Friday morning I woke up to find a maraschino cherry where my right eye was supposed to be. After prying it open, I ran a quick Google search for “symptoms of pink eye,” then conducted a quick self-diagnosis: if I didn’t have pink eye, it was something very similar. But then as I packed my book bag for the day I thought about how, the one time I’d had pink eye, it had been much, much worse. So maybe it was just allergies. Although, the fact that my head felt like a brick when I woke up and it took twenty minutes to lift said brick off my pillow probably should’ve been an indicator.
By the time I got to school, I was back to my original assumption. Allergies don’t affect you like that. The writer part of me begged me not to let this opportunity pass, so while waiting on French class to begin, I wrote a haiku:
I have a pink eye
It looks just like a cherry
Ew, it is nasty.
Deeply moving, I know.
By late Friday night, my one red eye was the least of my problems. Thus began my weekend of sick-related activities (This is good news if any of you happen to have stock in Kleenex). I’ll refrain from mentioning the details…and the nicknames my loving family bestowed on me. Besides, someone has to take a stand for the dying art of discretion. You’re welcome.
I was content to ride out this plague, but once I showed my mom one of my marble-sized lymph nodes, she told me I needed to be examined by a doctor. Actually, her exact words were, “You’re filled with infection.” That made me feel better.
Plus, to further my feelings of “Doctor-is-going-to-tell-me-I’m-dying” (drama hits a peak when I’m sick), Mom said, “Today I saw a girl who was getting one of her lymph nodes removed because she kept feeling it and it wouldn’t go back to normal size.”
Needless to say, I immediately removed my hand from my neck and abandoned my theory of massaging it back into place.
As I was meeting with the doctor I asked, “So is this just a bunch of stuff I have, or is there a name for it?”
To which she replied, “Upper respiratory infection.”
*Gasp!* (Literally. I have a cough).
Actually, the fact that the infection was “upper” and thus didn’t involve my lungs, made me really, really happy. Back towards the beginning of the summer, I had a total respiratory infection, along with bronchitis and a couple of other ‘”-itises” that sound like dinosaur names. That junk had taken my voice and everything. So I was definitely glad for this verdict.
The doctor put me on some antibiotics and told me to throw away all my eye makeup. I asked Mom if makeup money could come out of my school fund (I did not budget for this!), since I probably got this plague from school. Anyone know of an eyeliner black market? Kidding, kidding.
So that’s where I’m at. I’m medicated, and other than my lymph node (which one of my friends named Bob…we won’t go into a discussion of how that came about), I’m feeling pretty good about my pitiful self.
And here’s the part where I learned something…
Even though I had a rough weekend, I’m thankful I got sick when I did. I had a big Political Science exam Monday and a hundred things to do this week, and I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish any of that if this stuff had hit me this week. Plus, my sister comes home this Friday, and Thanksgiving is next week. So it really was a blessing all of that hit when it did. I’m also thankful for medication, no matter how much those pills taste like nail polish remover.
I had a big essay to write over the weekend, and I had to be content with doing my best and trusting my grade would match the amount of effort I was able to put into it. I had to accept the fact that I might not be able to study as much as I needed to for my test, and my grade might reflect that. It was a reminder that, sometimes, all we can do is our best, and we can’t control our situation. I’d had my whole weekend scheduled, and one swift kick to my immune system made it crumble.
Sometimes, no matter how good your intentions are, you just fall short. Even if you use the automatic doors, wash your hands often, never touch handrails, and ninja-kick the bathroom door so you can avoid touching the handle, sometimes it’s just not enough.
I’ve learned that if you live for the moments everything happens exactly right, you’ll be disappointed.
It’s not enough to live for the times your professor writes, “Excellent job!” on a tough research paper or to hear someone say, “You’re a true friend.” Those moments are wonderful, but they’re not worth living for because there are no guarantees when or if they’ll happen again.
It’s a beautiful thing to realize I don’t have to hop-scotch through life, trying to avoid cracks in the sidewalk and guessing where the safest landing is, but rather to take His hand and trust His leading and dance with Him. To fall into His arms and listen as He whispers words of love in my ear. To realize He knows everything about me; knows how many trees I’ve killed with the amount of tissues my sickness has required and to hear Him say, “It’s not as many as you think. It’s not that big of a deal. It’s just one small instant in time.”
To feel perfect peace when he says, “it doesn’t make much sense now, but it’s only for a moment. I’ll bring you through this. Just hold on.”
My situation this weekend was minor, but it was still a reminder. The things we go through, whether big or small, are temporary. Nothing on this earth lasts forever. Yes, that means some good things may end, but bad things will end, too. What you’re facing right now are momentary troubles that, when compared to eternity, aren’t as big as they seem right now. So rather than complaining about ways life could be better or accepting defeat, trust Jesus. He’s got it under control, and He’s got you. He will never leave you nor forsake you.
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” -2 Corinthians 4:16-18
So whether you’re currently plagued by doubt, or stress, or illness, or fear…let it go. Offer it to Jesus as a sacrifice, as a way of saying, “Take this, God, and use it for your glory. Use it to draw me nearer to You. I trust You.”
Then watch what He will do.
In His love,