What the Resurrection Means for the Suffering Soul

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What the Resurrection Means for the Suffering Soul

I have a few sweet friends who check up on me now that I’m back in bed full time and ask how I’m doing. I am inexpressibly glad for any sort of human contact (other than at a doctor’s office) throughout the week while I’m ill. As life seems to be set in slow-motion and my days are consumed by this never ending pain, fatigue, and brain fog, it becomes increasingly harder to hold on to any sort of hope of getting better. This has been my story for about two years–of course setting aside the blissful 5 months this past summer and fall when I tasted what it was like to be back in a somewhat healthier body before this most recent relapse.

Day after day there is only one thing on my to-do list: surviving

As things grow worse, and doctors become more confused, and my ability to think, read, walk, even talk and swallow are compromised it gets harder and harder to honestly answer a friend or family member when they ask me how I am doing. It’s hard because I know their hearts are aching for me just as much as I am aching physically from this horrible disease. I hate delivering the disappointing news that is the reality I live in every day.

And then recently when a dear friend asks, “how can I pray for you spiritually?” I am at a complete loss for words. For hours I let that text or message go unanswered because I am too confused about how to even respond.

I am discouraged. I battle it every day more than I ever have with this illness. I don’t know if things will get better. Neither do my doctors. I’m not even sure if we truly know what exactly is plaguing my body…is it just the Lyme and other tick-borne diseases? Have I developed some sort of sclerosis or other sort of damage to my nervous system? Is my body just going through some sort of tough time with the autoimmune aspects of this disease? Will it all be fixed with IVIG? Or is there something else–some other infection that we’re just missing? Is it the IV antibiotics that just aren’t working for me anymore? Should I drop everything and go completely holistic? What is my body missing? What’s going on? Why is this happening? Shouldn’t I be over this by now? Is this going to continue for the rest of my life? But it can’t! I have plans! I have dreams! I have goals and aspirations, things I need to try, and do, and succeed, and fail, and learn, and grow, and LIVE!

But I am here. Stuck in this wasteland of suffering; just wandering aimlessly with no plan, no idea of what to do, or why I’m even here. “What IS your plan for me, Lord?!?” I think it would be sort of helpful to know, don’t you? Then maybe I can find some purpose in this–real purpose; not just some empty, religious sayings that are a go-to for most people when they try to sound encouraging.

I hear them all the time (and sometimes I catch myself almost parroting them to others). There’s the “God won’t let you go through something that you can’t handle” (which is not biblical, by the way), the “God has a wonderful plan for you; just hold on“, the “God loves you so much“, the Romans 8:28’s, the Jeremiah 29:11’s, etc. And while some of those are true, at the moment of deep suffering I don’t care about any of them. Because this situation IS too much for me to handle; I don’t care about God’s wonderful plan for me at the moment since what I’m going through now is part of that plan, and I really don’t think it’s all that wonderful; I’m too tired and weary and OVER IT ALL to “just hold on“; and honestly…I don’t feel very loved right now. And yes, I know those Scriptures. I’ve had them memorized since I was a child. Those verses are somewhat meaningless to me right now because my battle is NOT with whether or not those verses are in fact true, but with believing that He is even there for me right now. I can’t see Him. I can’t feel Him or His presence. And I frankly don’t want to call out to Him at the moment.

As I answered my friend’s text earlier when she asked me how she could pray for me spiritually, I simply wrote, “Pray for hope.”

hope anchor

Friends, this suffering makes me feel hopeless. I’m having such a hard time holding on to hope. I know it’s supposed to be an anchor, and a lot of people (and by people, I mean basic white girls) get really cute tattoos of anchors with that nice quote about hope, but I’m having such a hard time holding onto hope. I need hope. We all do. But in all this suffering what I really need to be reminded of (instead of those superficial, Church-folk affirmations) is that no matter how far I go into this suffering–this pit of despair–Hope Is Mine.
I already have it!

Well WHERE, then?!?! Where is this ‘amazing’ hope that I supposedly already have?” I inwardly rage. “Look to that empty cross, and then in that empty tomb“, His truth gently reminds me.

For the longest time any holiday or celebration that rolled around had often seemed to make a mockery of my suffering. Superficially speaking, whenever there was (or is) a holiday I’m supposed to celebrate, I can’t help but feels like it’s just taunting me in my anguish. “Am I seriously expected to pretend to be happy? My life is completely falling apart in every way imaginable and I’m supposed to celebrate in spite of that? Is it really fair for me to have to go on Facebook, or Instagram and see people post pictures of their happy lives with their happy families when my own is destroyed and in ruin through no fault of my own? I didn’t choose for any of this to happen. And I am completely powerless to do anything to change it. I’m stuck…and I don’t see things getting better any time soon, because it just keeps getting worse…and worse…and worse. And with each passing day I’m stuck here just watching it all happen.

Recently I was reminded that the celebration of holidays, like Easter, for a fresh example, weren’t designed to make those who are suffering feel even more miserable. Nor are they for everyone else to take another opportunity to add to the facade of a “happy”, care-free life by posting a nice holiday greeting of themselves and their loved ones for the whole internet to see and be deceived. Nor were they designed for greeting card companies and the like to make a profit, as some Scrooges would suggest. *Bah humbug!* These are all distractions to the great truths that are at the very core of these holidays; truths that we celebrate annually in order to remember. Holidays like Easter are supposed to remind us of the hope we have even in our suffering.

“Look to the empty Cross, and then to the empty tomb.”

I look, and such hope is found there! I am reminded that I already have hope! And it is all because of the Resurrection. It is because of the resurrection I have hope–my Savior is not dead. He is Alive! If He were still dead, and his body rotting somewhere on this Earth, then all hope of salvation would be lost. (1 Corinthians 15:12-22) But because of the resurrection, we have assurance that our debt of sin was paid in full. We are justified in Christ, and have peace with God the Father. We were once children of wrath, dead and hopeless in our sin, deserving of death, with no way to make it right on our own until Jesus Christ, our Messiah, stepped in and died the death we deserved to die.

Ephesians 2:12-13, ” Remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

The Resurrection assures us that, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1) We are now invited to freely join in fellowship with the Father. The curtain has been torn in two! (see Hebrews 9 for further clarification/study)

Because of the Resurrection, I have hope, and hope eternal! Even if this illness continues to be a puzzle for the brightest minds all over Eastern America, and I continually have to go from doctor to doctor, appointment to appointment with very little answers. Even if I we have to try other alternatives and travel far and wide for help. Even if things get so bad and I lose my life to this disease and all the dreams I have for my young-self die with me–even then I will still have hope. Because this hope is secure in the resurrection of my sweet Savior, I will still have it even in the harshest storms of the soul when I can’t feel it.

For hope is not something we can muster with all our might. Hope is something that is given. It’s ours in our Savior. It’s steadfast. No one and no circumstance can take it away from us. It’s what we are sealed with until our faith becomes sight and all we are promised becomes a reality for all eternity.

It is because of this hope that Paul wrote in while he was in prison, “For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.
2 Corinthians 1:8-10

Fellow believers, remember to pray for our brothers and sisters in different parts of the world who’s churches were bombed during their Easter Services, and who’s congregations were massacred by the hands of evil extremists. Pray for the families of the thirty Ethiopian Christian men who were beheaded and shot by ISIS this past Sunday for refusing to renounce their faith in Jesus. They are facing persecution like no other for the sake of Christ. Pray that they too remember the hope they have in their Resurrected Savior as they are suffering persecution because of their faith in Him. That they would take heart, for this is not how the story ends. One day, He will make all things new and all suffering and death will finally die.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.’ And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new’…” Revelation 21:1-5

No matter what happens, we have hope. Though we suffer, we know that we are not forgotten. Though we suffer, we are not alone. Though we suffer, we have hope no matter what…and it is Because He Lives. This is enough to encourage us to fight on, whatever our battles may be! Let us never forget to remind each other of these truths. Let us never forget to remind each other of the living hope that is ours in Jesus; and let us spur each other on to live accordingly.

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.
John 14:18-19

Lyme Disease Awareness Video

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I finally did it!!! With a lot of help from my more technologically inclined brother, I was finally able to put together and publish my first ever Lyme Disease Awareness video to YouTube!!! It’s really nothing special, but it fulfills it’s purpose! 🙂 Thanks to all my readers here for stopping by and I hope you enjoy this video!!!

Lyme Disease Awareness Video

Update, Announcement, and Big Dreams for 2015

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Hello my blogging friends! It’s been a long time! I wanted to update you on my most recent set back/relapse.

Backgroud info:
I started treatment and March of last year and made a lot of improvement by that July. In those months I went from not being able to walk to the bathroom to being able to walk short distances on my own. Unfortunately it was around that time that my amazing LLMD had to retire due to emergency open heart surgery and the doctor I decided to go to was not as Lyme literate as we were led to believe.

Bringing you up to speed:
Unfortunately, due to lacking the proper treatment I ended up relapsing in November, December, and I’m still fighting it now in late January. Neurologically I have gotten a lot worse. My gait has gotten very difficult again, confusion and chronic fatigue has kept me from working on school, tremors and seizure like episodes have returned, my encephalitis has gotten worse, and I’ve dealt with intense ataxia, dysgraphia(and inability to use hands to grab things, write, etc), dysphagia, bells palsy, and stroke like speech pattern along with the regular joint pains, muscle aches, stiff neck, etc. (I’ve had to resort to writing through the dictation feature on the iPad keyboard since my hands are not “working”.)

Ray of hope:
Thank goodness I found and quickly got an appointment with a new lyme literate physician who I am now treating with. This doctor is a researcher and spent about four hours with me during the first appointment! This doctor understands the behavior of the different diseases well and has a clearer path for treatment. Her knowledge and recommendations line up with all the research I’ve found from a worldwide body of literature. In that appointment I learned that a lot of my symptoms are due to Bartonella and other bacterial coinfection overload. (Side Note: When you treat people for lyme you have to take into account the other possible tick borne illnesses they have and treat for all of them simultaneously. If you don’t, then the coinfections will grow in the shadows and if not caught, will take over again.)

What I’ve learned:
These past few months I have basically witnessed firsthand that this disease is a heck of a lot more difficult to treat than the CDC and IDSA claim it is!! All I have to say on the matter is: Praise the Lord for the doctors working with ILADS!!! Without them I would probably be dead by now! No joke.
In other news, worldwide Lyme disease awareness day is May 1st of this year! Mark your calendars and show your support! I am planning on doing something big for this event…but I’ll need a lot of “reader participation” to do it! I will post that announcement in detail soon! 🙂

Still holding onto hope of getting better and I am more on fire than EVER for awareness for this illness (look out world!!!)! I have so many Big ideas on ways I can do that in the future, so as my health improves definitely stay tuned and expect more to come in the future 🙂

It’s Called “The Spoon Theory”

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It’s Called “The Spoon Theory”

I am a Spoonie.

“What is a ‘Spoonie’?” you ask. Well, I’d be delighted to tell you!

“The Spoon Theory” was originally developed by a lady name Christine Miserandino (neat last name, right?). Christine has lupus, which, like Lyme disease, is an invisible and chronic illness the medical community doesn’t really understand. In her blog http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com , Christine writes about what it’s like living with a chronic, invisible illness. One of her most well-known posts is called “the Spoon Theory”. Christine is the lovely lady who coined the term and recorded the story behind it. Its purpose: to help those in the invisible illness community explain what it’s like to live with a chronic illness in a way our loved ones can understand (which is always a daunting task).

So without further ado, here’s my take on “The Spoon Theory”:

One day Christine and her best friend were out for lunch at their usual spot, when out of the blue her friend asked her what it felt like to be her…to be sick…to have lupus. According to Christine (or any person in her shoes), she had a hard time figuring out how to answer her best friend in a way she would understand. After a few moments of gathering her thoughts, Christine randomly picked up handfuls of spoons at all the empty tables around them, and gave them to her friend. She proceeded to tell her friend that the amount of spoons she had in her hands equaled how much energy she would be able to physically exert any given day, and each thing she would do would cost one spoon.

So she had her friend start listing off things she would do for the day in chronological order. Her friend immediately listed getting ready, going to work, etc. But Christine stopped her and told her she had to take into account the fact she got out of bed that morning, that she combed her hair, that she got something to eat, etc. As they started again, her friend listed: getting out of bed (1 spoon), getting dressed (1 spoon), grooming (1 spoon), making breakfast (1 spoon), and so on and so forth.

Soon Christine’s friend realized that not only was she unable to do everything she had wanted that day before her spoons ran out, but in order to have time for some special things she would have to make sacrifices and save spoons so she could do what she wanted to do. Picturing daily living in this fashion really boxes people in; limiting what you can or cannot do each day. You get the sense of what it’s like having your life controlled by the amount of energy, fatigue, pain, symptoms (or in this case, spoons 🙂 ) you have.

Generally healthy people don’t know what it’s like to wake up each day with a very limited amount of “spoons”. I remember before I dealt with this chronic illness (we’re talking childhood) and it was so easy to jump out of bed and be able to do all the myriads of things I wanted to do. I could run all day long on all four cylinders and not stop until my parents made me go to bed later that night. But after I became ill, each aspect of my life started to slowly be boxed in with all the limitations the disease brought. Of course I had no idea what was happening, and frankly I just ignored it, and accepted it as my “normal”. It wasn’t until that shrinking room started getting smaller that I decided to seek out help. But that yielded nothing, as I was simply told it was most-likely “a virus” and I’d eventually “get over it”. But I never got over it.

No matter what I did (healthy lifestyle changes, diet changes, regulated sleep, etc.) nothing ever helped. So again, I accepted it as my “new normal”. It wasn’t until the pain was too great, the fatigue was overwhelming, the brain fog was too dense to function, and the numbness was almost constant that I reached out for help once again. Except this time I kept pushing for answers. Something was wrong. I couldn’t deny it any longer. Months later we got a diagnosis. But that wasn’t until my shrinking room became so small I wasn’t able to walk more than a few feet or brush my hair on my own. Life got pretty small, and was filled with doctor appointments and hospitalizations. I had done everything I possibly could to get my body back, but ended up trapped in a body with more limitations than abilities.

Finally, a year later, there was hope of one day getting better; hope of one day getting my body back. Presently, eight months out, and treatment’s been a long, incredibly slow, and grueling process filled with ups and downs; with promising moments and scares of relapse. I’m still not anywhere near where I want to be, and I know there are many more months left of treatment, but I know and I look forward to the days I get the gift of having more “spoons” than “my usual”. And I especially look forward to that great day when I will no longer have any spoons at all! And all praise to my Savior and what he’s done, for I now have complete assurance and hope in that, even on the hardest days!

“We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.” Hebrews 6:19-20

hope anchors the soul

Have a great week, fellow “spoonies”! Hope this helps 🙂

“But You Don’t Look Sick?” (loneliness, the Gospel, and other things…)

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“But You Don’t Look Sick?” (loneliness, the Gospel, and other things…)

“But you don’t look sick?”

If you’ve battled Lyme disease (or any other chronic and/or neurological illness) for a small amount of time you’ve probably heard this phrase posed to you by doctors, family, friends, and strangers a number of times. And my guess is you’re pretty sick of it by now. Yeah, I know the feeling. It’s so funny that no matter who I talk to this always comes up. It’s also funny that when I talk to other “Lymies”, this topic is always mentioned somewhere in our conversation…and it is spoken of with great agitation.

It’s frustrating because as a chronically ill person who’s battled an “invisible illness” for a long period of time you don’t exactly know what to say when someone comments, “Oh but you look so good!” I know I should be glad that people think I look “so good” even after being sick for such a long time…but to be honest, it can get pretty annoying. It’s annoying because I know that is all people see; the outside physical appearance. No one, not even high-tech scans can show all that is going on inside my body all the time.

But even with all the agitation, I get it. I understand how people are fooled by my outward “healthy” appearance. I get it because it confuses me too. Every time I look in the mirror I am so bewildered. I literally have to do a double-take to make sure what I am seeing is real. I can’t believe, even to this day, that in the mirror’s reflection I could look so stinking normal and healthy, but at the same time be experiencing unimaginable and oftentimes debilitating symptoms. I often wonder “If only the mirror could show the amount of pain, fatigue, numbness, dizziness, nausea, etc. I have to fight right now…”

If that were the case, I am afraid it would be an ugly sight.

inside vs outside

You can’t help but wonder if people could see what you feel every second of the day, maybe they’d understand how great a struggle it is for you to get up, get dressed, and carry out small daily tasks. Maybe they’d be more prone to make sure you know they are praying for you, or show a little more compassion. It’s hard for them to see how much of a warrior you are for accomplishing those little things if you bear no physical battle scars to prove it on the outside. Don’t get me wrong, I love to see the joy on people’s faces when they see that I am doing “better”, I just fear my looks are misleading to the realities of my actual status of health and the dangerous possibility of relapsing back to where I was at any given time. I may not look like it, but there is a battle being waged in every tissue in my body not just against an extremely resilient bacteria, but also against my own healthy cells (autoimmune reaction).

I was talking with a good friend the other day, who is just now starting IV treatments for Lyme and, of course, this issue came up. But it came up because she actually had someone say to her, “Oh no, I’ve seen you go downhill for the past two years. You’re not like your old self.” My friend commented how surprisingly great that made her feel! Haha! How ironic is all of this? I mean, you really wouldn’t expect someone to be overjoyed after you’ve just told them they looked “sickly”. On the surface that seems really crazy.

But we don’t hear, “Oh, my gosh, you look sick.”  When someone says, “I can tell you aren’t doing so well”, we hear is the sweet melody of the compassion, the acknowledgement, the recognition, and the concern someone else has for us. That’s what we need to hear. That’s what makes the impact. “Finally!” We inwardly squeal, “Someone GETS IT!” Which then makes us wonder if they’ve too seen suffering of this kind before???

There is a quote out there on Pinterest that everyone in the “Invisible Illness Community” pins a million times. It reads, “You don’t get it, until you get it.” Meaning, if you haven’t walked through something and gotten a taste of what that person is experiencing for yourself, you’re just not going to understand what they are going through. I don’t know about you, but if you’re a nerd like me a certain scene from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix with Harry, Luna, and the “Thestrals” comes to mind. A Thestral (for those normal-people out there) is a winged horse with a skeletal body that is invisible to most people. Thestrals were often misunderstood to be dangerous, but were really quite peaceful beasts. In this scene, Harry Potter and Luna Lovegood are the only kids in their group of peers who are able to see the Thestrals because they’re the only ones who’ve “seen death”. I know for me, I wasn’t really able to truly minister to a silently suffering soul until I was in that same boat myself. I didn’t get it until I got it.

One thing to take note of: when someone’s sufferings are largely invisible, things can get really lonely.

90% of chronic illness

When your family and friends can’t see it, it limits how much they can help you. Shoot! Even most doctors don’t understand it and make quick judgements based on a patient’s appearance and refuse to help them! It’s not uncommon for medical professionals to simply prescribe some pain killers or antidepressants to their “whiny patient” and send them on their way, inwardly hoping never to deal with them again.

The loneliness is devastating, to say the least, because at the time you desperately need help and compassion from others (family and doctors), you don’t get it because they can’t see (and definitely don’t understand) the invisible suffering. We carnal men judge mainly by appearances, so no matter how many times you explain it to them, your loved ones will never be able to truly understand it. And if those closest to you can’t truly understand, and even you’re doctors have given up on you, how can anyone minister to you the way you most need it? Is there anyone who cares enough, who understands enough, who is able to do enough to help??? Are we really as alone as we feel?

Nope!

We’re not alone.

There IS someone who does see…and He sees it better than any being ever could!

His name is Jesus.

The Creator of this whole universe, the One who holds it in the span of his hand…He knows, He understands, and He cares more than we could ever know. It is THIS God who holds our very existence, who holds together our every molecule-our every atom, proton, electron, and neutron. The Great Physician knows exactly what is going on inside your body at any given moment. He understands your pain. It’s true! He’s experienced the very epitome of pain himself when he bore the eternal wrath of God towards our sin FOR us on the cross. Let us never forget that we have the Greatest of High Priests (Hebrews 9)! We have the greatest of Comforters; the God of all Comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3-4), who cares for even the lowliest of creatures (Matthew 10:29-31). How much more does He care about those whom He created in His own image (Genesis 1:27), set-apart for intimacy, humbled Himself by taking on its finite form and suffered and died in order to ransom them for Himself (2 Corinthians 5:21)?

Yeah…My best bet would be a WHOLE LOT.

There is great beauty in this…incredible beauty! Christ didn’t forsake me when my sin nature revealed its ugly head. He didn’t reject me when I was lost, diseased, and dead in my sin. And He certainly didn’t change His mind when He was pinned upon the cross for my wickedness. In fact, the Bible says many times that Jesus went willingly to the cross (Isaiah 53; Romans 5:6-8). He was compelled out of a great, unconditional love. What wondrous love is this, O my soul?

So now in any dire state I have hope, joy, peace, and comfort because I know the One who holds my life with his nail-pierced hands also holds my future; whether it be a future free of Lyme disease or a future with increased pain, I know He’ll be with me. And that’s enough.

Dear friend who’s struggling with the despair and loneliness,

Know that the King of kings loves you; and whether it feels like it or not, He is there for you. He will never leave you or forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6), for that is not in the nature of our great Savior! Even at your darkest, he will be there, ready with an abundant dose of grace! David says it best in Psalms 139:7-10:
“Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.”

Never has He promised for this life to be easy. Never is it even mentioned that this life will be comfortable for those who put their faith in the Lord. But He has promised His faithfulness (Psalms 25:10), His mercy (Lamentations 3:21-24), His steadfast love (Psalms 31:21), His comfort (2 Cor. 1:-34), compassion (Psalms 103:13), and help (Psalms 46:1). He is near to the brokenhearted (Psalms 34:18), provides rest for the weak (Matthew 11:28), and is a refuge for the oppressed (Psalm 9:9-11). He even goes before us and fights for us (Deut. 1:30)! And most importantly, He is bigger than your circumstance and promises to “work all things out for the good of those who love him and are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

It doesn’t even matter if our family, friends, or doctors never understand our pain! For our great God knows, and will give us strength to carry-on despite our pain and frailties. Lean on Him, and relish in his amazing, unconditional love! He is truly enough!

Lyme Awareness Video

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This video, entitled “Pill Box”, was made by a fellow Lymie and blogger who has been in treatment for Lyme and other tick-borne illnesses this past year. She has a great message to share concerning hope that is sometimes really hard to remember when you’re in the thick of any illness. Watch the short video, and hear about her story and road to recovery here:

LymeLight

I am a technophobe. Which is why it took me over six months to make a four minute video. But it’s done. I did it. And I hope you enjoy it! ^_^ Like, share, pin, and spread the word about Lyme disease; and more importantly, about the hope of recovery!

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Treasures

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Treasures

Hi! I know it’s been a loooonnnggg time since I last updated this thing, but SO much has been happening! There will be a post coming your way soon about all that….but for now, how about another amazing poem from Martha Snell Nicholson! This is the woman I wrote about months ago who suffered through an incurable illness for the last twenty years of her life. While she was ill she wrote the most beautiful poems of praise to God and truths about Him she had learned through her suffering. Everything she writes is so super encouraging, no matter what you are walking through! I would definitely encourage you to look them up! You won’t regret it :). So without further adieu, here is her poem, “Treasures”:

One by one He took them from me,
All the things I valued most,
Until I was empty-handed;
Every glittering toy was lost.

And I walked earth’s highways, grieving.
In my rags and poverty.
Till I heard His voice inviting,
“Lift your empty hands to Me!”

So I held my hands toward heaven,
And He filled them with a store
Of His own transcendent riches,
Till they could contain no more.

And at last I comprehended
with my stupid mind and dull,
That God COULD not pour His riches
Into hands already full!

When I stand at the judgment seat of Christ
And He shows me His plan for me,
The Plan of my life as it might have been
Had He had His way, and I see

How I blocked Him here, and I checked Him there,
And I would not yield my will —
Will there be grief in my Savior’s eyes,
Grief, though He loves me still?

He would have me rich, and I stand there poor,
Stripped of all but His grace,
While memory runs like a hunted thing
Down the paths I cannot retrace.

Then my desolate heart will well-nigh break
With the tears that I cannot shed;
I shall cover my face with my empty hands,
I shall bow my uncrowned head..

Lord of the years that are left to me,
I give them to Thy hand;
Take me and break me, mould me to
The pattern Thou hast planned!

Link
My Interview for Reach Records: The 116 Life

My Interview for Reach Records: The 116 Life

The first few months after I became bedridden were the darkest months of this whole illness. That’s when I really experienced all the animosity the majority of doctors have towards Lyme disease. I was in and out of the hospital, in the ICU, and had seen so many doctors! It was the first time I had ever had a doctor tell me my symptoms were “all in my head”. Through these dark times, it was The Lord who definitely sustained me through his word, but I also found encouragement through reciting the lyrics of my favorite music artists from Reach Records (since I can’t listen to music hardly anymore because of my severe noise sensitivity).

In case you’ve never heard of them, they’re a group of Christian hip-hop artists individually apart of the Reach label (includes artist Lecrae, Andy Mineo, Tedashii, etc.). Well I decided to reach out and tell them my story and how much their music has encouraged me. They responded and were really encouraged by my letter. We’ve kept in loose contact since then. Well, one year later they wrote and asked me if I would be apart of an interview they would feature in their website and include a link to my Youcaring donation page! The response I got was incredible! I had no idea my testimony would reach that many people!! Go click in this link and I pray you all are encouraged by it too!!! Just click on the link above or here:

http://reachrecords.com/blog/post/The-116-Life-X-Deborah-Davis

Under Our Skin: The Untold Story of Lyme Disease

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Since it is Lyme Disease Awareness Month, I think it is only fitting to share this award winning documentary as a way for people to better understand the amount of suffering this growing epidemic causes. Since being released in 2008, the number of new cases of Lyme reported each year have shot up from 30,000+ cases, to 300,000+ cases. Please take the time to watch this film. You will not be disappointed!

“UNDER OUR SKIN is a powerful and often terrifying look not only at the science and politics of the disease, but also the personal stories of those whose lives have been affected and nearly destroyed. From a few brave doctors who risk their medical licenses, to patients who once led active lives but now can barely walk, the film uncovers a hidden world that will astound viewers. While exposing a broken health care and medical research system, the film also gives voice to those who believe that instead of a crisis, Lyme is simply a “disease du jour,” over diagnosed and contributing to another crisis: the looming resistance of microbes and ineffectiveness of antibiotics. As suspenseful and hair-raising as any Hollywood thriller, UNDER OUR SKIN is sure to get under yours. ” ~Facebook Page: Under Our Skin: the Untold Story of Lyme Disease

Lyme Chronicles: Intros and Beginnings

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Looking back it was the summer I was thirteen when I started having all these mysterious symptoms that so happened to appear a little less than a week after we had to literally dig out this tick that was embedded in my skin (it was actually in my belly button, to be exact…eww.)! I felt as if I had the flu, I had non-stop headaches, joint aches, muscles aches, and fatigue that from that point on I was unable to shake off. I went to doctor after doctor but none of them had any real answers.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t until my senior high school that we really started to look for specialists and doctors to find answers as to why my growing symptoms would not go away. We are thinking that I got reinfected on a camping trip that summer of my senior year of Highschool, because after that particular trip I noticed a rash on my stomach that (at the time) I had no idea what caused it and my health took a complete turn for the worst. Within six months time I went from being a straight A student, running three or four 5ks/week, on the cross country team, and training for soccer, to being bedridden, wheelchair-bound, and unable to finish school. My symptoms had escalated the number and severity and I started having trouble sleeping, I started becoming very sensitive to light and sound because of my constant migraines, my arms and feet would go numb, and I was limping because of how much joint pain I had. But I think was the most concerning symptom I had at that point was how much my cognitive abilities declined and started looking like Alzheimer’s.
It was February of 2013 when we finally found the specialist who eventually concluded that I had late stage neurological Lyme Disease (plus multiple coinfections) and needed aggressive IV antibiotic therapy. However, because this disease is so political we ended up running into problem after problem with finding doctors who believed in legitimacy of my case (since “Lyme doesn’t exist in this state, you must have something else”). It’s also been nonstop battle with our insurance company to get them to pay for my much needed treatment.
Since then, I’ve been hospitalized four times, in the ICU, have a multiple ER trips, have seen over 80 doctors (that’s when I stopped counting), and have gotten much worse. Finally, after a year and a half of searching, we found a doctor who is willing to treat me even though my insurance company refuses to cover the meds. I am currently starting my third month of treatment and we are beginning to see some positive changes! They’re small changes, like being able to hold my head up better and sit up, but they’re changes nonetheless!!
It’s amazing how much of my life I’ve been suffering with a disease I had no idea that I had… That doctors couldn’t even figure out I had! The most bewildering part of this whole process was after my initial diagnosis finding myself in the middle of this battle between doctors who had two different sides and opinions on this disease. I can’t express how frustrating it’s been looking back at how many doctors were so ignorant and questioned this disease and were hostile towards me if I even mentioned Lyme. Unfortunately while all of that arguing was going on, it was my quality-of-life that suffered.

This seems to be a common story with most Lyme patients. There are hundreds of thousands of people out there like me who are also being ignored by doctors and HMOs. The CDC even admits there are at LEAST 300,000 new cases each year from all over the world! I mean, how long will take for all the arguing to end and the truth really come out about this disease? How long will take for people to start getting help not having to go to doctor after doctor and jump through hoops from insurance companies? This is just my story explaining what I’ve been through and where I am now…and how much more I have to go.

Hopefully in my next post I will be able to share with you parts of my spiritual journey in battling this disease and how I’ve found hope even at my darkest moments.

If you desire to seek more information about this disease, I have some links to some sites below as well as a link to a documentary that sheds light on the severity of Lyme as well as the controversy that comes with it.

Annnddd… If you are a fellow Lymie, I would love to hear your story and maybe even learn how to pray for you or encourage you! Sometimes it’s just nice to know that someone out there knows what it’s like to go through the same thing. 🙂

Til next time,
~Deb

lymedisease.com
whatislyme.com
ilads.com
For an easy look into this disease, try this video…so informational and helpful!!!
http://www.envita.com/conditions-we-treat/lymedisease
And here is an award winning documentary you won’t be sorry you watched!
http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/under-our-skin/