I keep pretty quiet about how difficult daily living is, how my skin & body hurt, how I pray my body out of bed daily, how I even envy those who work out, crazy~who’d a thought I’d ever be jealous of exercise, but I am!! I am also jealous of the moms that seem to be super moms with an energizer-bunny-batteries powering them to do it all and then still go out for their nightly run and then meet up with a girl friend for a glass of wine. Which, if you are a friend and you think I am talking about you, I probably am. I am in awe of all my girlfriends~I love them and they amaze me! But I also do realize we all have our own struggles and that the grass isn’t greener on the other side, it’s just different landscaping, (insert cheesy analogy) all our yards have weeds, grass and flowers~they just look different; blooming at different seasons and then giving us burs in our kids’ feet in others.
This week I had a Dr. appointment and no one could join me to make the quick trek out to Colorado. Which since the Colorado law changed, I laugh at saying my Dr.s are in Colorado because I feel like it makes me look like a pot-seeker!~nothing against medicinal uses of marijuana, but it’s just not for me. Anyhow, I was/am having a particularly hard Lyme week where even driving to school only blocks away exhausts me and I spent much of my mom duty time on the couch reading to the kids and snuggling, so driving 15 hours in 2 days seemed insurmountable. On top of it, I was nervous about this expensive new treatment & this new Dr. I had never met. To sum it up I felt lonely and alone. I was thinking “no one really knows what it’s like to be trapped inside this body, actually~ no one really even knows that I am trapped in a severely sick body & no one really cares.” I prayed myself thru my “pity-party of lies” and then sat down at my computer and there was an email from someone I had never had an email from with a link to her blog. She has Lyme & I felt like copying and pasting everything she said in her blog post and then saying “this is me!” Here is her link, whether you suffer from Lyme or some other chronic disease or even chronic difficulty in your life I think what she says is poignant: http://conniestrasheim.blogspo
I do know I am never alone and I love that I have an eternal Best Friend, Healer and Comforter with me at all times, but I think He knew I needed to be understood by another person. In our chronic illness or chronic difficulties, loneliness can be the biggest enemy, but we are not alone~not only did God give Himself to us and fully understands us, He gave us each other and there is someone who understands where you are today, you are not alone-not ever!
I have been hesitant to talk much about how serious my health is because I really don’t want to be a “Debbie Downer.” And I do think focusing on it gives it power, so I choose to focus on other better things, but it really is a defining part of my life. So I chose to write today to offer camaraderie and because as I sat in the parking lot yesterday praying before my appointment, I read this verse (I wish I could recall verses in my heart and mind like others…but Jesus uses the Bible app on my phone to bring me verses when my mind fails…it’s my “go-to” for quick encouragement, just type in the words you are looking for and voila, there is God’s word for what you need, the app also helps save time in finding that obscure book that you forgot where it was!) Anyhow, here is the verse:
Jeremiah 33:6 & 9
“Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it;
I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security.
Then this city will bring me renown, joy, praise and honor
before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it;
and they will be in awe and will tremble at the abundant prosperity and peace I provide.”
When I read this I realized that when people see me as “normal” they are missing the opportunity to praise God and SEE GOD at work because my normalcy IS MY MIRACLE, but you wouldn’t know my miracle if you didn’t know my condition. To appear to you as normal and healthy, to be joyful & peaceful in my pain~these are miracles, this is God at work in my life and He should get the honor. I may not be running a marathon to show my preservation in Christ (but good luck to all those running the Lincoln Marathon this weekend!!!) but when you see me at the grocery store then I hope it brings praise to God because that task is like a marathon on my body many days. Side note for all the small town Superior folk who wonder why they only see Jim at the grocery store: this is why, he is SOOO GOOD TO ME; he serves me in such little practical ways that are SO BIG to me! (And thank God for Amazon Prime; I can sit and rest and shop at the same time!! hallelujah for energy free shopping!!!) People are missing the literal glory of God on me if they don’t know my brokenness, if I seem fine to you, it is only by the grace of God. It is the Spirit of God that gives me hope, joy, light and NORMALCY and I praise Him that people don’t see my disease because that is ONLY GOD AT WORK in me. My new Dr. yesterday commented to me “When you walked in I thought you looked so young, healthy and happy, but the numbers don’t lie, you are really sick.” Just proof of what a little good make up and faith can’t cover up! Another side note: I am also thankful that the Dr. “sees” how sick I feel, this makes me feel less alone. Maybe we all need to share our chronic difficulties and diseases with each other more often so we don’t feel alone and so we don’t miss the profound healing and miracles in each others’ lives, so that we can comfort each and so that we may not only see the grass greener on the other side but come over and help pull some weeds and plant some flowers and help pull burs out of each others kids’ feet…we are never alone! Actually the ordinary-nce of most of our lives is probably no small miracle for any one of us; with all that comes at us and threatens us and our families on a daily basis I think angels work overtime in so many ways that we cannot even begin to fathom. May we all see the miracle of our status quo and praise God for that.
to show that this all surpassing power is from God
and not from us.
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed;
perplexed, but not in despair;
persecuted, but not abandoned;
struck down, but not destroyed.
We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus,
so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.
For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake,
so that HIS LIFE may also be REVEALED IN OUR MORTAL BODY.
So then, death is at work in us, BUT LIFE IS AT WORK IN YOU.