Funny. This feels like it has been a time I have missed, yet regret returning. Yet, here I sit. IPad out. Typing. Leg pain throbbing. Sick to my stomach. Annoyed. Tired. Confused. But it's okay…that's my normal.
I purposefully have taken a break from my blog and I do realize I have tons of comments to my last few posts that I need to publish (if you replied, I did read your comment!). I just felt extremely overwhelmed with trying to keep things running smoothly at the house, making sure Steve can study, trying to stick to my summer schedule at church and still make the doctors appointments. I seriously don't know how I'm doing what I'm doing! Sometimes, I just need to stop…and for those like me, God tends to force me to stop…which I really hate.
A week ago Tuesday I called the MIMA office because I awoke to Josh saying, “Oh Mommy, you gots a BIG BIG boo boo!” My ankle was huge, black and just pretty banged up. I felt no pain, but noticed when I walked my foot wasn't facing the right angle. When I went in, I was told that my ankle was twisted and was probably like this for at least a day. Because of my CIDP, I failed to notice the obvious and there I sat. I was advised to slow down, elevate my feet, add ice…a few hours later I was at the park running relay races for church. Like I said, sometimes God FORCES me to stop…
A week prior to the ankle was my new ivig treatment that went over like a bomb. The only way I can explain how I was feeling after this was simply…horrible. It was worse than chemo. I was sent to the ER that evening for fluids and fever reduction. I spent the night by the toilet…literally. Thank God for friends that came to get the boys in the morning…I could barely move without throwing-up.
Even then I was told by doctors and friends…use this time for YOU…slow down and take this time to heal. I think I took 1 day-off….
Now here I sit. Leg pain. Stomach unsettled. God whispering, “Are you going to stop now?” I think I have to. I don't like stopping, especially when I know I will let others down. I think of my boys…Steve included…and how much fun we have had these past few weeks that I've been really feeling decent. We have made pancakes, gone to the beach, drove through the car wash, cleaned out the garage, watched Caden refuse to come down from the McDonalds playground…twice, visited Starbucks a lot, walked on the beach under the moonlight….the list just goes on. I really enjoy these times. I struggle so much with the idea that God, this amazing, loving, HEALING God of ours would bring moments like these to a stop due to my leg pain and balance…sickness ruins everything. I was scheduled to attend camp with our elementary kids next week…now I'm looking at more appointments to determine next steps. This is not my plan.
Have you ever been irritated at God for making you stop? Yet, when we stop OUR agenda, OUR plans, OUR routines…God can finally use us…or in my case allow me to rest so I can be used effectively. I think my problem is simple…I fall into the trap of thinking that what I do for everyone measures my value in life…the more I do, the better person I am. There have been days I seriously get so caught-up on what I need to do for church, the kids, the house, friends, emails…that Steve texts me and reminds me to eat lunch! No joke there! I truthfully wouldn't care if I missed lunch as long as I got everything done that I needed to for that day. I'm driven…yet, that's why stopping scares me.
When we stop, OUR to-dos don't get done (or at least not the way we wanted).
People realize they may not need you as much as they thought (ouch…it has taken a while to get Caden to allow me to rock him again after months of me not being able to do this…you know I'm not giving that up anytime soon…just being truthful!)
When I stop…I feel useless.
When I stop…I feel un-needed.
I think the last two are my biggest fears. Funny. I think that's how this blog really started. I wanted to feel like somehow, someway I could still be useful for encouragement, a smile, a good read…or if anything people would say to me, “I thought I had it bad…and then I read your blog!” Funny…God still works even when everything in our defined measure of success stops.
I'm still not sure if I'm completely stopped…yet, but I'm pressing on the break. Medically, my CIDP is waging war on my body, causing massive leg pain, balancing issues, numbness and lately insane cardio issues as well. I will have a heart cath done next week, followed by another attempt (my final attempt) at the new ivig (the one that got me extremely sick a few weeks ago). If my break fails this week, it will hit next week for sure.
I'm learning so much about myself through these stopping points. God really does use people at their absolute weakest moments. How absurd! I always wanted God to use me when I thought I had the best to offer, when all He really wanted was for me to realize He wanted control. God never promises to protect us from pain, but He does promise a place where all of our tears will be wiped away. God doesn't want us doing more for Him…He wants us and then He will show us where to go. God allows the rain, the lightning and the rolling thunder…but He also provides opportunities to jump in the puddles and dance in the rain. Sometimes God can't be explained or even equated by the circumstances of our lives…but we rest in the Truth that He was, He is and He will always be with us (still wrestling with Gods presence in pain…to know that He can be in the same place as pain and suffering just blows my mind sometimes…the Creator of the Universe, the Righteous One, the Holy and Anointed Messiah…our God wants to be with us in our darkest nights, in the pain that we don't understand and the reality that we on this earth never will understand what He is doing…yet, He wants to be with us…while we are in pain HE wants to provide Truth…not necessarily stop the pain from happening or even reoccurring, but He promises to be with us).
Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you, be strong and courageous? Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged! For the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
Note that this verse is the final line of encouragement God gives to Joshua, before He addresses the Israelites as a whole. I never caught this before tonight but…notice God never promises to keep Joshua away from physical or emotional harm. God does spell out that Joshua must obey His laws as described for victory…but God nowhere promises that this victory would not come without pain and suffering. Joshua was a warrior and just by skimming over the chapters you will notice that he had his fair share of pain…he lost men in battle, he lost battles, he was betrayed by his own men stealing goods for themselves, he was betrayed by other cities…Joshua experienced pain and suffering as a leader for God…but God never left him…God still used him.
Is it enough for us to simply clinch on to the reality that God is with us…and may not always protect us? Whew…that's a deep one to face…especially for me. I'm wrestling with this right now…fully seeing this blog as a testimony to how God uses the pain and the unexplained hurt put in our lives to truly impact others for Him. This was not my plan, but it does fill my need to feel useful. Funny how God meets out needs.
I think that's enough deep thoughts for one post. I'll let you chew on that for a bit.
Don't worry…I'll be trying to post more soon…I have a lot of catching up to do…and funny how Gods Word really resignates when we are stopped and able to listen. I'll pass it on to you so that you may pause your day and grab a few nuggets too.
No matter where you are reading this, God is there. He doesn't require a resume, but He will write His biography through your life…and boy what a ride.