Sunday, April 7, 2013

It's God's Battle

I know many of you think I've been feeling great, back to normal life since I haven't written in so long.  Unfortunately, that isn't the case.  A week from tomorrow marks the 18 month mark of this journey.  I've been numb a little, not necessarily to God, but just to the whole situation.  I've beat myself up often thinking that I'm still sick because I'm too hard-headed or oblivious to get the lesson.  I finally found peace realizing that God may not have a "big plan" he's working on; that his purpose may be to just teach me to be quiet and seek him in the small, daily things. So, I've quit being so hard on myself wondering if I'm falling short of what his plan is for me.  Now I'm trying to look for the small things that come each day.

One of my journal entries this week: "I'm still just SO frustrated - I know God loves me and there's great peace knowing He's in total control.  But this is a miserable existence from a physical standpoint."

And that pretty much sums up how I feel most days.  I've still had a few good days and a few good portions of days but I am still fighting through many days.  I am trying to be thankful for small wins - I got to attend our church's Easter egg hunt and Easter service with my family this year.  But then I also get bummed pretty easily too - I missed the kids Easter party at school for the 2nd year in a row.  I know that kind of stuff probably seems so trivial to most, but it's not to me.

I'm still reading my bible cover to cover.  I figure I'll finish early- to mid-2015.  I'm in 2nd Chronicles now.  This week I ran across an enlightening and extremely uplifting chapter.  It really hit me out of nowhere since the Chronicles are a recap of Samuel and Kings and they go into a lot of detail about the military and spiritual state of Judah during that time.  2 Chronicles 20 recaps King Jehoshaphat's (a godly king in Judah) and the Israelites' plea to God to rescue them from a battle and God's response.  Please take the time to read the whole chapter, it's really encouraging:

Some key verses from this chapter (I added some emphasis):
vv. 6, 9  "Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you... ‘If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us."
v. 12  "For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you."
v. 15  "This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s."
v. 17  "stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you"
I guess in my state of numbness I forget the power of God sometimes.  I don't know if it's because I have resumed some "normal" activities or what but I don't find myself "crying out in distress" like I used to.  I don't know what to do about this ever, but I'm sure my eyes wander away from God. And I don't see it as a battle anymore but have almost accepted this fate and so I don't often remind myself it is an ongoing battle and God can give me victory.  I've settled into this "new norm" but not in a constructive way; in an "I'm tired of praying and asking for the same healing over and over and over again" way. 

Today in our life group we read Mark 4:35-41 where Jesus calms the storm:
That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
He said to his disciples, Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
I was convicted to the point that tears were stinging my eyes as I held them in.  It hit me in the face; the disciples' question echos the same one I've asked again and again over the last 18 months:
"Teacher, don’t you care if I drown?” (not literally of course)
Maybe I haven't waited to hear his response or maybe I've ignored it:
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
He said to me, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
How ironic that this story takes place on a stormy, rocky boat.  As many of you know that's how I describe my physical state much of the time: "I feel like I've been deep sea fishing on a boat all day!"  I am going to search for a renewed faith over the coming days.  I am going to look for ways to hear Jesus say, "Quiet! Be still!" to my dizziness and brain fog; to clear the storm from my body that causes my boat to rock.

Other Stuff
I will be heading back to the Mayo Clinic in MN as soon as I can get an appointment.  A short version of the story is that through some medication changes and my responses my doctor again thinks there is more to the migraine story than first believed.  He is checking with my original neurologist to see if he wants to meet back with me or if he wants to refer me to a headache neurologist.  It takes months to get an appointment in Neurology so who knows when it will be.  As I understand it now, my primary Mayo doctor and a neuro doctor (my original one or a new one) will have a joint meeting/appointment when I go up there again.  I believe the medicine I will need to try to control the migraine will need to be monitored more closely and they need to do some baseline tests (probably blood work) before I begin taking it and that I'll probably be monitored more closely and regularly for a while.  I'm reading some of this between the lines from the last discussion with my doctor.  I'm very, very encouraged that I still have a doctor who is intent on finding answers.  He told me during our last call that this is extremely frustrating because there's not a silver bullet cure-all; it's lots of trial and error.  It's been 6 months since my original visit and the prognosis then was that I would have my "life back" in 3-6 months.  I still know God is the only one who can restore me but I still have hope that it may be through the doctors at Mayo.

My family is wonderful.  I am in awe every day of the blessing that my husband and children are to me.  If nothing else in this world is right, I know that I have something more precious than many, many people have and I count those blessings often.

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