Time is a very funny thing isn't it? When we are experiencing "good times" in life time seems to "fly" and we can never get enough of it and yet when we encounter hardships we often are surprised at how long something lasts.
And sometimes... well sometimes life is a mixture of both.
And for me, that is what starting the third fall feels like. It is the third fall since I have moved home to my parents house suspecting that I was dealing with more than "just" CFS/ME and Fibromyalgia. It is the third fall since my entire digestive system started to crash and I needed IV nutrients. It is the third fall since I gave up my independence, moved back home into my parents home, and then eventually (in the winter) became unable to walk with no explanation. It is the third fall away from the job that I loved (teaching). It is the third fall that I have experienced extreme illness and pain. It is the third fall that I will spend time in a city that I grew up in but don't have close friends in because I am to ill to put effort into relationships. It is the third fall that I am completely reliant on my parents, family, and friends for help in a variety of ways (including financial resources).
It is the third fall that many people would classify as a time that has been horrendous and as one person said to me yesterday, "I bet you will be glad to close the chapter on this season of your life". Hmmm... yes and no. You see... something changed this year. When I wrote that post about delighting in the ordinary in June I meant what I said. There had been a "change in the wind" throughout the Spring in my heart. Instead of saying "I want this to end... (or) I want this time to be over" I found myself begging the Lord for healing and yet asking for continued wisdom -specifcally in how He would use me right now. I was able to come to terms with my wishing for the past and accepting the present and the future. I found the truth of the verse "Godliness with Contentment is Great Gain". I found myself wrestling with the Lord in prayer in new ways- and learning to trust in new ways. I have been so delighted to be apart of encouraging others who are hurting through SEEN Gathering. And I have found that while many people in circumstances like this abandon their faith I have fallen more in love with my Savior each day and am so excited to encourage others to find their hope in Jesus too.
It is the third fall of spending hundreds of hours with the Lord in prayer in bed because I am to weak to even sit up. It is the third fall of seeing the Lord provide for me daily on this journey - emotionally, physically, spiritually. It is the third fall of seeing who my friends are who are willing walk the dark and difficult roads. It is the third fall of being overwhelmed by the love of my parents, sister, and grandmother in this journey. It is the third fall of learning who I am in Christ in a whole new way. It is the third fall of this fight... a fight that still has a while to go.
Thank you so much for your prayers for wisdom and for the trip out to California. The Lord blessed the trip and so many prayers were answered and I am so incredibly grateful for each and every prayer. There were smooth flights with no issues, kind people who helped me in a variety of different ways, and a wonderful medical team that had a wonderful plan for the next steps in treatment. (As I have mentioned several times here on the blog I have chosen to keep many details private and I appreciate your kind understanding and respect of this.) At this time because my GI system is handling antibiotics we have decided to do a "season" of full-blown antibiotics (continuing with my supplements, herbs, oils, etc. that I already use and adding a few new ones). For a variety of different things I will be slowly adding in six new antibiotics to my treatment plan (which is in addition to the numerous ones that I am already currently on) over the next few weeks. I was nervous when I received this plan as we all know that I have had an extremely difficult time with medications these last few years, but I also know that my medical team knows what they are doing and has the best plan for what is going on. Remember when I picked the word "valor" for this year? I think the Lord was preparing my heart for this intense fight. *smiles*
I am not going to lie. The start has been incredibly difficult. If we are connected on instagram then you know that I alluded to the fact that things have been difficult (especially since my acute infection in August) and today shared that I had a severe reaction to one of the medications and have been completely bedridden since last week (not even able to sit up). These days have been painful, long, and quite difficult. And yet, this is the battle. The battle to get well and to fight to beat these diseases. I well up with tears though at the goodness of the Lord. I have a wonderful doctor and medical team and they are fighting this journey with me. I have amazing parents who lavish love and encouragement on me. I have a beautiful sister who is supportive and encouraging and runs races in my name. I have a lovely grandmother who spends hours upon hours in prayer for me. I have sweet friends who have never walked away and have supported me whole-heartedly in this journey. One day at a time friends (and sometimes one minute at a time) we will take this fight. The Lord is with me. He continues to provide wisdom and direction- even as recently as the end of the last week as bloodwork came in and we learned some new news. Surprising to me but not to the Lord. He is NEVER surprised by any of this. And friends, "There will be a lovely ending to this story of frustration, something worth all it has cost." (Amy Carmichael)
So I continue on this new treatment plan as I start the third fall. A fall that will be filled with different plans then I originally thought (NO ONE - including my doctors thought I would be able to handle oral antibiotics several months ago! WHAT AN ANSWER TO PRAYER!!) and filled with a battle of a lifetime for me. A fall that will not include a trip out to Whitaker Wellness Institute for oxygen and vitamin c (like I originally planned) because I need to stay closer to my family for help at this point in time. A fall that I have changed the "go fund me page" to reflect my monthly expenses with hyperbaric oxygen (soft covered) and the other costs that we spend each month right now just on my medical treatment. A fall that I know the Lord will provide for me again- in miraculous ways. A fall of trusting the Lord who knows my heart and knows the way I will go. A fall filled with days of falling more in love with my Savior.
If you read my post on instagram today then you saw that I posted the following verses. And friends, truly they are the perfect verses to memorize here for this third fall:
"The people who survived the wars have found favor in the desert. The LORD appeared to me in a faraway place and said, “I love you with an everlasting love. So I will continue to show you my kindness. Once again I will build you up, and you will be rebuilt, my dear people Israel. Once again you will take your tambourines, and you will go dancing with happy people. Once again you will plant..."
Once again dear friends... once again I am starting the third fall looking to the Lord and His love and knowing that He will have the best in mind. What a good and amazing God He is.
Thank you so much for all of your continued prayers for me on this journey. Every single day I see the answers to each of them in a thousand different ways. Please keep praying and thank you so much for all of your love and support on this journey.
With lots of love friends,