Friday, October 21, 2011

On struggling…

Last year I wrote that I didn’t see The Mercy Blog as a confessional platform, full of chatty accounts of what I’d been eating, listening to, wearing, worrying about… I’ve tried to stick to this rule, with a few notable exceptions, since I first started the blog in 2005.

I was struck, then, by Jane Sigrist’s comment, when she most generously made TMB her Blog of the Week, that I had “been brave enough to share some of the joys and struggles of [my] journey honestly, often at great depth, yet with a humble simplicity that's an inspiration to others.”

Encouraged, then, by Jane’s remark, I have to confess that I’ve been struggling a bit lately. I suffer from a condition called sarcoidosis, which was first diagnosed back in 1972, and which has been going through a cycle of remission and activity in multiple organ systems ever since. Recently it has been making a nuisance of itself again, and I have been on the usual treatment, high doses of steroids. One of the side-effects of this has been depression, of the “I can’t be bothered to do anything, I’m useless at everything anyway” variety. Reluctant to blog about this, I’ve blogged about nothing – which has contributed another arc to the vicious circle.

By God’s grace things have improved to the point where my consultant feels it’s safe to reduce the dose of steroids, while she keeps a careful eye on the chemical markers. I feel it’s important to try and break out of this grey cotton-wool trap I’ve been in; to resume blogging anyway, regardless of whether I make any sense or not, may be part of this.

I am quite certain that I remain in the palm of Christ’s own pierced hand, however much I may feel like something floating in the bottom of a washing-up bowl. He will make something of this, have no doubt, for “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8.28 NIV) He does. It’s important to remember this, much as the Psalmists remembered (e.g. in Psalm 77) the past glorious deeds of God, even in exile and captivity:

Your way was through the sea,
   your path, through the mighty waters;
   yet your footprints were unseen.

Psalm 77.19

Pray for me, though, that I may cling tight to that memory, even when his footsteps do remain unseen…


claire bangasser said...

Ah, I feel for you, Mike. Chemicals-caused depression is a tough challenge.
I will gladly pray for you. And please, do continue blogging. We are in this all together.

Unknown said...

I will pray for you Michael. When one is ill, its so easy to become trapped into thinking that our present condition either mental or physical is permanent. What is hard to do is to look at the many past situations which were just as bleak at the time, and yet in so many cases, they eventually turned out quite all right. God bless you, and thanks for your posts.

Robin said...

Prayer and hope for your way out of this.

Tausign said...

You are in my prayers. Peace and all good.

Mike Farley said...

Bless you, everyone - and thank you!