Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Happy 3-year Anniversary Meniere's Disease!

I know I don't write anymore.  I guess my writing was God's way of steering me through the valley.  I think I'm finally at peace with not writing for now. But I couldn't miss an opportunity to celebrate the anniversary of this journey.

October 15, 2011

I will never ever forget that date.  I remember that I ran that morning, how I felt, what I wore, what neighbor I waved to and what the weather felt like.  I remember watching the Florida game that afternoon and wishing my ear would quit ringing.  I can hardly remember what I wore yesterday or what I ate for breakfast today, but I remember October 15, 2011.  I remember the Meniere's Disease diagnosis on October 24, 2011.  I remember my first vertigo attack on November 3, 2011.  I remember every detail of that morning too.  It's good to remember those things; they are etched into my brain and woven into my thoughts and remain in the background of every day of my life.  But I also like to think about the list below.  These are all the things that have happened over the last 3 years (and I'm sure I'm missing a bunch).  In no particular order...

  • Both of my kids made professions of faith, acknowledging their sin and need for a Savior.
  • I read my bible from Genesis to Revelation in the New International Version (NIV) and just started over again with a new bible in the English Standard Version (ESV) translation.  My goal is to have two extremely worn, marked up and used bibles to leave each of my kids.
  • I co-teach a nearly/newlywed Life Group at my church, teaching for 6 weeks, then my partner teaches for 6 weeks
  • I found (and have so far managed to keep) a best friend (not just a friend, but a BEST friend)
  • My kids finished kindergarten and moved through 1st and 2nd grades.  They are now in 3rd!
  • I quit driving for about a year... and now drive pretty much every day.
  • I quit running/walking... and now pretty much run/walk every day.
  • I turned 40 
  • I help in the children's ministry at our church on Wednesday nights.
  • My best friend, her girls, my kids and I started a ministry (Kings & Queens Project).  We collected and delivered over 800 pairs of underwear to children in need in 2013.  This year we have raised over $2000 with the goal of providing around 600 underprivileged kids with bibles this Christmas.
  • Our family bought (and donated) a dog.  (Gator loves his new family in Arkansas.)
  • Our family adopted (and lost) a cat.  R.I.P. Popcorn Steve (His name was Popcorn Steve.  It's a long story...)
  • Jonathan started a new job.
  • I work in a consultant capacity for my employer of almost 10 years, allowing me to flex my professional muscles a little (but not too much!)

I have learned:

  • Saying "no" to others is okay and necessary in many situations.
  • Caring for my family IS a God-given ministry and trumps all other ministry opportunities.
  • Asking for help is a good thing... and so is accepting unsolicited offers of help.
  • Even if you can't get out of bed, there are many things to be thankful for.
  • Attending church with my family is a privilege and not a duty or burden.

Most of all I learned...
God is sovereign
His plans are always perfect
He is always in control and never ever takes His eye off the ball
He intends every hurt, every tear, every valley to be used for His glory
He loves us too much to leave us alone and let us "just be"
"And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast." ---1 Peter 5:10

I couldn't celebrate without a Gator story... Gator was bad.  He lacked discipline.  He was hard-headed.  I am sad to say I used a choke collar on him pretty often when he took me for walks.  I see people walking their dogs in the neighborhood all the time.  They just have a regular collar and leash.  The little doggies are just happy to be out and don't need a choke collar to stay on course.  I guess in a way I am so hard-headed that God had to use a choke collar on me to get my attention and redirect my life course.  And every once in a while God has to pull tight on my choke collar again to keep me in line.  Those are the physically bad days and bad stretches of days that I still have occasionally.  God's pull on my choke collar is His way of saying, "SLOW DOWN!  Remember all the things I taught you during the journey; the important things to ME, not the things you think are important."  Honestly I'm thankful for those bad days and that familiar pull.  Because without that I'd be the old me, the pre-Meniere's me.

I like my post-October-15-2011 life much better!