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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Broken, Empty and Lonely

I have been working very hard, long hours at The Construction Company this week.  I have been going in early and staying late.  I was working all kinds of different hours, but each day when I left the office and I turned on the radio the exact same song was playing.  You may say what a coincidence...I don't think so!  Take a listen for yourself. 
 
Sidewalk Prophets "Keep Making Me." Live Acoustic Version. Lyrics

The song lyrics are about wanting to be broken, empty and lonely.  Sounds a little crazy doesn't it?  Why would anyone WANT to be all of these things or ANY of these things?!!  Because when adversity hits, we are exposed.  Our true feelings about God come out in the questions we ask Him and the actions we take.

"Why me God??"  or "Why are you doing this to me God??!!" Sound familiar??  It does to me!  Sometimes when we ask God , "Why are you letting this happen to me?"  It may be how we truly feel, but we are accusing God of doing something wrong...ouch!   We are just sure we don't deserve what has come our way.  But sometimes our trials have nothing to do with what we deserve.  Sometimes our trials help us grow closer to God or they help develop character or validate our worship as I read in "Journey" magazine.

This is exactly why I don't want to be healed of all my aches and pains...because all of my pains "keep me real."  It would be hard to turn back for me now.  Since I have experienced pain and I am broken I am more sensitive to the needs of others.

For three days I worked long hours at the office, but I still felt good.  On my lunch break one day I even felt go enough to go shopping!!! I was feeling so happy and "normal."  Late Thursday evening I could feel the life being sucked out of every inch of my body.  This life was replaced with increased leg and bladder pain and I felt achy all over my body. 

This experience brought me back to reality very swiftly.  But my new reality is not all bad.  My new reality helps me to have compassion for others when they are hurting.  I can relate and I am not "so calloused."

It is in those deep, dark, empty times that is when we need to stop thinking about what we want, but seek God's will for our lives.  That's when we are vulnerable and we are open to change our bad habits. Like the habit of telling God what needs to happen in our lives...God I don't deserve this..."still holding onto my will."

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed those days when I felt good.  It was so refreshing not to feel lousy all the time.  I appreciate my good days very much!  But now I understand why I must be broken, empty and lonely sometimes.  It shows me the true nature of my relationship with God.


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"Keep Making Me"
Make me broken
So I can be healed
'Cause I'm so calloused
And now I can't feel
I want to run to You
With heart wide open
Make me broken

Make me empty
So I can be filled
'Cause I'm still holding
Onto my will
And I'm completed
When you are with me
Make me empty

[Chorus:]
'Til You are my one desire
'Til You are my one true love
'Til You are my breath, my everything
Lord, please keep making me

Make me lonely
So I can be Yours
'Til I want no one
More than You, Lord
'Cause in the darkness
I know You will hold me
Make me lonely

[Chorus]

'Til You are my one desire
'Til You are my one true love
'Til You are my breath, my everything
Lord, please keep making,
I know You'll keep making
Lord, please keep making me 


Songwriters: MCDONALD, BEN/FREY, DAVID DOUGLAS/MIZELL, SAMUEL C.
 




Saturday, April 19, 2014

Desperation

My daughter, Miranda had a few bad days with the kidney stone.  I went to see her Sunday and she looked like she felt better.  She has gone back to work and says she hasn't had any pain in days.  I am thankful to God that she is not suffering anymore!

Since I have been diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis (IC) I have had chronic pain.  I have chronic pelvic, back and sciatic pain.  I have tried several different treatments and I have had some improvements, but the sciatica seems to be worse.  I recently decided to go to pain management.  In my mind this was always a last resort.  I would only go if I had exhausted all my other options.  Well, here I am.  It seems there are no other options and I am desperate.

My appointment was scheduled for this week.  I went with high expectations and a hopeful heart.  After a brief discussion with the pain management doctor, we decided to try a steroid injection in my sacroiliac joint.  The thought process was that my issue may be sacroiliitis instead of sciatica.  It seemed like a good option with minimal risk.

After the injection I went to work and felt good for that day.  The next day I felt good too.  I thought this was the "magic" I needed.  However, by Wednesday my sciatica came back.

Last Sunday morning after I first woke up I reached out to move some clothes and I hollered out in pain.  I had pulled a muscle in my back.  So I had started taking muscle relaxers.  After thinking about, the couple of days when I felt good were when I was taking the muscle relaxers.  Whatever the reason the pain is still there so I will have to keep trying.

When you are in desperate situations you do desperate things.  I was recently at a small Bible study group.  We were discussing the betrayal of Peter.  He felt desperate and he denied Jesus three times.  Sounds like a terrible thing to do but if we were in Peter's situation we may have done the same thing. We might even do it on a daily basis and don't even realize it.

Peter said he would stand by Jesus even if he had to die with him.  He said he would never disown him. He denied Him three different times.  After Peter realized what had happened his faith was made stronger.  I told the small group that it reminded me of my life with IC.  When I first became sick  I believe my faith was being tested.  Even though I was a Christian I questioned why I was suffering.  It was as if I was relying on just myself to make it through the difficult times.
 "The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: "Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times."  And he went outside and wept bitterly."  Luke 22: 61-62

Through this whole crazy ride at least one thing has improved.  I know I trust God through the most negative of circumstances.  I have developed a deeper dependence on God.  I rely on God and His Word to make it through each day.

We can say what we think we will do in certain circumstances but until we are "warming by the fire of the enemy" we do not know exactly what we will do.  We can build our faith by studying God's word, praying and making every effort to make God first in our lives so that we can hopefull have a faith building experience...just like Peter. 


Peter warming by the fire.


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Monday, April 14, 2014

No Mama

It was 6:31 a.m.and my phone rang. There is never good news on the other end when your phone rings at such an early hour. Especially at my house. Most of my family and friends know that I have trouble sleeping, so I am a late riser. Come to think of it I have always been a late riser by nature.


On the other end was my daughter. She was at the Emergency Room with pain and nausea. She has had this a couple times before and she pretty much knew it was another kidney stone. She woke up about 3:00 am in pain and knew she needed to see a doctor.


She called me and asked if I could come up there. As I was getting dressed to go meet her and her husband at the hospital, I was texting her husband and asking various questions. I asked if she needed anything and what time he had to go to work.


He then called me and told me that she had thrown up and her pain level dropped to about a five. I said that I still wanted to go to the hospital. He said that she was feeling much better now.


A few minutes later she called me and I told her I was on my way up there. But she said in that certain tone that I know she really means it, “No Mama.” She said she shouldn't have even bothered me and that she doesn't have as much pain and that she will be fine.


I didn't like it, but I decided not to go. I went back to sleep, so I could rest some more before I went to work. I sent her husband a text about 10:00 and asked if they were at home now. He said that they were still there waiting on the lab work and the results from the CT scan.


She spent almost seven hours in the Emergency Room. They said she had a kidney stone and a UTI. I said did her urine culture came back positive? I was told yes, but I have my doubts. They put her on an anti-biotic anyway. I just hope that they put her on the right anti-biotic, so that she will be feeling much better in a couple of days.


Later that evening, after work, I went to their house to check on my “little girl.” I stopped at the store and bought her a little care pack that included a stuffed pink Easter bunny, a fun little metal bunny with a bell and a heat wrap for the pain.


It wasn't much, but I just wanted her to know that I loved her, that I was thinking of her. I also understand what it is like to be in pain. It was somewhat difficult to hear “No Mama” when I wanted to go take care of my one and only “little girl.”


But she is grown and has someone else that takes care of her now. It is similar to we decide to let Jesus in our heat, start studying His word and have a close prayer relationship with Him. Then we grow closer in our walk with Him. And He is always there by our side to take care of us.


As a believer starts maturing in their daily walk with Him, the things of the world don't seem as important. Our priorities change and we become more humble and want to share the Gospel with others. When we share with others it is important that we don't “get in the way.” Just as I don't need to “get in the way” of Miranda's husband taking care of her.


My daughter is maturing and things that used to matter to her don't matter anymore.  But I am glad she has someone to take care of her and always be by her side: Me, Jesus and her husband!


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Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Guessing Game



Wednesday was a crazy day. I went to work at my church for two hours. I really enjoy working there. I am able to talk to and learn from my Pastor more. There is always someone from my church family dropping by and I can chit chat with them. And the surroundings are...shhh.... peaceful and quiet...I really like that!


I left church and went for my yearly eye exam. I explained that I was having some difficulty seeing smaller numbers. She changed my bifocal prescription so that it would be stronger. I decided to keep the same frames and I still had to pay a rather large sum. Especially on my new lower income. I charged it. I should have enough money saved up by the time the bill is due to pay it off. I will also receive a discount the next time I shop on Amazon. Credit cards are okay, I think, if you use them wisely.


When I left there I went to work at the Construction Company. There was a lot of paper shredding that needed to be done so I worked on that for a while. I sat on the floor and fed sheet after sheet until the shredder was full. Then I bagged it up and took it outside.


By the time I went home my bladder was very unhappy with me. She let me know it in a very painful way. My bladder was hurting more that it has in a long time. My stomach was swollen, my pelvic area was painful, my back pain and sciatica had kicked it up a notch or two. I began to play the guessing game...was it because I sat on the floor? Could it be something I ate or drank? What about the weather and all that pollen?? 

I never win at the guessing game. I believe that Interstitial Cystitis, Fibromyalgia (Fibro), etc., etc. are going to do what they want to do, when they want to do it, no matter what I do. Of course I also believe there are certain things that I do to try to keep peace with my bladder and my Fibro. I watch my diet and exercise. I also do the three P's: Play music, Pray and take Pain Pills. But not necessarily in that order. But I do strongly believe that Prayer is one of the most powerful things I can do as Christian. I also think a distraction such as music helps me concentrate on something else other than the pain. And pain pills help me have a semi-normal life at times.


My bladder was telling me to stay home, but my heart longed for more Christian fellowship. I ignored her and went to church. My heart was blessed in more ways than one. Being with other Christians was heartwarming. We divided up into small groups. My group was talking about “Giving” in the church or tithing. One of my fellow Christians pointed out that we are supposed to have Faith when we are giving to God. He spoke about the Widow's offering. She gave everything that she had. Those words really stood out in my head. And I am thankful that he reminded me of this.

Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts.  But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.” Mark 12:41-42

There was also a little girl at church. I had just meet her Sunday when I sat and talked with her and some of her friends. She asked her Grandfather if she could sit with me. She sat right beside me and let me hug her like we had known each other all her life. She asked me if I remembered her name and I did. Then I asked if she remembered my name and she did. She made me forget the pain for a while. She made my day by spending time with me...I love children. I stayed until about 8:30. It was a day filled with waaaaay too much sitting, doing and going for me, but also full of blessings.  Since I didn't win the guessing game I won the blessing game!

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