A year and a half ago, I stopped taking showers. Now I know that sounds terrible, but let me assure you I do bathe, just in the form of baths, not showers.
The reason being, my nervous system has gone into a parasympathetic state and the stimulation of shower spray on my head and body has been unbearable.
I’m reminded of the verse, “I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:14a) I understand fully what the “fearfully made” statement means now with regards to the nervous system. Once that goes kaput things do get a bit fearful.
God has recently brought a new friend into my life named Emily, who is a survivor of a massive stroke causing severe brain injury. She has been such a huge supporter and we share our goals and dreams together as TBI warriors. I’m truly thankful for her courage and faith in facing the battles of daily life we face regularly.
The other week I related to her my goal of wanting to try taking showers again and she wholeheartedly encouraged me to give it a try and to not be afraid. It was a goal I had set and I was determined to at least try. Just telling her my goal and knowing she was behind me, gave me more courage and incentive to go for it.
But the biggest battle I was facing was my own fear. The fear of “what if”. What if I slip from my balance issues. What if I have a anxiety attack. What if I shatter my poor nerves again and on and on.
Fear is an anchor. It weighs down and keeps us still; it cements us, keeping our feet grounded and unable to move forward.
I decided to give it to God and carefully proceed forward with caution of course.
That morning after I got everything ready, and turned on the shower, I felt my courage rise up as I slowly got going and faced this challenge straight on. I let the water gradually spray my hands, then my arms and finally, slowly I put my full body in letting the warm water rush over my spine.
It wasn’t so bad. Yes, it was different and my spine felt the weird motor feeling I feel in it (sorry, I don’t know how else to describe this) but I allowed my body to slowly get used to the new sensation. I didn’t put my head under the spray yet but that will come and even though it was a small step, the giant leap was facing my fears and challenging myself to try things that were once common but now feel like a lifetime ago and uncertain.
Emily and I both cried tears of joy as I shared my small victory with her that day. While I further related my victory to others in our brain injury group, I received a overwhelming positive response while learning of others who have had the same shower issues like myself. One man said he needed occupational therapy before being able to shower again with ease.
It’s such a gift from God to get support especially when to the average person taking a shower’s no big deal. God has been so kind in leading me to others who can cheer me on especially when I need a good cheering.
Making goals and aiming for them can be a huge accomplishment no matter how big or small. Everyone needs goals because it’s setting goals that help us persevere, grow and stretch. Even if we fail or come short, not setting goals or trying is the bigger failure and we can’t give up.
I do think God sets goals too. He sees us the way He wants us to grow and mature in Him and puts us into circumstances that shape us more like Himself for His kingdom and for our good. From the beginning of time, His biggest goal was overcoming sin by sending Jesus to die in our place so we can have everlasting life. I’m tremendously glad Jesus met that goal! Jesus met every goal he faced because God the Father was with him every step of the way.
He’s with us too. God gave me strength last week to turn on the shower and get in. He’s given countless others with brain injury or health problems strength and courage to get up out of the bed to face what comes, and by His grace to set goals, face obstacles, and overcome challenges each and every day.
What are your goals? I’d love to hear them. If you wish, leave me a comment and I will gladly pray for you to meet your goals.~