A blog about the reality of God's presence, love and involvement in everyday occurrences. This is a record of my journey towards discovery. I often share thoughts on femininity, scripture, motherhood, creativity and ministry.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Emotional Unstable Hypochondriac

If you are reading this, and you are a mother, I am sure you have wondered what it would be like to be diagnosed with a deadly disease. I am convinced every woman has those thoughts but being a mother intensifies those one hundred times over.

Motherhood turns you in to some sort of emotional unstable hypochondriac. We worry about everything. The only hope we have is that somehow we adapt, learn to control our thoughts, and put let God be the boss. Much easier said than done. But, it’s a fight worth fighting.

First, we ONLY have our children’s health and happiness in our hands; then, we have to balance our family dynamics, work, eat, feed our souls, take a shower, teach our children preschool, and keep it together for our husband’s sakes... Somewhere in the middle of it all it would be nice to at least hold a glimpse of who you are as an individual. Somewhere inside of me there is a girl who dreamed of what I wanted to be. Of course, those dreams included family and two sweet boys and ministry. But, there was also me. This girl wanted to feel and breathe in life to its fullest.

Four months ago, a doctor told me than my blood work indicated I had an autoimmune disorder, specifically Scleroderma. She did not know enough about this rare disorder so she recommended me to a rheumatoid specialist. Then, there was a wait. Four months of waiting. Everyone said “Don’t worry. It may be nothing. Wait to talk to the specialist before you worry.”

Do you know what I did? I read everything there is to read about Scleroderma. Every single ache and pain in my body my mind was attributing to this disease. I thought about the girl who would never become all that she dreamed of. I was torn. My heart and Spirit held on tight to God’s word. The Spirit of God within me sensed the hand of my King working. There were moments I was calm and confident. Then, the emotional unstable hypochondriac would take over my body. I would sit in my baby’s room while nursing him and imagine what my children would have to endure without a mother. I would secretly think of every single detail. How would David raise these children on his own? What would they think when I never came home again?

It was a dark place. Satan and his demonic spirits are here and ramped on Earth to steal, kill, and destroy. I was a fighting, trying to protect my mind with all that was within me. But, they found me, in my weak moments. These quiet times once used to stare and love a beautiful new creation, were being overtaken by thoughts of defeat. I have no doubt they were there in that room with me many times over 4 months. There were moments I rose up and commended them to leave all while asking God’s presence to fill the room. It was a battle. I trying to trust and be strong. But, there were moments where sadness would overtake me.

The weekend leading up to the doctor’s appointment was difficult. Once, I even thought “Everything could change after this weekend.” But, the morning of the appointment, I was completely okay. My heart was beating a little quick in my chest but I was peaceful. The doctor evaluated me. He asked a thousand questions and moved every joint in my body. At the end of it all he wrote without saying a word. Finally, I broke the silence, “What do you think is going on with me?” He replied, “Nothing. I think you’re okay.”

I left that building and drove and cried. A thousand tons had been lifted from me. I thought about how it could have gone either way. I could have left that office with the opposite news, “You have only 5 years to live.”

I ached with thankfulness. I sensed the Holy Spirit with me. I felt Him speaking many things to me and teaching me a great lesson through love. I felt as though I was wrapped up in His arms, just as I do again as I retail this story. It’s a swarming feeling inside my chest. Have you ever been so excited about something that you felt like you were going to pop right open if you couldn’t jump up and down and tell everyone the good news? That is what I feel here in my heart.

Men and women are so different. In the middle of my battle, I said to David “Can you imagine a child loosing their mother and…..” He cut me off in the middle of my thought and said “No. why would I ever even think about something so terrible?” He is right. While our hormones allow us to love in a completely different and much needed way, they do consume us at times.

The real question here is whether or not I would have responded in the same way even if the outcome had been different. Could I possibly still have trusted in Jesus Christ to heal me?

So, I am learning to suppress that ugly emotional unstable hypochondriac. My heart and soul and mind all believe that my God is controlling my fate. I believe I can call upon Him in my times of despair and He comes to my rescue. I have faith that He is the one true God and creator of everything. Through lessons and discipline I am learning. Learning to not be overcome by life. Every single day I have the ability to be incredibly disappointed. And I admit, I have many of those days. But, they are growing fewer. I could come up with a list ten pages long about all the things I wish were easier or different around me. Satan wants me to live in selfish dark and gloomy mode. He wants me to live and function in the tunnel of disappointment. But my God wants me to be free. He was me to live a blessed and joyful life enjoying it to its fullest, just like the girl inside me always wanted to. It’s possible.

I just paused a moment because both of my children were waking from their naps. First the baby. I picked him up and wrapped him in his blanket as he snuggled with me. Then, I heard the voice of my 3 year old calling. I carried the baby to Roman’s room. He was stretching and yawning there in his bed. I walked over and he jumped up to stand on the edge of his bed. He said “I want you to hold both boys!” With a child on both hips I walked to the living room and sat them down. I walked over to my computer to finish this story. Should I think about how difficult my day has been at times? Or should I dwell on my two perfectly healthy children who show me love unconditionally.

Thank you Jesus that I have two children health and happiness to think about.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Jude's 9th Month/ Ro 3 1/2

My sweet little Jude. This boy is just changing and growing up so so fast! At 9 months he finally started "real" crawling. It is going everywhere, pulling up, and walking around things. Even though he just really started crawling, he is about to walk. He will take a couple of steps while diving into your arms when trying to get to you from someone or something else. Right now, all four of his front top teeth are coming through the gums!! He has not been happy about this at all. I can't imagine how that must feel. Poor guy. He, of course, still wants Mommy all the time. He is very attached. He makes motor noises when playing with his cars. He growls at his brother while grabbing him. He thinks it is so funny to "get" him. He finally has started laughing out loud. He has always smiled but never really out loud too much. He does this adorable thing where he crinkles his nose and makes this little blowing nose when he is smiling. Oh my, it is so cute and original:) I know I have said he is a eater before, but let me just tell you I was not exaggerating. This kids never stops eating. Food and drinking on his own from his sippy cup with a straw makes him so happy. He figured out how to drink from a straw the first time I gave it to him. It took Roman a while to figure that out. He is saying new words everyday. We figured out he is allergic to eggs right now. Roman was too at his age but grew out of it around 2. There is no stopping him right now. He is exploring and in to everything. I am having to baby-proof the house again! Still loving his blanket and his paci. That is what he wants when he is sleepy. He truly cannot here a tune without dancing. He finds music in everything. Even grocery shopping he dances to the sound of the wheels tapping across the floor. Ha! I think he may be a musician someday. He is trying to sing when I do. He loves bathtime with bubby! Those eyes of his are so big and wide open absorbing everything he can. He even has started watching himself potty and then clapping and cheering! It is hilarious. I think I may have him out of diapers sooner than Ro was. Roman was completely potty trained, no more nighttime diapers, by 22 months. We will see.

This year's Christmas for Roman was a dream. I'm not sure he could have been any happier. After our 4th Christmas I told him we had one more to go. He replied with "I don't need anymore presents" as he looked into his play room. He was right! Roman loves nothing more than spending time with all of his family. He was in heaven. I think I had finally convinced him that Santa was real before Christmas arrived. He was amazed Christmas morning at all Santa had done. And let me tell you that out of all 50 presents he got from everyone, he knows who each present came from. He can go down the list and tell you who got him each present. Roman has been so thankful and expressive lately. Every time I make him a meal or do just about anything for him, he comes over, hugs me, and says "thank you momma" for whatever it is. He has been doing that to everyone. It is like he just woke up and realized that people all around him are doing nice things for him and he appreciates it. He is so loving. He wants everyone to feel as loved and happy as he does. He performed in his first Christmas Production right before Christmas. All the family came to watch him and he did so amazing! He walked right up on stage with the rest of his class and performed all four songs. He smiled, danced, and waved at the family the whole time. It was so sweet. The best part of the big hug when he ran to me after he was finished. I was so proud of him. Roman is so smart. I know I am mommy so I am suppose to say that but he really amazes me. He learns so easy. We have almost completed an entire preschool book and he know everything in it. You show him once and that is all it takes. He leaned to read his first 4 words yesterday. Rat Cat Hat and Fat! He is writing and drawing really well. He is going to be a very smart boy. I can't wait to see what he does with his brilliance.

These boys are keeping me busy. Oh my, everything I thought I had figured out before the second one came along went down the drain. Just washing my hair is twice as complicated. But, I love it and this family is my life.

Valiant Girls Bible Study

Each week we meet, I have come to expect God to do something amazing. I'm always curious about what will happen before we leave Barnes and Noble. I am beginning to look all around the store just to see who is there. Normally, I would never see anyone else. But, in light of recent events, things are changing.

If there were ever a dream of mine, it would be played out just as it is happening.

First of all, this group of girls is dear to my heart. I know I was created to spend my time with this impressionable group of individuals. Each week I prepare a devotional but it always turns into much more. Their minds are open and I believe they come wanting to take their relationships with Jesus to a new level. They come with questions about anything and everything. They seem to know it is a safe place to express their honesty. When you spend this type of time with anyone, asking and listening, you will see into the heart. I believe in them. I believe in encouragement. They need to know what great potential is at their fingertips. The King of the World, their creator, has called them blessed. We are capable of living a blessed life as Christians. When we walk in his ways, consulting Him on every question, He directs our paths. He is speaking to each of these girls. I want them to hear Him and feel it in the depths are their hearts. I want them to take what they are learning and reach out to people all around them who are waiting.

Speaking of waiting.....

They was a women who sat next to our little corner of Barnes and Noble while we discussed on Monday night. She sat there on her computer the entire time and never seemed affected by us. She never looked up, never went for coffee, just seemed as though she was reading something on her computer. Our discussion went on as it always does. At the conclusion of our night I noticed she was talking to a couple of the middle school girls. Savannah came over, tugged me on the arm, and said "This lady wants to talk to you." She was a very kind lady who introduced herself to me then told be her story. After a 5 minute talk, I was hugging her while tears streamed down her face. She had been sitting there in that coffee shop all day long. She had been desperately praying to God for help and felt hopeless. She was waiting and there we were talking about Jesus Christ. She had some desperate concerns about one of her daughters. She followed me back to our church where the Prayer Launch was taking place. The sanctuary was dimly lit with worship music playing overhead. There were prayer stations in the back and an open alter. She prayed and wept for at least an hour. Gratitude was dripping from her as the evening concluded. Today is Wednesday. She is planning to bring her daughters to our church tonight.

To my sweet Valiant girls. This is merely a blink of what God is doing through you. There are people all around us. You think they have already heard about Jesus. You think they know all they need to know. But, the truth is that they are waiting for someone who is passionate and believes deep down in their soul that Jesus Christ can save them. God has used us again and given us another example of what He wants to do through your lives. If you are willing to open yourself up, be committed, and be "loud" about what you believe, this type of thing will happen in your life every day! I say "loud" because, in the words of Tim, our December God experience, we are public and unashamed during our Monday night groups. God is really using us and I think it is amazing!

Maybe this is a lesson to all of us. Always be aware. Always look around and be listening for Jesus to lead you to someone.