Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
I wish it were this simple. An apple a day. However, as you read on yesterday's post, my friend Susan and I often find ourselves wishing our health issues could be solved so easily. Like her, it has taken me many years to find out that I am hyper-sensitive to gluten, milk, eggs, yogurt, and peanuts. I also suffer from Endometriosis and have chronic pain related to both. Today, I am fighting a case of hives to which I have yet to find the reason behind the problem. Chronic illness is challenging.
It keeps your brain revved up with questions. I need to be perfect with my diet to remain pain free. Yet, there are days when I can do everything right for my allergies and be in pain from the Endometriosis. Chronic illness challenges my faith as it has Susan's.
"Think about the body language you exhibit as you sit on a doctor’s exam table in a paper dress. That dejected “posture” often predicts the success of your visit." Susan Ingebretson
This sentence resonated with me. I've sat on many doctor's exam tables in that funky little paper dress. I remember one particular trip to my gynecologist before I was diagnosed with Endo. After much research, I had diagnosed myself with Endometriosis of the Colon. Don't worry I will refrain from applying a picture here. :) Yet, my other "team of doctors" were skeptical. They felt I was just grasping at straws. Grasping was an understatement. For I had sat on one exam table too many and I was breaking under the weight of my illness. The assault from a spirit of confusion was immense. The physical battle was one thing, but feeling there was not ever going to be a solution to this problem was very defeating. I remember sitting in my paper dress and explaining "from the top" when my health started going wrong. As I began to rattle it all off, I just sobbed in his office. I was so tired. I needed him to tell me I was right. I needed him to not say "oh you must just be a stressed out lady" like the other doctors had. That day, I was right. That day, I felt hope for the first time in a long time.
It has been two years since that diagnosis. My body is better, but it is a daily struggle. Yet, in spite of the struggles, I know that God is good. Hardship, as painful as it is, refines us. The first twenty years of my life were pretty smooth. I was successful and enjoyed life. But, nothing has brought me closer to the Lord than the past decade. God's word says that when we seek Him we will find Him when we search for Him with our whole hearts. In my prayer time this week, I have been continually praying that God would just let me "touch the hem of Jesus garment." I was not even sure of the reference, but knew the passage. Last night, in Susan's article she mentioned that very passage.
"Matthew 9:20-22 details the healing of a woman who’d been ill for a dozen years. Her chronic affliction was cured by simply touching the hem of Jesus’ garment. “Your faith has made you well,” Jesus said to her."
Her reference to that passage just further confirmed to me that God is involved in my details. For lately, I have been moping about my condition and feeling desperate again. That passage reminds me that He wants me well too. He purchased my life at a high price and I am redeemed. Chronic illness can challenge your faith. It can make you feel like God is not listening. But, if there is one thing that I have learned, it is that God hears me when I call. He hears every prayer. He has bottled every tear. One day, He will come back for His children and in an instance, we will be transformed. We will be able to leave our paper gowns behind for a Heavenly robe and experience pure joy with Him.
No more wishing on apples.
Monday, July 26, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Posted by Jessica Kirkland at 10:17 PM
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
re·demp·tion[ri-demp-shuhn] Show IPA
Posted by Jessica Kirkland at 8:15 PM
Monday, July 19, 2010
Savior: He saved me from death.
Healer: He healed me from sickness.
Deliverer: He delivered me from darkness.
Counselor: He instructed me in the way I should go.
Friend: He was there, when others did not understand.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Our small group at church started up again tonight. How I cherish that time with my friends and brothers and sisters in Christ. It's just good to be able to be honest and open about life. Sometimes we get good at pretending that life is "fine thank you." A standard answer I have given in some of the darkest days of my life. Haven't we all? We get so accustomed to feel good answers. Giving and receiving them I think. Tonight one of the questions posed was: Was there ever a time in your life where you felt like God had just left you? Abandoned you in a storm. I didn't answer out loud, yet in my mind I might have screamed said quietly "yes."
Then, I followed the rules. I ate as they instructed. I lay in bed for months like the doctors told me to. I prayed. I was thankful. I prayed scripture over myself and my children. In my heart, I just knew that God was good. He had always proved His faithfulness to me in such tangible and often loud ways. I still had fear. But, I had an inner peace that crowded out those worst-case-scenario thoughts that would try to sneak in from time to time.
Then, that dark day came. Like a flood, my heart quaked and I saw for the first time my faulty belief system. This stronghold of believing that I could earn my way to a good outcome. I couldn't. You can't either. And although I knew this in my head, I had snatched up this merit based faith somewhere along the way. I had traded God's truth for a lie. So much so that when my circumstance turned desperate, I wasn't sure how I could trust God. Thoughts like "Was this your plan the whole time, to let me go through all this to just polish me up for Heaven?" I just knew in my heart that my kids would live and I would die. I believed this lie. I felt the lie down to the very core of my body. My oxygen was weak. Doctors and nurses were giving me "protocol" speeches. I knew I would go to Heaven. But, I felt that God had pulled the wool over my eyes. "Why did you bring me so far just to kill me?"
I was asking God hard questions. I was speaking pretty horribly to my Lord, too. I was desperate. See, my storm had clouded my vision. All I saw was the rain and the lightning. I heard the thunder and the gloomy reports. But, my perspective was limited. God doesn't break promises. He never has and He never will. It was a dark day for me. And when I woke up to sunshine the next morning, I realized that God is good even when circumstances are not.
"He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death and broke their bands apart." Psalm 107:14
Has there ever been a time in your life when you felt like God abandoned you?