I have just come out of possibly the worst 10 days of my life. I had some pretty bad menstrual cramping for a couple days, but one of the generic acetaminophen tablets I took for the pain ended up giving me horrible food poisoning symptoms (I have a feeling it was some type of impurity or chemical contamination in the tablet). So after dry heaving almost hourly for 24 hours, I was in terrible shape. But maybe because my hormones were out of whack from the sickness or as residual effects of the contaminated pill, I got horrible hormonal migraines. Since my stomach was so sensitive, I couldn’t take any medication for the pain and I ended up spending several days in bed with the blinds closed and my head pounding. I only just started eating normal food a couple days ago.
Since I was literally unable to do anything for those 10 days, there were things I had committed to do which I couldn’t do. I couldn’t do worship music for youth group at church on Saturday, nor could I do worship music at Sunday service. I do virtual admin work for a couple groups and couldn’t even crawl to my computer, much less work at it, with my pounding headache. I also had some home wireless router problems so I was having issues sending emails even from my phone (I had to switch off my wireless and use my cellular provider). There were emails from various people that I couldn’t respond to right away. (And I missed the news about France until just yesterday.)
And yet out of those 10 days I was amazed at the response I got from people. Not just the concern about my health, but people who stepped up to fill in for me when I couldn’t do what I was scheduled to do. There were so many people who were so helpful and so understanding, and it really made me grateful for those people in my life.
Not everything was roses and rainbows. There were a couple people who were annoyed that I couldn’t fulfill my commitments, even though they knew about my sickness. I’m not entirely sure how to respond to that, but I suppose Jesus would want me to just give them extra grace. After all, maybe they’re dealing with some other types of trouble in their lives and it spills over into their responses to unrelated things. Or maybe I need to gently and gradually step away from the relationship, since I really don’t need toxic or negative people in my life. Either way, right now I’m so physically exhausted that I don’t have the energy to be upset or hurt by their annoyance at me, which I guess is a blessing in itself.
I would never wish this kind of suffering for anyone, but I realize that times like these in our lives really do bring out the best or worst in the people around me. It makes me realize who I can trust and count on, and it opens my eyes to the love and grace of my friends, church members, and business associates.
I hope that in this season of thanksgiving, that we can all feel even more grateful for the people God has put in our lives.