These past couple of weeks have been filled with lots of health issues and difficulties and to be frank some deep emotional hurt (which I think comes with the territory for anyone who is going through a serious illness) that the Lord is beautifully healing. I hope that you will bear with me through this little post and simply hear my heart. I am so grateful for each of you that are walking alongside this journey with me.
I can't express enough my thanks to all of you who participated in a myriad of different ways to Rebecca's Run and who have given financially and sacrificially in spiritual and emotional support. Your love and support truly have been SUCH a gift to me. Some of you have been giving for years in different ways and your unconditional love and support has been such a blessing to me and my life. Thank you!
Unfortunately, two weeks ago it became obvious that financially there was not a way for me to return to California for treatment. This was a decision that was a difficult one to make and one that my parents and I (along with good friends) tried in every conceivable way to make possible. Unfortunately though the funds that we personally had set aside to use in addition to the money that we were raising (about $3,000) had to be used for a variety of different hospital bills, doctors visits, medication, doctors appointments, alternative health care treatments, etc. these past few months and with this plus the still needed funds there is simply not the money to go back out to California(due to this also if you see the Go Fund Me page money needed has increased.). To be frank I cried about this for a while (as did my parents) as I know that I need the treatments. I am so thankful that the Lord is never surprised or concerned about these things. To me this is very scary, but our precious Lord has me right in the palm of HIS hands and I am at peace with the ways of the Lord.
Right now the plan is to continue to save every dollar that we can, do a variety of different fundraising things (Caravan Sonnet Closet, The Paper Sonnet, Go Fund Me Page) and prayerfully continue to ask the Lord to bring in each penny that is needed. While to me this money that is needed seems insurmountable I know that the Lord owns every cent in the world and He will provide at the exact right timing.
At the same time I would also covet prayers specifically for my little body which (and I don't talk about details alot on this blog) is extremely ill. Some recent tests have shown that my stomach and colon are not only severely inflamed but they have decided to not work properly again (I already had an official diagnosis of gastroparesis). After treatment last May my stomach was doing so much better and I was able to eat a healthy range of foods. Unfortunately ever since the infection in August my stomach and colon have decided to start shutting down again. What this means is lots and lots of hours of intense pain(that medicine is not helping) and my diet being extremely limited and in the last few days more and more liquid items and very soft and easily digestible foods. Prayerfully I will be able to go out to the Whitaker Wellness Institute soon and that will help these symptoms!
If you follow me on instagram then you know that I had a check up and blood work done last week. I am so grateful for all of your prayers. Unfortunately (despite having to be stuck 6 times) it appears that the blood work was not run properly and that mine was switched with someone elses. What this means is that I will have to have the blood work redrawn this week and have a meeting with my hematologist about this situation on Friday afternoon. As you can imagine, this is definitely the last thing that a person who is seriously ill wants to deal with. I would definitely covet prayers for us getting to the true blood work results as my iron levels (and hemoglobin levels) are in a dangerous level & this needs to be dealt with asap!
At the urging of several doctors I am now the owner of this bracelet that arrived this week. To be honest I was kind of avoiding getting this but it became obvious after a couple of hospital and doctors visits that if I didn't have this on and something serious occurred there might not be the knowledge of what antibiotics and medicines that I can take and the ones that could severely affect my body. At least it is silver! *smiles*
I am so thankful for all of your prayers for me physically. To be honest I would also covet prayers for me emotionally as well. To be frank I know that I don't speak of this often on here, but this has been definitely one of the most difficult times of my life and this battle has lasted long before I even went public with it. It's hard to express how much that can affect one's spirit. I truly long to live what I would consider a "normal" life and had hoped that I would be much farther along in the journey of getting better than I am! Instead we are looking at a much longer recovery rate and this is extremely discouraging. To be very open and honest ever since my infection in August I have truly been struggling against discouragement. There are several reasons for this: my symptoms worsening, coming to terms that there is not the money for treatment, the lost of some friends who I counted as dear friends who have truly just "disappeared", the longing to be married... to be a mom... and to be healthy, and the longing to live a "normal" life has caught up with me.
I think sometimes the reality is a little different then I say on here: I live at home with my parents and sis(who are AMAZING) but I only leave the house for very limited occasions due to my weakened immune system. No job. No social life. No night outs. No "off time" from Lymes and Cancer. For a gal who LOVED her job as a high school teacher, who was very involved at the school she taught at, who was active with friends and family, and who loved ballroom dancing... this is VERY different. And we are in the middle of year 2 and looking at at least another year of this.
I will be honest: it is painful and lonely.
And its truly been something behind the scenes that has been one of the most painful parts of this journey. I have been crying out to the Lord at night and in the day in almost a ranting way. Almost yelling at Him saying asking Him if He has forgotten me. Don't misunderstand me: I know that the Lord is close and near to the brokenhearted. I experience that every.single.day. But as my little world has shattered farther than I ever thought possible there has been an increase in cries out to the Lord with no words, but simply with tears.
And He continues to beautifully answer.
Through HIS word that is living & active.
And through sweet friends who have unconditionally walked this road with me and have chosen to get and stay involved in my life - where there is absolutely no benefit to them. They are simply loving the Lord and live life with no desire for any credit of what they are doing. It is beautiful and I am so humbled. Monica sent me the most beautiful song and it was EXACTLY my hearts cry and I have sobbed listening to this song as it is truly the Lord's response to my daily cries. If you are crying out for answers and feeling discouraged I can't recommend this song enough. It is scripture simply put to song. Click HERE to listen!
As I close out this post I want to express my deepest and gentlest encouragement for all of you that are going through a lonely and discouraging part of your caravan on this earth. The truth of scripture has not diminished in our circumstances. If anything it is an opportunity to experience scripture in a way that we may never have before. An opportunity to know and NOT just feel that the Lord's promises of Never leaving or forsaking us are true. Loneliness is but one tool that our Father, who knows best, can use in our lives. Hold on dear friend to Him. Rest in Him. He loves you and He gives power to the weak. I do understand the temptation to compare our present circumstances to those of the past. Believe me it is a temptation that I fight every.single.day. But dear friends, we either trust that the Lord appoints our minutes or days or we don't. He is sovereign. Don't waste the energy to debate that. Instead, rest in truth. I want to leave you with a quote by Elisabeth Elliot that has encouraged me throughout many of these long days:
"We may be earnestly desiring to be obedient and holy. But we may be missing the fact that it is here, where we happen to be at this moment and not in another place or another time, that we may learn to love Him- here where it seems He is not at work, where His will seems obscure or frightening, where He is not doing what we expected Him to do, where He is most absent. Here and nowhere else is the appointed place." - Elisabeth Elliot
Have you not known? Have you not heard?