Grateful for every breath.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, ” Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

As I sit here this morning, I can’t help but be extremely grateful for every breath that I take….literally

Today, I am heading to Jacksonville, Florida at Mayo Clinic for what seems like it might be one of many visits to come.

Last weekend, I was admitted to the hospital for multifocal pneumonia. Sunday morning I woke up with chest pain and shortness of breath. I didn’t know it was as severe as it was but my body was is in a fight or flight mode. My esophagus is not pushing food and drink down like it should which has caused me to aspirate food and fluid at night into my lungs. My entire right lung is now compromised with infection and nodules obstructing my air.

Even with all of that, I remain grateful. I know that I am blessed and that God has a plan even when noone else does.

I am grateful for God’s love. And, I know, that because of God’s love, he has given me everything I have ever needed. I know that the very breath that I take, that each moment I have is a gift of God’s love just for me! Every moment of my existence is proof of his grace and everlasting love for me!


Gratitude changes my whole perspective in tough situations and I know that I can find peace and hope by keep an attitude of gratitude.

Here’s the trick though, I can’t just pull out the “I’m grateful card” the moment disaster strikes and expect to find peace and a new look on life. It doesn’t work like that. I have to build my gratitude daily, it takes work. I have to be aware of ALL things God has done and is doing and I have to practice a grateful heart. I can’t control a lot of things going on in my life right now but I am in charge of my heart, and my mind.

Gratitude takes nothing for granted, it recognizes God with a new sense of wonder and all we have to do is praise the goodness of God. A grateful person knows that God is good, not just by hearsay but by experience. And that is what makes all the difference.

I know that the lessons that I learn in my lowest of lows are preparing me to receive the blessings of my highest highs. This time will be no different. How do I know? Because he says so..


NIV Romans 8:39
neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


One of the things that I consciously try to do is be aware of the little things in my life. Keeping the little things in the front of my mind allows me to be more aware of God moving in my life. I haven’t always been like this, the negative would overpower my thinking in the midst of hard times. The simple mindset of gratitude has greatly impacted the way that I face my mountains in my life. As for me, I will walk by faith, not by sight with a grateful heart.

In the moment of heartache.

Worrying never got me anywhere before. So why should it now? There have been many times when I could have died, but I didn’t. There have been many times that I made plans, but they didn’t work out. And there were many times when I said, “to hell with it,” but things worked out anyway.

We think we have control, we desire to have control but our control is very limited. We can control our attitude and behavior, but we have far less control of outcomes. We have no control over what other people will do, what nature will do, what opportunities will be available to us.  We want what we want! 

I think about all the craziness in my life right now with what seems like a trillion diseases that I can not control. The doctors don’t know what to do either. They finally have said the most heart-wrenching words anyone has to hear, “ we can’t do anything for you.” Sitting in the Mayo Jacksonville clinic, the place that was supposed to have the answers, the place I put hope into, within a years time had given up on me. 

In the moment of heartache, and being lost for what to do next, the only thing that I knew was all I had was God. He can still heal me even if they can’t. He can ease the pain, he can mend the brokenness. It’s taken a bit to realize I can not worry about the next step and chase cures that aren’t there. Its taken a while to realize that I need to face each day one day at a time, one problem at a time. I do not look at my entire illness as a whole anymore, and I do not think about what if.

Allow today’s problems to be enough. Worrying about tomorrow won’t make it better. And you might ruin your last day worrying about a day that’s not going to come. We should consider each day as possibly our last because one day it will be. Ask yourself: If today was my last day, what are some things I would want to do? 

 

Depression

Depression isn’t always tears, it’s crying on the inside.

Depression isn’t always sad, it’s pushing your tears back and forcing a smile on your face. 

Depression isn’t always locking yourself in your room being antisocial, its running the household completely normal, while taking on the families problems and making them right. 

Depression is such a common thing, I can’t even limit it to autoimmune disease. I lived in a house with a mother that fought depression, as a teenager I fought depression, my sister fought depression. Depression is lonely. You can have the entire world surrounding you, yet feel alone. 

Dance in the rain. 

When the Indian chief asked his warriors how do you dance and make it rain every time?  They said,” we dance until it rains.” 

“When you walk with God you have to believe, you have to stand in faith, you have to know that God’s going to fulfill.” J.Lee

Lately, there have been days that I can not get out of bed. My energy is low, my pain level is high and looking from the outside in, I am sure it looks like it is not going to get better for me any time soon.

Right now, I am in a flare. My connective tissues are on fire, and in pain, my joints ache, my gastroparesis is making my belly bloat and hard, I am having a hard time eating without pain, my glucose levels are the highest it’s ever been and it’s hard to control, and lastly, my kidneys are giving me problems because of my Lupus Nephritis.

I have reached a point in my chronic illness where my doctors do not know how to treat me anymore. 

So, what’s a girl to do? Do I give up and throw in the towel? Nope!! God is my healer. I know the reality of my situation but I stand on my faith that one way or another, God will give me the quality of life back, God will heal me. Until then, I will dance in the rain.

Dance in the Rain.

On Trial and Faith ( guest post) 

This week I had the privilege to guest post on @ theviewfromnow.com

Amy fights her own battle with RA and an inheritable cancer gene.  She writes about her faith journey in light of autoimmune disease. Her post are uplifting and encouraging, and I highly recommend taking the time to enjoy her posts. 

I am so honored to have been asked to guest post but even more so, I am so happy that she brought my attention to her blog. Go ahead and check it out @ theviewfromnow

#guestpost