Archive for the Category » fibromyalgia «

November 11th, 2009 | Author:

Fear not.   This is a common theme in the Bible,  and in subsequent songs, where God encourages His children to take their eyes off the things they fear and put their trust in Him.

But just what is it that we fear? There are many things, of course – from spiders to dying – but I’ve observed both in my own life and in the life of others that the root of much of that fear is the fear of pain.  Whether it’s physical or emotional pain, we expend a great deal of our energies trying to avoid it.

And those avoidance techniques often result in sin, from the time we’re little kids.   We don’t want our boo-boo cleaned and bandaged, so we kick and scream.  We don’t want a spanking, so we lie and blame our siblings.  We don’t want to get our shots (which is actually a good idea, but that’s another story) so we cry and try to manipulate our parents.

But we’re not little kids anymore.  We’re supposed to “grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,” (Eph 4:15) and it’s hard to imagine Jesus kicking and screaming at His mother.  In fact, this incredible Savior of ours embraced His coming pain.  While his flesh would have liked a way out, His spirit said, “yet not My will, but Yours be done.”  (Luke 22:42)

So how do we get from here to there?  How do we grow past our sinful avoidance techniques and take up our crosses?  I can’t speak for everyone, but in my life this process has been furthered by suffering.

From the time I was first saved, I went through one emotionally painful betrayal after another, each time closer to the bone than the last.  I cried, and cried out to the Lord, to protect me from all this pain.  It didn’t stop.  Then I asked Him to help me deal with the pain.  He did, but it still didn’t stop.  After many years, I finally got to the point where I could honestly say, “yet not My will, but Yours be done.”  I had become willing to suffer emotionally if it would further His plans for my life or the lives of others.

From that point on, other people simply couldn’t cause the pain that they used to, and I stopped trying to protect myself from it. Near the end of this process, the Lord impressed on me this verse:

Because in much wisdom there is much grief,
and increasing knowledge results in increasing pain. (Ecc 1:18)

As I read this, I realized that all that emotional suffering had been an answer to prayer, because the cry of my heart from the beginning had been to know Him and His ways.  He is faithful to give us what we ask for.

Then one day I was talking and praying with a dear Christian friend who had watched and helped me go through much of this process.  We were talking about the stoning of Stephen (Acts 7), and I said that while the Lord had been teaching me how to handle emotional pain, I was a big baby when it came to physical pain.  I didn’t think I’d be able to represent the Lord when I was being stoned or fed to the lions or hung on a cross.

She said, “Uh, oh.”

Sure enough, before much time passed I started having back problems, which progressively got worse.  Then came hypothyroidism and chronic fatigue. Then I developed tendinitis and a frozen shoulder.   Then all my muscles started hurting with a pain that prevented me from sleeping.  I was eventually diagnosed with fibromyalgia, for which there is no cure and no definitive treatment

Being one who learns from experience, I skipped the prayers to make the pain go away, and went straight to the “help me deal with this” prayers.  I occasionally can say, “Your will,” with an honest heart, but this process is far from finished and my poor husband still has to listen to me whine – which he does with more grace than I give myself.

But I can say that the fear of physical pain is abating, and much of the time I can keep my eyes on the goal.

The goal?  I’m being prepared to represent the Lord while being stoned, of course.

Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul;
but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.  (Matt 10:28)

You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin;
and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons,
“MY SON, DO NOT REGARD LIGHTLY THE DISCIPLINE OF THE LORD,
NOR FAINT WHEN YOU ARE REPROVED BY HIM;
FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES,
AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES.”
It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons;
for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers,
then you are illegitimate children and not sons.
Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them;
shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live?
For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them,
but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.
All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful;
yet to those who have been trained by it,
afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. (Hebrews 12:4-11)

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April 15th, 2008 | Author:

Sleep is a very precious commodity when you have fibromyalgia, because it reduces pain the next day, so I am a bit miffed that it got interrupted last night. Sometime after 4 am, I was awakened by a very loud roaring noise. Yelling, “Oh, God!” I untangled myself from the blankets and stumbled to the top of the stairs.

I stood there, trying to make sense of the dim light I saw below. Then the dim light in my brain clicked on, and I realized I was looking down at my vacuum cleaner – which was running. As I processed this, the dog came to my side from the other room. Nope, she didn’t do it.

I made my way downstairs, fumbled around a bit, and turned it off. Blessed silence. I went back upstairs. Nope, my husband was still in bed, snoring his way through all this.

As I climbed back into bed and snuggled under the blankets, I wondered, “Who had turned on the vacuum cleaner?” The only options I came up with were a poltergeist or a large rodent, neither one of which deserved my attention at 4 whatever – so I went back to sleep.

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Category: fibromyalgia  | Comments off
March 28th, 2008 | Author:

It’s been a while since I posted, because God has been keeping me busy. I’m doing pool therapy for my fibromyalgia twice a week now. I am getting stronger, so I think it’s worth it, but the schedule now looks like this: Tues. noon – pool; Tues. evening & Wed. – sore; Thurs noon – pool; Thurs. evening & Fri. – sore.

Also, I was dubbed chairperson of a new spiritual development committee at church. I’m excited about it, because I believe God is getting all of us ready for something He’s going to do, but it has involved quite a bit of praying and listening and preparation. So this makes my brain tired, too. While fibrofog is a good excuse for memory lapses, etc., it’s not all that much fun.

And then, my husband has taken next week off from work to sort through his stuff in the cellar and garage so we can put our house on the market. That means I need to try to do some real cleaning, which is tough even on the good days. Yeah, I know, there’s a housing crisis. But some houses are selling, and I figure God is in charge of finding the right buyer. We just have to get it ready.

All added together, this doesn’t leave much time for blogging. I’m signed up to do another message at church in a couple weeks, so I’ll definitely put that up. Between now and then, though, it’s just going to be hit and miss.

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Category: Christianity, fibromyalgia  | Comments off
January 25th, 2008 | Author:

I’m about to lose all my friends. This posting is going out as an email to just about everybody I know, and I’m asking them to refrain from sending me any email, unless a) they write it themselves or, b) they personally know the writer. If someone wants to comment on something and send me a link, great. But no more “forwards.” That’s it. I’m going cold turkey.

“Heresy!” they say. “Off with her head! Delete that email address! Don’t speak to her Sunday at church!” So why am I running this gauntlet? Three reasons.

  1. I’m wasting my time. The inbox is clogged and takes forever to sort through. I get multiple copies of the same thing, but sometimes have to open half a dozen attachments to figure that out. Then I have to decide who to forward the forwards to, trying hard not to send it to people who have already gotten it, or people who probably wouldn’t appreciate it. The Holy Spirit has convicted me that there are better ways to spend my time. And given my “fibrofog”, I’ve been using my limited brain power on things that simply don’t matter. Enough. I need to conserve my resources.
  2. Emails don’t bring good luck. As a Christian, my faith is in the Lord Jesus. If I forward an email that promises good luck if you forward it to seven other people in the next 7 minutes, am I not encouraging people to put their faith in … email? or worse, witchcraft? Conversely, a “Christian” email that says I’m denying Jesus if I don’t forward it is a lot like … blackmail. God doesn’t blackmail people, and I can’t, either.
  3. What am I promoting? A good share of emails promote concepts that are not Christian. Slams against men, women, blondes, Muslims, or even Hillary, do not demonstrate God’s love. Yeah, I confess, some of them make me laugh. But they shouldn’t. They should prompt me to confess and repent. So that’s what I’m doing.

Now, I admit that I’m going to miss some of these emails. I’m a sucker for pictures of dogs and cats. I’m going to miss knowing that my friends were trying to brighten my day, because many won’t take the time to actually write something. But when I see that 4,238 coalition forces and over 80,000 civilians have died violent deaths in Iraq since 2003, giving up some momentary amusement doesn’t seem a very high price to pay for following the Lord.

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life. Galatians 6:7-8

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Category: fibromyalgia  | Comments off