Thursday, January 10, 2013

Those "Hit for Six" Kinda Days

When you have a headache, do you: 

a) lie down in a darkened room, doing your very best Freddy Krueger impression when the  hubby dares to peek through the window, letting in a splinter of light;

b) soldier on - willing, with every fibre of your being, for the pounding to ease up just long enough to get the last chapter of your award-winning novel completed, at least semi-coherently; or

c) run straight for the medicine cabinet for 2 paracetamol; after all, the commercials all assure you that they will, "work rapidly, allowing you to get on with your day!"

I never used to be a paracetamol girl; no, for many years I trooped on like a martyr, desperate to prove that I was strong enough to withstand the stabbing pain in my temples, trudging my way through the day, barely able to concentrate, let alone actually stay awake on the 45 minute bus ride home. Woe was I, and subtly, I made sure that everyone was aware of the humble sacrifice I was making for the sake of my job.

The other reason I avoided taking the Herron Blue or Panadol was I had a deep-seated distrust that they would actually work. I don't know why I felt that way, perhaps it was because I just didn't believe strongly enough in their advertising campaigns. I mean, it's not like one could feel the effects of the capsules' contents weaving their magic immediately after swallowing them; who was to say that they would actually do what they were intended to do?

Funnily enough, becoming a mum was enough to tip the scales in the completely opposite direction! Suddenly pain relief was the number one item on my shopping list; adult strength, kids, (3 months - 2 years and 5 years +), orange, strawberry, banana or cherry, tablets, caplets, chewable and rapid release; you name it, we had it! 

So, why the change of heart? Simply because I no longer had the luxury of allowing a headache to knock me for six; I had a mission, a job to do, and there was no one else better qualified for the role than me. That meant I had to take a chance, to believe that, even though I couldn't feel the medicine working in me straight away, it was in fact working and would make a difference in my body, or at least in my pain levels.

And the more I live and write for Christ, the more I realise two specific things.

Firstly - spiritually I will have days when I feel 'hit for six,' when I just want to stay under the covers and not go to church, or make that phone call . . . or write that blog spot. Ahhh, yes, you know what I'm talking about, right?! Every single one of us will have these 'blah' days, the 'it's all too hard' days, the 'I feel like such a hypocrite' days. The days when we have a spiritual headache and just want to be left alone. 

Secondly - when these days come, we can do one of three things,

a) keep to ourselves, baring our teeth at anyone who dares to show us any kind of care or comfort;

b) muster up just enough energy and spirituality to do our ministry, quietly grumbling and groaning, just loud enough to be heard, thus garnishing just a little more 'martyr' status within the ranks of our fellow Christians; or,

c) we can admit that it's a tough day, that we cannot do it in our own strength, and we can kneel before the only one who can heal us, Jesus Christ. It is a step of faith, one that calls for us to believe that in spite of how we feel, the Holy Spirit is working in us, his beautiful soothing touch bringing us just enough strength to do what the Father has called us to do - just for that day.  And as we worship God, we can rest assured that He has heard our cries and will most assuredly forgive and heal and restore us from the inside out.

Dear friend, I wonder; how are you feeling today? 

He energizes those who get tired,
    gives fresh strength to dropouts.
For even young people tire and drop out,
    young folk in their prime stumble and fall.
But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
    They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don’t get tired,
    they walk and don’t lag behind.  Isaiah 40:29-31, The Message


  1. Great post Helen. And why is it that as believing Christians we go for the Panadol before going to God and asking for healing? A God pill usually works faster and had very good side effects. Thanks for encouraging me today.

    1. That's so true, Jo! Oh for more faith in the wonderful healing power of our Lord. Yes, the side effects are beautiful - and even better, you're not limited to one dose every 4 -6 hours! Have a lovely day Jo. Blessings, Helen.

  2. Thanks Helen for your thoughts. Fits well with the last post about vulnerability and being honest. Some days are tough and we need to be honest enough to admit it.

  3. Hi Susan,

    Yes it does fit well, doesn't it. I loved what Nola had to say about keeping ourselves open as writers, but also having wisdom to know when to speak out, and when to perhaps wait for the right moment. Life can be so hard some days, and we can sometimes tend towards striving to make it all seem easy; in fact the greater witness comes from one who is hurting, and yet can say, "You are my God, and I will worship You, in spite of the hard times."

    Blessings to you, Susan. May God give you enough grace and strength just for today.

    Helen. XO

  4. Thanks Helen for that wonderful encouragement. It blessed me. Very well articulated and loved the way you presented it too.

    I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia this week which was bad news but also good news. At last I know why I've suffered so much with severe exhaustion and pain for 7 years. It's good news because my suffering has a name. And I am excused I think for reaching for those panadols now and then when I have to keep going no matter how sick I feel.

    Loved the verse you ended with - feeling like a truck has run over me this morning - so those words are balm to me. :) Yes, we will rise like the Eagles in His strength. Psalm 103:1-5 was a starting point for me this year - and that too says that he renews our strength - a wonderful promise indeed.
    Thanks so much, Helen.

    1. Hi Anusha - Sorry to hear you have Fibromyalgia, but it is good to finally have a name for it and know what you're up against. It's amazing all the things you've been able to do and what a blessing you've been to others while going through that. Will keep you in my prayers.

    2. Hi Nola,
      Thanks so much for understanding. Yes, it's done wonders to know what it is. Also feels good have what I have been suffering acknowledged by a caring and knowledgeable doctor. Do appreciate your prayers my friend. Bless you and thank you.

    3. Anusha, I too am sorry to hear of this diagnosis. I do know how much of a relief an actual diagnosis is, too. You are such a positive and encouraging person, full of the love of Jesus and never letting your tiredness or pain hold back your worship or faith. Thank you so much for sharing this with us here; I, too, will hold you in prayer, and please know that if there is anything I can do to help you out . . . well, I'm just down the road, and would consider it an honour to be of help in any way. May the strength and love of the Lord lift you and encourage you today, dear Anusha. XO

  5. So true,Helen. I broke my ribs in an accident a few years back just as we began ministry in Thailand. I longed to go home. But then the Lord spoke to me not to give up, but to rely on and prove His strength. I carried on amazed at the way He enabled me. PTL!

    1. Hi Rita,

      I cannot imagine how hard that would have been for you, being in a foreign country and in such pain. What an amazing testimony of God's healing and strength - and a truly wonderful example of how obedience and trust in God's direction really does work for good. Imagine all of the people who now know of the name of Jesus that, had you returned home, might still be in the dark! Well done, good and faithful servant! Thanks for sharing this with us here, that we too might be encouraged to trust him in the same way.

      Blessings, Helen.

  6. Thanks for that post Helen. I had a neck injury 12 years ago and get a lot of headaches as a result. While it's not fun and I have asked God many times to take it away, it's amazing what he can do in spite of it. Not always easy to put into practice the "my grace is sufficient for you" verse, but it does remind me often that I can't always do things in my own strength and have to rely on God. And of course when we do things in God's strength, they always turn out better. Funny that. I think wisdom is also needed in knowing when to soldier on regardless, but also when to take time out and just admit that things can't always happen the way I planned or at my pace. Still on the learning curve with that one (actually I don't think we get off that curve til heaven do we?). Thanks for sharing. Gave me lots of food for thought.

    1. Hi Nola,

      As I said to Rita, I cannot imagine how hard that must be for you. Headaches can be so very debilitating; even the not so bad ones can be just enough to dull one's day. Do you have the headaches every day, or just on and off? You have such a positive attitude, Nola; I pray that God will show you blessings that you might not have seen but for this accident and the headaches.

      Thanks for sharing with us Nola,

      Blessings, Helen. XO

  7. Hi Helen

    Thanks for your encouraging words. I would have several headaches a week, sometimes most days. They're not always debilitating - sometimes just a dull feeling and I can keep soldiering on. Ice packs on my head and heat packs on my neck are my friends :) But sometimes I just have to stop and recognise that I can't achieve what I wanted to on a certain day. I think that "being still" is the hardest thing at those times because you keep thinking of the things you could be doing, but always better when it's done in God's strength and timing. Not always an easy lesson to learn though :)

    1. I really 'get' the thinking about, "what I could be doing if not for . . ." It really does take a quiet spirit to recognise that, as the old song says, "Just where he needs me, my Lord has placed me." Ah yes, Lord, please give us grace to rest when we want to strive and 'do.' XO

  8. Thought you would like this. Thanks for your comment. :)


    When you feel like the children of Israel
    Pressed against The Red Sea!

    This is what the declaration
    Of your mouth needs to be!

    That Jesus Christ Is Lord, over all The Earth
    And by His mighty hand, your deliverance will be birthed

    He is your saviour, your God, your Lord
    He is your Father, who is watching diligently over His WORD!

    He loves you more, than your human heart can understand
    He has paid the price, with His Blood, so you could inherit HIS Land!

    He has given you all things freely
    That pertain to this life

    He has given you Faith and Joy
    To replace Fear and Strife

    There is only one thing that
    You must be diligent to do

    That is to open your mouth BOLDLY

    Look at bondage
    And declare I am free

    Look at blindness
    And declare I can see!

    Look at fear
    And declare I am full of Faith!

    Look at depression
    And declare strength for the race

    Then look away from the problem
    And to His Glorious Throne

    For in Truth and in Spirit
    That is your true Home

    And say
    I am not weak

    But strengthened with ALL MIGHT
    According To His POWER






    So say with me, with a shout from your heart
    Say it boldly, say it loud, tear the enemy's lies apart!

    I am a child of Light
    A new creature in Christ!

    I am Born Again, Blood Bought
    And full of Power and Might!

    I am the head and not the tail
    Above only and not beneath

    I have on His Mighty Armour
    His all powerful SWORD in my sheath

    In Him, I stand strong
    In Him, I stand Tall

    For He who keeps me





  9. Thank you Randy for those inspiration words. I especially like the line,

    "There is only one thing that
    You must be diligent to do

    That is to open your mouth BOLDLY

    How often I forget to do just that, but how peaceful I am when I do recall His Word, His Truth and His Love.

    Blessings, Helen.