chronic illnessfaith

Where’s the love?

Why is it that as soon as you make a commitment, the Enemy decides to attack? I was so stoked and ready to go after taking the Pledge to Love Myself. I was ready for a change in perspective.  More than anything I want to be a positive role model for my daughter. I want to her see her mom value herself and know without a doubt that she is worthy of love just the way she is – both by her heavenly Father and herself. I think this monthly project ties in perfectly with the Shrinkvivor challenge as I can work on being healthy inside and out. So after writing my pledge post, I was ready to go!

Then yesterday hit.  A pretty major flare started to set in Saturday afternoon.  It started after lunch (when I think my food somehow got cross-contaminated with gluten either by the preparers or my toddler wanting to have “bites” as she says of mommy’s food).  So by the time we got back home from an afternoon out, I was feeling pretty miserable.  It just went downhill from there.

So I woke up yesterday morning feeling like an elephant’s backside so I got Abby ready for church while John got dressed. She looked freaking adorable in her new FALL dress. Yes!  Fall weather has arrived! I only wish that I was somewhat coherent enough at the time to take a picture. Once I got them out the door, my plan was to take some meds and crawl back in bed hoping to get some much needed sleep and pray that the throbbing in my joints would stop.  That was not the case.

The Enemy thought that it was the perfect time to creep in.  Instead of falling back asleep, I became overwhelmed with sadness and guilt. What kind of person was I to send off my family to church while I crawled back in bed? What kind of mother did that make me? How dare I not support my husband and be there by his side at church! How could I ever expect to be a good wife and mother if I was sick all the time?  Why can’t I just suck it up and move on?  All of these questions swirled in my head.  My heart sank to the pit of my stomach.  I stared blankly at the television screen as I bit my lip to fight back the tears.

Was any of this true?

I turned on a hot shower in hopes to wash all of these feelings away.  It was then that I was reminded of the commitment and pledge I had taken the day before.  The light bulb came on and I began to understand the attack.  It was also then that my Maker reminded me of His wonderful promises:

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  Psalm 139:14

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27

Today I am ready once again for battle.  I realize that it will not be easy to maintain the pledge but with the promises of my Creator lifting me up, how can I not succeed?

What verses keep you going when life tries to get you down?

chronic illness

Friday Words of Faith: Cast ALL Your Cares

Ok.  I will be honest.  I worry.  A lot.  Personality-wise, I would definitely consider myself a perfectionist and an almost type-A personality.  I like having a plan.  I like structure.  To-do lists work well for me.

Sometimes life doesn’t work out that way.  Especially with a chronic illness.  In finding my new normal, this has been the hardest adjustment for me personally.  I like planning and I like to do things myself.  I’m pretty stubborn about it too.  Once in taking a grief and loss class in seminary, we took a survey of what factors regarding death affect us the most.  Some of the questions revolved around topics such as the thought of being in the ground or cremated, the question of the afterlife, or the loss of independence.  It was easy to see that my independence is something very high on my life and its definitely not something I want to give up anytime soon.  So chronic illness and I are in a seemingly unending battle over it.

So it has been a learning process.  I can plan but I have to allow myself to let go of the plan if my body needs a break.  I have to allow the dishes to be left undone if my time is needed elsewhere.  It has been so hard to adjust but I think that in the last 5 years I have really made progress and have learned to relax and give myself permission to say no.

And then the last diagnosis came.  Since then I swear it feels like I have unraveled.  My anxiety levels are so much higher.  I feel like I am in less control of my emotions.  The slightest thing puts me over the edge.   Almost to the point where I’ve considered calling my doctor.  But then I stopped to ask myself some questions.  Why am I so anxious?  What am I worried about?  Of course I had a long list of answers (in the form of questions) to these questions – is this my last diagnosis?  what if they were wrong?  what is it going to be next time?

Then I asked myself this question – Who is in control?  Definitely not me!  But what a reminder of WHO is!  God is in control and has a plan which includes hope and prosperity so why should I be anxious?  Am I going to have questions about my health and illness from time to time?  Absolutely.  But why should I let the anxiety steal my joy?  God’s word is full of promises that can allow us to be free from the burdens of worry and anxiety and trust that He is God.  Here are a few of my favorites:

“Cast your cares on the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall.”
Psalm 55:22
“Cast all your anxiety on Him for He cares for you.”
1 Peter 5:7
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 11:28 
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? . . .  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Matthew 6:25-26, 34 
What are some of your favorite verses (or other quotes) that keep you pressing on?