Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Perfect Storm

During a conversation with one of the pastors at my church yesterday regarding the possibility of having the elders pray for me (regarding the issues with my health), he told me that if I don't feel comfortable sharing everything that is going on, I can just tell them that I am "having some problems with my health right now that are really rocking my world and I would appreciate your prayers."

To say that my world is being "rocked" is an understatement. In fact, as I was driving home thinking about our conversation, I came to the realization that a better term to use regarding my health would be "perfect storm."

According to Wikipedia, the definition of a "perfect storm" is: "an event where a rare combination of circumstances will aggravate a situation drastically."

In addition to the fact that I regularly struggle with phantom pains in my groin ...

A virus in my gut is now keeping me from digesting the food I eat, so most of my days are spent with the kind of stomach cramps you get from food poisoning ...

An allergy to wheat has created an auto-immune disorder causing my body to attack itself in 8 or 9 different places, including my heart, my liver, my brain and my joints, so much of my day is also spent in the kind of pain that feels like a continuous muscle cramp ...

The elimination of wheat from my diet is now causing me to go through the kind of detox that most alcoholics or heroin addicts go through ...

I am constantly dizzy ...

A new allergy has just developed to the building materials used by my church which is now giving me breathing problems while I am in the building, causing me to become dizzy and to start hyperventilating within the first 20 minutes of our Sunday morning worship service ...

And that is only part of what is happening inside of my body!

I would like to say that I am content in this situation and in one sense I believe that I am. While my doctor wanted to give me something for "anxiety," the truth of the matter is that I am not anxious about the situation. Rather, I just don't feel well!

In fact, can I be honest with you? While my brain seems to work just fine (although I am sure there are those who would debate that fact!!!), most mornings I wake up feeling like I have been hit by a mack truck!

As I was reading my Bible this morning, I came across these two verses in Psalm 31:

You are my God ...
My times are in Your hands ...
~Psalm 31:14, 15

And, that is the truth I must speak to myself on a daily basis as I walk this road!

Even though God took me through the most intense trial of my life between 2009 and 2012, shaking my faith to its very foundation and causing me to question everything I believed about God and His sovereignty, He is once again choosing to allow me to go through another intense trial.

The first one was mental. This one is physical ... and I barely have enough strength to make it through each day.

Right now I only have enough energy to keep my spiritual life on track; work on my business (in order to have an income) and focus on taking care of my health. That's it. There is nothing left to give to anyone else.

As anyone who is single (or who lives alone somewhere without any kind of support system of family or close friends) knows, being sick is difficult when you're alone!

But the truth of the matter is this: even though I feel alone as I struggle through this, I cannot trust my feelings because God promises otherwise!

Do not fear, for I am with you; 
Do not be afraid, for I am your God. 
I will strengthen you; 
I will help you; 
I will hold on to you with My righteous right hand.
~ Isaiah 41:10

And, it is my job to take Him at His word!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Today's Prayer ...

O Father, please help me! I feel so sick right now ...

In my distress I called upon the Lord,
And cried to my God for help;
He heard my voice out of His temple,
And my cry for help before Him came into His ears.
~ Psalm18:6

Please hear my cry right now and help me to continue to surrender to Your will, even during this overwhelming struggle with my health ...

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Be Still My Soul

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

~ von Schlegel

Usually I am not a big fan of the "old" hymns because they never seem to speak to me.  But God, in His infinite wisdom, grace and sovereignty, led our worship pastor to include this one in our service on Sunday morning.

What a blessing it was to read these words and to speak the truth of them to my heart -- especially as I work through this situation with my health.

Honestly, I have shed many tears over the last three weeks and especially last week, after receiving the final round of test results. But, I also know this truth ...

Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.
~ Psalm 30:5 (NLT)

That does not mean that I am not still scared of what lies ahead. But yesterday afternoon God was also gracious enough to allow me to cross paths with a fellow believer from my church who has also struggled with her own extremely serious health issues. And as she prayed for me she asked God to give me the ability to be content in my moments of suffering, knowing that I am exactly where He wants me to be.

Although I have been praying that God would be glorified in my situation, I had forgotten to ask Him to help me be content. Such an important reminder from the Apostle Paul:

In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.
~ Philippians 4:12

So that is my prayer tonight: that right now, in this very moment, God will help me be content in my circumstances, knowing that joy will come in the morning. Maybe not tomorrow morning. Maybe not even the morning after that! But ...

Joy. Will. Come.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Not My Own

Isn't it funny how, when you choose to honestly surrender your life to God, asking Him to do whatever He wills, He always takes you up on your offer?

That being said, what I was not expecting to discover in doing so (after two blood draws last month involving 100+ different blood panels) is the fact that I truly am in a life and death struggle ... for my own life! Yet, if I believe what I say I believe, the truth of the matter is this: my life is not my own! It belongs to my Heavenly Father to do with as He chooses.

But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
~ Acts 20:24

So as I process the truth of my situation, I only have one prayer: that I will do the things the doctors have told me I must do for myself, to improve my health (Lord willing), while leaving the final  results up to Him -- even if they do not turn out the way I want them to in the end.