I *used to* love to joke to people that I never get sick; I just get cancer. Up until last week, that was true. I have been as healthy as a horse my entire adult life, except for an annual winter cold....and the cancer that surfaced in the summer of 2007. I had not had the flu since I was a child. Last week that is just what I had. It forced me to hibernate in my bed for two days, sleeping it off from Nyquil Cold and Flu. At first I thought it was a stomach virus until I became feverish and every.part.of.my.body ached as never before. I rebounded after the second day and four doses of the over-the-counter medication.
When I awoke yesterday morning to return to work, I had broken out in hives from my feet to my neck. Luckily, they were not too itchy, and I was able to make it through work. On the way home, however, they spread to my jaw line. I have not had the hives in about seven years. The only other time I had them was when my bff and I had them together at work. As astute as she is, when I called her late yesterday, she was adamant they were caused by stress, as the earlier outbreak had been.
I didn't *feel* stressed, and that is when she reminded me that our bodies have their own way of dealing with stress that we can not control. As what she said sunk into my mind, I realized she was right. This last year I have been dealing with more stress than *normal,* whatever that means. I have dealt with things with my son as most parents do; my father was hospitalized for over a week in September; a beloved pet has been sick; finances have been strapped for a variety of reasons, one of which included a deer last month; and I have had to contend with a lying, irreputable repairman; and, and, and....................
Being a single parent is HARD, and I am one of the lucky ones in that I have an advanced degree in an area that offers job security. Even so, everything else that a single parent goes through, I have had to go through alone.....and that has resulted in living a stressful life. When everything appears to be falling down around me, I have to remember to look up....up to the One who knows me as no one else does. When everything narrows down around my head, He is the One who sends me a safety net. It has often been by unlikely means, but it comes.....by way of Facebook and the words from a student from a quarter century ago.....by way of this blog read by another favorite, long-remembered student from the same era who acted when God prompted him.....by way of part-time jobs (one of which was a total unexpected miracle)....by way of earned bonuses at work......by way of answered prayers......by.................. This will be added to as He works in my life.
So.......when life bears down upon your head and you feel at your last rope, look UP to the God who made you and knows your needs more than anyone. He will sustain you.