“Lord, You alone are my portion and my cup; You make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance” (Psalm 16 v5-6).
The most recent lesson I have learned since being diagnosed with fibromyalgia is the need to look after myself. Someone asked me recently to consider what was the most important in my life and what could I do in order to reduce my stress levels.
I decided to write a list of what I felt at that moment in time was important to me. My list included my family, friends, church, and work. I couldn’t decide what was the most important.
In talking about this one day with a friend she suggested that I look up some information on boundaries. I read that healthy boundaries are about knowing and understanding what my limits are.
I definitely didn’t have healthy boundaries. I push myself beyond my limits because I want to be a good wife and a good mum. I place unrealistic expectations on myself. I will sacrifice my times to meet a friend or help someone. If something comes up on my important list, I will drop everything to do it.
Then one day I had a light bulb moment. I realised that there was something missing from my list of what is important in my life or what I need to be able to prioritize–myself! The Bible tells us to love our neighbour as ourselves. I have read this verse many times, but this particular day it had fresh meaning.
I felt God telling me that what should be on the top of my list is myself. That I needed to give myself permission to look after myself.
I realize that when I surpass my limits, and my energy and patience are diminished, then family suffer. When I persist in doing for others when my energy is depleted I end up feeling fragile, angry, and depressed.
I am finding that when I do manage to put myself first then I am in a better place to be the wife, mum, and friend I want to be.
Dear Lord, when I am feeling stressed and overwhelmed from trying to juggle everything that’s important to me, help me to be able to look after myself first. When my energy is depleted remind me that You are my rock and that I can rely on You to see me through this season. Amen.
About the author:
Debs Edwards lives in South Wales, UK with her husband Simon and her two children aged 10 and 15. Debs has had fibromyalgia and photo aggravated rosacea for 18 months. She is able to continue to work on a part-time basis as a health researcher for 2 days a week at Cardiff University.
Are you feeling overwhelmed with all the demands that you place upon yourself? Do you need to place some healthy boundaries around your life? How could you re-prioritize what’s important to you during this season of chronic illness?
Between web site challenges and my own health, I apologize for missing a few days of devotionals.