Dear Denial Girl (aka Me),
I know you think everything is all right, or, at least, you’re pretending it is. I know you are shrugging off how awful you felt during your first treatment, and refusing to admit how generally terrible you feel.
You’ve told everyone, but it still doesn’t feel real. You feel as though you’re on another planet from the rest of your friends, who have never had to consider the effects sugar, dairy, or gluten may have on them.
Listen to me: make friends with honesty. Your body is broken in a lot of ways, and you need to be honest about how terrible you feel. If everything feels crappy, it’s probably because it is. Remember how awful you felt just after the treatment, how you forced yourself to sit upright in that chair until your sister said, “Hey, it’s okay to lie down. You need to rest.” Remember those words and say them to yourself every day for the next year until it’s a part of your blood: it’s okay to lie down. It’s okay to rest. I need to rest. Because the truth is, you do.
Dear one, denying how your body is really feeling only sets yourself up for more heartbreak. Your body knows what’s happening, and if you keep pushing and pushing, you will eventually crash. Don’t wait for the crash. Trust that this rest you are getting now is what your body needs.
Here’s the other thing: be honest about the hard truths. God doesn’t need you well to accomplish His purposes for the world. God doesn’t need you running around checking off your to do lists quickly and efficiently. He is perfectly all right without your achievements, and knew you would be on the couch today with zero energy and an unfinished list of incomplete tasks in your half kept home. He isn’t asking for you to be perfect. What He is asking for is your trust.
He is saying, “Come to me, weary one, and I will give you rest.”
I know it seems strange to trust the God who has allowed this to happen. I know you’re upset because you feel betrayed. You had so many beautiful plans that made so much sense to you, and this new thing, this new unplanned monstrosity that is your life is really difficult to deal with. That’s why you keep denying how it makes you feel, how hard it is for you to handle the fact that you are really sick and need help.
Be honest. Accept help from other people. Tell God the struggles. This next year is going to bring a lot of pain you never realized you could feel, and alarming discomfort. There will be days when you struggle to get up and keep living, days when you feel like your life is a complete waste, BUT IT IS NOT.
Do not deny what you feel, but also do not deny what you to know to be true: God is still God even when He allows something this difficult.
All my love,