Saturday, June 18, 2011

What a crazy two weeks it has been

If you battle chronic illness you very well know, when it attacks you are fighting with everything you have. Ugh! Almost two weeks ago, after a day out with my hubs, we came home and I said, "Wow, I am exhausted. I gotta close my eyes for a bit." Well, that bit turned into almost seven hours. By then it was time to go to bed and back to bed I went. When I woke movement was not an option. Every single joint and muscle seared with pain. I just lay there thinking, "Oh man, not again."

I didn't know if my Fibromyalgia was attacking or if it was my Thyroid once again. Since I don't have a Thyroid I have to take meds. Somehow my body still gets out of whack. It can go high or low. When it goes low, watch out, because the pain throughout my body is severe.

I kept thinking, "Well, it's the Fibro, and it will get better." It didn't. Instead it was getting worse. When you are in so much pain, you begin to think, "Gosh, is this really it?" So in bed I stayed. You know if this girl misses a softball game I must be in pain. VBS was coming up and I knew I just had to get better. So, I rested and rested. When nothing was changing I got myself into the doctor. Isn't it fun waiting for all those test results? Goodness. My doctor looks at me and says, "You are just a mess!" Not only was my Fibro acting up, but my Asthma was just terrible. He asked me, "Don't you know how bad you are wheezing?" I simply told him, |"Nope, maybe I am just use to it." Came home that day with two new inhalers.

I am feeling much better. At least I was until after a day out with my hubs yesterday put me right back in bed. I heard from the doctor last night and sure enough, my Thyroid is extremely low and everything is out of whack because of it. It's it just amazing how your body is affected by one little, butterfly shaped organ? Or lack of one? I am astonished at our human body and just how intricately designed we are.

So, after being on my new meds for a while I should be back to normal. If there really is a normal. You learn to just take one day at a time and enjoy each minute you have. Maybe all this chronic stuff is a blessing. It has caused me to slow down, to eat better, and to care for myself on a deeper level. I am more in tune with my body, which causing me to praise the Lord each day I wake pain free. When that pain is there I find myself calling to Him even more. I can honestly say, "This chronic pain I live with has brought me closer to my Lord and Savior."

Oh sure, at first I was angry. I didn't understand why I had to suffer through such pain. Why me? But then I learned, "Why not me?" Would it be easier if it were someone else suffering? You too can find yourself feeling lonely, because most do not understand. You look fine, therefore you are fine. Most think your just a wimp and many do not even care at all. I am blessed with an amazing husband and son who see my pain and know just how real it is. When I cannot care for myself it is my family that is at my side. I had to learn to embrace this illness and all that affects me. I embrace it just like any other pain in my life, whether it is physical or emotional. It seems when I embrace it, I then can open my hands and give it to the Lord, entrusting Him with all. I have learned my weakness and know just when my body has had enough. There are those days you push through and those that you must rest and allow healing to come.

This for sure keeps you humble. I see the Lord as my strength more and more. I have learned to be honest with myself. It's okay to cry. For the longest time I tried to keep all my pain in. That was just breaking me. It was an added weight. When we can really let go we feel free. We feel lighter. In holding it all in just makes that elephant on your chest seem heavier.

Don't get me wrong. Chronic illness is not fun. There is nothing fun about it. I don't embrace it in that way. I embrace it in the way of it being a part of me. I am not defined by my pain, but it has brought me to a better understanding of who God has called me to be. It has been through my own pain that I have become even more compassionate to others. You want to encourage others, because you know that lonely feeling. You know what it feels like to just want someone to understand. Sometimes it is just that one person reaching out. Sending a text or giving you a call. It's receiving a card in the mail at just the right time.

I am reminded of Paul and the thorn he carried. He cried out to God three times. God never ignored, Paul. He loved Paul. As Paul cried out to God, He answered Him every time. Did He remove that thorn? No, but He gave Paul all he needed to overcome and rise above. He encouraged Paul and through Paul brought glory and honor. Paul didn't rely upon himself. He relied on the strength of God. As Paul cries out, Jesus tells him that His grace is sufficient. That same grace is given to me freely as a gift. It is that same strength that motivates me to embrace each day and live without regret.

"And He said unto me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy-meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you." Philippians 4:6-9

I can tell you, I made it to VBS. I missed one night because I just couldn't attempt to come. But those nights I did come were blessings upon blessings. To see the eyes of small ones light up can do nothing but make you smile. Their encouraging laughter is contagious and their inquisitive stories only make you giggle in joy. Friends, whatever you are facing today, make the choice to see the joy. Don't allow the pain or heartache to steal away what is right in your reaching. Reach for it. Accept those blessings with the hope that as morning breaks there are more to be found.
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