This morning was crappy. Really crappy. My fatigue was so heavy that it felt like one of those lead blankets from an X-ray room was covering my entire body and face when I woke up. It was hard to breathe. It felt impossible that my own body strength could overpower the pain generator's hum of poisoned electricity that ran through every living cell of my body. In my head I was a cheerleader with a big white-toothed smile plastered across my face. My hair was super cute complete with a hideously huge bow pinned securely to the top of my perfect pony tail. I was saying "you got this, Ann!! Ready?!? oh-kay! 1, 2, 3, GET UP!"
But nothing would happen. Not even a toe twitch.
Over and over again I would let the cheerleader take over in my head, complete with the loud, cupped clap. But she failed miserably to get my body out of bed. Like trying to rouse the parent section of the football stands to get them to their feet. She just couldn't beat that lead blanket this morning. Kinda like how Jerry always outwitted Tom.
The thing that finally got me up, an hour and a half late, was knowing that the only way I could smell coffee and get my fibromyalgia medication in me is if I physically put one foot on the floor and took one step. And then another. And that's the only way I would make it to see my 4th grade girls at church.
I threw off that hellish lead blanket much like a kitten could pull a car with her teeth. Did I mention my morning was crappy? I did finally get into motion only to find that my pain level was extraordinarily frustrating. It hurt to scoop the coffee. It hurt to walk across the tile floor. It hurt to reach for my coffee cup and to flip open the "Sunday morning" compartment on my weekly box that holds my approximate 119 weekly pills. (no, that's not approximate or an exaggeration - I just counted). It even hurt to hug my kiddo.
I finally made it through the shower and my muscles went through their twitchy tantrums and slowly started to move more fluidly. I was late for church. But you know what chaps my hide about being late? There were seventeen 4th grade girls waiting for me to walk through that door. SEVENTEEN!!! Every. Single. One. Of them... Was so happy to see me. And it filled my cup with so much joy. They each even knew me by name!
My little friend S.M. (sorry, no names) gave me a HUGE hug and did that cute thing that kids do where they wait to see where you're going to sit so they can almost sit right on top of you. After we were sitting I felt her nudge a little closer and she whispered "you're so soft!"
On my other side was another sweet little friend E.L. She told me all about the postcard she got in the mail from me last week as though I had no idea what it looked like or what it said. It was the most animated description of mail I've ever seen/heard in my life! And I hung on every word.
In that moment, with these girls in front of me and on either side of me, all my issues from the morning faded away. Melted like butter in a hot pan.
God loves to show up in big ways. He loves to remind you that you are never too broken to serve His people. And I imagine He loves those simple and genuine whispered prayers, where all you can mutter is "thank you for this moment, God."
After my time with the 4th graders, I was off to sit in service next to my amazingly patient and loving husband. The worship songs were so alive with praise for our Lord and creator that I couldn't help but praise Him through the pain of my aching fingers and twitching thighs. I couldn't help but smile and sing as loud as I could while bouncing on my locked-up tippy toes. Every beat of the drum and hand in the air was like a squirt of lighter fluid in the fire of my soul.
After church I left a voicemail for our worship pastor. I felt like I absolutely should not wait to tell him what the worship team did for me today. I don't even know if he checks messages on Sunday afternoon but *I* needed to tell him right away, even through my high pitched, squeaky, crying voice. In worship today, that team of talented servants of the Lord reminded me that His Word calls us to praise Him. No matter what. And at all times.
So I have done just that the rest of the day today. I have praised Him through the pain. And He has helped me make it a good day.
Without Him, I never would have even made it to the coffee pot this morning. I don't know why I had to get fibromyalgia, but I know that God will use it to open my eyes and heart to many things I have been oblivious to for years... Like how powerful worship songs are, and how amazing it feels to be called "soft."