Maybe It's Okay - Part 1

Have you heard the song "Maybe It's Okay" by We Are Messengers? 

The lyrics go: 

Maybe it's okay if I'm not okay

'Cause the One who holds the world is holding onto me

Maybe it's all right if I'm not all right

'Cause the One who holds the stars is holding my whole life

*listen here

These lyrics have become my mantra over the past few months. I've been having health issues, and I want to share some things I've been learning about God and myself along the way. These past 18 months (and still going) have been extremely hard for most of the world. From the death of loved ones to mental breakdowns. From rifts in families and friendships to isolation and depression. I realize that I stuffed down a lot of what I was feeling, pretending like none of it was affecting me. Sadly, it has taken a real physical toll on my body. I'm not okay. But I'm beginning to see that it's okay. 

As I approached my 40th birthday back in April, I became acutely aware of things changing within me. Most significantly, the rhythm of my heart. Not a metaphorical rhythm. The actual regularity of my heart changed. I found myself having heart palpitations and arrhythmias more and more frequently. 

I've always been a very active individual. I love working out and pushing my body to the limits. So as you can imagine, when these heart issues came up, they were unsettling. The one thing I believe I have control over when the rest of the world seems to be falling apart is my body. It was like I turned 40, and everything physically fell apart. When nothing I could do actually fixed the issues, I questioned everything. At my lowest, I didn't want to get out of bed. The fear of my heart just quitting on me or the constant worry of when the next irregular heartbeat would come made me insane. It affected my parenting, my marriage, and I admit, I even doubted God. My relationship with Him felt flat, empty, muted. 

The turning point was when I almost canceled on my Soul Care director one Tuesday morning. As I went to cancel the appointment, I remembered how disappointed I get when people cancel on me, so I decided to keep it. And I am thankful beyond words for that gift. She gave me some essential tools to wade through the desert I was in that I want to share with you.

  1. The first tool is to understand where our soul is in relationship with the world and to the Lord. There are two different spiritual states: Consolation of Desolation. This is super important because it affects how you make decisions, relate to others, and generally go about your day today. If you are in desolation, it can drastically change your course if not careful. Read more on this here.
  2. The second tool is to determine the decisions we make when we are in desolation that we wouldn't make in consolation. For example, I will pray each night in my prayer closet before bed when I am in consolation. That is the first thing to go when I am "too tired" or "don't feel like it." Making it a priority rather than optional allows me to remain centered even when the rest of me does not. 

I will tell you that those simple yet powerful switches in my approach to daily activities have made a world of difference in my spiritual life the past few weeks and my relationships. They don't have to be complicated either—just simple reflections and actions. 

As far as my physical health goes, I still don't have all the answers. I saw a holistic doc, my general practice doc, a cardiologist, and an endocrinologist. Multiple tests, opinions, supplements, bills, and co-pays later gave me some answers. It seems to be related to my thyroid, but I won't know for sure for a few more weeks at a minimum. 

So I wait. 

And choose to be okay with that right now, even if I'm not. 

And remember:

Be Still and Know that [He is] God.  - Psalm 46:10

I will post more things I learned over the next few weeks. Until then, I wait upon the Lord and the body He has given me. I will seek to understand what He's up to while trusting that He is faithful in the big and small. 

  1. Evaluate your daily habits. Have you given up on things you once enjoyed or disconnected yourself from the community? Or do you find yourself being more creative and engaging with others?
  2. Check your energy levels. Do you find yourself more tired than normal? Or are you ready to take on each day with vigor?
  3. Describe your relationship with God in one word. What does that word tell you about how you relate to Him? 

*If you want to find out more about soul care or spiritual direction, I have some great resources to send you. Send me a message or email.


JL McCarthy

August 17, 2021