Day 4: Peace in the Listening

Life interrupted.

I had my plans, and set out the Scriptures, but the Doctor called,
and my peace was shattered.  I knew this Writing Challenge would be an ADVENTURE, and I knew that God had something He wanted to say to me in this process.

But I, of course, had my journey plotted out with my sugarplum fairy ways of thinking. 

Maybe you fall prey to that Dance as well?

But Life has a way of interrupting us, doesn’t it?

. . . .

As my Rheumatoid Arthritis began to finally respond to the 8th medication, and over a year of different treatments, another diagnosis was added in.  The joint swelling had lessened, but the pain had begun moving around, finding new places to flow in and out. Fibromyalgia, the Rheumatologist pronounced, and this time there was no battle left in me to fight the war that raged inside.  

So I charted words with a wonderful counselor, and she beckoned me to slow down and listen to my body. To at least declare a truce with it, when the anger surged too high to want to be kind to what felt like a wretched betrayal.  

But a few months later when the Rheumatologist added in yet another label, Osteoporosis also, I felt that something must yet be crying out for my attention that I was missing.  

My Mom had battled with so many illnesses, and osteoporosis damaged her body to carry a hump on her shoulders that was dreary and dark.  I heard my heart crying out, NO! NOT THAT! and I parleyed words like “Grace” and “Forgiveness” and “Fulfillment” as I pictured her whole and free in Heaven.

Oh, but God was not about to let up on this Lesson-to-Listen quite yet. For you see, just this week I have had another possibility to face. There is a swelling in my neck, and even though my bloodwork all returned within normal ranges, the Doctor still ordered an ultrasound.  And on the day before this #31Days of listening with Chronic Illness Adventure began, I heard the word “biopsy” and “suspicious thyroid nodules” being directed my way by yet another Doctor’s office.

Oh, yes, Lord, You have me listening this time. I remember the days of my own Mother’s surgery to have half her thyroid removed. How could I forget that, Lord?  One more thing that set the stone in place in my own heart to pick up the word DESPISE. 

In my journey to find that Grace and Compassion for my own Mother, who dealt with so many illnesses throughout her life, I had let the oil of God’s Love begin to soften my heart.  And as the oil fell on my weary soul, I saw the label of despising that marred my own perceptions. 

How could I let Jesus bring me His peace, when I was despising my body that had fallen prey to weakness and disease? No wonder I lay weeping in my bed, as I heard my Lord’s sweet whisper:

“Let me come inside your heart, deep, where the pain resides. I am already dwelling here, and I am not offended. 
I am here to bring you peace.” 
Is there a marred perception that is hindering your Listening?
Today is Day 3 in our journey of #31Days of Listening with Chronic Illness for the #Write31Days Challenge.  Come along with me as we continue to learn more about Listening with a whole heart.

16 thoughts on “Day 4: Peace in the Listening

  1. Oh Bettie, this brought tears to my eyes! You are battling so much within such a short time frame. My heart aches for you, my soul leans in sympathy with yours and my prayers join the many utterances of your heart. These words also made me cry:
    “”Let me come inside your heart, deep, where the pain resides. I am already dwelling here, and I am not offended.
    I am here to bring you peace.”
    They reveal the struggle I also have sometimes in letting our Lord in to the place where pain resides, forgetting how we cannot receive the balm of peace or the oil of joy unless we open up to Him.
    Thank you for sharing with such honest transparency. It helps others to know they are not alone. Sending prayers, blessings and hugs to you, brave friend. xo


  2. Oh Bettie, my heart aches for you. My heart cries out – “Why, Lord? Why add another health issue to her already difficult life?” But yet I know God is with you in this, too. It's so hard to understand sometimes though, isn't it? I love how God sweetly whispered to your heart – “Let me come inside your heart, deep, where the pain resides. I am already dwelling here, and I am not offended. I am here to bring you peace.” Thank you for encouraging me by sharing honestly. May Jesus wrap His arms around you and give you strength and peace! Hugs!


  3. Dear Joy, I am so blessed by your encouraging faithfulness to come alongside me in this journey. Our Lord is so gracious to us, isn't He? He knows how to be so patient with us, as we struggle to find that same patience with ourselves on this pathway. So thankful that we can share prayers with and for each other! xoxo


  4. Trudy, thank you so much for your understanding and caring heart! Yes, the understanding may be long in coming, but Jesus is so kind to us, and so willing to carry us through it all! I appreciate your prayers so much! –HUGS!


  5. What a broken world we live in. I am contantly reminded how very much we need a Savior. He will not leave us alone. May you find Him closest in your darkest valleys. Nice to connect with your story. My daughter lives is Wisconsin, in Monticello, and her husband works in Madison. Lovely area. Are you close?


  6. Hi Debbie, Thank you for stopping by! Yes, we are about 90 minutes southeast of Madison, so not too far! Thank you for your encouraging words as I seek to find “Him closest in my darkest valleys.” –Blessings to you!


  7. Bettie – I am so sorry to hear all that is been coming in your direction, and attacking your health. I am praying for you and ask that God would give you a peace, comfort, and His strength at this time. I am at a loss of words in situations like yours, becasue I know God is our healer. I know He longs for all to be well. I know He is able to do the impossible, and yet, I don't always understand why it doesn't happen. You my friend are a Brave and Fierce Woman of God, and I pray that as you walk out this journey with God by your side, that He becasue not just your strength but your healer as well…. I appreciate your honest transparency about all that God is showing you through this journey you are on. So glad to be back this week and neighbors again at #TeaAndWord


  8. I'm so sorry for this path of chronic illness, Bettie. Those blows can be devestating to our spirit. Your perspective is very encouraging as you lean into God and listen. Thank you for sharing with such honesty. Praying our Great Physician would bring comfort and strength. Glad to visit you today from #tellhisstory.


  9. Thank you Debbie, for your dear heart of compassion and support! I appreciate the prayers so much, knowing that as we join together, Jesus is in the midst of us. I am so glad to have been your neighbor over at Meg's place, and for the chance to get to know you, and to watch your Lessons from the Lake too. They are always such a joy! –Blessings!


  10. Thank you for stopping by Tiffany! Yes, isn't God so good to ask us to lean in and listen? I am so blessed by your prayers and sweet words! –Blessings to you!


  11. I am yearning on the inside to make it all better…maybe that is the mother in me coming out, Bettie! I am praying for you each day, and for your faith and trust to grow in the midst of it all too. You are wise and I truly believe His promises that He works everything out for our good because we love Him. I don't understand why things happen the way they do sometimes, but I do know other people who battle with chronic illnesses and need encouragement because not everyone knows they are loved by God. I pray your words find those people out there, friend. God is good and I am so blessed by your honesty. xoxoxox -Meg


  12. This hurts my heart. I battle with a few chronic illnesses myself, but nothing compared to yours. 😦 Your willingness to share your story and to remain faithful is important for us all to see.


  13. Thank you for your encouragement, Meg! It means so much to me. And, yes, everytime I feel that these words of mine are too small, or require too much effort on my weak days, I hear that still small voice nudging me forward, to speak the words of HOPE that He plants in the listening. Blessings to you my friend!! xoxo


  14. Thank you Lisa for your sweet words. I am sorry that you also must battle with chronic illness. It's not the place that we would have chosen for ourselves, is it? But our God is so near to keep encouraging us. Thanks for being part of that encouragement for me! –Blessings!


  15. Hi Samantha, Oh I am so glad you were encouraged with HOPE as you read these words! Aren't we so blessed to have a God that wants to come dwell so close with us? You are in my prayers, as I pray for God's mercy to cover us all! –Blessings to you


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