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True Positivity

Sometimes it’s hard to stay positive, isn’t it? I’ve been thinking about that this past week–partly because I’ve had high pain levels but partly because of an appointment I had with my doctor.

It was just my yearly check in with her. Get my letters of medical necessity signed. Update her on how my health is going. The usual. But it really underscored again that nobody has answers for me in the health department. The type of auto-immune I’ve got is a category of illness–one that can have hundreds of causes. Therefore, there’s no one way to treat it.

Sometimes I get really cranky being told that doctors can’t solve my health problems. I get tired of being told that they don’t know why certain treatments aren’t working, that they have no idea what to try next. I just want someone to swoop in with some perfect treatment, some magical pill that takes away the pain and exhaustion.

I was reminded though that God is our healer. I firmly believe that when we align with the way God designed our bodies to work, we get healthier. We’re designed to need sleep and enough calories to run our bodies and the right sort of nutrients and to have good probiotics in our guts and to not live under chronic stress. The Bible says a lot about health.

I particularly like Proverbs 3–there’s a lot in there about how to stay healthy. Verse eight says, “This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones” (NIV). I recently heard a sermon where the speaker glossed over how awesome the bones bit is. I have to admit I did the same thing until I got an auto-immune disease; a huge part of our immune system is in our bones. For example, white blood cells (the guys who fight off infection and disease–basically any foreign thing in our bodies) are produced in our bones. We want healthy bones for way more than just not breaking them.

Anyway! When you have a chronic illness, it’s way too easy to get caught up in trying to find the right information on how to treat it. I believe that God could heal me in an instant–I mean just look at Ps. 103:3 or any of the healings in the New Testament. But I’ve also learned that I didn’t know the first thing about taking care of my own body. I’ve learned a lot since I got sick and have seen how God has used my illness for my benefit.

Last week, when I was stewing over the lack of information my doctor provided, I was reminded of all the times when God has given me the right information at the right time–99% of the time it hasn’t been through a healthcare professional. So I don’t need to stew. I don’t need to fret over whether I know the right things. I just have to trust that God is my healer. He knows how to get me healthy. He knows the cause of my illness. And He knows what information I need and when I need it. That’s where true positivity comes from–knowing who God is and that He’s going to work in my life–not from having great circumstances.

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Thorns and More

The past couple weeks I’ve been relapsing up and back down the wazoo (health-wise)… and consequently doing a lot of escaping into fiction or struggling just to get through daily tasks. It’s been a rough time.  And in the midst of all the pain and turmoil, I’ve been meditating on perspective. Here’s the view from my back deck.

Quite often, when I look at my life, this is all I see–the thorns. I complain about all the difficulties, the exhaustion, the hard work, etc., etc. And then, every so often, God reminds me that this isn’t the whole picture. If I looked around, maybe I would see something like this.

This is also from my back deck. All my lovely thorns come with something amazing. God allows difficult times because they can flower into something beautiful, and when I take the time to examine my surroundings, I can see glimmers of the amazing all around.

Perspective… a frame for everything we experience… a choice to see something a certain way. In my mind, perspective is like a habit. So rather than wearing down a path to view my thorns by complaining and focusing on the negative, I’m trying to discipline myself to see God’s grace at work in my life. My roses are things like having a wonderful husband, children I delight in, a place to live that’s perfect for my health issues, a calling that makes me more myself, a past that makes me desperate for God, an unwillingness to be content with the mediocre, friends who listen… the list goes on and on. How about you?

God, open our eyes to see You at work. Rip aside the veil of our apparently mundane trivialities and show us Your hand and Your grace. Expose the roses in our lives, God. Give us a hunger for more than just surviving the thorns. Perfect us through those thorns. I love You! In Jesus’ Name, amen.