Finding Stability When Life Spins Off Course
by Beth K. Vogt
Life’s been a bit of a tilt-o-whirl this past year.
I’ve battled persistent vertigo since May 2011. I wake up each morning wondering, “Just how badly will the world rock and roll today?”
Everything from lying perfectly still – except for breathing – to turning my head to the left, to bending over to load the dishwasher, to tilting my head back to apply mascara, causes my world to move. Sometimes the world rocks as if I stepped into a canoe sitting on water. Sometimes I’m inside a virtual tornado, repeating Dorothy’s tumultuous trip to the Land of Oz.
Why am I telling you this? For sympathy? No. I’m sure you could share your own experience of how life spun out of your control during the past year. Or month. Or week. Or day.
I’ve learned a few things during this “round and round and round it goes, when it will stop, nobody knows” season:
Go ahead and admit you’re struggling. There is no way to put a bow on vertigo and make it sound like fun. Sure, I joke about having my own personal roller coaster in my head. But I’ve also acknowledged that 11 months of vertigo is discouraging.
Remember that God is there in the tough times. When I’m struggling, the enemy likes to whisper the word “Abandoned” in my ear. He’s a liar. When tough times bring me to my knees, I choose to cling to the truth that God walks with me through every dark valley. (Psalm 23)
Focus, focus, focus. During the worst bouts of vertigo, my husband would kneel in front of me, holding his pointer finger in front of my eyes, and say, “Just look right at my finger.” It was challenging to laser in on that one small spot when the world around me was spinning out of control. I had to choose to concentrate on reality (the world wasn’t going end over end), no matter what vertigo told me. In emotionally and spiritually tough times, I can choose to focus on my circumstances or to focus on who God is and how he promises to be the stability of my times. (Isaiah 33:6)