Obviously, what we are going through does play a major part in this. I have been living at an elevated level of stress for almost a year now, and the last three months that stress level was kicked up a few notches. It's hard to get good sleep in the hospital when Bobby is in-patient, and even when he's out I tend to wake up a lot at night and have trouble going back to sleep. I wouldn't say that I'm am worried a lot, but stressed is definitely a good descriptor. But I think there is more going on here than the stress over Bobby. I have two other ideas for how I feel: first, it may be that my hormones are out of whack, and my thyroid is not doing so well. I'm already on thyroid medication, but perhaps it would benefit me to go to an endocrinologist and have a full check-up. Of course, the hormone thing could be triggered by the stress....Second, it may be that I'm dealing with an allergic reaction to the fairly new paint in this house. I have had trouble with these same symptoms before, and the only thing we could relate them to was new paint. The solution to this would be to make sure I spend a decent amount of time outdoors each day breathing fresh air. And perhaps I should see an allergy specialist.
There is a spiritual side to this as well. Through all of this the Lord has been teaching me that throughout my life, and especially the last several months, I have tried to rely on myself too much and not on Him. He is showing me that the only way I can get through this difficult time is to lean completely on Him, casting all my cares (stress/anxiety/worry)on Him. I confess that I often fail at this, instead believing that I can handle things on my own (after all, I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and people like me!*) I have been way too self-reliant all my life, and I think the Lord is teaching me that self-reliance is the quickest way to failure. This morning I re-read Proverbs 3:1-8.
My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away form evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.
Today I plan on spending some time confessing sin, praying about how I can be more faithful and steadfast, and asking God to help me keep leaning on Him and not on my own understanding. I could sure use some "healing to my flesh and refreshment to my bones."
*this is a reference to a Saturday Night Live skit from the '90s, for those who don't know