgery who is ordered to “take it easy,” we have to be patient in our healing process. Doing too much too soon can cause damage and pain worse than that of the healing process itself.
Though you want to “Oh my God, be okay,” (LOL) be patient. Sometimes it takes time.
I hope this helps.