on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being tops. Okay, maybe a one. In the past, I have rated my circumstances a 3 or 3.5 in my monthly report to GospelFriendships boardmembers, and to the folks at WHM on my monthly report as supportcoach to new missionaries. So, why the downgrade? Not due to finances: God’s been moving folks to give extra at year-end, and finances are looking up.
For a long time now, I think I’ve been living in denial of how harrrd my circumstances are. I tend to suck it up and keep going, making the best of things. What’s so hard about my circumstances?
I have chronic sensitivities to many foods (garlic, onion, pepper, to name a few), mold, wireless signals, auto exhaust, and most chemicals. And we live off of a busy intersection. These sensitivities affect my digestive tract, which produces insomnia, and/or leaves me feeling lousy. I’ve lived with this for 45 years, and been to every kind of medical specialist and alternative practitioner in many locales, tried multitudes of various therapies, drugs, supplements, sleep-clinics. Nada.
My sleep/energy the past two years is the best it’s been over the past forty years, but I go to extreme measures each day just to get eight hours of sleep at night, and even then, my sleep is interrupted three times on a good night, and I’m up for several hours on a bad night, going through the following day sleep-deprived, feeling awful, wanting to die and be with Jesus. My extremely restricted diet of certain organic-only foods, combined with exercise, sauna, keeping our windows closed all year, multiple air cleaners, anti-wireless strategies, not eating out, and a bunch of other strategies, have contributed to this improved sleep. But my gut never ever stops throbbing. Most humans would be depressed at the thought of having to modify their lifestyle in such drastic ways, and feel entitled to extreme-hardship pay. It’s just what I have to do to get half-decent sleep, feel decently, so I’ve not usually dwelled on the hardships, tended to look at more positive things. This denial has resulted in my unwittingly giving believers and pre-believers around me a false impression of normalcy, when in fact, my life is extremely challenging, complicated, and at times downright depressing. Poor Janet has had to live with all this most of her married life. Our oldest daughter strongly suspects that I’m mildly bipolar, and after reading up on the diagnosis, it makes sense to me.
I can tell you this. It’s really hard to believe/trust/rest in Jesus, when you feel awful. The times I feel good, are incredibly awesome, and life seems incredibly easy, with my mind razor sharp, reflexes quick, and with oodles of energy. When I feel awful, I’m learning to thank Jesus for my feeling miserable, telling Him, “Whatever it takes to get me more dependent on You, that’s what I want, Lord, because that’s when I’m the happiest. Thank You for these perfect circumstances, custom designed for me, exactly what I need, to be retrained in a better way to live.” I’m convinced that my suffering, combined with the prayers of GospelFriendships Pray-ers for my faith life, have resulted in an amazing difference in my life, a remarkable Jesus-dependency at times, that I’ve long-dreamed of having. I’m still a toddler in Jesus-dependency, but praise God I’m not where I usedtabe, and life is good, because of Him, and the Pray-ers who’ve prayed for more Jesus-dependency in my life. I wouldn’t trade my life for anyone’s. If Jesus can provide this for me, He can do it for anyone. I am not special. He is special, and able to change anyone, even someone as stiff-necked, thick-headed, and spiritually-learned-disabled as I.
–WeakDave, having the best years of his life, and thankful for friends who have prayed for him