I was pretty sure that by the time I was 40 I would have everything figured out. I am sure that everyone 40 and over would laugh along with me...
I am coming to the conclusion that there is no magic age or situation that makes us suddenly there... that magical place where everything is easy and managable.
There are a few circumstances in every person I know that tests them.
The health problems, or kid problems, or job problems, or family problems.
Life is a revolving wheel of the little tests and the big ones.
I feel like I am just winding down from one of my big tests.
I have been fighting a systemic bacterial infection for many years. Finally diagnosed over a year ago, and despite having gone through several rounds of mean antibiotics I had to try a different method.
The daily battle of figuring out how to rid my body of this pesky bacteria has been a painful and frustrating struggle. In the midst of that I did a complete turn around with my life goals and my career.
Being bed-bound was a huge struggle for me mentally, I am a driver and always have been. I enjoy challenges and not making an income was pretty devastating to my budget and to my mind. I don't want to sit around all the time. It was not in my nature.
Feelings of depression and worthlessness were very real to me.
I really struggled to find my self-worth in knowing who I was, not having a job or being a 'contributing member of society'. That broken record was on loop in my brain daily.
Learning to be patient with myself and my health has been a slow but rewarding process. Learning to work hard at my new job. Not only writing but also to help others with their author careers is very rewarding. I had to go through the testing time to understand my real strengths.
Patience, long-suffering, and self worth don't sound like fun tests but I cannot stress enough how going through this journey has changed me for the better.
My advice to anyone in the midst of their hard test, whatever it may be, to let God into the journey. He will shed truth over your situation. Believing thoughts that are only focused on negative things will only keep you in that trial longer. In every situation there is good and bad about it. There is amazing truths out there that can help you through any situation.
Sometimes the course of your life just needs one moment of understanding to get it moving forward again.
My bacteria battle feels like it is finally coming to the last cycle. With the understanding that my body has a lot of healing to do. I will need to keep my patience while I am finishing the fight. I know that I want to jump back into the 'well' world with gusto. But I have to remember what I have been through and where I want to go may take time.
I want to be able to look back on this time as not 'lost time' but found time. The time I spent getting to know the real me. The me that is stronger than I thought. That looked death in the eye a few times and came out with a new understanding and empathy for others that are suffering.
For me the most profound understanding is that I like me. The quirky real person that I am. I am not sure I can ever go back to the people-pleaser I was before. Life is way too short.
I am praying that whatever tests I have in the future, and we all know they are out there, is that I will be better prepared by what I have gone through. I have a few extra tools in the toolbox. To face what comes with God at my side.
Wherever you are on your journey, Don't give up, and let God in. You will never regret it!
~ Leah Banicki
Writer, Mom, Wife, and survivor!