Sunday, April 20

just do something

A few weeks ago, my jaw seized up and it has been locked ever since. I’ve had pain on opening it for a few years now, but this is a brand new level of dysfunction, which my body specialises in. I suspect that the orthodontists who played with my jaw in an attempt to create the ‘perfect profile’ were the ones who started my trouble, and I have zero inclination to let man fiddle with such a crucial joint ever again. Aside from the pain and inconvenience of such a small mouth opening, I was initially terrified that I would have to get it treated. I felt so trapped: my jaw is not working and I probably have a long life ahead of me, but I dare not get it manipulated again.

If you know me at all, you will know that I google everything. My google history mortifies me. I was reading a forum of others with TMJ, and I read this comment:

“Some people find that they can live with TMJ, while others try various treatment options.”

I felt a flush of peace – there are people everywhere living with physical/emotional/mental pain. It’s isn’t rare to be living with these burdens, and it is okay.   

Every year I seem to view my illness a little differently. The current stage is this: that full healing or wellness may or may not come, but it is not essential for a worthwhile life. Life on planet earth seems to be filled with a myriad of pain and mess, and while we are right to do all we can to reverse these things, we also have to carry on amidst them. Sometimes I feel so bogged down in all the challenges in my life and my friend’s and families’, and discouraged by the lack of quick solutions. It’s as though real living were only possible when things are running smoothly, and because things aren’t yet, I must keep waiting for the point when they are.

I have waited, and cried, and prayed, and tried for five years, and I am not well. But I am more well, and now I know how to manage the health that I do have. It’s possible that there will not be full solutions for me in this life. This thought which once had me crying sits in me peacefully. My mindset is starting to shift from waiting to get well, to considering how I want to live if this is as well as I am going to be. If this is it, what should I do with it?

If I had not strived for solutions in last five years, I don’t think I would be as well as I am today. I needed to stop and radically change many things. But if I keep striving for solutions, I fear that I will look back and wish that at some point I had stopped waiting around for them to come before I did such and such.  

I’ve been reading this book by Kevin DeYoung called, “Just Do Something – how to make a decision without dreams, visions, fleeces, impressions, open doors, random bible verses, casting lots, liver shivers, writing in the sky e.t.c.”

I have been going through a not-quite-quarter-century crisis: I’ve been at home for several years and I’m feeling restless, I’m coming towards my mid twenties, I have no qualifications, I might not make a full recovery – what on earth do I do with what I have been given? I was so fearful that I wouldn’t make a perfect decision, even though there is no such thing. But from insights in the book, I have arrived at this feeling of calm: Don’t wait around for things to fall perfectly into place. It’s called life: things aren’t perfect. Take a well thought out step with all the unknowns it brings, and then live faithfully one day at a time.

At this point in my story, I want to make some decisions which stretch me, rather than lie in bed waiting for the elusive cure.

One small sized decision: Should we travel to New Zealand, even though we don’t know how I will cope with such a trip? We eventually decided yes. We have booked our flights, and in a few months we head off to the snow – good health or nasty setback, I am glad we’re stepping out of our home to explore.  


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