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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

5 Greatest Accomplishments

Day 16: What are your 5 greatest accomplishments?

Ughhh... this doesn't seem like a good one. 

The Bible tells us not to boast except in Christ. I'm thinking about that and how to apply that to this... it hits me that the reason we are so often inspired by stories is the act of overcoming. When someone has a handicap or hindrance and they do not let it get them down but instead persevere and accomplish something great...

I think boasting in Christ can be like that. That is, I think the fairest way to think of my greatest accomplisments is to think "What have I done that I have not done of myself? What have I accomplished that only comes from Him?" When I think of it that way, the list is very long...

First of all, this blog. Not the writing or any of that, but the fact that I've had this blog since September of 2008! People who have known me a while know that my interests are often fickle. When I was unemployed for so long I was in many ways down on myself because I hadn't stuck with anything for a really long time. I can't say anything but I do have a tendency to start a lot and finish very, very little. Perseverance does not come naturally to me. A lot of this comes from allowing insecurities to erode my endurance. This is especially true before I got a diagnosis for my sleeping disorder. It made me unable to keep a schedule, causing me to always let people down no matter how hard I tried. I knew something was wrong but with no answers it was easy to think maybe people were right and I just wasn't as good as other people at things. For months I allowed negative thoughts to consume me about my abilities... subtly, slowly. Then the Lord showed me that I had stuck to my blog in the midst of other things and highlighted it as a source of work for me. And I applied myself, through His prompting, and here I am nearly six years later with my blog going stronger than ever.

Moving to India. It was really hard to take that step of faith into the unknown. I'd never even left America on a weekend trip and I got on a plane and moved 8,000 miles. It was crazy, but I knew God without a doubt guided me to that decision and to Ryan, who had never met in person. I did not do that of myself. I couldn't have, honestly. 

Humbling myself to live at home with my parents after college. It helped that I knew other people who had to do the same thing, but it definitely wasn't "life as planned." It was hard to humble myself like that and I needed to lean on God. And humbling myself at all, it's not of me. 

Allowing God to work through me to forgive. Forgiveness is also not of me. But I'll be talking more about that soon.

"Succeeding" as much as I have with my sleeping disorder. One of the things that surprised (and not so much encouraged) me when I began reconnecting with others with Non-24 Hour Sleep Wake Disorder is that very few are able to live normal lives. That is, many of them are unable to work normal jobs (something I too have struggled with) due to being unable to keep normal schedules and/or the stigma attached with sleep issues. (Believe me, people judge you as immature, irresponsible, and undependable when you oversleep and 'sleeping disorder' can seem dangerous, making people think of things like a narcoleptic at the wheel, though Non 24 is not dangerous.) Additionally because of the inability to seem "stable" people with Non-24 often struggle with relationships because it's really hard trying to maintain them when your schedule is changing up everyday while everyone else is stable. It's a very isolating condition. So it really blew me away when I realized how normal a life I've been able to have. I was able to get my degree at a brick and mortar institution. Yes, my Non-24 definitely affected my gpa, but most people with it are unable to attend classes and either drop out of classes or are limited to online ones where time of attendance doesn't matter. While I have also been unable to hold down a traditional 9-5 as well, I'm blessed in that my passions align with things that can be done at any time (namely, writing but also blogging and working online.) So in a way learning that Non-24 is so debilitating has also been freeing because I've been able to give myself permission to not feel guilty for pursuing these passions. And lastly I have been able to do well namely due to having amazing family and friends. They are true blessings given to me. Yes, many of them have judged and gotten impatient with me, but they worked with me anyway. I have read stories of families that refuse to respect the disease even with diagnosis where was my family would get frustrated but still work with me years before we had any answers. I've had friends who were willing to hang out with me at odd hours. And of course God's always been in the relationship with Ryan and me and it's actually been a great blessing that Ryan works nights and his schedule is changed often, as therefore my own inability to keep a schedule isn't as disruptive and often comes out as flexibility to his own "disruptions." I am worried about how I'll be able to provide Dreamer with a stable schedule but for now it's actually good because I'm used to having to readjust my sleep so her being on newborn crazy sleep time isn't so different from my normal life. Haha. I know God gave her to me, and He knows about my Non 24, so I have to trust Him that we'll figure it out.

I accomplish the most when I allow Him to accomplish it through me. 

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