Work Work Work

As I lay in my hospital bed with an IV in my arm and antibiotics and steroids being pumped into my system, my mind can’t help but wander: How are my students doing? I wish I had my laptop. Ugh, I have to do my lesson plans! I can’t get work off of my mind and quite frankly, it’s sad.

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For the past several weeks, my Lupus symptoms have gone absolutely haywire. My fatigue has become unbearable, and I’ve developed daily high fevers that fluctuate between 101 and 103 degrees. But of course, I live in New York City, I have a hustler’s mentality, and I care about my team. So what do I do? I suck it up and deal. I self-diagnose and “treat” with over-the-counter medication. I continue to push myself to get dressed every morning. I get pretty, put a smile on, and get myself to work.

I’ve always prided myself on being an ambitious, hardworking, and dedicated person. Unfortunately, being all of these things AND having an autoimmune disease has driven me into the ground. One of the most challenging things I had to learn to do at the start of my diagnosis was to listen to my body rather than my head. In my head, I can do anything! Then my body begins to scream and argue, reminding me that this is not the case.

Then I ask myself, is this always realistic? I’m a single (non-married) woman living in a city that never sleeps. Where people work an average of at least 50 hours per week and the expectations are the same for us all–bills gotta get paid! Life doesn’t say, “She has Lupus, so let’s make her bills less and decrease her work load.” I work hard and do my best to take care of my responsibilities and naturally in the process, tend to put my health to the side at times.

This entire experience of being hospitalized has reminded me that I am no good to the people in my life (friends, family, colleagues, or students) if I’m confined to a bed. I HAVE to put my health first in order to do all of the things that I love doing. I KNOW how challenging it is to balance life, especially when battling with Lupus, but as someone who is going through the trenches right now, I truly encourage all sufferers to put your health first. The report that’s due tomorrow isn’t worth it. That extra hour at the gym isn’t worth it. Not even the late night dinner with your BFF is worth it. Take a step back, relax, and please be well.

Following this read, please take a moment to pray for me and my recovery. The Bible says “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) and I truly believe that prayer in numbers can make mountains move!

 

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If you know anyone suffering with Lupus and/or any other “Invisible Disease”, please feel free to share with them directly!

©joezettesjourney/Mar2017

39 thoughts on “Work Work Work”

  1. Boy can I empathize! I was a New Yorker, born and bred. But when we ignore His priorities, God has a tendency to knock harder. He had to knock me clear off my feet to get my attention. I hope you’re back on your feet soon. ❤

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      1. Well, I practiced law for 25 years. I felt called to the profession, and devoted myself to it. I, also, however, used workaholism as a way to avoid issues stemming from my childhood.

        When my health collapsed, I felt as if my world had ended. Unable to practice, I no longer felt I had a way to define myself. Gradually, I came to see that I did not have to “earn” God’s love. All that while, I’d been trying to make up by overwork for what I’d perceived as my deficiencies.

        When God brought my world to a halt, I had nothing but time on my hands. As a result, I wrote two books, and continue today writing my two blogs. More importantly, I was able to care for and spend time with my mother before she passed away. That was priceless.

        God has a plan for your life, a plan for good and not evil (Jer. 29: 11). This is just a fork in the road. How you choose to respond is your decision. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Be still and know there is a God who is keeping up with all your lesson plans and caring for your students. Our Lord has been doing it from
    “I AM”, a place that makes NY, NY look sound asleep! Take your rest and recover teacher, Your Lord is THE great TEACHER and settles his students in the best seats to learn of HIM. In your struggle He is LORD. Be of strong faith and of good courage you are victorious my sister.

    IN Prayer with you a fellow warrior of the LORD,
    Denny

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    1. Denny, thank you so much for your words of encouragement. I got chills!!! This is the kind of faith that have to wake up with each morning in order to make it through the day. At times I fail, but it’s wonderful having people who are strong in their faith to encourage and lift you up. Thank you again (I can’t say it enough) and thank you for reading!<3

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am a teacher too. Live in Christ explore His given Gospel in times of giants making you fear to take the next step. HOPE is with your every step as you advance in your depth of understanding how rich and encompassing the Gospel is to life. YOU are an encouragement to me just as you are right now. It is I who can not say thank you enough precious one of God. In your poorest day of despair you are a child of the KING of kings, and more than victorious in Christ, because Jesus said so. Take it up with HIM not me !! Rest well in the fact of YOUR victory Joezette.
        Your Bro,
        Denny

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    1. Thank you for your kind words Sonyo! I believe in the power of testimony, andin spite of my difficulties, I know He is working😌 My friends and family are BEYOND supportive–it’s amazing! I am so blessed to have them. Thank you again for reading, and please keep in touch! I look forward to reading your future posts🤗

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  3. As a former teacher (34 years), I can so understand your being torn between your health and your students. I am glad you are putting your health first so that you can be there for your students. I have a chronic illness, but my working or not did not affect my state of health. Lupus and autoimmune diseases are so difficult. Continue to care for yourself and find things to be thankful for. I’m sure you are a wonderful teacher.

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    1. Yes, it’s so hard balancing a personal and professional life as an educator…especially when working in a charter school😑 I am learning to put my health first but it’s a process that I’m sure will take some time. Thank you for your encouraging words and thank you for reading!

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  4. “Be still and know that I am God” – these are the words He whispered to me! Did I heed them? I got the “…I am God” part, but not the “Be still” part… Radiation for a brain tumor, broken ankle, 2 sinus infections, and cellulitis – all leading up to complete system depletion and eventually 4 blissful days and 3 wonderful nights in the local Cardiac Care unit! My heart literally almost stopped due to a lack of potassium. I pushed myself too far. I even told the doctor I’d go to the ER “in the morning”, after I took my youngest child to school, instead of right then, as she suggested… As if I was in control of the universe! “Be still and know that I am God”. Heed His words! Rest in Him! Praying for healing and peace for you!

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      1. That was 8 was years ago – truly, the blink of an eye! – and I still find myself having to repeat those words as a reminder! Life is an ongoing lesson; you’re a teacher, I’m sure your heart can relate! 💕

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      2. Tumor is still there (inoperable), but I cope (non- malignant). I also deal with auto-immune issues like fibro, tendinitis, and arthritis, and the beginning signs of MS. But again, it’s all in the management! I try to listen to my body’s gentle whisperings, before it gets to a dull roar (or an outright scream!)… I’m learning to be patient with myself, which is trying! 😉

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  5. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. (Isaiah 43:2)

    It sounds that you are passing through rough waters, hang in and hang on to the Word of God.

    For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, (Phillipians 1:29).

    When you are suffering remember how much Jesus suffered for you on the cross. He understands your pain. Offer your suffering to Him, endure it as a sacrifice to Him.

    “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28–30)

    Jesus understands your weariness, your need for rest.

    Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” (Luke 9:58)

    “The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. He said to them, “Come away to a quiet place all by yourselves and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.” (Mark 6:30-31)

    Jesus knows exhaustion. He knows pain. He knows suffering. He understands that you need to take time for yourself to rest for a while.

    Because He lived as fully man, because He was tortured and sacrificed on the cross, He understands all our pain and suffering and offers hope.

    The Hope Jesus offers is not the hope of this world. As Robert Frost noted: “Hope is not found in a way out but a way through.” Jesus does not promise you that He will swoop down from heaven and rescue you. He does promise to be with you, to go through your time of trial with you. He has sent the Holy Spirit to be with and in you, to comfort you, to lead you through. The soul and spirit that is the real you will not be consumed by the fire. Though at some time your mortal body will cease to be, you will always be with Him. May this eternal promise help sustain you in your suffering.

    I am at this moment offering up a prayer for your healing, your recovery, that you would have renewed strength as it says in Isiah:

    Though youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly, Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary. (Isaiah 40:31)

    Amen.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow Jo, this is something that Simon and I had to decide on at the beginning of this year. We seemed to be killing ourselves for work and everyone else but our family was close to a mess. We had to decide that we need to take care of ourselves too because just like you said, we are no good confined to a bed because our bodies at some point just shit down. I’m so happy that you have seen this too and Inpray that God will give you the strength not only to make it trough this one, but to really listen to your body and know when enogmugh is enough! You’re amazing by the way!!!

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    1. Yes Liz, it’s definitely necessary at times. This city is bound to just drive you into the dirt. I’m going to use this time to just take care of myself–mentally, physically, and spiritually!

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    1. It’s SUCH a constant battle! I usually daydream about sleep…almost always! I believe my responsibilities last week are what pushed me over the edge! My To Do list just kept growing and everything needed to get done. I tried my bed to prioritize based on importance, and surprisingly everything got done, unfortunately at my expense. We have to become comfortable with putting our health first. Trust me, I know how hard it is–I have such a hard time calling out. But I don’t ever want to have to be hospitalized again. And I don’t want this to happen to you either, so please take it easy and say “no, that’s enough” whenever your body needs you to.💜

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