sickThis week, I was reminded about how horrible it is to be sick when you’re alone.

Now, I have a great boyfriend and great friends that I could always ask if I was truly, fever-burning, toilet-hugging sick.  But if I can make it to the store, I WILL make it to the store to prove to myself that I am a superwoman when I’m sick.

Asking for help… Nope.  Very rarely it’s an option for me.

I’ve learned how to be alone very well.  I’ve aced being independent.  Frankly, I’m tired of being this fiercely independent when my health is on the line.

There’s nothing more scary than being sick when you’re by yourself.  There have been times when I’ve had to drive myself to the ER with various ailments.  There have been times when I’ve crawled into work with a 101 fever just because the work needed to be done, my job was too important and I needed to make sure I had good standing at work.  There have been times in the early morning hours when I wondered if my heavy-beating, racing heart was a heart attack.  What would happen if I couldn’t get the help I needed?

What if I die alone???  That’s one of those large questions the unmarried person often thinks about.  I continue to reflect: What if no one can help me out as I age or as I grow weaker?  What happens to me?  What if no niece or nephew or cousin or anyone looks out for me when I need to finally enter a long-term care facility?  Or what if I need a surgery and there is no one to help me out as soon as it’s over?

Undoubtedly, God is always with us in these deeply troubling times of pain and illness.  There is no question of God’s presence.  God’s always calling our bodies, minds and souls to wholeness and wants us to receive the best care possible.

Simultaneously, God is calling the church to be the hands and feet of Christ to those who are alone in their illness.  God wants us to make sure that they are being treated well in nursing facilities, and God desires for us to give rides to doctors, sit with someone as they have tests, be present if they need to talk and make sure that someone is available when the sick person needs a helping hand.

As fiercely independent non-married people, let’s open ourselves up to help.  Yes, it’s scary to ask for help because it’s admitting that we can’t always take care of ourselves.  It’s having faith that there will be a friend or family member who will gladly step up to care for us when we no longer tend to our failing bodies.

God, in this time of nauseating solitude
And aches that reach beyond the depths of my soul,
Give me the trust and faith I need to believe that you will provide
In all of my scarcities-
Provisions of health,
Provisions of people,
Provisions of energy.
Nudge me in the direction
From total self-reliance
To your interdependent realm.  Amen.