A Time to Heal

I’ve been thinking. And praying. And I’ve come to a decision.

I want to blog. I really do. Writing has been a huge chunk of my life since I was 9, and it really is a part of who I am. Writing is also how I process events, trials, thoughts, and emotions. You wouldn’t believe the number of diaries I’ve filled up over the years.

But I just can’t keep up blogging/writing with my health the way it is right now. I can hear your response: “But you just started! You’ve only blogged for a month.” I know. But what I didn’t expect was for my health to come crashing down in September. It wasn’t a typical flare up of a few days or even a week that eventually settles down to normal pain levels. I’ve been crashing hard. Really hard. Much harder than I am used to. And it hasn’t let up. My “semi-good” days are becoming fewer and farther apart, and I’m fighting an intensity level of emotions that I haven’t had to battle in a really long time.

After talking with another blogger about what she’s had to do in order to recover some of her physical and emotional health back, I decided I need to make some drastic changes. I put it off at first, but considering the last few days I’ve had, I need to do it now — before something even worse happens.

Along with other things, I will be taking some time off from blogging to focus on resting and letting my body and mind recover.

I will be gone for at least the month of October, perhaps longer. It will depend on how I’m doing come November. I hope to return at some point, so I’m going to leave everything up on here. But except for an occasional checking of notifications, I won’t be on WordPress for a while.

Thanks for the follows, likes, and comments. They’ve meant a lot to me. It would mean even more to me though if you would pray for me while I try to rest and heal.

Love in Christ,

Rebekah

To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven … a time to heal … a time to build up. Ecclesiastes 3:1 & 3

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A Sister is Born for Adversity

It was the middle of the night. 

I had hit rock bottom. Hard. And it hurt. Excruciatingly.

I was way, way down in the pit. So far down I couldn’t even see the light at the top anymore.  No Bible verses came to mind.  No lyrics from hymns.  Nothing.  My emotions and mind were so dark and turbulent … I was in trouble.  I could barely utter the prayer, “God, help me.”

“Melanie.”*

“What?”

“Call Melanie,” He said again.

That wasn’t a typical answer from God when I was crying out for help.

“No. It’s so late. She’s sleeping.”

“Call Melanie, daughter. Do as I say.  Do it now.”

I felt like a horrible friend – calling her in the middle of the night.

Her phone rang only once.

“I’m here for you, Rebekah.  Take your time,” were the first words out of her mouth. Turns out Melanie had wakened suddenly with me strongly on her mind, knew that something was wrong, and was praying for me at the exact moment that I called.

I could barely speak, but, somehow, I got a few words out here and there.  And over the next two-and-a-half hours, Melanie spoke gentle words of compassion, care, and love to me. She cried with me. She read Scripture to me when my tired eyes wouldn’t focus well enough to read the words myself.  She prayed over me through the phone.  And she stayed on the phone with me until I saw the light again – until my shaky mind and spirit went from rock bottom to finding footing on the Solid Rock.  She even stayed with me until I fell asleep, exhausted from pain and crying.

This morning, I woke still in physical and emotional pain, but I was no longer stuck at the bottom of the pit.  I no longer felt enveloped in a crushing darkness.  I stayed in bed longer than usual to dwell on the previous night and to thank God for sending Melanie when I needed to hear God’s truth and love audibly.  For sending her when I needed a friend.  As I slowly stretched and started to get out of bed, two verses perfectly describing last night came to mind.

Galatians 6:2 ~ Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Proverbs 17:17 ~ A friend loves at all times, and a brother [or sister in Christ] is born for adversity.

________________________________

*Name changed for privacy

Day by Day

To be perfectly blunt and raw, I’ve been experiencing some of the worst emotional pain I’ve had in a long time. The physical pain and exhaustion are present, but my emotions are tumultuous. I feel so lost and alone. I woke up this morning shaking and crying. I don’t even completely know why. I didn’t know what to do but beg God for help and comfort. Usually He brings Scripture to mind, but today He drew my thoughts to a hymn. I still ache, and I’m still crying, but the words to Day by Day have given me a small measure of comfort. I’d like to share it in hopes that it helps and comforts you as well. Please pray for me.

Note: I’ve embedded this particular video because he gives the background of the hymn. He only sings the first and last verses, but the lyrics of all three are pasted below for easy reference.

Day by day and with each passing moment,
Strength I find to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment,
I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.
He whose heart is kind beyond all measure
Gives unto each day what He deems best–
Lovingly, it’s part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.

Ev’ry day the Lord Himself is near me
With a special mercy for each hour;
All my cares He fain would bear, and cheer me,
He whose name is Counselor and Pow’r.
The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
“As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,”
This the pledge to me He made.

Help me then in eve’ry tribulation
So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
That I lose not faith’s sweet consolation
Offered me within Thy holy Word.
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
E’er to take, as from a father’s hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
Till I reach the promised land.

Jesus Wept … For Me

57 hours of agonizing wakefulness.

My body throbs in pain.

My brain spins with dizziness.

My stomach twists in nauseating knots.

My emotions surge like a roaring waterfall.

“God, do You even see me? Do you care about how much I’m hurting?” I cry.

“I know, precious child. I know, and I hurt for you,” He replies.

“Do You really?”

“Do you remember how I responded to Mary and Martha’s pain of losing their brother? I wept. (John 11:35) I weep for you, too. I also see and collect each and every single one of your tears (Psalm 56:8). I know, precious daughter, I know.”

An image enters my mind of Jesus weeping as He holds me and catches my own tears. Peace slowly finds it’s way through the pain, and a sense of calm enters my heart and mind.

Lean Not on Your Own Understanding

My hand gripped the corner of my mattress as a wave of dizziness and nausea hit.  I’d been laying on my left side for a while, but the signs of a night of zero sleep were beginning to hit hard.  Since dizziness and nausea tend to be worse when I’m on my left side, I turned over to my right.

The knee that I hurt while at college had never fully healed, and it didn’t like the pressure placed on it.  I tried to stay put for my stomach’s sake, but the throbbing pain in my knee began traveling up to my hip.  Nope.  Not going to work.

I moved to lay down flat, and my back – also damaged from a past injury – spasmed in pain.

Back to my left side I went – only to feel like I was seriously going to either throw up or fall out of bed.

I squinted at the clock and groaned.  5:02 AM.  I needed to be up in an hour and a half if I was going to go to church.  But what was the point now?  I felt way too sick, dizzy, and sleep-deprived to drive anyway.  There would be no church for me today.

I sat up and positioned my pillows behind me so I could at least rest against the wall.

“God,” I prayed, trying not to cry, “I’m so tired of this.  Why can’t I have a normal night’s sleep like a normal person?  Why can’t I be normal?  I don’t understand what You’re doing.”

Instantly, two verses came to mind…

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.”

Isaiah 55:9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

I closed my eyes and took a deep breath.

“Okay, God.  You’re right.  I’m thinking that ‘normal’ is best for me, but You obviously have other plans right now.  I don’t understand, but I know Your way is always best, so please help me not to lean on my understanding but to trust You and Your ways.”

After some more time in prayer, I glance at the clock again.  6:14 AM.  I still felt crummy physically, but my spirit was at rest for now.

A Little About Me

Hi. My name is Rebekah.

I’ve loved to read for as long as I can remember, and I started writing when I was 9.  These days, I write a little fiction, occasional poetry (although this usually occurs only under extreme emotions), and in my journal. 

In 2009, I fell down an outdoor concrete staircase while sponsoring teens at a youth camp.  It took a year and a half to get a proper diagnosis – my left ribcage had moved completely, causing permanent muscle and nerve damage – and by that time, the damage was done.  Physical therapy helped some, but I’ve had significant back pain ever since.

In 2017, I was in my Senior year of college when exhaustion and pain – worse than anything I was ever used to – hit hard almost halfway through the first semester.  I thought it was just “senior year stress,” but it got progressively worse and I ended up going to see the campus nurse.  And thus, the months of doctor visits and tests began.  I lost count of how many tests we did, and it was incredibly frustrating to get normal results every time when I felt so horrible.  Once, after another negative/normal test result, I broke down right there in the hospital and cried.  I just wanted to know what was wrong with me.

After 4 months, I was diagnosed with severe vitamin D deficiency, but that still didn’t fully explain the exhaustion and pain I was in.  Finally, after 7 months of appointments, tests, and trying various things to get some relief, I was diagnosed in April of 2018 with Fibromyalgia – the “we don’t know what’s wrong, but you have these specific symptoms, so that’s the diagnosis we’re going to give you” answer. 

Since this all started, God has used it to teach me many lessons.  Over and over, He kept bringing me back to 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 which talks about Paul’s thorn in the flesh.  Paul prayed three times that God would remove this thorn, but God’s answer to Paul was, “My grace is sufficient for thee, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”  Through both physical and other trials, I often thought, “If I could just be relieved from this pain, this hurt, then things would be okay.”  But over and over, God gave me the same answer He gave Paul: “I love you, and whether I leave or remove this thorn, I want you to learn that I am sufficient for all your needs.”  God wants me to learn that relief from life’s trials is not what I need.  Rather, God’s strength and grace truly are sufficient, and He is all I need.

I have not arrived by any means.  This is a life-long journey, and I still struggle every single day.  But I’m learning to lean on and trust Him.  And it’s been on my heart for a while to share this journey with others.  I’ve waited months to do this because I wasn’t sure I had the energy to do it or the desire to be this open about my thoughts, emotions, and struggles.  But God kept nudging me, so I’m going to try.

My hope for this blog is that as I share my journey, I will be an encouragement to other Christian ladies going through life’s trials – whether they are physical, emotional, or something else.  Let’s take each other’s hands, know that we are in this together, and learn to trust in the all-sufficient grace of God.