The root of it

27336724_1206660129463955_8519418404983698192_n not my photo

 

Let me start with saying… read this through if you are dealing with a spiritual battle of doubt. While there are definitaly physical battles, there are spiritual and this tackles both directions that I have faced this winter and actually over the last 11 years.

I know I may lose friends with this one, I may lose followers, readers, support, but I have to say at this point and time I WILL NOT FEAR.

Here we go: This is a LONG one- Sorry…. not sorry

This season with Fibromyalgia has been ROUGH. I mean for a bleep there I thought I lost my joy all over again. I spent years walking in the fullness of God’s Joy and then in a moment (it felt like anyway) that joy was gone. I realized how simple all of my writings had made seeking Joy to the full seem. It was not a simple journey. Very contrary, it was a constant examining of my self and my weaknesses.  And I thought once I had the fullness of Joy, I would be able to maintain it without fear of losing it.

BUT….

Think of a beautiful plant with wonderful plumage with a root system growing nice and strong, but nearby there is that pesky weed with even stronger roots. They come in and start taking over until the sophicate the plants healthy root system.  I had been plucking and plucking weeds, but the roots were remaining to keep festering. I had dealt with the cause one by one, but the pesky little root system was hiding underneath the surface and infecting the beautiful plants roots. Leaving healthy roots to began dying off one by one with lack of proper care.

I let my guard down this year and the funny thing is, the darkness came in fast. BUT it was dealt with fast as well, now that I have the past experience of knowing how to identify it.

Thankfully as I cried out to God, He pointed out to me, why this season has been SO hard with fibromyalgia and the darkness swarming in, is a reminder that there are triggers and they must be dealt with swiftly. triggers to me = Weed roots. I am listing my triggers that have FLARED fibromyalgia this year.
Maybe identifying them can help another fibromyalgia sufferrer identify them for themselves as well. Everyone is different and each story is different, but one thing remains the same, our level of pain and symptoms are exasperated by our triggers.

Trigger one: Grief

This year I lost my father and that was a big trigger. Grief is a trigger. But I kept burying the fact that I was grieving. I even buried the fact that He indeed had passed and my body was not taking kindly to me stuffing my emotions, which led to trigger two.

              Trigger two: Emotional eating

To deal with my emotions I began eating everything and anything I wanted. Which lead to me feeling like garbage, which then led to me hitting fast food and packaged food as I didn’t feel well enough to cook. Which of course led to feeling even worse. A vicious, vicious cycle when dealing with food sensitivities. (Most chronic illnesses are triggered with food sensitivities of some kind in my opinion)

                    Trigger three: The dark season of winter

It is no surprise winter is difficult for fibromyalgia sufferers. There must be a plan to take care of yourself in rough seasons and I had absolutely none this year. Just surviving the grief was my only plan.                                                                                                                           I  know winters are hard and usually I take steps to combat that;  more vitamin D supplements, light therapy, self-care of all kinds and this year I gave up my passion as a full-time preschool teacher and didn’t self care at all. I just sat in the house on those days not working with my preschool kids in the guise of ‘recovery’. I have had WAY fewer viruses this year but the fibromyalgia has run rampant… self care is a must.

Trigger four: Hormones

I am in the process of naturally balancing my hormones. Being over 40 has my body in great confusion, enough said on that topic lol.

Trigger five: Midlife hiccups

My hubby and I are in the stage of empty nesting. Or we where until all the birdies flew home again. We were enjoying our quiet little nest and now it is quite busy. We are in the process of best helping the boys seek their futures while at the same time thinking on ours. We want something new and we are ready…but in the waiting. My mind thinks on these things far too much.

I could go on and on about our triggers but these are the five that stood out to me as I sought the Lord on what was going on.

Here is the other side of the coin. WHY am I dealing with Fibromyalgia? This is a spiritual aspect and my not make sense to many and that is ok. You can all think I am wacky I still love ya!!!

There is one BIG root of why I believe that I personally deal with fibromyalgia all together.

11 years ago before I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I lived a different life. I would turn on my worship in the morning, dance and sing every single day, homeschool my kids and walk in the Spirit of God. His spirit was evident, His spirit was tangible.  Through a string of events, I won’t list here, I let go of some very foundational things for me of how God created me. From the time I can remember God would visit me in dreams, He would speak to me in songs, and visions and prophetically speak to me of situations. “I could lay out someones laundry piece by piece and they would look at me and say how did you know?”  I would reply,  “I didn’t God did.”

I let go of HOW God worked in me. I walked away from the ‘soaking’ going ‘deeper’, operating in the ‘prophetic’ every single day, to just letting Him move that way once in awhile when I just could not ignore.

Why did I walk away from moving in the way God created me to move?

I walked away, because I was afraid that it was wrong. There are a few reasons but for one, this was a season when mystical stuff began coming into the church (or at least I learned of it), and fingers started pointing saying it was ALL wrong, basically I threw the baby out with the bathwater. Name it and claim it was wrong, prophetic movement was wrong, this pastor and that pastor (all who were fundamental in tremendous growth in my life) were wrong. I began to doubt. I began to doubt the prophetic in me, I began to doubt everything I was taught, I began to doubt the truths ever spoken to me, I began to doubt absolutely anything written in the bible that were not Jesus words themselves. I began to doubt even the Spirit of God that I once was in tune with and knew so so very well. That little seed of doubt grew and grew to the point that I can honestly say, now after identifying it, that I began to doubt a God at all.

Let me be clear, the Spirit was still there. I knew the truth and it would rise up louder than those doubts. But those doubts still had a voice in my head. I still stopped soaking and going deeper and deeper to where God wanted to take me. To put it simply I walked the last 11 years in disobedience out of fear and had NO IDEA I was doing it. I was erring on the side of not wanting to cross God, and wasn’t listening to Him. I got ill. Very very very ill.

The root system in this wall has grown stronger and stronger and stronger on the beautiful plant side BUT the root of doubt was still hovering beneath the surface on the root side. I kept losing my ground because I kept doubting. I would advance and then pull back, afraid that I was tapping into the wrong thing. Even though I am meant to work that way. That is a GIFT the LORD has placed in side of me and I do not need to fear it. I know GODS voice.

We are all different, these words may make no sense to many of you and that is ok. But I do ask you to look at yourself and see where you lost the YOU inside of Fibromyalgia. Where did you lose your identity that you were created to be? It is time to take it back. It is time to kill those roots that are stifling the life out of YOU.

One day at a time, one step at a time. I will regain my life back!

 

 

 

Grace in your face

 

Tonight was a whirlwind for my husband. Our friends were visiting from Idaho. They moved away five months ago and we were SO blessed to have a real hug in person, to visit and to sit at a meal together.

There was sharing and laughter and good eats. Then the guys decided to take our friends Subaru for a drive. Our friend had bought it six months ago, just before his move. My boys LOVE Subaru’s and everyone was excited to check it out. The first ride was a run with my sons in the car. They took it to back roads and on a gravel road did some showing off.

Then the guys brought the boys back and went out by themselves. Dan was driving our friends car. There was a little playing with the car on a straight away back road, but Dan had slowed down and was driving normal when a curve was coming up, that he knew was there.

Dan had not driven a stick in ages and this car had power. Dan slowed down before the curve and somewhere somehow,  that is when things changed quickly. He describes the moment as slow motion. The car left the road and rolled. There was no guard rail, there was no skidding, there was no wreckless driving, just a ditch to meet and it totalled the car.

The men were trapped, upside down. They unbuckled and dropped and had to break out the window to get out of the car. There is so much that was happening in their minds and in the process, I was not there, so I can not fully comprehend or relay the experience. But what I can relay is the reaction of a Godly friend.

Dan was panicked in that car. He is claustrophobic in normal situations, there was a moment he was trapped. The car had smoke coming in, our friend had a bloody nose, the airbags had went off, they were buckled in and it took breaking a window to get out of the car.

Our friend talked Dan through the panic and kept a level head.

Dan was beside himself to have destroyed a friends beautiful car. Our friend assured him  over and over that this possession was not more important than Dan. He was thankful to be with Dan. He was full of grace and kindness and forgiveness. There was nothing but assurance and an example of love.

This reminds me how the Lord is with His children. He is full of grace, full of love, full of assurance. He knows His children’s hearts and when we come to Him with a contrite heart, asking for forgiveness, our God offers it. Just in this way. No strings attached.

God also showed favor and grace in another way. Our finances are a mess. But we have enough set aside for the deductible of the accident. We were saving it for moving when the home is taken away, but we know that there will be a different provision if and when that time comes. Our God IS a supplier and full of mercy and grace.

There was no ticket, the police officer found no fault with Dan’s spotless driving record, and stated. ” usually, there would be a ticket, but I see no sign of reckless driving and a ticket will not help your situation so I am not going to give you one.” Again this is a sign of how unmerited grace works. We did not deserve that favor, it was just given.

Our friend Don  (Best friends dad) was over for dinner as well and  happened to not go on that drive .  He received the call and went to them. He did not give us women details to worry us, he went with a calm. He was saved from the experience of the wreck and I am so thankful for that. He was there to be a calm and a hand to aid the guys at the site. He was an encouraging and solid voice and I am SO blessed he was there. Another example of God’s grace!

My husband and our friend…. WALKED from the car. The fireman said they were extremely lucky to have no injuries. Again, this is a sign of grace.

Dan was angry at his fault at wrecking a friends car, he was furious, he felt bad, he felt foolish, we have a thousand different ways we would have rather this day have gone, but we have experienced grace in a way we never had before.

This friend, never once raised his voice or blamed Dan in the situation, but assured him and encouraged him instead. The wife (my best friend) was with me when we got the news and she was teary eyed, not over the vehicle or the disappointing concerns of what to do to fix it all, but she was teary eyed over knowing how bad my husband would feel. She was concerned for us and our finances. She was concerned for us and not themselves.

What have I learned from this example? Think twice where I would find fault with another, even if fault is theirs, I can find that as an opportunity to extend grace!  I can show love regardless of a situation. There are far more important things than what my small mind may see.

Thank you dear friends for being a living example on being a child of God that gives unmerited favor to others…. grace is an amazing gift to receive!!!

Challenge this day friends: Recognize areas in your life where you have experienced grace. Extend grace in new ways to others in your life. Be a living example of Jesus.

Hebrews 4:16-

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

(NIV)

Thank you Lord for keeping your children safe in their time of need!!!!

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Removing the mask

Today was a hard one for me. I hate to cry in front of people and had a whole audience this time (5 people!) The tears were contagious and others had cried as well.

Through  this heartbreak, I am reminded that I must walk in joy daily and choose joy for my life, but I do not need to walk around as if troubles never come my way.

If I walk around always saying I am fine when I am not, then I am putting on a mask and it is not healthy. Joy is mine because I choose it, it is inside me and Christ provides it, but I will face trials as will everyone else.

Often I have had Christians complain to me that they don’t feel like anyone wants them to be ‘real’. They feel that it is necessary to plaster a smile on their face all the time because nobody really wants to know what may be uncomfortable to look at. They hide their sin, they hide their pain, they hide their fears, and trials. They paste on a  smile and act like everything is wonderful.

There is a difference between sharing your heart and being a whiner, pity me party type person. Our hurts, our scars and our pain are REAL and we must deal with them.

I am not saying it is okay to run through life complaining all the time to everyone you meet about everything you are dealing with at every given opportunity. It is important to know who we can turn to with all of us, the good and the not so great. This allows people to share your burdens and be able to lift one another up in our times of trial.  When your testimony arrives, these friends, pastors or whoever it is that you had shared the full truth with, will be able to rejoice when you have welcomed the complete victory!

I am learning the balance between who I share with and who I do not, as well as spilling everything and keeping everything in. I will say it so important to not be a gloomy gus with everyone, everywhere you go. But when asked if you are okay, if you are not, do not lie, be truthful and say how you are. REJOICE that the Lord will turn your situation around for good, while being real.

I can allow friends and family to see my tears or know my hurts and frustrations, and I can still obtain joy in the midst of it. I can share it ALL with Jesus.

He knows my coming and going, I can shout out LORD I AM UNHAPPY AT THIS MOMENT! (most often that is when His peace will rush me ).

Sometimes the root to having joy, is to allow ourselves to be who we are with no strings attached. We are to grow and walk with Jesus daily and when we do that we shine with the glory of the Lord. We do not need to wear a mask covering up who we are.

Challenge this day my friends: Remove the mask you have hidden behind… Allow others to know you, to pray with you, to encourage you. Allow Jesus to remove your hurt and burdens. It is time to be free and allow those things to be revealed so we do not continue to harbor them!

2 Corinthians 3:16

But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.  And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

Chocolate’s anyone?

When the boys were small they loved to play with play dough. I had been keeping them busy with a brand new color while Dan and a friend played a very intense Grand Turismo game session on the Playstation.

Our boys had come into the living room with their latest creation on a plate.
“You want some chocolate?” They asked Dan. Dan grabbed a piece and pretended to eat it.

They went over to our friend Mark. ” You want a chocolate?” they asked. Mark picked up a piece of play dough that resembled a piece of chocolate quite perfectly and popped it in his mouth, all the while his eyes never leaving the game. That is until the flavor of what he just put in his mouth began to sink into his brain.

The boys were as shocked as Mark when they realized that he ate their play dough.

How often do we take something in our lives that we think is going to be sweet and good and all that yumminess, only to find out it is bland and lifeless and leads to an upset stomach.

There are many counterfeits to the word of God. There are many ways we try to fill ourselves up to try and get a smidgen of joy. But even if I forget for a moment, I am brought back around that the only way to have the fullness of joy that leaves me daily stronger and healed, is through the Word of God. Knowing the Father through the Son. Tasting and seeing that the LORD  is good and taking refuge in Him.

Challenge this day my friend : Evaluate what you are tasting, even if it looks good, is it the real deal?

Pslam 34:8

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in Him. ( New Living Translation )