It is not the best emotional fuel, but it was propelling me never the less further into panic when the summer temperatures starting rising.
With high 90s looming, I told several folks on Friday I’d probably be curled up in the fetal position in my air conditioned bedroom for the duration of the weekend….Truth be told, that was the fear speaking.
You see, I have Multiple Sclerosis, and heat is NOT my friend.
I got caught off guard this time last year when we had a heat wave, and didn’t get my AC into my bedroom soon enough for the necessary cool, restful nights. Add to that the untimely death of the air-conditioning in my car (which I use throughout each day in my work as a hospice chaplain) and it was the perfect storm for an exacerbation—which is exactly what happened.
And unfortunately my flare up invited all my symptoms to the party: extreme fatigue, balance issues, vertigo, weakness in my legs, speech issues, brain fog, as well as muscle and eye pain. I had to cut my work hours way back for a few weeks and only returned to “normal” a few months later. I’ll be honest…It sucked!
Flash forward a year and Fear is in the driver’s seat. It is so scary to experience a break down of the body at so many levels. I’d been on the verge of tears several times this week frightened of another attack.
But here’s the deal. I know my thoughts can directly impact my body. And that’s just as bad, if not worse, for me as the heat. I needed to get my head in the game and fast.
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.” Isaiah 43:1
I began ruminating on these words from scripture and “Fear not” quickly became my mantra.
It became my response to all the questions Fear had to ask of me: What if the heat really does restrict you to your bedroom leaving you non-productive all weekend? What if you have another exacerbation? What if you loose more time at work? What if another flare up leaves you worse off?
Fear not. Fear Not. FEAR NOT.
It is Saturday evening as I finish this post. The temperature did not go as high today as expected for which I am grateful. I got important stuff done and even spent time outside. Tonight I give thanks to the One who teaches me every day to breathe and trust and surrender.
Today I refused to allow Fear to run my life. I realize now that my faith is bigger than that. My connection to the Holy is stronger than that. I have come through too much in the past to put Fear in control of my future.
I have been called by name, and I am NOT afraid!