On Sunday last, I was shaking like a leaf. Less than six days before, I was released from the hospital and had spent the week feeling terrible and scared.

And yet, I had already planned a low-key version of a #KindnessQuest for this past week, complete with camping, adventuring, and acts of kindness rolled into our an annual road trip. Because of my health problems, I had only scheduled it to be a few days long, just a couple hours away. But it still seemed overwhelming.

Everything in me wanted to drive away in Ronda the Honda for a month. If there has ever been a year I needed an escape, it would be this one. And yet, that was precisely the reason I wasn’t running. If a slightly runny nose sends me to the hospital, it isn’t exactly the best idea to set myself up to abandon my four kids outside an ER in an unfamiliar part of the country.

I’ve noticed that walking the line between responsibility and rushing to live life to the fullest isn’t something I am good at. And although I usually default on the later, rushing towards life–more recently I’ve found myself in these protective stances. I hide away, trying to prepare for the worst, and stay up all night anxious and with no control the painful chaos of my broken body.

Although it makes sense that I am this way, I hate it. It’s like someone hijacked me and replaced her with a fading version of myself.

Last week my mantra became, “Lupus will not consume me.” And yet I felt consumed, both physically and emotionally.

It is one thing to endure, suffer, embrace hardship–but it is another thing to have the courage to do so. I might have made the choice to live. But I was doing so with terror.

So many of us have experiences where dying seems easier than living. It’s these moments when we need eachother most, community around us to preach courage to our hearts.

Long story short–it was exhausting and scary to go, but I did. It was what we needed–refreshing and full of memories. It was even more wonderful just because I understood the physical cost of such a trip. 

On the 2nd day, the two greatest fears I had been ruminating on happened: A runny nose sent my blood pressure rising dangerously and I couldn’t find parking (my new handicapped pass hadn’t yet arrived). They might not seem like much, but to me they represented the chaos I can’t control. And yet, I experienced God being with me, giving me peace and helping me make decisions that ended up working out. It was a reminder that lupus hasn’t stolen everything, that I can still live despite the uncontrollable.

Sometimes to live requires courage. I am unsure what you are going through in this season, but I want to encourage you to take courage as you face your own chaos. And remind you that speaking this courage to others might be the most important difference you make in the world today.

Related Posts:

Are You Suicidal?

Healing From Postpartum Depression, Anxiety, and PTSD (Lupus #12)

#KindnessQuest: A Road Trip of Random Acts of Kindness