Recently, especially these last two weeks or so, I’ve been struggling a lot with self worth and self-identity. They’re both linked to the same problem; I have been and am slowly losing all grip and control in my life.
I think back to two years ago, when I was a determined student, a three sport athlete, fully involved in all my church’s activities, and a studying musician (playing the oboe). Now I have had to quit all sports, as it is I am often unable to even sit up without having to strain myself and work up the energy. I have had to quit the oboe, and my grades have been dropping consistently ever since I became sick. Also, more recently, I have become extremely limited in the ability to be at church and I often feel a pressure or guilt of not being able to serve my brothers and sisters there. I know that this pressure is mainly coming from myself, but either way, it’s still there. One of the hardest things I have had to deal with however is not being able to do just about anything. Before the week even starts I have to make a list of all I need to do, and then start crossing off things each day to make sure that I can even get through the week without putting myself in the grave. Figuratively speaking of course. Once I’m done rearranging my schedule into something doable, I’m usually left with school 3 or 4 days a week, and maybe one activity outside of school, which is usually a voice lesson. As I look at my pathetic week, it’s hard not to get discouraged. I know by Tuesday morning I’ll already start feeling the weight of the week, and by the time Friday comes I’m almost falling off my chair in class out of misery.
This is where I get disheartened. What kind of life am I leading? I know a lot of teens are now figuring out who they are, where they want to go, and what they want to do with their lives. They’ve begun to plan out the next five years whereas I’m struggling to plan out the next five minutes! There’s not one thing that I do without analyzing. Do I eat pizza for dinner? No, that might leave my stomach in turmoil. Do I do my math homework now or after my history homework? After history. I need to focus for history and by the time I get to math I might not even be awake, so I can afford to let that slip a little bit. Do I wear these flats or those nicer shoes? The plain flats. Let’s be honest I can barely walk anyway, wearing a nice shoe would just be painful for the next 8 hours at school. Do I sleep during Chemistry class so I can be awake during English? Okay yeah that sounds good. My English grades are in the pit and six feet down anyway. Do I go to this friend’s birthday party or stay home so that tomorrow I can have the energy to maybe get some work done? Well maybe I can give her a nice birthday card instead of attending the party.
I’m just exhausted with it all. I just want to be able to have that careless life back where I get in trouble for doing too little instead of doing too much.
So, self worth and identity. Who am I? Someone who lays on a bed for 15 hours a day because she can’t do more? Since almost everything that has made me, me, has been taken away, I’m not sure what I’m left with. What is there that I can give to others now, because often I can’t afford to give them my time or my attention- well, as much as I long to at least.
My biggest fear is doing nothing with the life I’ve been given. What am I going to do with it? I haven’t figured that out yet. But I’m searching. With God’s wisdom and guidance, I strive to live a life worthy of the calling I have received (Eph. 4:1). And I hold strong to God’s promise that I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps. 139:14) and that all things work together for good (Romans 8:28).