Saturday, November 23, 2013

Conversations with God About My Health

I have been hesitant to share this story, but I feel now is the right time.  Please know that it's a very tender story for me.

In the late spring/early summer of 2001 I went to bed for a year and a half.  So tired.  Barely able to care for my children.  Very difficult time for me and our family.  Over time I slowly pulled out of that darkness.  But I have been very low energy and fatigued ever since.  It's like I'm constantly running on batteries with very little juice.

Then, in July 2005, I got a severe headache that wouldn't go away.  MRIs and all kind of tests and treatments found/did nothing.  I still have the headache.  It varies in intensity, but it's always there.

So I am always exhausted and always in pain.

Most days I just roll with it.  It's my life and I've grown accustomed. Other days I get very sad and frustrated about all the things I want to do but can't.  This story starts with one of those days.

I had a friend who had gone through some similar health issues.  He'd tried many treatments and made many changes in his life.  And he felt better.  He found his way back to good health and energy.

Shortly after hearing him speak of how he changed his life/health, I sent the following email to a friend documenting my experience/feelings:

Last week I went in for my physical.  As I talked with my doctor he decided he wanted to add some extra tests to my blood work.  Basically, there were something like 5-10 additional tests he wanted to run.  Looking for the cause of my ever-dwindling energy.  This has been my primary concern.  I would gladly keep the headache if I could just feel better, more energy, like I could function.

So today my test results came back.  And there was nothing unusual in them.  They didn't show any problems.  No new direction to try a new treatment.

To say the least, I was frustrated and disappointed.  I began to get depressed.

I found myself in my room crying.  I asked why I can't seem to feel better.  Not really in prayer, just a thought.  I was answered.  "You can't do the work I need you to do if you feel better."

I'll admit I responded with, "That's stupid."

I got past that.  I was told that I can choose not to help with this work and I would be healed.  I would get better very quickly if I decided that I didn't want to do what He needed me to do.

Of course, there was no way I could do that.  I will not put my own comfort before the work He has for me.  I just couldn't do that.

I can, and should, continue working on improving my basic health.  Try to improve my habits.  I will not be healed before my role in this work is complete -- maybe never.  He has a plan for my life and I need to trust that.

There is a great deal of peace in knowing this.  I have felt an outpouring of love from Him.  I know that my doctors and I are not missing something.  We could look forever and try everything and I would not be healed.  My struggle is not about biology. 

I have also been in a state of mourning most of the day.  While I accept this and it helps to know, it is difficult to let go of what I want.

I do not see it this as a punishment or God hurting me for His purposes; I see it as a blessing, an opportunity.  It will take some time to adjust my mindset, but it will happen.
I am sad right now.  But I am at peace.

That was two and a half years ago.  I still get frustrated, but that conversation continues to bring me strength.

Some time after that initial conversation I found myself in a terrible depression.  I'd been working hard to take care of myself physically and emotionally.  I'd worked so hard in therapy.  I'd been depression free for a long time.  Then I was slammed back into the darkness.

And as I sobbed on my bedroom floor, curled up in emotional pain, I found my heart asking the question again, "I thought I had this beat.  Why am I here again, in this dark place?"

And I heard, quietly and lovingly, "You said yes."

I was overwhelmed with God's love and support and gratitude.  He knew it was hard.  He knew I could do the work He needed.  He also knew it was worth it.

And that was enough.  It's still enough.  I still get frustrated and sad.  But I have never regretted saying yes.  So if you hear my story and ask how I can smile and be content with my life, now you know.


Bonnie said...

I honor the courage to say yes. Once upon a time I was glib and overconfident and I said yes too. I say yes still, but I know more what I'm getting into. In Eastern philosophy there is an appreciation for emptiness, because it's foolish to only wish to be filled. I am learning to like emptiness.

The Dose of Reality said...

What a beautiful way to explain it, Robin. Of course you still feel sad or frustrated from time to time, but you trust you are on the path God needs you to be on. That kind of trust is beautiful and peaceful. It makes me think of things in my life a different way. Thank you for that. --Lisa

Miss Foodie Fab said...

God will do that, but He knows what we can handle, and my prayers to you.

Sherri said...

Sometimes it's very difficult to remember there is a purpose to the suffering. There are times I question why I was dealt this lot. I know I shouldn't question... it is His will. But man, there are moments that it is so incredibly hard.

The most numbing thing for me is the realization that I'm only on the beginning of this journey. It's going to get worse. And I will have to accept it as it does.

Sometimes it really breaks my heart.

Nina said...

Thank you Robin for sharing ~ your gentleness and soft heart before God, the accept and knowledge being in the center of His will, giving inner strength in the middle of the pain and agony ... "Your will, not mine, I pray" ... I join you in this prayer.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate your transparency! Wow!

Alison Moore Smith said...

What a touching story. And, yes, I love that you said, "That's stupid."

Thanks for sharing.

Montserrat said...

I have a feeling many of us chose, or rather accepted, what trials we would be willing to go through while here. It doesn't make the suffering any less, but it does make the knowledge we gain and the closeness to God that much more precious.

Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing such a personal experience with us. I love how you see your trial as blessing and an opportunity verses a punishment. Count our many blessings.

"Cottage By The Sea" said...

First, I hope you're feeling better. Second, what a perfect way of telling your story. I'm just popping over from SITS and getting to know you. Saying yes is for me, the first most important statement for my life. It's also the hardest. My prayer every night as I talk to God is, "Lord, like Mary was, let me say yes to all you ask of me". I hope you will thrive and that you will know you did my heart good today. Blessings, Tia

Unknown said...

What a lovely and poignant story. I'm glad you felt brave enough to share it

Stevie said...

I am glad you felt led to share something so personal and spiritual. I am sad to hear of your suffering but your strength is inspiring.

Vicki M. Taylor said...

Miss Robin, You are a lovely person with a pure heart. God has a purpose for your life. I know you are in a hurry to learn what it is so that you can move on with feeling better, but that's not the way God works. His biggest teacher is patience. Oh, boy do I know that. You will get there. Think of the story of Job. If you need to, go back and read his story in the bible. You'll feel so much better about your circumstances when you do. Have a blessed day. Followed you from SITS.

Theres Just One Mommy said...

A beautiful story. I pray I have the courage to say yes in those times when God calls me, and to do it with as much grace as you do.

Stopping over from SITS.

Anya Lothrop, CZT said...

Hi Robin,
I read about all your conditions and immediately I wondered if a sugar-free diet could help you. My husband and I switched to sugar-free at the beginning of this year and while it's not always easy we are both feeling so much better. I've heard so many people (on youtube) telling stories of how all sorts of diseases and conditions just disappeared over night as soon as they stopped eating sugar. And by stop eating sugar I mean ALL added sugars (including corn syrup, malt, glucose, fructose, maltodextrin, molasses, etc.), which basically means you have to stop eating packaged and processed foods because the all have some sort of sugar in them. If you're interested, take a look at:
Here's a list of other names for sugar:

Best of luck to you!!