Tonight—for about the hundredth time this summer—my thought-life circles around one thing: “I don’t get it.”
Earlier today, I walked into what was supposed to be a medication follow-up for one issue, only to walk away with an even more severe diagnosis of something that has not been mentioned in the medical conversation all summer. In fact, in my entire life this word has never been thrown around, except to say: no one on either side of your family has ever had this.
Since leaving the doctors office, I have spent my time shooting off glib texts, flipped out emails, and reading Mayo-clinic and WebMd pages—comparing figures to my own blood test results.
I don’t get it. This diagnosis is so far out of left field that my head is spinning.
I am borderline vegetarian who doesn’t eat soy product. I don’t drink soda. I rarely eat processed foods. I buy organic at the Farmer’s Market. I cook 90% of my meals myself. I don’t salt my food. I don’t struggle with obesity. I don’t sweeten my tea. I don’t fry my food. I cook with coconut oil—who does that? I sleep a solid eight hours a night. I’m not above the age of 45. This shouldn’t be happening to me. I have lived my life so that this wouldn’t happen to me.
And yet: I am the one who had a doctor hand me blood test results: pre-diabetic. On the very low end of it, but still enough to show up on the radar.
Being Real Right Now
I had zero intention of writing about this. I was actually going to write about grace and the government shut down and things that I thought were the most important part of my brain-space.
But then I read Ruth’s blog from yesterday—about being a community who talks about what’s real in real time. I realized that if I want to invite you into the rawness of your today, then I need to be willing to give you the rawness of my today.
My today was impacted zero by the government’s continued shenanigans. I doubt that the majority of you have felt it in your daily life either. Yet it’s what we talk about when we go to dinner. It’s what we think we need to be talking about: giving our two cents on how we’d do it differently if we were in office.
But today—my life got real and scary. And I haven’t thought about Washington once. I’m too busy living my own reality to criticize someone else’s.
For the last six hours, all I have done is read facts and follow it up with an “I don’t get it.” I’m going to be the first person in history whose 100% fresh fruit, hand squeezed smoothies gave her diabetes. What am I supposed to cut? Am I supposed to double my workouts from an hour a day to two? Am I supposed to drink negative alcohol–you can’t stop drinking something you already weren’t. Even down to my racial background, I am not supposed to be going through this. And yet I am.
But I Just Don’t Understand
My trigger phrase finally appeared: I don’t understand.
Over two years ago in Kenya, I had one of those spirit breakthrough moments. In the midst of a rolling blackout, I was vomiting rice through a mosquito net onto the mud floor. I was too sick and fatigued to be mad at the situation. My choked-back tear prayer was simple: Lord, I don’t get why I am so sick. Again.
I didn’t get my answer that night. I fell asleep with puke chunks in my hair and a desperate longing to be home.
Sometime later, I got my answer where so many of all of our answers turn up, and not in a trite, easy way out.
My answer came from one verse in Philippians: there is a peace that is greater than understanding.
I’m a know-it-all girl. It’s hard for me to say “I don’t know” and it’s even harder for me to say, “hey, I got a question.” But right there, the Lord tells me that it’s not about me understanding anything. He says, “Hey Handley, you’re barking up the wrong tree.”
Haven’t you ever found that all you want is answers, and then you get the answers only to find yourself even more restless and frustrated and lost?
It’s about peace. It’s about letting the Lord bring me peace in the unknown—in the darkest, most lonely place. I have felt that peace so many times: I know just how tangible His peace is. This newest diagnosis is simply one more place where I need to be chasing down peace.
Where Do I Go From Here?
Today, I have been given the chance to exercise my faith, to really lean into everything I claim comes so easily to me. Faced with the fire though, I have dug my heels in and said: I won’t take your peace until I have understanding.
Tomorrow brings with it new challenges for me to choose faith or frustration. I will wake up and have to come up with a new fruit-reduced smoothie. I have to clean up an already-clean diet for reasons I can’t fathom. And I have the choice to keep asking the questions that get me nowhere, or I can say: “I will not have answers today, but I can still have peace. Peace is still available to me right now regardless of my circumstance.”
Moving Forward Together
So, as you sit here and read this, I’m asking for your prayers: not for my understanding of this medical minefield I’ve been navigating in the dark, but for peace in knowing I am totally okay. Peace to remind me that I believe in an Overcomer, and I believe I am an overcomer. Peace to remind me that more answers rarely bring me peace—they just raise more questions. I don’t need answers; I need my Healer, my Comforter. I need the only one who brings me peace.
I pray for you to have grace and peace with yourself for whatever your today holds. Grace to be okay with being wrecked even if you’d rather be whole. Peace to be whole if you’re whole right now. Peace to be wrecked and still know you’re whole. And… courage for you to share your story in all its guts and glory—maybe even right here with us, on Wrecked.