the weakness & the lowly.

i’m just not sure what’s going on right now.

i’ve been in bed for 10 days. i can’t really lift Owen. i can’t really stand up long enough to make dinner or really even long enough to take a shower. i can’t really understand why this is happening.

i’m dizzy. i have high antibody levels. i’m nauseous and exhausted and my face is tingling. my entire left side is uncomfortable and when you tell a doctor something like that you get sent to the ER.  and then you have six vials of blood taken and a CT scan performed and they tell you nothing is wrong and you can’t decide if you’re happy or sad, because where are the answers?

amidst all this i had to take a steroid. i hate steroids, but i like the thought of feeling human again, so i tried it. marginal improvement, and it forced me to wean Owen. regardless of the fact that we were just nursing at bedtime and he doesn’t “need” it anymore, it was a heartbreaker for me. we’ve loved nursing. it’s been a gentle happiness amidst 13 months of circling and spiraling and, like i knew i would, i miss it very much [mamas – if you ever find yourself in this moment, this post was such a comfort & encouragement to me]. so here i am, missing my baby in every way and entrusting others to care of everyone and everything in my life and feeling completely leveled after trying to take a 10 minute walk around the backyard.

moments like these are so prosaic…so unoriginal, i’m not sure why that’s coming to mind right now or why it bothers me so much. like i didn’t pick up on the cycle repeating and i should have known this was coming. life was starting to level out, to be full and somewhat smooth and just spontaneous enough. then the rug is pulled out and the control is lost and nothing in life is ever actually normal, is it?

i know that He is good. i don’t have any poetic feelings or lovely thoughts about how i know that or how i am experiencing it right now, but i know that He is. and i’m really thankful for that, because all else is vague and disheartening today.

i don’t even know if this post makes sense. my head is spinning as i write it and i’m re-watching episodes of the newsroom because i feel too hazy to read a book so intelligent television seems like the next best bet. that and i already finished re-watching the entire series of parenthood.

i have an appointment with a neurologist on monday as well as two MRIs . maybe we’ll find some concrete answers, maybe we won’t. right now, i wouldn’t be surprised if there were no answers to be found, if maybe there’s more to be found in the weakness and the lowly than healing and solution.

whatever the case, He’ll still be good. we’ll still seek the joy of His presence. He’s the Healer of all things in His time, and He’s the strength i need to wait. goodness and mercy, all the days of my life. the house of the Lord forever. the storm rages on but the peace is perfect.

when all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay.
[the solid rock]

Author: Abby Perry

Abby has written for The Gospel Coalition, Christ and Pop Culture, Upwrite Magazine, and The Influence Network. She is the communications coordinator for a nonprofit organization and co-facilitates two community efforts—one promoting bridge-building racial reconciliation conversations and one supporting area foster and adoptive families. Abby graduated from Texas A&M University and currently attends Dallas Theological Seminary. She and her family live in College Station, Texas.

12 thoughts on “the weakness & the lowly.”

  1. Abby, this was so powerful. Very convicting to see your attitude in the midst. Praying for healing in Jesus’ name.

  2. Hi, we don’t know each other, but I went to high school with Larissa Kistler and saw your post on her Facebook feed. I went through something similar a few years ago where my health deteriorated over the course of months and then years. What I’ve been able to piece together after seeing 13 specialists and finally a very competent integrative medicine physician affectionally called a “medical detective” was that I contracted a childhood illness called “Slapped Cheek” that became chronic eventually causing a cascade of problems, autoimmune, neurologic, rheumatoid, metabolic, cardiac, endocrine, due to systemic inflammation. Every specialist failed to put the larger picture together. Find yourself a well regarded integrative medicine physician who can help you piece together all of the different symptoms. It’s not at all uncommon for a condition to play itself out in many different bodily systems, especially when there is an autoimmune component. My prayers are with you as you seek answers and adapt to your current reality. Know that healing is possible. It may take time and perseverance, but it is possible. Keep the faith!

  3. Thank you Abby for all your posts over the last few weeks/months. I have really enjoyed reading them and Paul (my hubbie who is working in a similar role to Jared) has too. Together we have been really challenged by your words especially about social justice & bring a Christian. Also as we would love to start a family soon (married 1 year on saturday!!! Love), we had thought about adoption/fostering and your posts got us thinking again. What a privilege it is to be a child of the living God and to serve him, not only in the ‘normal’ church roles but also in in giving of yourselves (home and sharing your precious family). It has been a challenge to me as I am a home bird and the home time is precious. Over the summer Paul was teaching a team of teens about being a true follower of Jesus (from Mark). Together with your blog, the Lord has challenged us to what our lives should look like as Christians. ..being associated with those who are ‘unloved’ and despised in society. I truly know what you mean when you say; once you have gone to a certain place, read certain things & your heart has been touched by certain truths that the Lord is teaching you…there is no going back & you think what will we do with this truth. Which way will we go? I guess we are at that stage now, not knowing where we will be working next year but wanting to serve the Lord wholeheartedly anywhere!
    We pray for you and your special family often and are alsways encouraged to know that there are other brothers & sisters across the world living & serving the Lord. We love you guys.
    (I started this reply in your blog but realised it was quite long,hope thats ok)
    Love Kate xxx

  4. Abby,
    Have you had a MRI of your neck? Maybe you have a pinched nerve or a slipped disc in your cervical spine. Or maybe they could test you for MS? I am very sorry that you are having so many problems. I am sorry that you had to wean Owen sooner than you would have liked, I know first hand how hard that can be. Praying for you, Jared, and Owen.
    Sonja

    1. Sonja – thanks for the insight and encouragement. I’m having an MRI of my brain and upper spine done tomorrow. I’ll definitely keep your ideas in mind when I see the doctor. It’s been very helpful to get some fresh insight on what this could be. Hope you all are doing well!

  5. Abby,
    I love you so much and am so proud of your choice to trust Him and YES we know throughout the 20 years of our friendship that we can trust in GOD’s sovereign loving hand! And Yes, we can experience JOY no matter what our circumstances! His Grace is truly sufficient! The Kiltz’s won’t cease praying for you! Cling to the One who carries our burdens daily… He can be nothing but FAITHFUL!

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