Under the Speed Limit: An RA Story

Going under the speed limit, that’s annoying. When someone else is slow, it becomes a frustrating game of patience and self-control. What if the slow person is you? Something’s wrong with your vehicle, you feel terrible, and embarrassed. You wave those behind you to go around and mouth “Sorry” as they pass.

When I get a Rheumatoid Arthritis flare up, I go way under my speed limit, and I make apologies to those around me for what is happening. My body goes into slow motion, there is no energy, lots of pain and then, boom, out of gas – pushing a broken down car uphill. I now have to rely on others to take over.

Getting my mind in gear to get through the flare-up is a challenge. I go from working 8 hours a day, tending the garden, housework, errands, pet care, exercising, and to a halting stop. People have asked, “How do you deal with that?  That would drive me crazy. Doesn’t that bother you?”  Yes, yes it does. I allow myself to feel defeated, depressed, saddened, mournful, frustrated and sometimes, even grumpy. My emotions run the gamete and come back around to acceptance.

God reminds me that I must listen to my body, rest and work on acceptance – but most of all trust in Him. I turn to scripture, especially Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 (NIV) in which he speaks of the pain he asked God to take away, yet the thorn in his side remained. God responded by saying, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 

In my weakness, I trust in God to show me His perfection. I am learning to treasure these moments of respite and immersion in His grace. Learning, mind you because I am a work in progress. God reminds me to stop pushing, leave the broken down car at the side of the road, and walk with Him. And so I do.