Hello again and welcome back. I came across this post I had made on social media some time last year and thought this would be good to expand on it, and a little about my faith. Apologies to any MEeps who can read only a little at a time, as it is a longer post. It is emotional, so if you’re feeling particularly delicate, perhaps read it on another day.
This was the post…
‘Last night, just letting the dog out, I heard ‘the distant bell’ & interestingly not the town bell. I haven’t heard it in a while… must have been the right wind direction. Not just any bell…this beautiful sound has helped me through many, many difficult hours of the night. The promise that I was not alone, that another hour would pass and the next arrive. I’d never imagined how important that simple sound could be & how grateful I am for it.’
Leading up to the full blown onset of ME/cfs, which I hadn’t thought was serious at the time, I had drifted from my Christian faith journey. I’m sad to say that I had got hooked up on doing instead of focusing on being…I had even sung about my drifting away, but still didn’t realise. This isn’t to say that I didn’t continue to be an active person in other areas of life, I did, but this was different. I hadn’t realised how much I took for granted…my health included.
Back tracking a bit…When I first became a Christian, a massive light bulb moment occurred…basically God booted me out of my front door saying ‘Get to church’…(honestly, I’m not joking)…so I did and didn’t rest until I had. It was a time of great happiness. ‘What is the relevance of that’ I hear you ask. All I can say is that the onset of ME/cfs left me feeling very alone.
The earliest days of the illness were indescribable, with 56 medical appointments in the first year without diagnosis, explanation or hope of recovery.
The night was the worst, dripping with fever, in the most awful pain, feeling so ill, with cognitive & physical dysfunction going on, it was alien to me…it’s so difficult to put it all into words. Without intending to sound over dramatic, I wondered if I would make it through…and definitely hadn’t expected a lightbulb moment in the midst of it!
On one of these long nights, I was just longing to hear the dawn chorus, the reassurance that I’d made it through another night. I had tried to lean into a little of the Psalms, it was a struggle, but the words expressed everything I was experiencing. I cried out, in my head…’God, where are you, please help me’…tears streaming down my face. This was the first ‘conversation’ we’d had in a while…a little one sided! Out of what seemed no where I heard a bell in the distance. It literally was a light in the dark, a glimmer of hope…every hour passed feeling sick beyond words and then the bell chimed again…another hour had thankfully passed…and another. I hadn’t recalled hearing it before.
Through this time, and others to follow, I very unexpectedly visualised Jesus sitting with me on the edge of the bed, this was all new to me…me, I was a doer not an asker.. He was there holding my hand (my hubby, my rock, was often holding the other hand), reassuring me, letting me know I wasn’t alone, that I would get through.
For me it was quite overwhelming, I had drifted away from all that love & joy and yet there was no rejection of me, just comfort, hope and the expression of love stepping right in at my time of deepest need…literally at rock bottom. I will never forget it. I still live very quietly, have to rest loads and still deal with the array of symptoms the condition slings at you, but my perspective has been altered.
I know this is a much deeper type of post, and it may not resonate with everyone from a faith perspective or from any perspective and I’m unsure if I have been able to convey everything that well…but I know there is hope to help get through the periods that seem impossible and totally unmanageable, having had many years of them. Don’t lose hope. A very gently and heartfelt hug from me.
(ps. I have been nudged to write about this for quite some time!)
Psalm 30:8a NLT ~ I cried out to you, O Lord…
Psalm 36:9 NLT ~ For you are the fountain of life, the light by which we see.
Answer to my prayer ~ Annointed