Not Guilty

I didn’t really want to write today, as I’ve been drawn to isolation the last couple days. But I know how badly it hurts to be silent. Literally. It’s usually the only time I have joint pain. But how do you go about telling anyone that you’re back down again… back where you never wanted to be… back where you feel like you’re drowning?

The little things are going wrong today, and I’m ashamed that they’re getting to me. We can’t make ends meet as it is and our HOA fees went up, my student loan payment almost tripled, I’m running out of medicine, yesterday I accidentally hung up on Jason while he was phoning me in to church so I missed most of it, for three nights in a row I have to muster up enough saliva to soak a massive chunk of cotton to test my cortisol, I can’t take the supplement that lowers my cortisol so I’m more anxious than usual, I had several episodes of sleep paralysis this morning, and just now as I put the recliner up, my wrist tendon actually got stuck so that I had to move it back into place with my other hand. OW.

These are mostly just little things, but they feel like big things because I was already down before any of them happened. After a pretty good week emotionally, I surprised myself by crumpling to the fetal position Saturday night. I had battled what felt like blood sugar drops all day. No matter how much I ate, I still felt like passing out. Dysautonomia is a cruel syndrome. There is a dysfunction in the Autonomic Nervous System, meaning that at any point, any of the functions my body is supposed to know how to do automatically (regulate blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, blood sugar, digestion, etc) could just stop working. I cannot tell you how fear-inducing that is. And my automatic response is to blame myself, to obsess over figuring out what I did wrong so that I can do it right next time. Maybe I ate too much starch, or drank too much coffee, or got out of the bed on the wrong side. I cannot wrap my mind around the fact that I’m doing absolutely everything right and I’m still debilitatingly sick. Part of this tendency to blame is my predisposition but I also had a doctor who constantly said “disease can’t live in a body without sugar”. Now I say to him, “bull CRAP”… but I still often see his face accompanying my health-guilt. I haven’t had a single bit of sugar, even natural sugar, in 2-3 months (I lost count) so there is no way my blood sugar should have been dropping. It’s ridiculous. And I can’t talk to any of my doctors about it because they don’t seem to understand dysautonomia. It’s terrifying not to be able to have anyone to turn to for help. I feel so very alone. I’m scared, and I’m angry, and I’m sad, and I’m guilty, and I want to let out a guttural SCREAM UNTIL SOMEONE FIXES ME!!!!!

Yesterday I was reading Fully Alive, by Susie Larson (just get used to me talking about this book because I’m not going to stop for awhile), and I read this out loud to Jason, “I’ve worked so hard to take care of myself. I take my vitamins, go to bed early, drink lots of water, exercise, and build margin into my schedule. I’m doing everything I know to do to stay healthy… I feel like I can’t win, no matter how hard I try.” Jason, who sadly has to witness many of my countless meltdowns said, “you literally just said that.”  Yes, yes I did. I’m listening, God.

And I continued to read, “you’re still afraid to let people down. You’re mad at yourself because you don’t want to disappoint.” Ugh, yeah. People are now invested in me. How am I supposed to face them if I don’t get better? It’s just best if I do this by myself. But deep down I know that’s not true. I ache with need. And I’m so ashamed every time I slide back down. I know that my depression disappoints and hurts people. And I hate myself for it. But that’s probably what Satan wants.

And then the shot between the eyes, “at some point you have to accept your limits and not berate yourself for the ways you need God in this season.” I find it so difficult to even let that sink in. Not berating myself? That’s just a foreign language to me. I pretty much need God to accomplish absolutely everything for me in this season. I’m not strong enough. And I’m ashamed. Why am I so ashamed to need God? This should be a season of blessing for me, of deep intimacy with God. And I’m wasting it with my guilt.

“Jesus broke through in a whisper with words that would forever change the way I walked with Him. He whispered to my soul, ‘Susie, I get that you love Me. But you don’t seem to understand that I love you. So from now on, until I tell you differently, every time you want to tell Me that you love Me, I want you to turn it around and say, ‘You love me, Lord.'” Susie says, “We don’t overcome insecurity by trying hard not to be insecure. We overcome insecurity when we’re undone by God’s unfathomable love.” I think the reason last week was so good in spite of my health was because I constantly invited God to love me. That was my focus. But somewhere over the last few days, my focus has shifted back to what people think of me… or as Jason so wisely pointed out, what I think of me. God, help me die to this!

“Where once I cared too much about what others thought of me, I eventually died to their opinions of me, and you know how God filled those vacancies in my soul? He imparted to me a deep, profound, compassionate love for others.” I want this so badly, and have been praying for it for many months now. I’m beyond tired of conditional, guilt-ridden ‘love’. I long for real love. And it has to start with dying to what I and other people think, and awakening to a deep understanding of Jesus’ love for me. He has already assigned a “not guilty” verdict to me forever. So, as I fret and obsess and try to fix, I pray God reminds me every single moment that the only thing that matters is that He loves me. “I do believe, help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24).

Song I’m feeling: Who You Say I Am, by Hillsong

“Who am I that the highest King would welcome me?
I was lost but He brought me in
Oh, His love for me
Oh, His love for me

Who the Son sets free, Oh, is free indeed
I’m a child of God, Yes I am
Free at last, He has ransomed me
His grace runs deep
While I was a slave to sin, Jesus died for me”
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Author: Karina Baker

Hello, my dear friends! Glad to see you here. Thank you for reading about my beautiful rubble - my struggles with life, faith, and autoimmunity. Feel free to share your stories in the comments. My love and prayers to all of you!

2 thoughts on “Not Guilty”

  1. I was amazed at your statement that these “are mostly little things .” Didn’t appear little to me, which underscores how very much you deal with in comparison. Again, Karina, I thank you for being so transparent. It is hard to comprehend why you are going through all this, but I can see you using it to God’s honor and glory. You may feel ineffectual, but you have spoken to feelings and needs that I have had a hard time dealing with myself ( including guilt over those feelings), and given me a healthier perspective. And if you have spoken to me, you have spoken to countless others. You have also given me a better perspective of how to pray for you and, that, I promise I will do! Thank you for sharing, sweet lady

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