For the last five days, I’ve been stuck in bed with the ‘flu. I’d love to say that it’s been a great opportunity to rest and catch up on worthwhile spiritual activities, but the reality is that I’ve been feeling so lousy, all I can manage is to binge-watch silly comedies on Netflix and toss and turn at night, feeling feverish and miserable…
This experience of coming face-to-face with my broken human weakness has been VERY humbling.
Although I have been trying to learn to develop a more self-compassionate attitude, I actually seemed to be stuck on a loop of self-pity, complaining, and regret…
I kept trying to give myself little pep talks, to count my blessings and remember those less fortunate than myself…
But the truth is that it hasn’t been working. Earlier on today, I sat on the floor in the hallway and complained bitterly to my poor, long-suffering husband, about all my woes and my terrible frustration at not being well… 😩😩😩
Then, I felt ashamed of myself and apologised for my childishness…
And so, I’ve been ping-ponging between feeling sorry for myself and then becoming embarrassed for not coping better with a simple bout of the ‘flu.
I realise that I am trying to regulate my emotions in a very human way: either by expressing them openly and unrestrainedly like a child, or attempting to control them with an iron fist.
The fact is that neither strategy has brought me peace.
Before starting to write this, I lay down on my bed and cried out in anguish to God, asking for help and relief. I apologised for my immature behaviour, and then began to feel that I don’t really deserve pity or help, because there are many more people in the world who are suffering much more than me… I mean, I have a warm bed, nutritious food to eat, a husband who cares for me… I thought: do I even have the right to feel bad???
Then I sensed a still, small voice of grace in my heart, telling me: “it’s not a competition, Emily. I love you. Rest in my love”.
And then I began to cry, as I felt so moved and humbled again.
Jesus knew that I didn’t need a motivational pep talk about my emotional “failures”… During my moments of pure weakness and brokenness, he knew I just needed to feel loved and appreciated.
If you have been feeling unwell, undeserving or alone, please do let me know so I can pray for you. I’ve been so grateful today for some lovely, supportive friends in the Faith after Deception Fellowship who have been sending me prayers and encouragement during my illness. I almost thought I didn’t deserve to ask for prayer as it’s only the ‘flu, but I’m so glad I did. We often need to reach out of our comfort zones to receive support and that can be hard and scary, but it’s definitely worth it. Big hugs to everyone, and have a great week