I imagine a rhino with laryngitis. Or a disease caused by spending too much time around rhinos. Or maybe a street name for a guy who sells drugs… “His name is Rhino-Pharyngitis, but he goes by Rhino for short. He sells the best stuff.”
Well, I’ve had rhinopharyngitis this past week. It’s probably terminal.
Just kidding, it’s the term for the common cold, for those who don’t know. But the technical term sounds way cooler.
Nevertheless, I was sick this past week. I got the premium package deal too with this cold… Snotty-nosed like a four year old, smokers-cough like a forty year old chain-smoker, headaches like I was having drug withdrawals (wow, that’s two drug references in one post… I’m not a closet drug-addict, I promise), and sneezing like I was allergic to myself. The whole nine yards. I went all out.
(SIDE NOTE: For anyone who has followed my blog from its beginning, this post isn’t going to seem as if I actually wrote it. It’s actually filled with something many of my posts have been void of: optimism. SURPRISE. Prepare yourself.)
Never before have I been more thankful for a cold than I was for this one.
I’m not sure if it’s just me or if it’s common for people to become extra irritable, sentimental, sad, and overall exponentially more emotional when sick, but damn. I become the biggest mess. I’m like a mom whose child keeps getting his or her very first haircut, and is all, “My baby is growing up so quickly… I’m getting so old. It was just yesterday that I was young and you were just a wee little baby.” I swear, I’m in a perpetual mid-life crisis every time I get sick.
On top of this weird sentimental shit I experience, I feel gross and I look gross… because I’m sick. And everything puts me in the worst mood. I found myself filled with irritability at the most random times, like something didn’t even have to happen… I was just ready to constantly punch someone, throw something, or yell at all things. Honestly, I feel sorry for my future husband whenever I’m sick because it’s an emotional rollercoaster. Plus, I think that all the cold medicine I took messed with my mental illness medicine and made me even more unstable.
So if you look at me in this big mess, it’s obvious that I’m likely looking for some sort of simple way to find comfort. And 95% of the time, when I’m emotional, I just want food—particularly, Bojangles. Most girls want ice cream or chocolate or a glass of wine. I’m not most girls. I want a damn chicken ‘n’ biscuit with a big ass thing of sweet tea and fries. I’m Southern, I have the stomach of a grown man, and I find comfort in greasy foods.
But if you recall my last post… I’m fasting.
No comfort food for me. I’ll just have to settle for an apple.
So here I am: a sick, emotional, hungry woman who don’t need no man. Everything is making me sad. Everything is making me sneeze. And everything is making me want to break this fast and become obese from chicken ‘n’ biscuits.
It was the kindness of the Lord to allow this sickness to enter my body and to bring me into this incredibly weak state. Up until this sickness, I was going strong—in my studies, in the fast, in the secret place of prayer, in my zeal for the Lord, in my good attitude, in loving others, in handling this new season. I was killing it, y’all.
It was this bout of sickness that let me experience weakness—specifically, the weaknesses I faced much of last semester and this past break. Weaknesses of questioning my identity, struggling with insecurities, riding the wave of emotional instability, and making the approval of others my idols.
I got to recognize these weaknesses and choose if I was going to lean on the Lord or if I was going to place my eyes on the circumstances I found myself in. And I could only choose to lean on the Lord because he is gracious enough to weaken my heart with his love and kindness towards me.
As I saw myself being brought to such a weak place, I was overwhelmed with how the Lord deeply loves me. It’s ridiculous that he would love me this much. It’s ridiculous that he would reveal to my heart in such a deep way that it is his love that allowed me to become sick and become so weak. It’s ridiculous that I am excited about any bit of suffering because it brings me closer to the Father in my leaning on him and in him removing all the dross from my heart. I mean, seriously… look at a few posts back. I was in the midst of suffering and hating every minute of it.
I’m being wooed by the kindness of the Father. I’m being beckoned by him. I’m returning to his heart. I’m finding myself hidden in him. I’m seeking, and I’m finding. He is so very kind. I’d be foolish to think that any of this is my doing. I can’t conjure this up. This is a season of Spring after a long season of Winter; a season of joy after a long season of hopelessness and brokenness and silence; a season of dancing after a long season of wailing; a season of oasis after a long season of wandering around the desert.
So I am thankful for my last wrestling match with the common cold. I am thankful for the weakness I found myself encountering, and that when I encounter weakness, his grace is sufficient.
He’s a really good dad, and the best friend I’ve ever had.
A few months from now may suck, but right now, I’m enjoying this season of suffering and encountering the Father’s heart for me.