Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A Word For You, A Word For Me

I have not talked about my illness on here in awhile. I figure you don't want to hear about it all the time. I don't really blame you. It is not your burden after all. Today however, I had a thought that I wanted to share. 

For those of you who don't know I have a couple of connective tissue diseases. I got sick, completely out of the blue, almost two years ago. They are also considered autoimmune diseases, so as I am sure you know, that means my immune system has begun to mistakenly attack and destroy my healthy body tissue. There are many people who have some form of autoimmune disease, it's not the worst diagnosis to have, but for some reason I have had a very hard time coming to terms with this. I am in pain a good deal of the time and very, very tired. I feel like this sickness has stolen so much from me. Where I was once happy, energetic, and social, I am now often angry, exhausted, and I hide away in my room in my bed wishing I could just feel good enough to get my house clean. One of the connective tissue diseases I have in particular can be fatal. I joined a message board for others who suffer from this disease and it has been a tremendous source of knowledge and encouragement. But in the past year we have lost several members to our condition. I am obviously nowhere close to being in that bad of shape but that knowledge still creeps in and whispers in my ear, "that could be you one day." I silence it, of course but when my defenses are down, and they are, more than I'd like to admit, there it is on tiptoes making it's way back to me to do it's damage. I don't mean to be negative. I try hard not to be dramatic about it all. However I have found that I am not at all the tough girl I once thought I was. I have so many weaknesses both physical and emotional, every one of them being so exposed it humbles and displeases me! 

Today all of this was on my mind, it is always on my mind. Out of nowhere a verse came to mind, fresh and new, as if I had not heard it before. 
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10
I would say the thief has done his job well. Stealing those things that had been my nature, what made me Sarah. Energy, joy, life! Destroying, rendering me useless or at least causing me to feel that way in some areas. Destroying dreams I once had. 

No more! He came to give life! Life eternal, yes. But to the fullest here, right here, right now. The very most, the best of the best life I can have here on earth. Unless God chooses to heal me (which I certainly believe He can and He will, but He may chose to wait a little longer, wait until the day He gives me that perfect and whole body.) That "life" may have to look a little different than what I once imagined. Occasionally I feel that life. On a good day, like I had yesterday, spending time with my mom, shopping, talking, giggling like we have not done together in some time. Often though, that fullness, that joy may have to come from my perch in my bed, where I spend some days, giving out instructions to my children, helping with homework, right here in my bed, talking my oldest through a recipe so she can help out by making dinner. The thief may think he has won. In many ways I have allowed him to. But life can still happen in the midst of pain. Life can be breathed in even as your heart aches. Joy may be lost for me in things I have had to give up doing. But there is still joy in the Lord while I am buried under my covers. It has not been easy for me to find joy IN my "suffering" as I know I am suppose to do. (Romans 5:3-5) I confess I find this very difficult. For now I will have to stir myself up to find joy in spite of the pain and fatigue. 

As much as this seems like a very personal post I know I am not unique in my suffering. Our stories are not the same, yet we all experience some form of pain - fresh wounds or those not yet healed, grief and sorrow, fear, discouragement and loneliness. We have an enemy who is a con artist. He is a master at talking us out of our joy, and peace, and into death. He will gladly bring death to your dreams, death to your hopes, death to your relationships, your confidence, to who you are. Rise up, even if you do not have the strength to physically, and proclaim life! Abundant life! Which means over and above, more than is necessary. So weep, mourn, cry out if you need to. But do not let the thief destroy what Jesus came to redeem. John 1:4 says, In him was life, (Greek translation Zoe the same life as is in John 10:10) and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 

Let the light of your life shine, in the midst of your circumstances, so that the darkness cannot overcome! I say all of this to both of us as I am not there all the time. But there is hope in the knowledge that He came to bring life...even to me! 

...he has sent me (Jesus) to bind up the brokenhearted,to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion—to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified. Isaiah 61:1-3
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  1. Wow, Sarah...this resonates with things I was already thinking yesterday and this morning. Light, and rising up (in union with a risen Jesus) are the key, resonating words. Thanks! BTW: I live with chronic pain due to a back injury.
    ~ Charlie Metzger

    1. I knew you did Charlie, I think of you often. Back pain, in my opinion, is a very difficult place to have chronic pain. Some things are VERY difficult to do when you have back pain that are not so hard if it is your arms or legs, etc... Praying for some pain free days for you! :) Glad God is giving you confirmation of his words to you! I love that!

  2. Sarah, as your mama I weep to read your words. I know so well the energetic, bouncing, Tigger type personality that was my daughter. It breaks my heart in ways there are no words for when I see that taken away. I would take this upon myself in a split second if that would mean it could be taken from you. Any mom would. "Why her, Lord"? It will be one of the first 3 questions I ask when I one day meet Him face to face and get a chance for a one on one visit.
    Until the day that healing is rained down on you in your earthly body or restored to you in a new perfect one for eternity you will be a cry of my heart.
    But, I encourage you today, as hard as it is to do through my tears and lack of understanding, to stir yourself up daily, to let that determination that had you climbing cabinets and "doing it yourself" rise up in you daily too. You are a strong woman of God, a threat to a puny enemy. I believe the gates of hell cannot prevail over a faith filled, determined woman. In the words of a very strong Texas Belle. "Oh, Hell No! We've heard it said when a TX girl says that you better look out. LOL
    I stand with you, beside you and would gladly stand in front of you. My prayers are unceasing!

  3. These words could have come from my mouth, when I was your age, as I suffered through a two year disease...and the lessons I learned have kept me secure, made me who I am today. The old you has been stolen as the old me was, but the renewed mind that I gained "through it all", made a new and better person. I became less of a self made woman and more a God created woman. It is worth it in the long run! I once read a book by Watchman Nee called "The release of the Spirit" in the last part of the books he talks about the change God brought about in Moses life...from the meekest man to one of power... and he made this statement. A man who has natural abilities and gifts, is worth nothing to God Until God has purged him from the natural and replaced them with his spirit filled gifts and abilities....for instance God told Moses to do something and he could not because of his meekness, but when God got through with him that meekness under Gods direction became Powerful! I am so thankful for this post and what God showed you....I am standing with you against the thief!! he cannot have my girl! You belong to God and I will tell you that story the next time I see you which should not be too many months away...God willing...


Thanks for letting me here from you!