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Spoons and the Saviour

The last time I saw my older brother, I was being wheeled away in a wheelchair. I’d been visiting him and his wife while in the city for a medical appointment, and I was heading home. Excited to see my boys, I woke up early only to discover searing pain in my body, especially my back. It was so awful, I couldn’t even stand up.

I knew my plane was leaving at a certain time, and I only had a few minutes to get washed, dressed and pack up my things. But in that moment, I couldn’t imagine doing any of it.

Have you ever heard of the spoon theory? As it goes, if you suffer with a disability or chronic illness, you wake up each day with a set of spoons. Spoons equal energy and ability to do tasks. Each activity costs you a certain number of spoons. Getting dressed may be one spoon, for others five. Running an errand can costs several spoons. Exercise often costs the greatest amount of spoons. And when you run out of spoons, that’s it. You’re done for the day.

So what happens when you wake up with zero spoons? It certainly felt like it for me. I couldn’t move. I lay on my back in the guest room panicking. What was I going to do?

Sometimes we are slow to turn to God for help, and other times we aren’t. Usually when pain is present I our lives, we are much less likely to forget. So as I lay there, with only about thirty minutes to get out of bed and out the door, I called out to God for help.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1

I’m not used to God moving quickly. Perhaps that’s my lack of faith showing through. But this is the fastest a prayer has ever been answered in my life. As soon as I finished praying for help, I gathered all my strength and stood up. It hurt like I can’t even describe.

Letting out a deep breath, I prayed for help again. I washed up and got dressed. The pain was great but God was greater. I felt His presence as He helped me accomplish these small things. A few minutes later my brother knocked on the door to tell me it was time to go. I told him I felt like I was dying and asked if he had any Advil. He came back with a cold bottle of water and a handful of pain meds. As I downed them, I prayed they would work fast.

God heard me again. As I hobbled to the car, the pain was great but I managed to get in. As we navigated through the airport, it felt less. Relief came as a support personal opened up a wheelchair and I sat down. I don’t love using a wheelchair. It makes me feel embarrassed, being the size I am. I’m always afraid of what people will think of me. I don’t know why spectator opinions matterso much to me. I’m working on that.

But, sitting helplessly in a wheelchair drugged up on pain meds is how my brother saw me last. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the negative. I could dwell on how it made me sad to see him walking off with the image of a somewhat crippled sister changing his image of a once agile sister who could bicycle as fast as he could. A sister who once jumped with him on trampolines. A sister who raced him up the hill after rolling down.A sister who could walk.

Yes, I could get caught up in that. And sometimes, I do. Reality is it hurts when you look back over the life changes that occur when your body goes through something unnatural. But there’s something else at work here. Where there’s the unnatural, there’s also the supernatural. And I’m not talking about science fiction.

Here’s the thing. The Saviour debunks the spoon theory every day. When we cry out to Him for help, He is there. Somehow on the day when I couldn’t move, I flew home, went grocery shopping and visited some friends. Normally, doing any one of those things would liquidate my short supply of spoons. But not when God intervenes. Through His power, my weaknesses are made strong. Through his power that day, my supply of spoons multiplied. In fact, I didn’t think about my energy level at all that day.

I think about that day often. I think about it when I’ve been standing too long and my legs ache with fire. I think about it after I’ve run errands and I’m recouperating in the couch. I remember my cry for help, and His beautiful provision. It still blows my mind I managed to get on that plane.

God allowed Naomi's suffering to give birth to her greatest joy.He wants to help you when you’re weary. He wants to fill you up when you’re empty. His loving kindness is better than any spoon you’ll ever find. Relying on him is the only way you can leave your spoons behind.

That day in the airport, I was wheeled to a spot where I’d wait to get taken to the plane. The support personnel laid my bags on the floor next to me and said someone would be there to help me with them for boarding.  Normally, I’d grab my phone and scroll through Facebook or browse through Pinterest while I was waiting. I couldn’t because my bag was out of reach. As I sat there, feeling vulnerable and alone, I witnessed something I might have missed with my phone in hand. A beautiful, spectacular autumn morning sunrise. As the sun rose up past office buildings and skyscrapers, it took my breath away.

Jesus fills our every need. Who knew that morning my greatest need was abandon my spoons and wake up with the sun?

16 thoughts on “Spoons and the Saviour

  1. It is amazing how God meets our needs! He knows exactly what we need and when we need it! While I cannot imagine what it is like to live with chronic pain, I do know the reality of God meeting us where we are at with what we need. Thank you for sharing your story! Blessings to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Living with Chronic Illness: Count It All Joy and commented:
    I believe the “spoon theory” has some validity. It is true, if you suffer with a disability or chronic illness, you have a limited amount of energy available and need to plan your day around how difficult each task is for you to complete. This theory says you wake up each day with a set of spoons. Spoons equal energy and ability to do tasks. Each activity costs you a certain number of spoons, and when they are gone you’re done for the day.
    While I understand the rational behind the spoon theory, it has one major flaw – it leaves God out of the formula. Yes, it’s wise not to overdo it on any particular day, but if God has purposes for us to fulfill He can add supernatural grace and strength to what we lack. Enjoy reading this guest post, written by a fellow member of God-Living Girls.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Can I ask you what “reblogging” means? I know I have the button on the bottom of my posts but not sure who is to use it…me or others?

      ________________________________

      Cindy Barnes

      Go Gather Grow

      ________________________________

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      1. Basically, the reblog button allows someone who reads and likes your post to share it with their own blog readers. I tried using the reblog button on today’s post, but I had permission to share this friend’s post as a guest post, which had to be handled differently. Both give credit to the original writer, but a reblog simply takes you to the writer’s link.

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  3. Such an honest post. We hear you sharing about living with chronic pain. I love your realization that Jesus helps you with one task, then the next. Many beautiful pictures in this post!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jerusha this is beautiful When I was in my recovery from thyroid cancer surgery I did a “point” system. I was so drained on every level and so different activities were worth different points. Yes there were days when I had no points left to use. God always made up for the deficit! He is more than enough!! Always.

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  5. Prayer definitely changes things! I have never heard of the spoon theory, but it definitely makes some good points. We can only do so much at any given time.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s hard to find the words to comment on this post. It’s bittersweet with so many powerful memories and thoughts intertwined. I think I’ll have to leave it at this: I truly am glad that I read your testimony today. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Though I cannot relate to the pain aspect, as someone with a chronic illness, I definitely relate to the spoon theory and how God can intervene. What I loved about your story was that it showed that God can help in many ways. Sometimes, it isn’t him healing our pain; instead, it is him helping us work through it. My chronic illness has been kicking my butt the last few days and has left me pretty disheartened, so it was encouraging to read this. Thank you for sharing such beautiful thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hello just found this site and think your post is thought provoking. I agree we “do all things through Christ who strengthens me” but the Spoon Theory helps my friends and family to understand my health issues. It is also a support system because the only people who really understand my health challenges are people who are feeling the same way. Thanks for sharing your post. My blog called truth as I see it, is raw and I share my struggles if anyone is interested.

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