“The Not So Invisible Illness.”

They call Lupus the “invisible illness,” but to me it’s definitely not invisible. It’s a constant fight to keep normalcy in my family’s life, my husband, kids and I know this illness has stolen more than we ever imagined. I haven’t been able to drive since August. My freedom and independence has been taken, with the risk of fainting because of constant arrhythmias. I have nuerocardiogentic syncopede, and Postural orthostatic tachardia syndrome. My heart rate is constantly above 100 and it takes all of my energy to keep up.  I sweat constantly as if I have run a marathon even though my body is cold to the touch. I have struggled with constant migraines for the last week. My body hurts everywhere and it is more than just an ache, it’s pain that keeps me from sleeping through the night and no amount of pain medication can take it away. Although my diagnosis is SLE Lupus, I also have mixed connective tissue disorder. Mixed connective tissue disorder can manifest itself in many different autoimmune diseases. My entire body is under attack from the inside out. To look at me you would never guess the battle that I fight every day.  I put my happy face on and say that I am ok even though I am screaming on the inside, wishing I could feel better for just one moment, just like so many of us do. I take the tiny moments when I get a small amount of energy and try to fit in as much as I can in those moments only to ultimately pay for days, for doing too much.
Although this is the fight of my life, I still hold on to hope for a cure one day for autoimmune diseases in general. I still hope that God will heal me physically. Even if I don’t get my healing right now, I know that one day there is a place where I will be where the pain, the struggles, the fight for life will be gone. There is a place of peace, hope, and happiness waiting.

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Thankfulness Challenge day 7: What are you thankful for?

What are you thankful for? 

Today is day 7 of the #Thankfulness Challenge. While my health hasn’t been the best lately, and things on the surface may look scary and somewhat hopeless, I realize in my spirit there is always hope and my perspective on things can change my circumstances. So, I am challenging others and myself to look deeper and find anAttitude of Gratitude this month.

Today I am thankful that,God leads my way, he is my light!

 

 

Author: Tabitha

Attitude of Gratitude.

Attitude of Gratitude

Adopting an attitude of gratitude and recognizing the things that we are most grateful for isn’t just something that sounds nice at Thanksgiving — it’s a lifestyle and mindset that can change our lives.
 

For changes to happen in our life, we have to decide to change. If we wait for something to shift and change on its own we might find ourselves disappointed when nothing changes. In order to make a switch we must make a decision for change. If we practice being proactive to change, we switch our mindsets. When our mindsets change we change our circumstances.

 Gratitude is stress reliever.
Adopting an attitude of gratitude takes us out of the negativity that surrounds us on a day to day basis and puts us in a correct frame of mind. When we have a different mind-set, we find solutions to day to day problems. When a problem is in front of you try to find the silver lining in every situation; What can I learn from this?
 
Gratitude and a good attitude is contagious.
 
I can’t speak for everyone, but I don’t like being around unpleasant, negative, or sarcastic people. I find many times that my mood can set the scene in a room whether it be good or bad. If I am grateful and happy it tends to be contagious to others around me and create a positive energy. Of course, the opposite is true as well, if we have a downcast face or a bad attitude that tends to set the mood in a room. Watch your words. What you say is usually how you act, so be aware of complaining and replace whines with positive words. Be aware of your body language and smile even if you don’t feel like it. You can change your attitude and the people around you by simple body language and excitement in your voice. Let’s start with ourselves, we must be the change and watch the world change around us.
 
 

Floating rib.

Let me get real honest right now, if I looked at the big picture of the last 3 years, I might find myself getting overwhelmed. Instead my way of handling things is by taking things a little at a time. The last couple of weeks, I have spent some time at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville. I have undergone various tests and the doctors have a few new diagnosis for my stomach troubles that I have been having because of  mixed connective tissue disorder. I finally have an answer as to what is going on with my stomach. Yesterday, I met with a surgical physician, thinking that I was going to end up having an open surgery on my abdomen, when the physician did an exam and found that I have a floating rib that is impinging a nerve. The doctor suggested a nerve block to help with the pain in my side. Although it will not take care of all of my stomach issues, it is one step closer to having less pain. I believe that God was a big part of this, and it wasn’t by chance that the physician found the problem.

I can’t say that I don’t ever start to lose hope, because the feelings of hopelessness does come over me at times, I just choose not to stay there. I have had to face many scary health diagnosis over the last three years and I have had a few brushes with death but even through all of that I try really hard to keep my head up. I know who is in control of my life, I know God is on my side and I know that He can use these doctors to help get my quality of life back. I can’t put all of my hope in the Mayo Clinic and the doctors but God has opened the doors for me to get the care I need. I know that God can work through the physicians to help me and I have complete faith that he will provide answers and the healing that I need. Sickness is not from God, it is a product of this world. I’m going to follow God because He knows how my healing is going to come.

The Bible says that faith is not seeing, it is believing, I choose to live that path.

I am what I am.

But by the grace of God I am what I am.
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than
all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.
1 Corinthians 15:10
I used to have this famous saying, “it is what it is.” Every time I didn’t like something and I had to accept it, I
would spout off those words. It meant to me, that I had to accept whatever is happening.
I didn’t grow up in a family that was like the TV show that I used to watch as a child, “Growing Pains.” In
Growing Pains, the mom and Dad were in love and it was a picture perfect family of educated parents and kids
that had boundaries. In fact, I grew up in quite the opposite. In my childhood, I went from abusive parents, to a
foster home, then back to an abusive parent.
Many look at my life and wonder why God didn’t stop any of the abuse and now I am chronically ill at thirty
eight years old with the worst kind of Lupus. At times I have to admit it makes no since except for the passage I
quoted of Paul in the New Testament, “I am who I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No I worked
harder than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.”
It’s hard to say but I would not be the person I am today without all the trials I have faced. I have been through
abuse, and neglect and abandonment and at times the scars of those memories carry over into my illness. I still
feel alone at times, I still feel like I am fighting for my life and at times I lose sight of the one who has never left
me, God. I am far from perfect, but without God’s grace I could not face the battles that I have today. It’s in the
tough times that we gain strength. It’s in the tough times of testing that we are given testimony of God’s
goodness.
I catch myself at times wishing the bad things of my life would disappear but this morning I realize I am who I
am because I needed God, because of his Grace he saw me through and I am a better person because of him.

Monday Morning Pick-Me-Up. You are the salt of the earth.

You are the salt of the earth.
Matthew 5:  13
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.”
I believe Jesus about this scripture with all my heart. We (Christians that love and accept and live by the name of Christ) are the salt of the earth. We have been called, ordained, set apart and given the Holy Spirit of God for a reason, a design, a plan and that plan is to show the world the love of God. We are here for a reason and as this scripture says we are here to add flavor to the world. Imagine the world without the love of God in it. It would be like eating a bowl of rice without salt or pepper. So go ahead today, add some flavor to your office, to your neighborhood, to your home and let everyone see your faith in God. Let everyone know that God loves them and someday He wants to bring them home to live with Him forever, but first we have to live life to the full, we have to be the light of Christ to the world. Don’t be just a part of the scenery, be the person that gives flare to the world.