On October 29, 2015, I was hospitalized for an adrenal crisis.
It was a long time in coming now that I know how to listen to my body and recognize the symptoms of adrenal fatigue.
I had burned my candle at both ends for far too long, and my body literally collapsed as if to say, “I’m out!” (Fade to black.)
My diagnosis of adrenal insufficiency came just fifteen days before my brother’s tragic death, so to say I ended 2015 as a hot mess is a gross understatement.
I was a flaming hot mess.
Over the next several months, I had umpteen visits to numerous doctors and specialists.
I received a fibromyalgia diagnosis, lack of consensus by several doctors on whether or not I had a mini-stroke, treatment for listeriosis from eating contaminated bagged lettuce, and confirmation of chronic Lyme (I was first diagnosed with Lyme in 2013).
I have been through the ringer a time or two this past year, and I have the scars to prove it.
I was heading for a full KO, or so I prayed.
I have begged God over a dozen times (sometimes in a given day) to let me die and to take me from my misery, but He either totally ignores me (and that is TOUGH to do), or He has a different plan for me.
As it has been the better part of a year since my initial collapse, I am settling on the fact that God has a different plan for me than an immediate departure.
Good news: I am no longer looking for a Thelma and Louise escape off a tall cliff.
Now that I have acquired some self-acceptance of my health issues, as well as a return-to-normal of most cognitive brain functioning, I am looking at life from a different vantage point.
Getting so close to daily glimpses of my possible demise caused a fresh, new perspective on life to be exposed, and a different me has now emerged.
Not a new and improved me, but a different me.
I am different from the inside out, like I have been shaken up like a puzzle in a box and put back together: I have all the same pieces, but they are in a different order.
The puzzle pieces could not go back the way they were inside of me; the pieces had to be re-organized.
Like un-birthing a baby (“Not a flippin’ chance that’s ever gonna happen, no way, no how!” says EVERY mother I know);
or un-molting a grasshopper;
or un-metamorphosing a butterfly or a frog;
I cannot go back to the way I was.
Now that my eyes are fully open, I am getting the most spectacular, awe-inspiring, breathtaking glimpses of what is possible and why I am really here.
I am on a mission, here to blaze a God-inspired, fiery trail, and nothing can keep me from fulfilling that commitment (except death, of course, but I am NOT afraid of death; Death and heaven are just a beautiful promise of what is to come).
In reflective moments like this, I realize that before I had this ongoing day-in and day-out brush with my mortality, I was alive-but-dead, going through the motions of life, existing but not living my life for the reasons God put me here.
How can I explain it?
It’s like I’ve been launched like a rocket, and my incredible speed and urgency prevents me from focusing on anything but the mission.
Like a two year-old, I now question the importance of everything that used to waste so much of my energy:
And then, comical as it sounds, I burst into song, “Let It Go!”
Like a Disney princess, I spin and dance all around in my kitchen, or living room, or dining room, or shower, or bedroom, or wherever I happen to be when I realize I am getting pulled away by unimportant matters.
For those of you who know me, you absolutely get how ridiculous this looks, but you know better than to ask me if I care! (You already know that I don’t.)
Yes, even in the Jeep with the top removed, the doors off, and the volume turned all the way up, “Let it Go!” is on repeat, replaying over and over and over.
The more wind blowing through my hair the better!
So, what in the world do you want me to do for you, Lord?
Calm, laser-like focus is now my method, unlike the hysterical, frantic, anxious, super woman I once was, trying desperately to prove I can do 5,347 things at the same time.
It’s amazing how differently the world appears now that I have a one-track mind and no time to waste.
Opportunities cannot be missed.
My conversations are important.
Relationships are cherished and honored.
Actions are key.
Things that once consumed my precious time are now trivial; like white noise from a fan, I choose to block them out.
[Insert heavy sigh of relief.]
I have found that I have little to no patience with structures, rules, chains of command, people, or other ego-driven conversations that serve only to squelch, silence, sabotage, or stop me from staying God-focused.
I realize that I do not fit in (and, most likely, I never did), though I had tried to by wearing down my 90 degree angles of squareness to fit into the round holes of society and its norms.
“Wake up!” I want to scream at everyone, but then I remember my sweet, kind, loving, older brother pleading with me to “Wake up!” just months before he passed away, and I realize that people will wake up when it is their time to do so.
It is all part of God’s perfect plan.
So now that I am awake and focused on hearing my God-inspired mission, I need to ensure I use my spiritual gifts, talents, and passions.
Do you know what your spiritual gifts are?
If not, find out now. Don’t waste another moment.
God has a mission for each one of us to fulfill, and we are to use our God-given gifts, talents, and passions to do so.
This doesn’t mean we won’t face failure and disappointment, but He will walk with us, and guide us, and mold us, and love us through it all.
My dear friend, Beth, recently gave me a t-shirt.
The back of it reads, “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come ALIVE!”
Don’t you just LOVE that?!
God, I am listening.
Tell me what is next.
Whose Life is this, Anyway?