Category Archives: Symptoms

Can I Quit?

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George S. Patton said to “Accept the challenges so you can feel the exhilaration of the victory.” I never knew I accepted any challenge until recently, and by recently, I’m talking within the past couple years. I remember weighing my options regarding this illness:

1. Give up.

2. Keep going.

The first “option” really didn’t seem all that appealing to me. I’m not a quitter, although I had to quit my job. (I also had to work on forgiveness for my former employer as no one, to this day, has ever once checked on me after I keeled over while working. That’s another post…maybe.) I watched as the pen I was using to write a speech therapy report fell from my hand onto the desk. It was a very surreal moment because I worked with stroke rehabilitation and if you know me at all, it takes a lot to stress me. I thought, “Well, that’s interesting.” After a moment to get my bearings–whatever those are, I don’t even know if I have any—I got up from my chair, but only for a moment as my legs decided to stop doing what they were made to do as well. I collapsed to the floor. I don’t know how long I was there as I was in the office on a Sunday, (this is a red flag some of you may pick up on. I was working A LOT.) so I don’t remember many people being around, but I knew there were no other therapists. I had just graduated with a degree in Communication Disorders and Sciences as a speech pathologist and loved working on stroke rehabilitation with the elderly. I believe they have so much wisdom to offer.
After a while on the floor, I was able to get up; it was almost like my battery had recharged. I got into my car (in hindsight, this was not a good idea.) I drove for maybe 4 blocks and stopped at a car wash to cry and pray. My arms weren’t working well enough to hold the steering wheel and my legs didn’t seem to have the energy to press the gas pedal. It was the oddest sensation as I didn’t have the strength to make my body do what I wanted it to. I remember praying because it was a 25-minute drive home and I knew my husband was sleeping as he had worked third shift the previous night. (Maybe subconsciously this is why I detest that shift. Hmmm…)
I arrived home only by the grace of God as I don’t remember leaving that car wash. I remember wishing someone would stop, anyone to ask if I needed help. I was so scared, but I “do things afraid” all the time. Something in my spirit told me I’d be ok and I can’t describe it any better than that. You might hear Christians say that they “know that they know that they know” and this is how I felt. (The first time I heard that, I wanted to slap the person on the back. I thought they were stuck somehow.) Looking back, God had my hand in this journey all along and I am so very thankful for His mercy.

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In Memory

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Dedicated in memory of Charles Rubright, a brilliant, studious, and compassionate doctor, as well as a man I was proud to call a friend, knowing no stranger, nor meeting an individual he didn’t help in some way.

To find a doctor of any sort who listens, studies, and comprehends your situation is a rare find, a treasure. A doctor who knows your case and can read you like a book when you walk into the office doesn’t seem to exist anymore. When I first began my health journey, I pictured specialists from all over, pouring over books with blood-shot eyes into the late hours of the night, determined to be the one to discover this mysterious illness wreaking havoc on my body and mind. After years of travelling on this trip I never planned or expected, I realized there was no such group. There weren’t any specialists with the one and only answer, the golden ticket, or the “missing piece of this puzzle.” Many days, it was because of practitioners like Charles Rubright, a local chiropractor and friend, that I was able to push on to find the answers on my own. It was because of his assistance and knowledgeable feedback that led me to find a practitioner who correctly diagnosed me with an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. He always expected to be able to help, listened, and treated according to what he’d heard from me, the at-times *somewhat-discouraged patient. (*Ok, I think there were a couple times I cried in that office.) He never treated me like “just a patient” and I always expected to wait past my appointment time because he never rushed anyone or any treatment. Charles never gave the impression that he was on a deadline or something else was more important than who he was with at that moment. What a rarity! To talk with him, the battle he faced was already won. He stood in faith that he would overcome. And I believe he did in a way that we may not understand on this side of heaven. The world is a bleaker place because he’s no longer in it, but he fought the good fight, shining light into places that darkness threatened to take over. His resilience, endurance, and legacy live on. Rest in beautiful peace, dear friend, the pain of the fight is over and you are victorious.

That Little Hand

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I am so blessed and lemme tell you why. There was a time when I couldn’t imagine being married. Now, not only am I married, but I’m married to a Godly, praying man who not only recognizes when I need prayer, but follows through with it. I think all of us know how difficult that can be. So, I am happily spoiled in a way that I never thought I could or would appreciate. And I could almost write it off as being a not-so-blessed, but-more-of-a-typical happening, but as soon as I begin to take it for granted, I feel another hand. A smaller, 5-year-old hand gently touches my back. There are no words spoken because I know she is listening to her daddy pray. She not only hears the power that those words hold, but sees them as I miraculously (yes, I said miraculously) regain strength and energy into my body. Maybe to some it wouldn’t mean much. Maybe you picture Benny Hinn yelling and people dropping to the floor. I don’t know what you think about miracles. And I’ll be really honest, I don’t care. (Yup, said that too.) I know that I literally go from being too weary to walk or lift my head because my muscles give out to being able to continue on, whether that continuation leads to putting breakfast on the table (ok, it’s the coffee table—the kids eat in front of the TV sometimes. Ok, a lot. I’m letting it go.) or heading to work to do what I love. That’s real. That’s true. That’s what I choose to think on today. And that’s why I’m blessed beyond measure.

Wish I Had Time To Write

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Man I wish I had time to write. My teachers and parents succeeded, I guess, in instilling the importance of reading and writing. I can’t get enough. If I had a week, I’d lay/sit around, reading and writing. Waiting for the breath of God to flow down and rejuvenate. There is nothing greater than the presence of God. And by Tuesday, I’ve forgotten what it feels like. Sunday was amazingly great, worshipping with 100s of fellow believers, Monday was reality when schedules change and nothing is as planned, and Tuesday is begging for a refresher in God 101. So as I sit typing like a madwoman before my kids discover I’m in the den, I ask God to come down and renew me in the next 3 minutes, as that’s how much Curious George is left. I have dishes to wash, clothes to clean, and training to do. I have work and plans and dinner to fix. I have money to make and lives to change and I don’t have time to not have any God. I’m doing my best to ignore any symptoms that inevitably come up. I’m trying my best to let go of hurts that people have caused because I know this is not conducive to healing. The mercy we show others is the direct line of mercy we will be shown. I feel like I need my brain replaced some days, to erase what I don’t want and to start fresh. While typing that I think of the guy on 50 First Dates in the institution who introduces himself every few seconds…I’m pretty sure that’s not a good plan either. How do we get into the presence of God when the busy-ness of life consumes?

Undeniably Shaky Confidence

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Romans 10:10 It is with the heart man believes. Unshakeable faith. Unshakeable confidence in the Most High God. Is my faith and my confidence in God unshakeable? I don’t feel like it is and lemme tell ya why…since you’re such a captive audience. (Are you still reading?) I believe God can heal me. I believe He spoke to a family member and told her to tell me that I was healed of this disease. (uh-oh…lost a reader or two. I once heard that you can talk to God, but if you hear God talk to you, you’re considered crazy. Guilty.) I believe He can. I can even go as far as to say, He has. He has healed me. By His stripes, we were healed. Of anything. Cancer, chronic anything, pain, acne, anything that has a name and some that don’t. He healed us of it. I believe that. Where my confidence gets a little shaky and my ugly, rebel side rears up is the “manifestation” of my healing. I had no idea what that meant a few years ago when someone said, “It’s the manifestation of your healing that you’re waiting on.” OH. It’s all so clear to me now. Because in my head, those two things are one and the same. If I am healed, there are no more symptoms. If healing has manifested itself (see? Once you learn a new word, you can add different suffixes), there isn’t pain, fatigue, dizziness, etc. So I sit here, after years of believing I’m healed of this, with my heart…it’s way harder to believe it with my head and the eyeballs He gave me, and seeing minimal difference. Given, I am no longer in a SBR (*if you don’t know what this is, see previous post) but quite honestly, if I began to work as much as I wanted to, I’d be right back there. Every day I work, I have migraines, dizziness, fatigue, muscle pain, yadda yadda yadda. So, I’m healed. Huh. I feel as though I’d have to go to a completely different ball field to catch this on

My Shiny Ship…in the Midwest

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I backed up a little to Isaiah 60:1 tonight. It states that we are to “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.” I think this is one of the coolest verses ever because it says we are to shine…possibly as a reflection of God’s glory on us. It’s not easy to shine when the rest of the world doesn’t shine back. ( I got a dirty look/head shake/possibly a not-nice finger from an elderly man today.) After all, if we were surrounded by mirrors and got what we put out back, when we shone bright, life would be so simple. As it turns out, God said nothing of life being simple.

We are called to speak about good things when the rest of the world meditates on the bad (Philippians 4:8-9), we are called to act righteously, faithfully, blamelessly, and pure too (Psalms 18:24-28). There’s a lot more in there about how we are supposed to be, but I gotta tell ya: This is enough for me to mull over right now. I don’t know who these people are that don’t put pressure on themselves to act the way God wants them to, but that isn’t me and I’m weary of the pressure.

I can only do so much, right? I’m just me and I’ve come to realize that it’s not God I’m worried about liking me or what I do, it’s other people. I worry about what other people will think if I do this or that…say this or that…I’m not perfect. So far from it I wonder why I’m raising kids to be honest. The fear is crippling sometimes.

I don’t want to try to fix it or try to find a cure for awhile. I just want to be. I just need God to take over here and steer me because I’m too tired to figure out where I’m heading. I picture Him behind one of those big ship’s steering wheels (I’m from the Midwest, I can’t be expected to know what they’re really called.) while I’m slumped in the passenger seat. (Yeah, my ship has a passenger seat. What of it?) I think being a Christian is one of the hardest, if not the hardest, things I’ve ever done. Drinking, smoking, and all the other ugly stuff that comes along with it was super easy. Sure it was expensive, it was horrible for my health, but it was easy. The temptations come back every once in awhile, to turn off the Christian and turn to a different source of “help.” What a joke. Those idols did nothing for me. They didn’t drown anything I went through or dealt with, didn’t heal any wounds, didn’t fix anything to say the very least. It’s for this reason I know that it would be a slap to my God’s face if I picked up those habits again. Not to say that I could never, ever, possibly screw up, but I know that it would hurt Him. There have been days when that’s all that has kept me from it. I don’t know that I would ever stop if I started again and with that statement running through my brain, I hear Him whisper, I could rescue you again. For some reason, that alone allows me some breathing room to remain imperfect, to take some of that pressure off myself.

With that being said, it’s not what I truly want. I want more of Him, the One Who rescued me from all that mess and myself. I turned to that junk for years and years. I know that if I drank again, it wouldn’t even be a temporary relief from the stress or the pain. I need more Jesus and I won’t settle for any less than what He has for me. I’ve tried what the world has to offer. It ain’t much.

REPENT for the KINGDOM

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Ashy. I feel ashy and not beautiful. In Isaiah 61, which is what my Bible falls open to (in case you were wondering) He promises to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes. (Isaiah 61:3 To grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.)

In ye olden days, ashes represented sorrow. When individuals were mourning, they would pour ashes on their heads. There were ashes left over from all the critters they gave as sacrifice. Ashes were everywhere. People sat amidst ashes, crying out to God, wondering what to do. I don’t see anyone these days sitting in a pile of aforementioned ashes. Maybe because we, even as believers, don’t like to use the words “repent” or “kingdom” with some people, scared to death of looking like or sounding like the “crazy*” man with the sign on the corner. If we’re afraid to use certain words, why would we be willing to let everyone know we are repentant before our God. We whine, we bait people, we hope to have others ask how we are so that we can pour out our Sad Sackcloth Saga (SSS) for sympathy, but we don’t get down and dirty before our Creator. We like to whine, even if it’s in our own heads. I’m not one to whine to anyone other than my mom and husband. They’re the ones who get to hear it.

*who am I to judge?

This marks the beginning of my 30 days with God, desperately seeking Him for answers regarding my health and the health of other believers. It sounds so heroic, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not. I’m not more righteous than you or anyone else. But I have gotten to a place in my life where I’m tired of believing God can do it and waking up to the symptoms of yesterday and yesteryear. Yes, some might say, “You woke up, that’s something.” And to that I would say, “Yup.”

Disclaimer: I feel the need to let everyone know that I’m not writing this to please or satisfy anyone else. I have an audience of One Who’s told me to write, so here I am, both out of obedience and cheap therapy. This blog grew out of a desperate need in my life for an outlet, a vent (a dryer vent at times…See “Cryin’ by the Dryin’) Since then it’s gained some readers and I’m not sure of backgrounds, but that’s the beauty of it. I don’t care. If I offend you, stop reading. If I don’t, I’m not sure that’s a good thing either. Maybe I should and that gets you to thinking more…eh, there’s beauty in that too as that’s not my job either.

I don’t really have a plan for this, but I do know that certain things have to go…like Facebook and Twitter and possibly TV. (eek. TV??) I need to stop the voices. Yes, there are voices in my head. If there aren’t in yours, you’ve never had a grandma or father like mine. But these days I hear and see too many opinions about things…some that matter and some that don’t. I want to hear God’s opinion, not Bob’s down the road or Brittney’s view on things, as poignant as it may be. These voices are both audible and in text form and they aren’t coming from the One Who made me. I’m taking some time to reflect on the fact that I’ve never gotten sick of hearing God’s voice.

I’m not pledging anything and I’m not making any deals with God, but I am relying on His promise that if I seek Him, I will find Him. The rationalization is pretty simple: If I need a healing, and He is my Healer, I believe it makes total sense.

I feel as though I need to repent of not spending time with Him and letting the distractions of this world settle in like they own me. Because the distractions have become more than distractions. They’ve become life. People don’t talk to each other anymore, they don’t even look at each other. Instead of taking someone flowers when a loved one dies and being there for them, we “Like” their post on Facebook. I think that’s sick. I think it’s disgustingly convenient and lazy. Why would God want to redeem and heal a life like that? A life that doesn’t sow or reap anything worthwhile for the kingdom? I’m over it. And I’m here to prove something, although I’m not sure what.

So I sit, in a torn robe, amidst the ashes, searching again for a God that found me in the same place years ago. Desperate. Ugly. Apathetic. Sad. Distraught. Weathered. Jaded. Snarky. You know, just like the Proverbs 31 woman. (Please do yourself a favor and look this up if you think this is what the woman in Proverbs 31 is like.)

Job 42:6 Therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”

2 Samuel 13:19 And Tamar put ashes on her head and tore the long robe that she wore. And she laid her hand on her head and went away, crying aloud as she went.

Job 2:8 And he took a piece of broken pottery with which to scrape himself while he sat in the ashes.

Daniel 9:3 Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes.

Esther 4:3 And in every province, wherever the king’s command and his decree reached, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting and weeping and lamenting, and many of them lay in sackcloth and ashes.

Numbers 19:10 And the one who gathers the ashes of the heifer shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening. And this shall be a perpetual statute for the people of Israel, and for the stranger who sojourns among them.

Jonah 3:6 The word reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.

Hebrews 9:13 For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh,

Matthew 11:21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.

Esther 4:1 When Mordecai learned all that had been done, Mordecai tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and he cried out with a loud and bitter cry.

Luke 10:13 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.

Malachi 4:3 And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the Lord of hosts.

1 Peter 5:1-14 So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” …