Love sometimes says the hard hallelujah

by Craig on February 28, 2011

Love says thank you when even the saying of it takes everything you’ve got.

Here’s the sitch. I haven’t really slept for 15 years. Some times are less bad, but some times crash hard and leave me unable to think, move, or speak. I write this in a crash.

This is my “thorn”.

I am never rested – always on the brink on even the better days. Mostly I can pretend to feel better than I do for short periods of time. But when it crashes like it has these past four days, even thinking is difficult. Thoughts either jumble together or are too far away from each other to bring into focus.

Moving hurts when it’s like this – any pain is magnified. Standing is like a tilt-a-whirl. Sitting turns restless. The head pounds. The pains that are magnified multiply. The stomach is hungry – but then turns sour when it’s fed.

I yearn to lay down; close my eyes. And the laying down is inviting. I drift in and out of light sleep. It feels restful. But when I try to get up? At first I can’t, and then once up I’m reminded that it was only an illusion of sleep. Even when I’m unconscious I’m not really sleeping – and after I rest, I feel just as bad, or worse than I did when I laid down.

But – all’s grace – and I’m OK – even thankful

It’s with the little bit of me that is here right now that I write this.

It’s still hallelujah – it’s just the hard hallelujah today…

…as I link with Ann Voskamp and many others for…

I am grateful…

#96 … that you, Lord, know every part of me, the strong, and the nothing, the faith, and the doubt, the love of others, the love of me – and you don’t just know me – you choose to know me – and that’s nice – thank you.

#97 … that I am not brought to the ground like this every day – that there are seasons of respite and times where I feel near normal.

#98 … for editing – and that a writer loves to edit. Because even though this may have taken nearly 50 revisions and a whole day to write, with the brain not working very well, the first draft was something no one could have read. Editing is good. I say thank you for editing.

#99 … that there is always room for a miracle.

#100 … for this thorn. I thank you for this thorn. It affects my body but not my soul.

#101 … that this period where lack of sleep destroys me will pass, and the medicine and machines will overrule my brain soon. When? I don’t know. For how long? I don’t know. But this will pass.

#102 … that when this period passes and the lack of sleep becomes a nuisance, not something that wrecks my mind and body – feeling “not so good” will feel wonderful by comparison. I’ll bloom, like a parched desert after a rain.

#103 … that this teaches me humility. I was once arrogant, and by your Grace learned not to be, and now at times like this am forced to be. Humility is never a bad thing – and this makes me humble.

#104 … that it teaches me compassion. Once I looked upon those with constant illness in a different way than I do now. There is authentic empathy, where there used to be only displays of it.

#105 … that you made it all the way down here through all the above whiny-ness. Sorry – and thank you. I promise not to whine tomorrow.

In God’s love.

{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Sharon @ Hiking Toward Home February 28, 2011 at 7:30 am

Been praying for you… that God would give you rest.

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Craig February 28, 2011 at 9:26 am

Thank you Sharon. Prayers are always welcome. Today is better than yesterday – and the previous 4 days – I’m really OK regardless – it is what it is :) God Bless.

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Beth Stone February 28, 2011 at 10:02 am

Amen on #99 – that is an important thing to remember when we start losing hope… God’s power can part the sea AND soften hearts. Thanks for the reminder…

Praying for rest for you today….
God bless.

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Craig February 28, 2011 at 10:48 am

At this point I’ve seen enough doctors who have told me they can’t figure it out to know that it’s either a thorn to just deal with – or a miracle may come. Of course I’d love to have a body that didn’t fight against itself – but If I don’t really mean this – “Thy will be done – not mine” then what is is I really do believe.

And I believe in His will :)

God Bless – and thank you.

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dawn February 28, 2011 at 10:04 am

#96 and #99… oh how i hang my heart on those :)

and in your response to sharon… today is better than yesterday. good. that makes me smile.

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Craig February 28, 2011 at 10:51 am

Thank you Dawn. I think the big thing – the important thing – the one thing – after receiving Grace – is to love God, and love others – and know he loves and is by my side – our side – always – and I know that I know that I know – that he is. Thank you again Dawn. And God bless.

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amy @ to love February 28, 2011 at 11:34 am

Love says thank you when even the saying of it takes everything you’ve got.

this line is… yes. needing to breathe this one in today. thank you craig for your words.

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Craig February 28, 2011 at 11:37 am

Amy thank you for reading. I need to breathe it in too. And you just helped me to do it. Thank you for that. God bless.

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Debbie February 28, 2011 at 11:55 am

God had put you on my heart, and now I know why. I want this to be gone for you. I hate that you suffer and this is so hard for you. I don’t want to tell God what to do though, so I’ll just thank Him with you, for all that He is in you, how He shines through, for the miracle that He is doing everyday in your life, for you being able to write and blog, for all the connections you are making, for how your story is going to play out. Thank you Lord, for Craig.

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Craig February 28, 2011 at 12:34 pm

That’s all that’s needed – just thanks. We all have our thorns – this is no different from anyone’s. It is what it is. God is God anyway, he loves me anyway, together with him I’ll find a way anyway, it’s not all enjoyable – but all’s grace – and it’s all conforming me into his image – I’m OK with it. I don’t have to like it – to be OK with it. Know what I mean?

God Bless.

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Dianna McBride February 28, 2011 at 1:57 pm

I missed being here toward the end of last week! Just finished going back and reading those posts along with today’s gratitude entry. Chronic illness…NEVER fun. I was diagnosed seven years ago with fibromyalgia, so I do understand chronic and how that lack of restorative sleep can affect the whole of our lives. I am grateful you are still able to say Thank You to HIM even in these hard times with no sleep, Craig. It isn’t the wound we thank HIM for, but we thank HIM for who HE is to us in the wound. Praying for you.

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Craig February 28, 2011 at 2:02 pm

Amen to this Dianna. “It isn’t the wound we thank HIM for, but we thank HIM for who HE is to us in the wound.” Funny, I remember a prayer from 20 years ago where I was talking with God about ways I DIDN”T want to be taught. One of them was, and I remember the words clearly, “A sever illness that doesn’t kill me”. Be careful what you ask for. No?

Thank you for your understanding – I also feel your weight – an illness that nobody sees – I
have prayed for you too. God Bless.

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Mary February 28, 2011 at 2:07 pm

Praying that God’s grace will uphold you today
and also thankful for #99 – miracles still happen because we have an almighty, awesome God!

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Craig February 28, 2011 at 2:32 pm

I’m not counting on a miracle – I’d take one though :) I’m just thinking that God has taught me so much through this – it has weakened me in countless ways – made me stronger in some. I think it is what it is – and God’s will be done, and he’s a good person – and he cares – and he’s God – so no matter how it feels – it’s really – all good. Thank you for reading – and God Bless.

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Kira@Kissing the Joy February 28, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Hi Craig, I wanted to thank you for stopping by my blog today and for your meaningful words. After reading this and realizing how you are feeling, it means even more that you took the time to do it. I will pray for you today because I know that He is able to do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine!

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Shelly W. February 28, 2011 at 3:57 pm

#100 *wink*

So glad you are able to be up and about despite how terrible you are feeling. God be with you today.

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Craig February 28, 2011 at 4:31 pm

Today is easier – like I said in #102 – I feel “not horrible” today – and it kinda feels great. ANd “up and about”? Nope! not yet – sitting ant typing is a step though. One more not so horrible night of sleep and I’ll bounce back. I just play with the cards that are dealt. No big really. No fun. But no big. God bless – and thank you.

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Fairfield House February 28, 2011 at 5:33 pm

Dear Craig,
I am praying that you are able to rest your head and fall into a deep, undisturbed sleep that will restore your strength and well being.
Wishing you sweet dreams.
God’s Blessings.
Deborah

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Craig February 28, 2011 at 5:41 pm

Thank you Deborah – I gladly accept the prayers – I want always his will above mine – and so if the thorn is removed I’ll praise him – thank him for the healing – but if it remains I’ll thank him anyway – he is God, I am creation – I stopped arguing long ago :)

God bless you – and thank you.

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Cora February 28, 2011 at 7:03 pm

I can only say that I’m so glad I stopped by today. And yes, I read the whole list and did NOT think you were whining! In fact, it was like music to my soul, a washing away of so much that is insignificant and small and unimportant! Thank you! Thank you for the grace and humility and acceptance you have shown me today. You have shown me Christ, the hard eucharisteo, and I go away changed!

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Craig February 28, 2011 at 7:32 pm

Cora, my goodness. thank you. That means the world to me. I’m typing tomorrow’s posts now – both of them, and it’s easier than yesterday – but still a challenge – and my spirits just got a boost. Thank you. God Bless.

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JennaFarelyn February 28, 2011 at 7:35 pm

thinking of you in this season, and hoping you get that one more good night of decent rest in a row. i’m sorry to hear it’s been so rough in the last few days. God Bless.

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Craig February 28, 2011 at 7:39 pm

You learn to go with what you have Jen. It’s a thorn. It’s just a thorn. We all have thorns. No?

God Bless you too.

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Faith Hope & Cherrytea February 28, 2011 at 8:08 pm

certified as an instructor of Stanford U’s chronic illness self mgmnt program, i totally get this. + i also got the blessings of learning the ways / tools avlbl for self managing. hoping you might find a course local to you ? much good help. i know. i have chronic illness. that’s how you get to be certified as an instructor…
God be thanked and praised for restoration !
ps- have tried to reply to your great comments, Craig, but you show as a no-reply blogger. not sure if that’ s your choice or surprise, but did want to mention it “) as this is readers’ only way to contact… and you’re seriously missing out on some funny replies {at least frm this reader “)}…

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Mari February 28, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Craig, praying for you. Oh those pesky thorns! But what comfort to know that they are temporary, and a day will come when they will be no more. The hard hallelujah…I think this is the sweetest one to our Lord? (If such a thing is possible) To give thanks and praise to God in the midst of pain. This is faith. God bless you today

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Craig February 28, 2011 at 10:12 pm

Thank you Mari. “oh, those pesky thorns” made me smile. I used to NOT look forward to heaven. One thought changed everything for me. One day I thought, “Everything good – better. Everything bad – gone. Gain everything. Lose nothing.” From that point on – I was OK with heaven anytime. One caviat? As many as possible brought into the kingdom first. God Bless Mari. And thank you.

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Dawn February 28, 2011 at 11:37 pm

You know, I wanted to know more about this sleep “thing” you have. Thanks for persisting and editing so you could get your story out this day. You are such a dear blog-friend to so many of us.

# 36 Thankful for the hard hallelujah you shared today,
Dawn

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Craig February 28, 2011 at 11:42 pm

Thank you Dawn. THAT was a nice thing to say. (((SMILES))) – now to catch a cat nap with Laska the love kitty. Who, by the way, is working on a post for his adventure in feeding the ducks.

And I’m honored to be number 36 :)

God Bless you.

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Debra March 1, 2011 at 12:19 am

Craig, there is no whining here. I know whining when I see it, and this isn’t it :) You are even grateful for your “thorn,” and I believe God will take it away and bless you with restful sleep – in His time.
I don’t know when, I but just know that He will. Soon I pray.

On #102 … “that when this period passes and the lack of sleep becomes a nuisance, not something that wrecks my mind and body – feeling “not so good” will feel wonderful by comparison. I’ll bloom, like a parched desert after a rain.” How beautiful.

On # 98… the love of editing is a rare gift! It’s what makes your work so wonderful.

~ Joy and peace ~

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Donna March 1, 2011 at 6:37 am

Craig,

I appreciated your visit to my blog yesterday. As a beginner on this “thank you” journey, it was nice to receive encouragement from you!

I certainly did not think you were whining…in fact, I came away from reading your list feeling refreshed and uplifted…

Hoping you have a good day!

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Craig March 1, 2011 at 9:34 am

Thank you Donna – those are kind words – my words sounded a little whiny to me – but that’s why we blog – lots of wisdom – together – is better than one little person’s “wisdom” all alone. I am grateful. God bless.

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Craig March 2, 2011 at 7:17 pm

Craig,
Thank you for stopping by my blog this morning! I don’t sense that you are whining, merely voicing your struggle. I love how you are thankful “that there is always room for a miracle”. That really made me smile! I know that chronic illness is such a difficult affliction. My father has had degenerative rheumatoid arthritis since he was 7 years old and I have watched him struggle mightily over the years. He has learned that all he can do is cling to Christ. You will be in my prayers!

Constance

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Constance March 2, 2011 at 7:18 pm

And I am pregnant with no brain power! So I wrote your name and not mine..LOL

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Craig March 2, 2011 at 7:44 pm

Yes, I say it all the time – it is what it is – it’s just a thorn, everybody has them. You just keep on trying. Like your dad. Thank you for praying – prayer can never ever hurt. And that thing about babies stealing brain power – I”ve heard that from lots of women – it has to be true :)

God bless you – and thank you . thank you

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Janis@ Open My Ears Lord March 6, 2011 at 11:12 pm

Ann’s beautiful expressions of gratitude encourage us on even in the difficult times to say, “Thank you, Lord.” For this we are all grateful.

Blessings,
Janis

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Craig March 7, 2011 at 4:51 am

Amen Janis – If we are children whatever not so good stuff that enters our life – enters because he allows it – and his hand is on it and us. So I am – and we are – blessed regardless of circumstance. One of the nicer things about blogging is that I write something because I believe it – you read it – I’m held accountable – iron sharpens iron. Thank you – God Bless.

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