Monday, November 19, 2012

The Lord is my Light

I tend to process my thoughts best through writing, but in the past few months, my productivity in that department has been sporadic. It’s been a bit difficult to collect my thoughts and share my heart, which is hard because writing is a part of who I am...

For quite some time now, I’ve been struggling with some health issues. A handful of people are aware but even among friends, I’ve downplayed how I feel. Mostly because doctors were unable to find the underlying reason to my random symptoms. I would get frustrated, often with myself, because I couldn’t shake it off … whatever ‘it’ was. Since there was no ‘reason’ that could be found for the way I was feeling, I started to think I was going crazy. Multiple doctors told me that I had excellent blood test results and one doctor even told me to stop bringing up a particular symptom, to stop digging. Even though I did my best to plow through, I knew deep down something wasn’t quite right.

Well, recently I got a call from a doctor who informed me that I tested positive for Lyme disease. Prior to this year, I knew very little about Lyme disease but because I have a family member who was diagnosed with it in the spring, I got a glimpse of the challenges that can come along with it. Interestingly enough, she wondered if I had Lyme because our symptoms were so similar but when I brought it up to a doctor in the spring, he dismissed the thought.

Though Lyme disease is lousy, I actually feel a sense of relief to finally know why I haven’t been feeling well (and to know that I wasn’t going crazy). I felt like a weight was lifted to be able to now know what I need to research, how I should educate myself, and ultimately, how to pray specifically and believe God for my healing.

Over the course of the past few weeks, I’ve read up on Lyme, and my eyes have been opened even wider to the struggle that quite often comes along with the territory. Though it affects people differently, it's quite complex and some people really suffer. On the one hand, this news was a relief of sorts but, after seeing some scenarios, I'd be lying if I said that I did not freak out a tad about what all this would entail for me. The articles and documentaries did break down the physical side of things but it also showed me the controversy about Lyme within the medical community. That's a whole other deal which I'm sure I'll come back to on another day.

Because I do not have much information about my own condition yet, I hesitated to write about it here. I don't like to draw attention to myself and am lacking so many details about my next steps. But I was quickly reminded that my silence would really be flat out pride, which is not pleasing to God and would prevent His grace from flooding me in this situation. And I need that grace. I can't write about the importance of being real and transparent and then fake the funk. That's just dumb. Easy to do but dumb. And I felt like it's important to be honest with those of you who visit this space so you don't think I've taken a random leave of absence from the blogosphere. More than ever, my heart is to write and encourage. And, though I've been so far from coming close to fulfilling this, I was brought back to my life mission statement (which I'd lost sight of)... to live a life of faith and joy, that points to and pleases Jesus, and encourages others along the journey. Basically, a gentle but timely reminder from the Lord to get back up and be who God has called me to be. My circumstances may have changed but the goal hasn't and I'm still pressing on.

Now, please know that I'm not living in some superficial positive-thinking bubble. Lyme is pretty intense and in no way am I making light of this. The fatigue, the pain, the brain fog, the discomfort, the frustration... it's no walk in the park. Some days are rough. Acquiring this new found info about Lyme can be particularly overwhelming and even depressing. Earlier today I had a gross moment lacking faith, grace, joy, and probably every fruit of the Spirit. It can (easily) become pretty dark when left alone with all these facts churning in the mind. All of that marinating inside only results in spewing toxins - not bearing fruit. But, I praise God for His grace and mercy. We don't have to carry this weight because Jesus is carrying us.

Light shines brightest when it's the darkest and because Christ, the Light of the World, is living in me, I'm not alone and won't dwell in darkness. When the Holy Spirit reminded me of that truth, I felt encouraged again. Whether I feel better in a short span of time or not, God is in control. I'm sure I'll be back on this topic periodically but I share with you all now so you know where I'm at (and why the posts here may not always be so frequent). Hopefully what I do post from time to time will help raise awareness and maybe even bring encouragement to someone else, but for now, I just ask that you keep me in prayer. That would be very much appreciated. Please let me know how I can be praying for you!

Thankful for you all! :)

pressing on toward the goal,

The Lord is my light and the One Who saves me. 
Whom should I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life. 
Of whom should I be afraid? - Psalm 27:1 


Lis said...

Oh, Jenn.

I am so sorry. But YES--I am so glad you finally have an answer. Although it's not a diagnosis anyone would want to hear, it is better to know what you are dealing with and move forward rather than always worry of the unknown. The fact that you thought you were going crazy shows God's unmerited grace, mercy, and favor in giving you comfort through a diagnosis. Praise Him!

I can only imagine how He and He alone will use this to minister to others! Though your writing may be sporadic as you cope and adjust, what you DO write is always so FILLED with the Gospel and I much prefer the quality over the quantity. (Though I know in your bones you'd want to write every day. :))

I always resonate with so much of what you write. Thank you for sharing.

Be well, dear friend. I will pray!

Betty said...

Jennifer, it's good you know what is causing your symstoms. Good to know also you are not going crazy. I know of several people who have this disease and yes it was difficult to dianoges for all.

I have had fibermyalgia for about 25 years so understand the struggles that come with a chronic problem.

Like your friend, I too look forward to your post and she is so sometimes is about quality and not quantity. Your post will carry a touch of what God is teaching you through this battle. You in turn will become even wiser as you enter into a new phase of what life here on earth hold for us. Our hope cannot be in these frail frames we walk around in. Take courage my sister...God is holding you.

PS I would like to send you something, please send me your address through an email or fb message. Praying for you.

Michelle Holderman said...

So beautifully written, Jenn.

Struggling to find answers can be so frustrating. I appreciate how you write with such honesty and transparency yet in deep faith. It's genuine. It's real. And it's what people need to hear.

I know this isn't easy to go through. So thankful we have Jesus to lean on. And precious Holy Spirit to lead us. I'm praying and asking the Father to give you what you need to walk through this. I know He's holding you close.

It's an honor to get to know you. And to share in your journey; Lyme and all.

Much love to you.