Take this one for example:
I posted it on FB about a week ago. I look so happy in it, and why wouldn't I be? There is my book. Right on the shelf next to all those wonderful authors that I've been reading for years. I was happy in the picture, and I look really healthy with that nice pink glow on my cheeks.
But, sometimes pictures lie.
The fact is, I felt like crap when my son snapped the photo. The glow? Lupus rash.
I've had two really bad weeks.
I spent about ten of the past fourteen days mentally saying, "I can't do this, God. I can't."
I'd lie in bed watching the early morning light crawling across the bedroom ceiling, and I'd just want to cry, because I couldn't do it.
Get out of bed.
Engage with my family.
Drive this kid here and that kid there and get those kids ready for this weird and time-consuming transition into adulthood.
Repeat it all the next day.
I couldn't, and I knew it, and I'd lie there and just watch the day dawning and feel the time ticking away.
Then that voice, the one that always tells me the truth, would say, "You can't do it, but you will."
So, I'd sit and then stand and then go about my day, the words chanting quietly in the back of mind, "I can't. I can't. I can't. I can't." That other voice saying, "But, you will."
And, now, here I am. It is Saturday, and it is my youngest son's eighteenth birthday. I shopped for his gifts and baked his double-layer red velvet cake. I got up early this morning and hugged him hard and told him how much I loved him.
And, I realized that I'm through the worst of my lupus flare,and I feel a little better. Maybe, just maybe, I can do today.
I'm not telling you this because I want you to feel sorry for me. I have a great life that I live with joy. Some weeks are just harder than others.
I'm not writing it so you can say, "Wow! She has this chronic illness and she still manages to do x,y,z." Trust me, there are a whole lot of people going through worse and doing more.
I'm laying it all out for you because maybe you're lying in your bed staring at the ceiling. Maybe you're watching dust motes dancing in the air, counting your heartbeats and thinking, "I can't."
Maybe, you're sitting in your car, waiting for the next kid to come out of the next activity, and you're saying, "God, I can't. I can't do this."
Maybe you're driving to work or running the track or sitting in a chair with everything you built crumbling around you, all the things you hoped for and worked for and longed for slipping through your fingers, and maybe you're saying, "I can't do this. I can't."
And, maybe you want to quit, because your body hurts, and your hands don't work, and your brain is mush and your relationships are difficult and it just all suddenly seems so very hard.
And you just can't.
But, what if you can?
What if you do?
What if you write the story of your life on the pages of your pain and disappointment and struggles? What if you reach the end of your time here on earth and, instead of a pretty little book of wonderful things, you have a giant tome filled with the insurmountable odds that you have overcome? What if there is heartbreak and fear and failure and struggle written into every line?
Will your story be less beautiful?
Or will it be more so?
Today, you can't. But, you will, because you are you - powerful and strong and capable even in your weakest most vulnerable moments.
If you doubt that, let me be the voice of truth, the one that will whisper in your ear as you drag yourself up and get on with it - You can't, but you will. You will.
Whatever have, wherever am, make t through anything n the One who makes me who am. Philippians 4:13