Saturday, 9 February 2008

Illness As A Calling Or Mission

I have been completely useless/helpless for almost a month. Its times like this that I worry how life will be when my husband gets here and I am this sick. I have not been able to get dressed/ showered etc. except once a week or so for about a month. The pain has gotten worse and I can't get my meds changed until my doc comes back in 6 months. I have also had vertigo, where I feel like I am spinning all the time. Hard to walk around or read or watch TV or to be on the computer for very long, it causes nausea and exhaustion and is hard on the nerves trying to stabilize myself all the time. I pretty much just spend a lot of time laying with my eyes closed. I am still spinning but at least everything that I am looking at isn't spinning with me when my eyes are closed. This has left a lot of time for thinking, and praying, and for listening to the answers to prayer.

Usually the answers to prayer go through my head, moving so fast that I can't stop them to complete the thought or write them down for future reference. Its really frustrating. Then the next time I get worried about the same thing, I can't remember the answer to prayer I got last time, and have to go through the same anxiety and thought process each time. During this time that I HAD to slow down and listen, as the scripture says "Be still and know that I am". I was able to finish some thought and write them down, so when I have the same anxieties in the future, I can go to those notes and find comfort, because I know they were inspired and from the Holy Spirit.

The fears came from being too tired and overwhelmed, and that's when Satan works on us hardest, when we are too weak to fight. So he causes fear and doubt and anxiety. I sometimes wondered if it was God giving me these doubts an fears so that I would change what I am doing, but the scriptures say: "For God hath not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."

Then I pray, and fear and confusion is replaced with order and courage and reason. I would apologize to the Lord for praying about the same problem again and again and not remembering what the answers were last time. Thankfully, I know the Lord knows that pain and other symptoms from these diseases cause memory problems, so I'm sure the Lord understood my inability to remember His answers whenever I was in too much pain to think. He knows more about this disease and this body than I do. He knows my limitations, and He doesn't get angry at me for them.

Chronic pain and illness changes every aspect of your life and personality. It's overwhelming. I believe God gives us overwhelming things so that we will seek His strength, because when we ask for His help, we do better than we could have done on our own, even if we were healthy.

No it is not wrong to want to be healed. I think that lots of people are given an illness so that a LOT of people can see just how sick they were, so that when God heals them, people will know it was a true miracle, not just a matter of the person thinking he was sick, then thinking he is well.

One thing I have learned is that you have to laugh at yourself sometimes. If you don't, you will make the symptoms and brain fog worse. The more you stress about your condition, the worse it gets. If you accept that this is what God has chosen for your path right now, and that it might be temporary... (or might not), it has a purpose! Just one of many reasons might be to learn some lessons from. It might be to teach others who know you some lessons. Then when you put the mustard in the dryer and your sock in the fridge, you have to just laugh and think "Oh well." Everyone does things like that when overstressed, we just do it more often. Please stop expecting perfection from yourself. Allow yourself to rest when you need to, watch lots of funny movies, laughter is the best medicine. Write a list of things that make you smile when you think of them. Write a list of things that relax you. A bath, sitting on the grass at the park, listening to a certain album, making a craft or working on a hobby, singing, exercising, dancing, hearing the laughter of children, etc.

One little book that has saved me from a nervous breakdown time and time again (and my husband too) is called "Feeling Good" by David Burns. It shows you how to lighten up on yourself and accept yourself, and have less stress. It helps you realize different ways that you might be thinking, and how to change the destructive ways of thinking.

Remember that the more angry you get, the worse the symptoms will get, so you need to laugh and find ways to relax, and find new, achievable goals, and new ways to enjoy yourself. The more you can smile and relax, things will get easier, you will be easier to be around, you will learn whatever lessons you need to, and then maybe the Lord will heal you and allow you to move on to the next lesson in life. If you get stuck in your anger and frustration, and you don't learn from your situation, then you won't be able to heal or be able to move on to the next life lesson.

If the Lord's plan is to not heal you, then you can still learn wisdom from your experiences, and help others with that wisdom. "ALL things work for good for those who love the Lord."

Another thing I was told in an NDE...I was VERY angry and told the spirit who was speaking to me that I was, and that I not willing to live if I couldn't even help the Lord, and I was completely useless in this condition. The spirit told me that even though I didn't understand it, I WAS serving the Lord through my illness, and that I would just have to trust his word on it. Illness takes you out of the world and closer to God.

Whenever you pray, listen for answers. When you are relaxing, listen for the Holy Spirit to whisper to you. It takes practice, but it does come. Here are some of the inspirations I have received, so strongly that I could not deny that they were divine. They might mean nothing to you, because they were meant for the frame of mind I was in at each certain time, or they might really hit home, too. I printed them off onto paper and put them on my wall beside my bed, so when I am laying down, I can read them, and remember that God has become so close that He knows my problems, and is guiding me through them. Comments in brackets are my own added comments.

1) Do not become the candle that gives light to others, but itself remains in darkness. (One who counsels others but does not take his own advice, or one who preaches of the light of God but does not have it himself.) Do not follow the desires of your lower self. Should the Lord wish, He Himself will pick you out and prompt you to be a source of guidance. He himself shall endow you with the inner strength to endure the changes of fortune and will instill within you infinite wisdom.

-Abdul Jillani

2)Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. Prov 3:5-6

3) He has ALWAYS helped you find answers that you did not even know existed. Do not doubt Him! Like the story of Thomas walking on water with Jesus, walk on the water with The Lord, as He asks for your hand. Do not doubt and sink below the stormy waves. But if you do doubt and sink below the waves, reach for his hand again, imagine looking into His eyes, and He will lift you out of the water.

4) Be Joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. -Rom 12:12

5) This illness might actually be a calling. One that will teach me and others around me many lessons. Lessons that will be worth the suffering, and that can not be learned in any other way.

6) If He brings you to it, He will bring you through it. He will also prepare you for it. You may see something that is going to happen in the future that you just don't think you can bear; but you may learn and grow between now and then; and when and if that feared even happens, you will be better equipped to handle it.

7) Now is the season to know that everything you do is sacred. Do not doubt the mystery that God is leading you through. It is greater than you understand.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. "

Jer. 29:11.

So everything that happens to you is for a purpose, and He will NEVER leave you nor forsake you. If God seems as if He Has gotten farther away, who is the one who moved? Not Him. Trust His love for you. Trust that He thought you were strong enough for this "calling" or "mission". Even when you think He has overestimated your strength, you can still call on Him for comfort and strength and wisdom.



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