I went to the campus clinic this morning and that’s the diagnosis the doctor gave me. I kind of laughed because I thought only “old people” get shingles and I can’t possible be THAT old. But when he said that one of the causes of shingles is stress, I kinda chuckled. If only he knew what kind of a year we’ve had.
I’ll spare you the gory details. Just google “eye shingles” and you’ll see how gross it looks. Thankfully, mine is not that bad. It’s all around my right eye and has begun to spread to my forehead. I’ve also heard that it can be quite painful, but mine is just uncomfortable and irritated.
Seriously, I can’t make this stuff up. It’s too unbelievable all the things we have been through this past year. I’m starting to wonder if perhaps our family is cursed? It’s one thing after another. I know most people want life to get better; I just want life not to get worse. Shelby keeps saying that things can’t get any worse. . . and then they do, so I’ve told him he needs to stop saying that already.
I feel like my life is that movie, “A Series of Unfortunate Events”. I’ve actually never seen it, but if the title accurately portrays the movie, then it must be the story of my life.
Why does my life seem like a series of unfortunate events happening one after the other? What have I done to deserve this punishment? This fall from grace? This exile?
I know there are people who have it far worse than I do. They suffer things that no one this side of heaven should ever have to go through. But as I lay on the couch feeling sorry for myself, I’m desperately trying to cling to His promises but everything seems to be an uphill climb and I just need a break. It’s too steep. I’m too weary. Maybe tomorrow will be better, but today . . . I can’t.
And that doesn’t mean I lack faith. That I don’t believe in God. That I don’t appreciate His goodness and mercy. It means that I’m human. I’m fragile and weak. It means I need Jesus.
One of my grandma’s favorite passages of scripture was Psalm 23. Before dementia took over her mind, she had the whole chapter memorized. I was always amazed at her diligence to hide God’s Word in her heart. She was truly remarkable.
There are two verses in that psalm that I am reminded of. Verses 2-3 say, “He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.”
Did you ever wonder why the Lord would make the psalmist lie down or lead him beside still waters? Why did his soul need to be restored? Perhaps he was weary and tired; worn out and overwhelmed with life. His soul needed to be restored because it was broken. Things that are whole don’t need to be restored, only things that are broken need to be mended.
If the chapter before is any indication of what was happening in the psalmist life at the time, we can pretty much assume he was broken and possibly on the verge of calling it quits. Psalm 22:1 says, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? Why are You so far from saving me, so far from my words of groaning?”
This is why I love the psalms. They not only can capture my thoughts when I want to declare God’s wondrous deeds from the mountain tops, but they also reflect the deep valleys that my heart goes through when life is difficult. When you are lying on the couch feeling sorry for yourself because your eye is swollen and covered in sores and you look like Quasimodo.
So today, I’m praying that God will give me rest and peace and that He will restore my soul. I’ll get through it, possibly with the scars to prove it, but I’m not giving up. I’m just going to spend some time by the still waters so He can restore my soul.