chronic illnessfaith

Lunch With A Mentor

It has been setting on my Sharing Our Spoons goal list for the last two months but I finally got it scheduled and had lunch with my seminary adviser and mentor last week. God totally had a hand in the timing as it could have not come at a more perfect time.

Last week was hard. Extremely hard. Work was absolutely crazy. Pain was up. My anxiety was completely over the top. I cried many, many tears. The state that I was in when I left my office was pretty close to the bottom of the barrel.

As we sat at small table at the practically empty restaurant, it was as if she was able to read me completely and said, “Let it out.” And I did. All of it.

I cried over the amount of pain I have been in and the frustration of not being able to find a way to treat it. Feeling that the goal of “good enough” was not good enough. Being angry over how unfair it was for my husband and daughter to have to deal with the limitations chronic illness have created in my life. The anxiety that has invaded as a result of my surgery this summer that has seemed to impact just about every part of my life. The worry over what I will worry about next.

I also vented about how I felt work just sucked the life out of me. My job has been stressful the last week or two but it was more about working in general. Illness has left me with very little energy and at this point, I feel like all of my energy goes to work and then I have very little left over for family. I need insurance so right now I need to work (that is a whole other post). We talked about disability and my struggles to get to the point where I can accept mentally that it is an avenue that I need to consider. Physically, my body understands disability. Goodness knows my body is all for it. Mentally, however, my Type-A self struggles with the concept and accepting the fact that pursuing disability does not mean I am a failure or copping out. It means trying to do what is best for myself and my family.

Then we got to where I was spiritually. I didn’t know exactly how to put it into words but as I heard myself talk, I came out with the term “spiritually agoraphobic.” Agoraphobia is an abnormal fear of being in crowds, public places, or open areas. Pain keeps me pretty closed off physically quite a bit and with my increase in anxiety, I have feared that I would get to the point where my anxiety would begin to manifest as agoraphobia. As I shared these feelings, it dawned on me that it is how I have been feeling spiritually. Spiritually I have become terrified of being open or public. I don’t think I have become bitter with God about my illness but I do think I have become despondent and closed off. I do feel like the grip on hope has started to slip and that scares me and I think that is why I have had such a hard time writing lately. The mission of this blog is to encourage choosing hope and I feel like I haven’t been making that choice. I just have not been making a choice at all.

Getting all of this out on the table was so healing. Having someone listen and truly hear me was what I needed to fully recognize where I am at, especially spiritually. I feel like I am now able to accept and own some of these feelings and I feel like that is the first step in moving on and getting myself to a better place.

Moral of the story = having a mentor and “hope builder” is awesome! It is also a perk when said mentor wants to talk to you more about publishing some of your writing!


p.s. National Health Blog Post Month is kicking off November 1st with WeGo Health! Be sure to check it out & join in! Hopefully you’ll be seeing a lot of me this month 🙂

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7 comments on “Lunch With A Mentor

  1. brooke says:

    {{{{hugs}}}} glad you had an understanding ear to listen and encourage you.

  2. Mamie says:

    Im glad you were able to talk to someone. It’s so easy to close yourself off and feel isolated when you’re sick but sometimes I make myself go it even when I don’t want to. Dinner and a few laughs can make a big difference.

  3. Anna Popescu says:

    Jamee, I felt as if I was back in time while reading your post. I went through the whole being a burden thing years ago when I finally had to stop working. I was 50 at the time and had worked for wages since I was 13, except for a handful of years when my children were toddlers. I didn’t know how NOT to go out and work, and that scared me a lot.

    BUT God is gracious, and showed me a little at a time that He would make a path for me to follow… as long as I trusted in Him completely to show me the way. I thank God that you have such a wonderful mentor. I have 2 of those, and they are heaven sent!

    I am going to pray that for you, sweet sister in the Lord!

  4. […] surgery and help reassess my goals as far as how my illness affects my ministry. I finally had lunch with my professor and it was amazing!  Now to make it a regular event! For November, my goal is to […]


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