Monday, September 13, 2010

Suffering


“We're not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be” - C.S Lewis on learning of his wife's cancer

I think that's how Matt and I kind of felt as we went down the road to getting the diagnosis of Lyme disease. Weeks...months before we decide to head to DC to see the Lyme doctor I remember just being TERRIFIED at even the prospect of having Lyme disease. I knew what it could do to your body and I just thought, "No...NO.....I have two kids to care for and I simply can't get that sick." I didn't want to entrust it to God because I knew that if I DID, He might choose to lead us down a road of fiery trials and I REALLY didn't want to experience them. It was my sin of not believing that what He gives us and where He leads us IS truly what is best for us. We might not see why at the time but He cares for us. He wouldn't lead us down a road that was full of thorns if He didn't plan on caring for us the whole time and not letting us suffer more than we can handle with His help.

"He who gave His only begotten Son for you, will never withhold anything from you which is really for your good. Lean back on this thought and be content. Say to yourself in the darkest hour of trial, ‘This also is ordered by Him who gave Christ to die for my sins. It cannot be wrong. It is done in love. It must be well.’" J.C. Ryle

We do try to "lean back" on this thought. It's hard at times I have to admit. I don't know that anyone experiencing physical sufferings and the repercussions it has on the surrounding family would ever tell you it was EASY to "lean back" on that thought. It takes daily, no hourly reminders.

Your 5 month old is screaming -- supposed to be sleeping -- supposed to be YOUR time of rest. Your 3 year old is arguing with you about what she wants to do right now. You are her mom and know what is best for her right now. You know it's critical that you get rest at this VERY moment or else your tremor might turn into a seizure or a fainting episode. And yet she argues more, not doing what you command. The baby meanwhile screams louder and louder. Your body aches, your joints HURT, your body feels like lead, your arm is tremoring like crazy. You have no physical help today. For your good....done in love.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Psalm 46:1–3

That IS what it feels like, by the way. Not being dramatic or anything but it truly does feel like the earth is giving way, the mountains are being uprooted, the seas are swelling all around you hardly giving you time to get a breath without choking. I got an email of encouragement that in part said, "Crawl, don't walk today...you might fall and break a bone." I wrote back with tears streaming down my face - "How am I supposed to crawl while carrying a baby!?" But it's true...I have fallen...many times. Bruises to account for each one. But guess what? I've never fallen while carrying my baby! God has protected her.

"Everyone feels benevolent if nothing happens to be annoying him at the moment." - C.S Lewis Problem of Pain

Life is NOT how we dreamed it should be at this stage in our life. Married to each other - each other's best friend, 2 beautiful girls. I think we envisioned our lives being more adventurous. I mean, this truly has been some kind of adventure but we thought we'd be adventuring in other ways - across the world together, hiking, traveling, being more involved in our church, being more involved in tuning the hearts of our little girls. I know for a fact that when we vowed our vows on our wedding day, that neither one of us expected THIS.

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. I Peter 4:12-13

But really we should have been ready for it, not surprised. If we were truly letting God lead our lives we wouldn't have been so taken aback. Even with the good things He's given us. I've always been so surprised by them. How wonderful the good things that God gives us are. We have SO many blessings and each time I was surprised at how good they were, when really? I should have known it would be so wonderful based on WHO He is. Maybe if I had spent more time studying WHO God really is I wouldn't have to remind myself that the good things are more wonderful than we can imagine and the bad things are not out of His control.

“God, who foresaw your tribulation, has specially armed you to go through it, not without pain but without stain” - C.S Lewis The Problem of Pain


We don't doubt God's sovereignty over this trial in our lives. Even as bad as it is and as worse as it's getting. We're no longer at the point of feeling shocked at each new physical scary symptom. We're leaning on our Guide knowing that He may keep giving us scary things to deal with and giving us things we don't want to experience. But we know it's not out of His control. He is leading us all the way. For your good....done in love.

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Deuteronomy 31:8

And then in the middle of this our oldest one was afflicted with a painful uti. The type of thing that hit when all doctors offices were closed. We took her to the ER. I should restate that...I took her to the ER. Matt and I debated about it. He didn't think I was strong enough to do it alone but we didn't want to drag our littlest one into the germ-fest arena. I told him my adrenaline had kicked in and I would make it. I might crash the next day but I could do it. It was a long night and yes, she did have a urinary tract infection. Poor little thing. Put on antibiotics. Follow-up appointment. All looked well but they just wanted to test her again in case.

I got the call today that I'm sorry, but your daughter STILL has the uti. More antibiotics for her. All that races through my head is Matt is gone all day/evening today; I'm not well enough to drive WITH kids to get antibiotics; WHY? and then I breathe.....For your good....done in love. A friend texts me: Did you get anyone to come help you today? I'm coming right over.

And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. Isaiah 58:11

-PAIN...lots of it. Getting better, though with meds. But not gone.
-LOST SENSE OF BALANCE...comes and goes thankfully so I'm not hobbling around the house too much. But I've fallen a lot and when/IF we go out I put all my weight on Matt to get to and fro.
-FATIGUE...so SO much that sometimes I feel like lead. I stood up yesterday and fell to the ground on my knees bent over the couch. Matt came over and literally lifted my lead body back on the couch. Sleeping doesn't help. It's not tiredness...it's physical energy give-out.
-TREMORS....which my doctor does say is a form of a seizure. Usually happens when I'm stressed physically or emotionally. To stop it I can either try to relax or if it is starting to get out of control I can take some medicine. One of these days I'll video it for you so you know what I mean.
All caused by this Lyme disease! Yuck! I want to be rid of it. I hate that it has ahold of my body and brain. Yuck!

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 2 Corinthians 4:8-11


So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
2 Cor 4:16-18

We may be suffering over here but we haven't forgotten who we serve. And He cares for us. This is our God:



No comments:

Post a Comment