One of the hardest things about your body quitting before your mind, is having to stop when every skerrick of your being wants to keep going. Before I got really sick with anorexia (and there is, I think, a link), every second of my time was accounted for. From the 6am alarm bell which propelled me into my trainers and out for a run, to the books I clutched instead of a pillow – I even dreamt in to-do lists. Nowadays, my energy levels are a lot lower. I simply can’t do the things I want – my body won’t let me. And that’s been very difficult – but in a funny way, it’s also been the making of me.
When your plug gets pulled it’s a very scary thing. Aside from anything else, it makes you look at yourself, maybe for the first time, without the trappings of work or achievement. Along with keeping busy, I’ve invested a lot of energy into these coverings. I don’t want to be still. Not before others, not before myself and not before the Lord. I don’t like what’s there. I’m scared to confront it. I can talk about the gospel of grace, but it’s much harder to ask if it could be true for someone like me, someone who’s made some pretty enormous mistakes. Who still doesn’t know where she’s going. Who can’t get back into the driving seat, partly because the car’s a bit battered.
But there are benefits to being pulled off the road. There’s a stillness and ironically, a sense of purpose that I’ve never experienced before. It’s not my purpose, it’s His. And it doesn’t look the way I’d imagined or hoped, but I can trust the new driver. Even if I sometimes shout out directions from the back seat.