We are but dust-born into a physical body that has already “fallen” and prone to cause problems for the soul.(PS.103:14).
It has been a while since I have discussed the brutal impact Lupus has habitually interfered with during my life. Today has been a total breakdown and I stayed in bed for most of it. Why the sadness infringes on my plans, I don’t know. My last infection, about 3 weeks ago left me with 2 weeks of antibiotics. I thought I was in the clear but redness hit my face and neck like supersonic colors. Of course I got my fever blister and only a little sore in my mouth but nothing like usual. My legs and ankles have become so inflated at times I can barely walk. I do have my special shoes but they are so decrepid I can’t even go to the mailbox in them. So embarrassing but I love them! My main concern now is my lungs. I am very short of breath and my inhaler just is not cutting it.
I am sorry for anyone going through any chronic illness. People will never know the sadness that everyday brings. Some days are so unbearable I can’t even put it into words. The people in our life have to continue their routine obligations so the sadness and guilt become overwhelming. You hurt so bad that your focus on God can quickly disappear and allow the enemy to move right in. I get fearful at times when I am alone. I worry about the future and I can quickly feel my mood change. I fear that I do not love this person that I see. I feel shame for some of the failures in my life. But God sees a desire to love us through our shame and guilt. But, I feel guilt and shame for not always remembering that. Hang tight you tenacious strong survivors. I love you all.
Lupus or any chronic illness can bring about an array of emotions that can occur in any order and lasts until God gives you the courage to move on to the next phase. He knows when we focus on his work in our life , we’ll discover our spirit and courage to react to the life-altering event we have been assigned to.
1. Denial-Don’t give into fear, but break its hold through scripture. Our willingness to obey is a key to answered prayer. Instead of denial, if we demonstrate thankfulness in harsh circumstances, other people may see our response. The people in our life will want the peace they see within us for themselves.
2. Anger-This can ruin relationships and make it difficult for a person to move forward in life. It is a painful storm of resentment that will always block our path to righteousness. This is a hard one but, rejoice in the fact today that God is giving ou this opportunity to give him glory.
3. Bargaining-This is a negotiation for extended time. We must realize the first rule of warfare is to know one’s enemy. Through God we can conquer Satan and win our unseen battles. The combined forces of hell cannot equal the supernatural forces of a single believer. To me, bargaining tries to defy logic. We just need to believe and praise the Lord.
4. Depression This is an unbelievable force that can be the toughest stage to go through. I seem to keep coming back to this process over and over. We are to fix our gaze on the Saviour, and let his joy become yours. With so much out of our control , it is such a relief that we are called to get our joy from the Lord. Depression can become a major stumbling block. Do not give in to fear but live in confidence. Lean on your relationships but process your feelings and brace yourself for God’s grace.
5. Acceptance-Humble yourself. People who pass through these stages can enter a single one for a long period of time. God has a purpose in mind for each experience whether pleasant or difficult. This is the time to trust God, grow in your love, and never forget how Jesus embraces us. We are his masterpiece and no matter how fragile our bodies get we are perfect because God designed something different for us. Our relationship with him will take us to a place where we can finally say we are done with this fight. I am unique and my purpose has been faultless.
What do the children see?
A shaggy blonde boy with dirty fingernails and huge bright blue eyes smiling as he is making a hotdog. His parents are yelling in the background over misbehaviour by another child. He deflects this screaming and runs out to join his friends who are waiting outside to play. Children begin to develop road maps in the brain. Patterns they embed to help them feel safe in times of trauma. These safe places become a place to hide. Children begin to stop questioning and growing because they run to their safe place which offers no way for them to express their own views or ask questions. The children finally separate. They learn no one is in control. The parent’s authority and credibility are now threatened.
What do the children see?
In school we teach children answers to questions with questions. We are taught to criticize books and research. Criticism becomes the center of learning in their educational world. They become very skilled at it. Therefore as a teen we criticize everything and criticism becomes a way of finding answers and questioning beliefs. But on this thin line is also cynicism. It draws conclusions but it trashes beliefs. We must keep them questioning and thinking. Performance is empowering and they must be encouraged to express their own views so their fears are numerous but warranted.
What do the children see?
In Nick Pollard’s book, “Why do they do That”, he talks about the parallels of drugs and pain. We all reach for the Tylenol or heroin in some cases, but when it wears off the pain is greater. Many will try other ways that don’t work. The pain remains and grows. It is much like emotional pain that cannot be taken away by itself. It can be scary and lead to a downward spiral. We must teach our children that all pain cannot be taken away. They must live through it to grow, thrive and transform.
What do I want my children to see?
A love so deep that even in silence they can still hear my voice. I would love to hear your reaction or responses. Please let me know what you think.
Jesus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: Resurrection of Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Have you ever gone through a divorce or separation? Sadly, right now I feel as if I am in the middle of a bitter, difficult resolution of my relationship with God. Fortunately, i know that loving God is a lifelong individual journey that I will embark on for the rest of my life.
When I was 18 this journey with God began. I was very naive and did not know how to grow as a Christian. I knew something inside of me had changed. I wholeheartedly gave everything I had to worshiping Jesus. I felt love and peace. I followed Jesus faithfully and boldly. I wanted to learn everything I could about the bible. I was excited and I energetically tried to serve anyway I could. But, nobody taught me how to be a Christian.
Before I knew it, my selfish controlling attributes started sneaking back in. The devil got a foothold. I grew farther from Jesus but I still felt his presence in my life. God allowed me to do things my way. I began to make one bad decision after another and completely stopped growing in my Christian life. All the time something had a hold on me. God never left me. I began a complete downward spiral. Fortunately, he knew when I had enough. I spent years doing it my way then God drew the line. Everything around me crumbled. He began to show me he wanted a relationship with me personally. He gave me strength. I began a new attitude in my relationship with him and others around me. I began to see things God’s way. Many times I took baby steps or turned away all together but God remained faithful. He showed me he had bigger plans for my life,
Many parts of my life have changed since then. I became a humble servant and God began to work through me. Then, my health began to change. This is when I slowly started to feel my relationship with him trying to unravel. It is amazing how quickly you can stop spending time in his word. How you may disagree with his plan. I became stubborn and as I defended my individual rights, it started to take away my worship and my time-serving him. Once again I was stranded. I was lonely. My relationship was crumbling right in front of my eyes. Divorce could be imminent. But, for a man who willingly laid down his life for me and endured such torture I am willing to go through some pride and discomfort to have a lasting, loving investment in this marriage. I will not go through the pain of divorce again. I challenge everyone to practice unconditional love and develop intimacy in whatever relationship honors you in your life.
I began a conversation with my husband as he got home tonight. I was reminded again about our financial situation and the lack of income coming into the house. As the wind and rain blow through, I am reminded again about our financial situation. The shingles on the south end of the house have blown off due to previous heavy wind and rain. We have a tarp over that area and the shingles in other areas are peeled back. As I go out to get the mail I am reminded again of our financial situation. Last weekend a driver took out our mailbox that had originally been encased in a brick stand. There are bricks scattered in an empty lot and a mailbox that is a crumbled mess. Satan loves to hit us in the most vulnerable place. As I walk back toward the house, I am joined by my little blond blue-eyed boy, who is not so little anymore.
Not to long ago he could not put a sentence together. He did not hold a pencil correctly. He had to be removed from every daycare or school he has ever been to. He was a bitter. He had angry outbursts. He is sensitive to noise and would often run down the hallway at school to escape from it. He is dyslexic and at the beginning of the week when the new spellings words come out, you can almost guarantee a call from school. Nobody wants to hear what the family goes through at home. Families often fall apart with the stress and turmoil caused by a non-typical pattern of behavior. I feel guilty as if I could change the madness. Behavior specialists can give good background tools, but there is no situation that is the same.
Lupus finally took me down about a year ago but I fought it for years before that. I was a single mom until he was five. When you are so busy, you do not stop to enjoy what God has given you. It is very easy to look out and see what you don’t have. Day after day you become embedded in a routine that seems so solid that nothing could break the barrier. I would isolate myself because I felt like a bad parent. I could not leave my children with anyone because I was so ashamed. You want to change the behavior but everything you do doesn’t seem to matter. And, it doesn’t get better, it just changes as they get older. You go through the motions day after day.
I never thought I would be so stagnant. Now, I sleep half the day sometimes. I am at the point where my income has stopped coming in. The other day he looked at me and asked me if I was going to go back to work. Before I could answer , he said I am afraid. I do not want you to go back. You might die. He heard me say for so long….¨i cant do this anymore¨! just cant do it, he was scared. I saw him for how his behavior affected me, I never saw him for how MY behavior affected him. He is reading and schoolwork although still hard, gets done in a somewhat sane way. I forget these boys who feel abandoned by their father, have overcome great obstacles . Even though I now am remarried, I am the only parent they really know. When you are a single parent you sometimes feel distant and cold, and removed from the relationship you have with your children. That is the biggest mistake I could have made.
As a women I am constantly aware of my deep, inner feelings. I am always looking out for my own needs and was.. It is important to me that others love me the same way. If we did not love ourselves we would not be concerned about being rejected, hurt, or mistreated. We all want to be accepted. Our need is not to love ourselves more but to love the image and direction God has given us.
The last year has been physically and emotionally tough. I had surgery and developed a large hematoma. I was released from the hospital while I was still complaining of significant pain. Three days later I was at the doctor. I had become bruised from my waist to my thighs. My wound had literally opened. They packed me with gauze and admitted me back into the hospital. I went to surgery for a debreidment. I left the hospital with a wound vac which heals or closes the wound from the inside out. Every three days I had to get it changed. The pain was the most unbearable bondage I have ever experienced. About three weeks with the machine, I was running a fever. My drainage was foul with the tint of infection. I was told so many times that my wound was healing nicely. I continued to run fever and have the foul odor. At one of my dressing changes the nurse pulled out a piece of gauze. The wound vac had pulled it up through the healing process and that part of my wound had not healed. It WAS infected. The gauze had been left in my abdomen at some point.
I could not work. I could not play with my children. I was a prisoner in my own house. Mistakes like that can change the way you see things. I began to justify my pain and laziness because I was damaged.. Instead of fighting, kicking and screaming at my physicians, I withdrew. My problems were being ignored. I did not like myself, so I began to feel mistreated and rejected. My problem still denies me from my life.
Don´t stop believing. Instead of denying our self-image, we need to receive Gods love and purpose. In her book”Lies People Believe,¨ Nancy Leigh Demoss writes Jesus says we need to give to others the same attention and care we would give ourself. Your situation does not describe you. I hope you never stop loving yourselves and believing the negative foothold the devil sneaks in.
Mental health is not a subject most of us do not talk about over coffee but, It could be a topic that we talk about around the water cooler at work. There is a stigma that follows that entire category. People genuinely enjoy talking about themselves but certain secrets we tend to hold onto tight. We deal with our mental health with stuff. God has empowered us to manage our lives for his glory. So, If we can talk about ourselves so freely then why do christians have a hard time-sharing their faith? Look around your community. We can empower people who may have a secret hidden way back in their memory.
When my older sister was around eight her class at camp was walking through the woods. She was a little behind her class with two of her friends. A man came out of the woods and grabbed her. He took off down the trail while running with her in his arms. The two boys she was with, had the instinct to chase after them. After a few moments he dropped her.
All types of relationships are needed to develop our faith. At the same school, I was assaulted. I was to young to remember so it shouldn´t affect me, right? Well it did. Even though I do not remember all the facts my memory kept it stored. For most of my life I was very introverted. I obsessed on my pain. I was quiet and shy. To fit in, I choose activities that forced me to be extraverted.
These memories were never worked through. We did not talk about it and everyone figured we were okay. I have experienced the unique characteristics that come with this memory. I have lived my life depressed. I was lucky to have support but hospital stays were very confusing and they really made me feel very alone.
Mental health affects everyone. Your experiences cannot be disputed by anyone. We must go out to the hopeless and pull them out of the place they are holding onto so tight. Godś grace has brought people in your life. It is a honor to share your faith. It is even more of an honor to walk with them so they will have a partner to be accountable to. Mathew 7:1 says ¨Do not judge or you too will be judged.¨ God uses the word hypocrite. So, we need to take the speck out of our own eyes.
I know we all have our own obsessive thoughts, right? I have been confined to my couch for a good part of a year now with short intervals of my formal life breaking through every now and then. This year has been filled with many devastating set backs. Day after day I loathed in sorrow. I was doing nothing to help my situation. Then, a really good friend showed me that it was my pride that was getting in the way. Pride hurts us and it hurts others around us.
We are not gracious or compassionate by nature, We are jealous and quick to anger. When life is good we take too much credit. When life is bad our pride is hurt and we become self-conscious and shameful. That becomes another way of taking too much credit because God’s will is never wrong.
I have worked diligently through the years in a field that I love. Unfortunately, it was not job description I had always longed for. My performance reviews showed extremely high ratings and now after 20 years my arrogance finally took me down. I could not perform the description of what my job entails. I became depressed and broken.
God hates pride. But, God also gives us grace and mercy when we are at our worse. I cried out to him so many times. Still I never could pick myself up. I did not get to hear that still small voice that comforts us as we pray. I was pulling away. I got very angry. But, I realized I wasn’t supposed to pick myself up, …. God was. My friends were so helpful. People brought food and a lended ear. But, I was crying out for the wrong reason. I am arrogant. I want to be the best at whatever I do. But,that is not what God wants. I feel like I am a burden and my pride doesn’t allow me to fully feel God’s grace and mercy. My friends were not burdened, they were serving God.
God knows when we genuinely surrender. He knows our heart and motives. Pride can take your life. We are never as bad or good as we think we are. Surrendering to God while you are still grasping to your pride will not work. God gives us unconditional love. The less we credit him the further we pull away.
Feel Good Together (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I want to say in advance that this is part of a painful glimpse into an always changing chaotic view of myself. Many know I have Lupus. And, I know there are many diseases out there that people are living with. Have you ever wondered how they feel? (mentally). What are you supposed to feel?
I am at a place that is empty. I have stopped feeling any emotion. I struggle through the day, Then, I get it back together before the kids come home from school. Now, as I recover, I know this place is the worst place I could be. Can you be that numb? I think so. So, when a person is in that state how can you help? Do you quietly think I am glad it’s not me or say you know you will get through this it just takes time.
I usually am an isolated person. I don’t like to talk on the phone or sit with people but, I have a overwhelming urge to help others. I have endured many different troubling life events. I think this is where I became reserved. Writing this post helps me share my feelings easier than if I were talking to someone about “how I feel”. I want to share this with you because people who are hurting might not know how to voice this. Professional help is a wonderful outlet that helps many people. But, this goes out to those who just can’t quite put your finger on what is wrong.
Even as I feel numb and depressed I know God is with me. It seems hard to accept but he is there. When you get to your dark place of your life please take a moment to pray. (or write to me!) I can’t tell you what your miracle might be but, I can tell you that being alive is a true miracle. You are the only one God made. There will be a change at some point. Being still and waiting is the hardest thing to do but that is what God has asked of us.
God Love Her (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
HI! How are you? I’m good. I bet we all have answered that response more times than we can count. What about our children? As parents we except that generic response from them when they get home because as adults we want to protect their world but not exclude future conversation. I think this may cause emotions which could damage our relationship. Over time in any family, faulty thinking is becoming a distorted view of perception. We ALL believe what we think. This could cause a faulty way of seeing things. This conflict over time could then turn into a belief and this causes lifelong feuds in many families. We hold on to the anger unwillingly and our relationships remain broken. Sometimes for years. These types of relationships trickle down from generation to generation.
My inspiration right now is coming from my children. They have lived with my illness for as long as they can remember. I know they are hurting. They are remarkably strong. Confronting painful questions and seeing me sick has rendered me helpless. I feel very alone as everyone goes about their day. The laughter and joy do not run as deep in the house as it did once before. But, I want to share a letter written by one of my boys:
I’m really sorry that we don’t respect you the way we should. I love you and your my parent. I should treat you with more respect. I know you are sick and it’s not your fault you have lupus and infections. I try to help you and comfort you. The last thing is that I love you!
These are supernatural words of wisdom. As I pray daily it is your voice that comforts me. God, thank you for allowing me to be your child and given me ears to hear. wherever we are today God is there to help us. God’s dear presence will rekindle the fire of hope in our hearts.
I am going through some emptiness and anger. For so long I didn’t care for someone to get close to me. It is hard to step out of the darkness. But step by step we can walk in God’s love. If others can learn from my mistake it may save them from the pain. Please be encouraged. It’s better to love and support what others are doing than what we are doing ourselves.