Chronic Fatigue – Vanishing Spoons (Part 2)

thNVFN4H4ATo understand the full context, I recommend reading Vanishing Spoons (Part 1) first.

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I awoke the next morning feeling like I had been hit by a truck. My head ached and I felt an oozy sickness just asking my brain to process simple tasks. Getting ready for work took Herculean effort. I was clearly experiencing SSD (Serious Spoon Deficit).

Yet off to work I went.   It would not be the first (or the last) time I would press on despite feeling horrible.   Thankfully it was a quiet morning. Although my brain was crying out for reprieve, I urged it to keep performing. I responded to emails, worked on project details, and miraculously drafted coherent correspondence.   I was thankful I had survived the morning, but I knew I had pushed it as far as I could. The proverbial “wall” was fast approaching, and I was on a collision course with it. By noon, my gracious and accommodating supervisor understood that I needed to go home for the day.

That afternoon it all caved in. I was confined to my recliner as my spoonless body revolted. Even after napping for over an hour, weakness and waves of dizziness washed over me, making it almost impossible to sit up or walk. All I could do was be still. As I sat motionless, incapacitated by vertigo, I was thankful that God was near. I had witnessed his faithful help through many situations like this one. As the hours passed, a trickle of a spoon started to regenerate, and I inched back from the figurative wall that had body-slammed me.

I have spent two decades seeing specialists, trying to find an explanation of why my body acts like it does.   Thus far, my condition still remains a mystery.  While I would happily trade my “vanishing spoon syndrome” for reliable health and energy, I have learned to see the positives in my situation, also.  The greatest benefit is that it requires me to depend on Christ for strength, every moment of every day.   How thankful I am that he never grows weary of hearing my repeated cries, “Lord, please help me. Please give me strength. I can’t make it through this day without you.”

As I lay my weaknesses before him, I receive strength unexplainable in the human realm. Sometimes I get a tangible boost of physical energy. More often, I receive inner strength that helps me press on despite being exhausted. Even when all the spoons are gone and I have no alternative but to “be still,” I receive a peaceful reassurance that God is in control (Psalm 49:10). The apostle Paul, who battled a reoccurring “thorn in the flesh,” describes a similar experience in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

th3MXUK3XLGod’s way of doing things is often the opposite of what the world teaches. The world says to hide our weaknesses, and promises that in our own strength we can accomplish anything.   In contrast, God’s Word says “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up,” James 4:10 (NIV). We can boldly lay our deficits, failures, and vanishing spoons at his feet. As we place our trust in Christ, we receive grace, strength and perseverance that enables us to “mount up on wings like eagles (Isaiah 40:31).”   What an amazing paradox that when we are at our very weakest, God opens wide the infinite resources of heaven.

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“Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 49:10

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:29 (NASB)

“He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might he increases power.” Isaiah 40:29 (NASB)

“Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles. They will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.” Isaiah 40:31 (NASB)

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26 (NIV)

8 thoughts on “Chronic Fatigue – Vanishing Spoons (Part 2)

  1. Lorna Northcutt

    Dear Jane,

    Although I cannot ever say I fully understand the physical trials you have gone through over the past two decades, the “Vanishing Spoons” scenario does a good job of trying to explain your situation. Thank you again for your honesty and vulnerability. May God continue to use your life as a loving example that draws others to Jesus.

    In the devotional book “Jesus Calling” I have thought of you when I read August 31st and September 27th. Again, I don’t understand the path you have been asked to walk, but I do know that God is with you every step of the way.

    I love you, Janer.

    Lorna

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  2. Lorna, Thank you so much for your sweet words and encouragement. Your friendship is precious to me as we journey through this life trusting Jesus!

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  3. Kelly B

    Thank you for sharing your many-years’ trials with physical weakness. Thank you for your vulnerability and how God has met you in your weaknesses. I can whole-heartedly vouch for how you have walked these many years and kept seeking Him even when the strength is drained from your body. God has been with you, and you are even more beautiful than ever to me for having continued on that path, trusting God in spite of it.

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