Thursday, May 30, 2013

Like a bruised reed

The day 2 prompt for the 30 days of posts (which I didn't do yesterday because I was exhausted and in a lot of pain) was to pick a quote and use it as inspiration.

Well, I have 2, of course I do, it's day 2, I like things to match up like that, and I have 2, period, I have 2 quotes that have gotten me through this. And surprise surprise they are both Bible verses because what is gonna get you through being this sick better than some Bible verses?

The first one is Psalm 139:14. This first translation is the NIV version, "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful. I know that full well." Now here is the Message version, "I thank you, High God--you're breakthaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoraiton--what a creation!"

Now, let's take a step back, take a deep breath and look at this. People, I know I'm sick, trust me I know better than any of you. I am real sick. I also know that my god the most High God made me this way and he thinks I am fearfully and wonderfully made, He thinks I am marvelously made. He also said that I am to worship Him in ADORATION for his WONDERFUL WORKS in creating my body and soul. Soul maybe, but body, seriously. Come on. I am writing this from the infusion center at my doctor's office where I have to (get to--I begged for this for a long, long time) go every week and get a 4 hour infusion of IV Saline because I don't absorb fluids properly. Every 5 weeks, I get to get a 4 hour infusion 2x per week because my Remicade and Saline can't mix for some reason. I am constantly taking medications, having side effects from those medications so I get put on new medications to counteract the side effects and they add more medications for those side effects. I can rarely get out of bed for more than 2-3 hours a day comfortably, although I usually do end up out of bed more than that, I just regret it later. And my calendar is full of doctor's appointments and tests, not social events. This verse is telling me I am supposed to PRAISE God for knowing I would turn out this way? Praise Him for thinking I am breathtaking from my bed every day at 27 years old?

This verse was really hard at first, really hard. I read it and got mad at it and cried at it and screamed at it. I said to God, you wrote this verse for those pretty cheerleader type girls that have their lives together, not for me, not for someone like this, not for a 27 year old that is as sick as me. Not for an 11 year old that has the same condition as me. Not for a 16 year old that's been in the hospital for 8 days now with an unrelenting migraine so bad she still can't take sunglasses off and they've tried every drug in the book. Not for an entire family that has this stupid disease. Not for a husband and wife that both have different forms and are having to learn to care for each other while they are both extremely sick. Not for a young mother who just wants to be able to get out of the car and play with her kids at the park. Not for any of us. This disease doesn't discriminate, it attacks at any time, and for no reason, and there is no awareness, so there is no treatment and God wants me to praise that? Seriously.

Let me tell you how I can justify it. Let me tell you why I praise Him. Number one, first and foremost, because I met all these people that I talked about above. They are awesome people, and without them I don't know where I would be in this fight. Also, because I've learned to love advocating for invisible illness rights and I've learned a lot about how to advocate for myself. I've learned that without God with me in this, I have nothing. So I praise Him. If one door closes, I praise Him in the hallway til the next one opens. I praise Him for knowing I was going to be like this so that He could provide me with valuable tools prior to the diagnosis to equip me to fight. If I wasn't a special ed teacher, I wouldn't know all about ADA laws. If I wasn't a strong willed personality, I wouldn't be able to advocate for myself. If I wasn't a Type A personality, I wouldn't be organized enough to keep everything together to track my labs, heart rate, blood pressure, etc. I praise God for giving me these traits. I praise God for trusting me to live in His will with this illness. I praise God for allowing me the knowledge to know that healing doesn't have to come on earth. This is why I can praise Him in this.

The second verse was given to me by my favorite teacher in high school (really ever). She brought me to the church where I first really understood what it meant to be a Christian. She sat with me on her back porch many times working through many things. When it was yearbook signing day, I of course wanted her to sign my yearbook, in it she wrote the verse Isaiah 42:3. The NIV says, "a bruised reed He will not break, a smoldering wick He will not snuff out. In faithfulness He will bring forth justice." The Message version says, "He won't brush aside the bruised and the hurt and he won't disregard the small and insignificant, but he'll steadily and firmly set things right."

Now I don't know for sure how He is gonna set things right for me, but I do know He is faithful. I also know that I am bruised and hurt. I do know that somedays, I'm about to break. And it's a little glimmer of hope for me to think about on the days when I am about to break. That he will bring justice to me one day. Because God always keeps His promises. 

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