A Christian counselor told me that he would be out of business if we took to heart these verses from Philippians. Would put up a ‘Going Out of Business’ sign! He was right. Help can be found here. Real help. No placebo.
I’ve mentioned before that I will wake up at night, with a start– worrying and fretting. Hard to sleep when you’re all agitated. I’ve known others who suffer from ‘night terrors’. What triggers these fear-traumas would be different for each one.
For me, it began when I was two years old. Contracted polio a week before my family moved out of the city into the suburbs, typical for post-WWII families. Not the polio, however! When diagnosed, I was taken back to the Sister Kenny Polio Clinic in Jersey City, where we had lived. I was in isolation for awhile. Saw none of my family. None. No hugs. No kisses. Where had they gone? Was I abandoned? How was a two year old to know?
The Kenny treatments were not fun. Excessive exercise. Boiling hot packs. Dousing me in hot whirlpools. I can still hear the metal bars on our cribs being put in place at night. Snapped-in place, tight. The old-fashioned shades being rolled down with their clickety-clack sound. The lights that went out making the ward dark and fearful, filled with the cries of those of us stuck there in more ways than one. What would a two-year old think?
In some ways, the emotional paralysis lasted much longer than the virus. The body healed, largely. The emotions, not as well. For years, had to have a nightlight on. Still find exercising unpleasant. My fear of submerging my head underwater, let alone swimming, may come from being dropped into one of those whirlpools. My wife can tell you about episodes where I wake up in an utter panic not knowing where I am, terrified of where I might be.
It’s been many moons since those hospital days. Yet shadows linger. That’s why I hold onto what the Apostle Paul wrote: ‘but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God…'(Philippians 4: 6). When he said ‘everything’, I can only imagine that he meant exactly that–‘everything’.
To know He’s there. To hold His hands. Telling Him what’s on our heart and mind. Not like He doesn’t know already! And thank Him. For I know there’s much to be grateful for in all that I’ve been through.
What about you? Things that have happened that made your life more difficult and tiresome? Tell the Good Physician! He has magnificent medicine for you in His Word, the Bible. Take the medicine! I’m not all better yet. But I’m much better. You can be, too. For some day, the better will become the very best!
Prayer: Lord, you are our shelter, our hope and our constant love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.