There are so many new faces to be thankful for my life right now and I am so excited that God is growing not only the groups I am involved in, but also my relationships. Unexpectedly, however, I find that I have forgotten one of the most difficult things about meeting new people: revealing my...quirks. There are some things that go along with having fibromyalgia that are so normal to me that I don't really notice them until new people see them. Even my friends get used to them and they become commonplace occurrences, not meriting attention or acknowledgment - it's just me, and we all know it.
I shiver - it's actually really a twitch. Some people shiver when they get a chill, and it's a lot like that. The thing is, I'm rarely cold, so it isn't actually that I'm cold, it's just my nerves firing, making me shake. A lot of the time I wince when I stand up, or when I sit down, or when I shift in my seat. Some times my joints randomly hurt, and I yelp. And yet, despite the weirdness of all of these things, I forget that it's weird behavior until I'm surrounded by new people.
The great part about this, however, is that, while I have been slightly embarrassed that people notice these things, and while I have avoided the rather depressing "I have chronic pain" explanation, I can feel God stretching my comfort zone. I don't like admitting weakness, period. I don't like people noticing the ways that my condition makes me different. But, as more people notice, I have more opportunities to accept myself as I am, as God made me, and embrace it. I have more opportunities to be real with people, to be honest with them about myself, and to glorify God, to have a positive outlook, and to count all the other blessings in my life in spite of my illness.
How is God stretching you?
2 Timothy 2: 15
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.