I’m convinced the princess didn’t feel the pea under that stack of mattresses because she had some princess “spidey” skills or keen princess detection abilities, but because she had Fibromyalgia.
She wouldn’t have been diagnosed back then because the medical community is just now catching up with what thousands of men and women have been saying for decades, “We hurt!”
I’m definitely no princess with fine linens, and my bedding and sheets tend to look like a pack of wolves were fighting for their territory, but when I lay down, I can feel even the tiniest crease in my fitted sheet when it touches the sides of my leg. My nerve endings scream, “Get away from me, Pea!” Then I have to flatten out all the wrinkles trying to steal my sleep.
It’s pretty ridiculous really. Sometimes when the pain is at full speed, my sheets can look more like a snake pit than a comfortable place to rest my body. A piece of string on my leg can feel like a burning metal wire searing my skin. Every crack, crevice and wrinkle becomes my mortal enemy. If I was on that stack of mattresses, that pea may have felt like a bowling ball.
The one thing I know to be true about Fibromyalgia is that it is just my human cross to bear this side of Eden. In the DNA lottery passed down from generation to generation, I hit the screaming in pain, nerve-endings-on-fire disease jackpot. I also know that it won’t last forever. It won’t be my eternity. It won’t define me as a person. And it won’t change my place as a child of God.
We are all dealt a DNA hand of one form or another. What we do with it and how we respond to it is what shapes our lives. I must admit I didn’t respond very graciously while going through the “What in the world is happening to me?” process and most of that time I can honestly say I wasn’t seeking God for help or guidance. I was just plain mad.
It’s been ten years since my diagnosis and many more years since I knew something wasn’t right. I’ve now gained perspective. Through this process, I’ve learned that I need God. When trying times hit, I need to move closer to Him, not further away. Fibromyalgia has steered my life in many different directions, but it has also helped me. I’m stronger mentally. I’ve learned to humble myself and ask for help. I rely heavily on my Father to meet my every need. Even though my body dictates what I will accomplish in a day, it doesn’t stop me from doing God’s will.
Our adversities sometimes they bring us to our knees, but I wouldn’t trade a day of pain if it meant going back to the person I was — the person who thought she knew Christ, but really didn’t. I’ve been refined through the fire. How about you?
CRISTA CRAWFORD is a Speech-Language Pathologist and Reading Specialist with a Bachelor of Arts, Master of Science and Master of Arts in Education with an Emphasis in Reading, who works in a middle school.
She is mother of two and stepmother of four with a Noah’s Ark of two guinea pigs, two cats and two dogs. Her husband grew up in the country and believes all animals should live outside. Crista grew up in the city and feels all animals should live inside. They compromised. The animals live indoors, but none are allowed to sleep in their beds.
Crista is the author of The Full Armor of God and the Workbook Companion for The Full Armor of God.
Learn more about Crista at cristacrawford.com.
Radical hope. Compassionate change. Equipping those affected by chronic physical and mental illness through community and education rooted in Jesus Christ.