Sunday, July 23, 2017

I'm Well

About fifteen years ago, I learned that when someone asks how you are, it's not proper to say, "I'm good." It should be, "I'm well." A lot of people don't care about these things, but I thought, Hmm...I'd like to say that right. But habits are habits and I could never remember.

Some of you have been hearing about my struggle with fatigue since I learned a name for it and shared it way back here. After trying the current fads and typical adrenal fatigue treatment (and getting worse), I began eating a healing diet last spring. I believed it would give my body the best chance at solving its' own problems, since medicine didn't seem to have the answers.

It helped me lose my excess weight, but I didn't experience more energy. I added EMDR therapy to help me sort things on the emotional end and made some great strides. I figured, in time, the two would create a magical synergy and I'd find myself feeling better. I did experience more energy right before Christmas, possibly the joy of the season and being engrossed in preparation for it, but when it was over, my energy plummeted. I felt more tired than I had in a long time and outside stresses took a toll. I gained the weight back, even though I was still eating the healing diet.

I felt angry and fatalistic. Eating such a restricted diet for a year had been hard. How would I ever gain momentum when things I can't control come and trample all my progress? I started asking God what to do next, and didn't hear anything. 
Then we read James in Bible study. 

I wondered, "Why haven't I done this?" and proceeded to listened to stories of people who had. Some were healed immediately and some found healing later. It was interesting, but I didn't resolve to do it.

During times when I feel lost, I sometimes let songs be my prayers. Artists find words when I can't, so one day at work, I picked a worship playlist on Spotify to listen to. I had low expectations since I'm not a fan of Christian radio. I like things a little more soulful and earthy, so I expected to enjoy maybe every sixth song. But each song was a surprise. I found myself saving song after song to a playlist of my own, which became the soundtrack of my life. I listened constantly and began noticing themes the songs shared: 

The immense power of God - of his name
Her miracle-working ability
It is well with my soul
I will trust him - even if he doesn't fix this

That's when I realized God was my DJ that day. She picked those songs to nourish me and through each word, funneled faith into my heart. As I'd listen, I felt sure of those truths. I'd sing as loud as I could in the car because I wanted the universe to hear (and maybe the deepest parts of my soul too) that I'd love God no matter what happened. The faith I've wished for and prayed for filled me up and I had NO REASON to feel that way. I still had no idea how to help my body. I still had no money to spend on further treatment. I was at a dead end and I was bursting with hope.

I told my pastor about it and he said, "That's why they call it the peace that passes understanding." 

One morning I was showering and listening to my playlist. I started imagining who I'd want there if I were anointed. I pictured where I'd want to be and who would pray. I started crying when I thought of all the people who love me and would probably drop everything to come pray over me. I remembered my mom was anointed when I was a kid. Absorbed in my thoughts, I felt God say, "I want to do this FOR you." 

So I marched myself into the church and asked to be anointed. It was easy because for once I knew what the next right thing was. It was hard because I'd been ashamed of my mom when she'd been anointed and asking for help still didn't FEEL strong. Mom had complications after a surgery and doctors said the only solution was another surgery. She'd been in a robe when the elders came over and I was in junior high, so obviously, this was mortifying. I was so embarrassed I had either missed the fact or forgotten that she was healed instantly. No surgery needed.

Well I was anointed with my family around me, my mom, my in-laws, and a few of the precious friends who've walked with me through this struggle. They prayed over me and cried over me and put oil on my forehead. I wanted any healing Jesus had for me and didn't doubt some healing would come, whether it was freedom from guilt over napping or crazy amounts of energy. I just wanted him to touch me. 

The next day my inner voice drove me crazy asking, "How are you feeling now? How 'bout now?" All. Day. And I got scared. What if she didn't show up? That's the part about putting yourself out there in all your raw need. You know how devastating it will be if God doesn't come through. 

I've learned that sitting outside is therapy in itself, so I sat on my patio and prayed. Well, I held my aching heart up to God, but there weren't a lot of words. Then I looked up at the trees and saw two squirrels chasing each other through the branches. One of them was my black squirrel. (That's another story, but black squirrels remind me that Jesus loves me and in this difficult time, one seemed to have moved into our yard.) I watched him a long time and felt my soul quiet. It would be okay. God would always show up for me. 

And he has. For a while, I felt wide awake when I woke in the morning and could take or leave my usual nap. If I chose to take my normal (90 minute) nap, I'd be unable to sleep when I went to bed. I felt inspired and did projects I've wanted to do for years. My energy isn't quite so high or erratic now; it's more steady and I'm able to do a day without a nap and not be a zombie all evening. There's just more there. It's amazing. 

During the anointing, my husband said, "If this journey is like rowing across a lake, you've been rowing hard. I think it will feel different if you put the oars down and just ride." That's exactly what it was about and it's not easy. I reach for the oars every day, wanting that feeling of being in charge and taking myself somewhere. But I don't. 

And remarkably, after fifteen years of wanting to remember to say, "I'm well," instead of, "I'm good," I've been remembering ever since the anointing. Maybe it's because it's finally true. I'm well. Not fully healed, not fatigue-is-only-a-memory, but I'm definitely well in places I've never been before.

God showed up. 

In all her power and love.

So I'm well.


  1. Much love to you... This article makes me happy!

  2. I was thinking of you a couple weeks ago and wanted to text you this vague message: "How are you friend?". But I'm glad I read this (because I don't think it would have fit into a text:) I have been hesitating to ask because I didn't want you to feel pressured to "follow up" after the anointing, especially if there wasn't as much good news to report. As much as we ALL wanted/want tangible progress for you, I was hoping that simply "putting the oars down" would be a paradigm shift all on it's own. And it sounds like maybe some of both have happened. I am so grateful that you have shared yourself and this journey with me and with all of us.
    (this is Senia by the way, I'm not sure how this would be published and I am technologically impaired to do it properly)

  3. I used to go to Union, and somehow I discovered your blog and I'm commenting to say "thank you." Thank you for being vulnerable to share. I've been encouraged today.