Month: June 2017

Monday morning pick me up. (Why do I have to make peace?)

Romans 12: 18-19
“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath…”

Do you find it difficult to live at peace with everyone? After all people get on your nerves everyday. Like the guy at the traffic light with his music blaring so loud you can’t even think, or the guy who cut you off in traffic. Perhaps the co-worker that seems to always have an attitude or the boss who continually makes unreasonable demands. It is difficult to keep the peace with people that do not seem to care about you or anyone else for that matter. You cannot control people, especially people that do not share our faith, but what you can do is go the extra mile and YOU create a peaceful environment.
You and I are told to, “turn the other cheek,” (Matthew5:39) “Bless those who persecute you.” (Romans 12: 14) and still we ask, “why do I have to make the peace? Because you are not of this world, you are of a higher calling, you represent Jesus Christ every minute of everyday, there is no day off from Christianity. You live for God to the best of your ability and leave the rest to God, He will judge the righteous and the unrighteous.

I was thinking…

Today I was thinking about the relationship between autoimmune illnesses, chronic pain and bad childhoods.
 
I grew up in an abusive home. I spent five years in a foster home that was not a good home. I may not have suffered sexual abuse there but it was definitely physically and mentally abusive. After five years, my siblings and I went back to our birth mother only to endure hunger, homelessness, abandonment and for my closest sister and I to be sexually abused.
What I have been wondering is how many people have a chronic illness and have had a bad childhood, abuse, abandonment, feelings of worthlessness, facing unknown days? Even now, I fight off those same feelings that I had as a child. To make matters worse, now I also face debilitating pain and chronic illness that bring up some of the same feelings.
I have to wonder how many others besides me have had a rough start in life only to find themselves with a rough adult life of chronic illness? I would like for others to weigh in and give their opinions and experiences about having a bad childhood and now chronic illnesses. Are they related somehow? Please tell me your stories.
I will be sharing my personal testimony in the coming weeks but I would like to know who else can relate.

Monday morning pick me up.

2 Timothy 3:16-17
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching,rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

We have a lot of Christians that are saying the opposite of this scripture. Those people are saying that not all God’s word is God breathed (given by God through inspiration) and basically when the Bible was canonized that the men who agreed on the 66 books did not pick out the right books to be in the Bible. I realize that a lot of the old testament appears to be harsh, but it is still history and history has a way of repeating itself. More-over, we see the character of God in the scriptures and we see how much He loved His people by reading the Bible. Paul tells Timothy in this passage, ALL scripture is given by God through inspiration to man and the scriptures are useful for teaching, discipline, correction and training for the righteous. so, here is my question, if we don’t believe the whole Bible which pages are we going to ignore or rip out of the Bible? I, for one, believe the whole word of God, and the full gospel.

 

Fathers Day doesn’t have to be about your earthly Father.

Ephesians 5:1
he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.

For some people Father’s Day is a reminder of great memories with their Dad’s and for others it can be a reminder of the past. For a long time, this day meant nothing to me, it was simply a day that reminded me of bad things. But that’s all changed now. Tomorrow doesn’t have to be about our earthly fathers. We all have a Father, a great father that loves us so much. He has good plans for us and loves us simply because we are his. So as we go into Father’s Day tomorrow, remember God, remember that we are adopted as children of God.  No matter the earthly father’s we have , good or bad, our father in heaven should be celebrated because he simply loves us.

I am an overcomer, no pity please.

 

I am going to be honest, I don’t like receiving pity when people find out that I am sick but I do want to be understood and heard. I need to be loved and supported. I have struggled with this and so many others have too. I believe that even if you don’t have a chronic illness everyone can agree that pity is not endearing.  I guess the question is how do I gracefully allow others know when I am hurting but still receive the support and love that I need without receiving pity in return. Often times, I get asked how I am doing and even though I may feel bad I will say I am fine. I think people do ask this question in passing and it’s OK not to go into the gory details of how bad I feel. However one of things I do, is I try to listen to others because no matter how bad I feel if I can help someone else it helps my spirit and ultimately it gets my mind off of my own pain.

However, I have realized the people closest too me really want to know how I am doing and by saying that I am fine when asked is actually doing me a disservice. With anything, there is a fine line between letting others in on your illness and not wanting to receive a pity party. What I really want is to gain understanding and support without the pity.  How can I possibly, receive love and support if everyone always thinks I am always fine? How can anyone be in my corner praying for me when they don’t know how I feel? I don’t know about anybody else, but I never want to receive pity. I need support, love, and understanding. I want the people in my life that I really care about to know about my illness and my limitations but at the same time I do not want to be felt sorry for. I have realized what I can do is educate the people in my life, because sometimes the only reason people don’t understand is because we don’t tell anyone. Others do not have to be in my body to give me love and support. Even though I am sick and there are times when I have to push through just to get out of bed, I still want to be seen as strong because I am. I still want to be dependable, because although I have limitations, I am dependable. My illness may have changed my circumstances but I refuse to allow it to change who I am.  I don’t feel sorry for myself and that is the biggest mindset that has gotten me through so much. I have accepted the changes that have come into my life over the last three years.  If the relationships that I have, truly love and care about me then I will not receive pity. I will receive love, acceptance and understanding no matter how I feel and those are the relationships that I want to have on my journey of life.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.

I have walked through some of the darkest years of my life alone, so I thought. I have experienced brokenness and have been completely overwhelmed I was afraid to move. To think the next thought, I might fall apart.  I have thought more times that I want to admit, that I just can’t just make it through another day through my illness. I hold it all together for myself, my husband, and more than anything for my kids.I know I am not alone, because I know that someone is reading this right now saying that they know these feelings too. 

No matter where I have been in this journey, I have learned that all of those feeling are only temporary even if they come back after a while. God has always sent help my way.
It may have been an encouraging word from a nurse, or something I read, or sending someone my way to bring a word of grace, but he has always provided what I needed.

I have to look for God even in the smallest of things. He is always doing something. I know the closer that I walk with God, the more Satan will try to detour me. He certainly doesn’t want me to rise above my problems and he doesn’t want me to get close to my Heavenly Father.

What Satan doesn’t realize is the very tool that he thought would make me turn on God has brought me even closer. The sickness and the hardships of my life has made me put total dependency on God, instead of myself or someone else.

David wrote in Psalms 23,” Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me.”

Monday morning pick me up. (No whining!)

Philippians 2: 14-16
“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.”

I have a sign on my refrigerator at home that says, “No Whining.” I’m convinced that people in the world are wanting to hear something different, something refreshing, something other than the same old thing, than they hear every day, whining and complaining. I’m convinced that people want to see someone positive, upbeat, cheerful and friendly. Don’t we hear enough whining and complaining on the news and from the people in the world who have no hope? If you call yourself a child of God, then be a child of God, live as a child of God, act like a child of God, reflect God. But for the Lord’s sake, Don’t whine and complain!

 

Faith outweighs pain.

 

 

God is always near, even if we don’t see it in the moment. I can often look back after I am out of the moment and see God was close by all along. Being chronically ill, or just facing a trying time is probably the hardest time to remember that because you are literally fighting against fleshly pain and faith. For me, I get a reminder everyday that this “chronic” illness isn’t going away.  My faith in God is constantly tested and believe me it’s not easy to stay strong. It’s in these times that I have to dig deep and my faith has to outweigh my pain.

God hasn’t failed me!

I have been diagnosed with Lupus and so many other autoimmune diseases that are rare and hard to make sense of and it seems as if it’s one thing after another. Even though I have gone through a lot of trials in my life and now this disease I know God has never failed me!! He has always showed up in the most profound ways in my life. God has always given me, what I consider miracles and he has never ever left me even in the darkest of days! Just today, I was at the doctor’s office for a simple refill on my medicine for prednisone. I have something called neurocardiogenic syncopede, and my heart was fluttering a lot. I thought I was just having an off day, no big deal. My regular doctor wasn’t in today, but the doctor I did see, asked how I felt,and I told him I was ok but my heart was fluttering some. He decided to do an EKG and the results was that my heart was out of rhythm. He said to me, “I think this was a divine intervention by God,” whoever hears that from their doctor? The doctor sent me to my primary doctor and a plan was made with what to do about my heart rhythm.
Here is my take on the day; I don’t know why I am facing these horrific health problems, but I do know God has always made a way for me even if I didn’t see it in the moment. I trust God. No matter the trials I have in this life, God hasn’t failed me! Satan may be out to destroy my life, that is his job and as long as I am child of God he will continue to try to destroy everything I do. My God is bigger than anything Satan can throw at me.

It’s not always easy to make changes.

Life is always changing and it is not always easy to make those changes. My fourteen year old daughter is graduating from the eighth grade this year. She is having a tough time in this last week of school, realizing that she will be leaving her middle school friends behind and going to the High School of her choice that will not be with her current friends. My daughter was accepted into a program at a high school in another city that will prepare her for her chosen career as a Veterinarian while in high-school. God opened up the door for her and we were so thankful for that but the opportunity is hard for her, she will have make some sacrifices of not going on to high school with her friends in order to prepare herself for her future. I know that the transition is bittersweet for her and at the moment it is not easy to feel torn between staying with her friends and what is going to be the best decision for her future.
I know that she will not regret this decision and it is best for her to keep moving forward but moving forward is how she will grow and achieve her goals. 

My daughter’s situation reminds me of my own walk with God,sometimes the changes in my life have been painful but in the end I have grown so much. Changes can be scary, even for adults we like to stay where we are comfortable and familiar. I have fought change many times in my walk with God, but I must say that if I knew then what I know now, then perhaps I would not have fought so hard to hold on to the same old life that I thought was dear to me. Walking with God change are inevitable, but God will bless abundantly if I keep moving forward. God promises to never leave or forsake us. The best choice I can make is not always the easiest choice but choosing to move forward and trust God is the best way for me to grow.