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 this third spring on this journey feels like. It is the third spring 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 spring since my entire digestive system started to crash and I needed IV nutrients. It is the third spring 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 spring away from the job that I loved (teaching). It is the third spring without chaperoning a senior trip. It is the third spring that I have experienced extreme illness and pain. It is the third spring 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 spring 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 spring 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 say goodbye to this chapter on of your life". Hmmm... yes and no. You see... something changed last 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 last 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 -specifically 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 have such a passion to encourage others to find their hope in Jesus too.
It is the third spring 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 spring of seeing the Lord provide for me daily on this journey - emotionally, physically, spiritually. It is the third spring of seeing who my friends are who are willing walk the dark and difficult roads. It is the third spring of being overwhelmed by the love of family and strangers alike in this journey. It is the third spring of learning who I am in Christ in a whole new way. It is the third spring 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 several weeks ago. The Lord blessed the trip and so many prayers were answered and I am so incredibly grateful for each and every prayer. You can read the update HERE of the original plan. To be frank I was excited and felt very strong as I went into this plan. I had recently been able to do a number of things that I hadn't been able to in years (like walking, pilates, eating a more well rounded diet, etc.) and I felt ready to continue to move forward. But like many things in this journey things always don't go as planned. Remember when I picked the word "mettle" 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 the last six weeks have been difficult, and the last 14 days have been extremely difficult as one of the items that I was taken has caused a herx reaction that has rendered me completely bedridden since two weeks ago (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 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 blood work 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 one day at a time as I face each new day in this third spring. A spring that has been filled with different plans then I originally thought and filled with a battle of a lifetime for me. A spring that I know the Lord will provide for me again- in miraculous ways. A spring of trusting the Lord who knows my heart and knows the way I will go. A spring filled with days of falling more in love with my Savior.
As I continue on in this third spring I cling to these beautiful verses in Jeremiah:
"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 spring 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. (P.S. I am horribly overdue at a thousand thank you notes for all of your support from my go fund me page and terribly behind on phone messages, emails, etc. Even just writing this post has taken me several days. I appreciate your patience and understanding as I work to return these during this difficult health time. Your love and understanding is a gift.) Please keep praying and thank you so much for all of your love and support on this journey.
With lots of love friends,