Have you ever been afraid that you can't stand on your own? Last night I woke up in the middle of the night, needing the bathroom, and instead of easily getting up, I felt stuck in place. My joints had become so stiff in the hours of sleep that I wasn't sure I could even turn myself over to crawl out of bed. I'm used to pain in the middle of the night, but I've never had to even think about waking my spouse to help me out of bed. But last night I did. Luckily, with much struggle and some groaning, I was able to to get up by myself. But the stiffness was startling. "Go back to sleep. You will be ok," I whispered to myself. This morning I woke up to the same feeling, to stiff joints screaming in pain, taunting me to stay immobile. I'm not a morning person in general (Morning KJ is "grouchy KJ"--ask my husband!), but I will say waking up to intense pain is just a difficult way to start the day. Will I feel like this all day? Is my disease getting worse? When holding my coffee cup is painful and turning to set it on the side table elicits a deep groan, it's hard to not feel discouraged about the approaching hours and coming week. But in letting myself just "be," to simply sit and wait out the siren-screeching stiffness in my body, my mind and heart can find the space to be at peace. It's been a painful morning (like most of my mornings x10, dammnit!) but I feel peace. Why? I'm loved by God. No matter if I can make it to work today or do any school work, I am loved. Knowing I am loved by God gives me space to accept today's pain and its intrusion in my life.