October 2016, the #Write31Days Challenge
(Scroll to the bottom of this post to find an index for entire #31 Days Series)
Two years ago, September 2014, I should have seen the signs marking what was coming . . .
I thought those weird pains and funny little swellings were just part of getting older.
I wasn’t listening to my body then
In fact, I was barely on speaking terms with my body. It just did what I expected it to, and it followed along with my over-pushing and over-working ways.
Until the night I woke up with screaming dark pain.
I had helped my elderly neighbor with some heavy lifting and gardening the day before, so I expected that I might be a little sore that night. I was not prepared for the fire that burned in my hand later that night. And I was not prepared for the way the fire left me all consumed the next morning. And I was definitely not prepared for the same thing to happen three more times over the next three months, with each “fire” becoming worse, if that was even possible, than the one before.
So when my Family Physician immediately ordered a Rheumatic Arthritis blood panel at my yearly physical, I thought she was over-reacting. “Can’t you just give me some good exercises to take care of these sore hands?”
When the results returned, all sero-positive for Rheumatoid Arthritis, and they rushed me in to the Rheumatologist the very next week, I should have started listening to my body then . . .
But I thought I still had some measure of control.
I will beat this thing. I will do everything possible to keep this disease in check and work towards REMISSION.
So I faithfully tried all the medications the Specialist prescribed. I changed my diet and eliminated all sorts of possible “inflammation triggers.” I found out which essential oils were best to keep inflammation at bay. And I began an exercise and activity journal, trying to trace out any unhealthy habits.
But the swelling continued, the constant aching increased, and I began the process of losing functionality in some of my joints. Not to mention the side effects of those crazy expensive new medications. First one and then another were tried, in an effort to find the “Goldilocks” dosage that would be “just right” for me. My activity level was slowly trickling down, month by month my energy was sinking. I prayed and journaled (as much as possible, when the pencil refused to be held by unsteady, painful fingers,) but God was not bringing the healing that I had asked for.
God was trying to get me to listen to my body, and to listen to Him.
A few months into the journey, I had a dream, in which I was walking through the halls of an office building. Along the way, people came to walk with me, and each had an idea of how I could be cured: try this medication, eat these foods, stay away from these toxins, make use of this new treatment, etc. Eventually we all came to a conference room with a large round table, where we all took a seat. All of the people continued to talk to me, speaking more loudly with each new phrase uttered. But one elderly woman, that I hadn’t noticed before, sat silently across from me. Her eyes compelled me to look her way, and suddenly I longed to hear her words above the rest. It seemed that I could hear her thoughts whispering, “You know what I’m going to say, don’t you? All of this advice to you is fine, some of it is good for you even. But listen to what God is saying! He is saying, ‘All of this that you are going through is MINE, because YOU are Mine, and this will be for GOD’S GLORY. Obey what I am asking of you, and walk with ME through this time of Brokenness and Prayer.'”
Are you in a place of silence? Is there a listening that you have been ignoring there? If so, join me this month as we seek together to be better listeners. I would be honored to have you travel with me.
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