Within Our Restraints

I’ve just woken up from eight hours nearly interrupted sleep, the norm for some, but definitely an exception for me.

And it’s got me thinking.

What if I got eight hours sleep a night?

What if my lungs didn’t wheeze at every change of season?

What if my mood didn’t fall so fast I feel as if I left my stomach behind?

What if the littlest things didn’t make my heart beat faster and drown my mind in anxiety?

What if my immune system saw fit to fight every cold rather than caving in?

Would I be different? Would I be working a high-flying job, full-time? Would Phil and I own a house?


It is, of course, a pointless, exercise. As Kay Redfield Jamieson writes:

“We all move uneasily within our restraints.”

Don’t get me wrong, I love my life.

I love writing and speaking, the balance that freelancing affords me, but on slightly melancholic days like today, I wonder what life would look like without having to make space for the darkness.

Perhaps it’s a question Jacob asked as he limped, his aching hip a constant reminder of his wrestle with God. Maybe even as Paul wrote about the thorn in his side he tried to imagine what life would be like without it.

I think there is another question to ask myself:

What is it about my restraints that shows God’s glory in a more wondrous way?

I cannot boast about what I do, I work hard, but God is gracious enough to do something with the little I can offer.

My restraints keep me relying on grace.

They remind me that I’m not superwoman, and that’s okay.

It’s not that I don’t ask and pray for a different way; a healing or cure.

But I try to remember that these restraints could be as much of a blessing as a curse.

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