Having a chronic illness is like trying to take a relaxing stroll through a muddy path.
I feel held back, always.
I’m forever moving a bit slower than I’d like because my thoughts are so focused on how I feel—not necessarily that I feel bad, just gathering data. What would it be like to not feel this heaviness in my chest and on my shoulders, always slowing my steps?
My pastor says often to “trust the liturgy.” Sometimes when you come to church, you’re just not feeling it. You don’t want to talk to anyone, you don’t want to sing, you don’t want to pray. As you trust the liturgy—say the words, stand up, sit down, bow your head—the hope is your heart will catch up to your body.
Over the last year, I’ve been trying to apply his advice to my life outside of the sanctuary, in my work towards being well.
Coffee in bed.
Stretching when it’s time to get up.
Greeting my son with kind words every single morning, no matter what kind of mood we’re both in.
Reading at least one thing I don’t “have” to when I first sit down at my desk at work.
Pausing mid-day to close my eyes, plant my feet on the floor, sit with my hands open, and breathe.
Refilling my water cup at 10am, 12pm, and 2pm.
Making sure “I love you” is that last thing my son and husband hear from me before they go to bed.
Taking my medication.
Reaching for my husband’s hand and whispering the Lord’s Prayer when I feel that precious fog of drowsiness roll in.
I’m building a liturgy of my days that I can trust and lean into (or fall onto, sometimes) when things feel hard. And even when they don’t.
I’m clearing the mud path for my body and heart.