Open Up Our Eyes, Surround us with Your Light... Our God is Fighting for Us Always

August 20, 2017

"The Light Shines in the Darkness..."

Happy Sunday dear friends! I remain so grateful for all of your prayers in this health journey. I do not take it for granted that I know that so many of you are covering me in prayer each and every day. As I go to sleep each night I lay in bed and often have tears of humble gratitude to think of how far the Lord has brought me these last several years, which is truly a testament to all of your prayers. 

This past week I spent some time reading through all of the Notes from the Porch updates. To be honest it took me several hours as I often had to stop and weep at all that the Lord has done. 

It is amazing to think back to August 2013, a short and long four years ago and to see the prayer requests that I was mentioning at that time. At the time they seemed overwhelming, scary, and life felt completely out of control health wise. Things had stabilized a bit with my trip out to California and I was able to walk again, but the road in front of me looked long and scary with no clear direction. A year later, shortly after I began with my new medical team, in August 2014 I needed desperate prayers as I had been re-infected with a tick bite and at the time was so weak that it was truly a dire situation. At the time my weakened digestive track couldn't handle oral meds and we asked for prayers fervently for grace and strength to meet each moment as we didn't know if we were looking at a hospital stay. 

Two years ago, in August 2015 I was celebrating ending month #2 of treatment round #1. That summer was brutal. Each day held numerous shots, therapies, meds, supplements, etc. It was painful. It was rough. I spent more time being sick then I remember doing anything else and to be frank there were countless tears. I look back on the summer of 2015 (from the beginning of May that held me in a herx that kept me in bed with severe vertigo and dizziness for 28 days unable to move) to the end of September and tears still come to my eyes. It was probably the most difficult time in this journey for many reasons. And finally when I think of last year, when treatment round #3 didn't go as planned and an 8-week delay kept us from moving forward as I would have liked, I am humbled. 

As I look back on these last four years so specifically and read through all of the "notes from the porch" updates I am gently humbled and reminded of how far God has brought me. Of all of the healing that has taken place. Of the gentle ways that He has carried me in the dark and painful times and the loving ways He has met me in the hard and frightening corners. 

Just yesterday as I was spending time praying I was gently reminded of the way that the Lord never abandons us. My dear friend and kindred spirit Ali gently reminded me yesterday as I became fearful and worried over a new med I started yesterday and another "impossible" health situation I feel overwhelmed by... "The Lord has not brought you this far to abandon or leave you." I wept as I needed that gentle reminder in the midst of some very difficult and painful weeks. 

I have been thinking a lot about the Israelites and the way that at the end of their wandering in the desert years there were tons of encouraging and important times that they were reminded to remember all that God had done. I admit that I often have read this passage and thought- well of course they are going to remember the Lord, because why wouldn't they - He brought them out of captivity and then out of wandering in the desert for 40 years. Who wouldn't remember that... and yet... admittedly am the one who is so like the Israelites. Instead of quickly running to the Lord and remembering all of the miracles that He has done over my entire life, but especially over these past five years I quickly run to fear and doubt. I lack courage but instead look at things with fear and questioning. And I am stopped short by this and gently reminded that the Lord, the same One who has carried me through all of these painful years before will continue to do so in the future. He is a God who delights in the impossible.

On Tuesday I once again saw this as I shared on Instagram that I had a phone conversation with my main medical team doctor. Each of these conversations are important, but this one held some some specific weight to it as the "start" of treatment round #5 two weeks ago led to some some serious and difficult reactions. As I shared on IG, in "sick world" you learn more than you want to know, including the limits to certain medications that are available for certain issues. I was faced with this situation, a bit unsure and fearful of what the doctors would suggest and yet gently holding on to the truth that the Lord is not bound by medicine limits or delays or reactions that can frustrate or confuse me or bring me to tears. I am so grateful to all of y'all who prayed for this appointment. Truly the Lord promises that if we need wisdom He will give it to us and He did. 

In answer to our prayers my main medical team has come up with a medication substitute for the med that I reacted to that I will start in two weeks. We are beyond grateful for their wisdom and expertise. 
I shared this above picture on IG and shared that this picture holds significant importance to me as several years ago I was to sick to even walk out to this road not far from our camp. Over the last several years of healing I have not only walked out to the road but am consistently walking it and beyond. Y'all know how much I love being out in nature and hiking and to see that slowly becoming a reality is amazing. 

In the midst of dealing with a continued infection and pain this week I have been gently met with such grace and amazing news. We learned on Tuesday during the phone appointment that a MAJOR area that Lyme had affected in my body has healed, and this was news that we were not expecting for at least another year and a half. I also received bloodwork showing that that the environmental illness that I mentioned years ago has completely healed. This news was HUGE as again we didn't expect this to happen for at least a couple of years. Finally, this week received unexpected news at my eye appointment as I learned that the issues that Lyme has caused with my eyes (including a stigmatism, dry eyes, eye floaters, minor double vision, etc.) have all healed. My eye doctor and I both cried. Truly the Lord is healing. 

Thank you dear friends. Thank you for loving me well in this journey, for your messages of love, your financial gifts, your text messages, your phone calls, your support and prayers that have continued to carry me in this journey. How do you say thank you to so many of you who have continuously loved and showed up in the small and the big moments- showing God's love and light in the darkness of this journey. My heart can only beg the Lord to bless you as you have blessed me so abundantly.

As I head back into treatment round #5 with a new plan and new meds I am excited to see how the Lord will meet and what He is going to do. I said yesterday to a dear friend that I can't wait to see what God will do with some "seemingly" impossible prayer requests that I am praying. Things that seem big to me but I know are small in comparison to God. 
In closing I have been so encouraged by this song that my dear friend Jen sent to me this week. It has been pretty much on repeat. I wanted to share it here and pray that it encourages your heart today as it has encouraged me... 

"Greater is the one who's in us, 
Greater is the one who calls our name, 
He will never fail
Stronger is the one who fights for us
He will never fail...
For Your love endures forever...
Open up our eyes, surround us with Your light, 
Your love endures forever...
We are not alone, 
We are not alone, 
Our God is fighting for us always..."

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