It’s OK To Be Down, It’s OK To Be Unsure

Crying-Woman

Today is a down day for me. Maybe it’s because of all the crying I did yesterday. First at the physical therapy office… let’s just say he was a complete jerk in regards to my diagnosis and I will not be going back. The second time was when I broke down at my doctor’s office telling her everything that I’ve been through in the last two months. Okay, mostly every thing. I didn’t tell her about the cognitive issues. I didn’t tell her about the stress this has caused me. She was patient and understanding while she listened. After dealing with the physical therapist, it was encouraging to have someone be compassionate about what I’m going through.

The last time I cried was while listening to my husband’s sermon last night . He had written it out the night before when I went to bed early from exhaustion, and then recorded it last night in another room where I couldn’t hear him. I just couldn’t hold back the tears as he talked about how he has prayed for me while I sleep, how he has asked God why me? I have wondered how all of this has been affecting him, but he’s not one to talk about how he’s feeling. He said in his message that he was trying to be strong for me. That he has, and yet I know that he won’t always be able to be strong. My hope is that we can grieve and grow together as we overcome each hurdle that comes our way.

I listened to his message again this morning, and I keep thinking about the verse “my grace is sufficient for you…” 2 Corinthians 12:9. I’m desperately trying to understand the weight of it. Honestly, it’s a verse I wrestled with even before my headache started. Grace. It’s such a heavy word, and my feeble mind has a hard time comprehending.

Jesus died for me. For ME. I am a sinner, and He thought I was good enough, worthy enough, lovable enough to be pardoned. When it comes to salvation, I can much easier feel the weight of the cross. But when it comes to suffering, I fumble. Maybe because I haven’t suffered long enough. Maybe because I am coming to terms with what all this means for my life. Grace. It’s such a heavy, heavy word when you’re in the middle of suffering because it doesn’t always mean healing. It’s not a “get out of jail free card” in every situation.

I do much better with the second half of that verse… “for my power is made perfect in weakness.” This I see evidence of every day that I am in pain. He gives me the strength to do the things He has asked me to do, the things that are worthy in His eyes. When I call on Him, He is there. He shows up in the middle of struggle, and in the middle of my tears.

Whatever you are going through, know that He is always available and willing to be there for you in your darkest hour. You don’t have to be an expert on the bible or know how to pray. You can talk to God like you would talk to a friend, crying out for help and tell Him all that you have been through. You can tell Him your deepest darkest emotions that you think no one wants to hear or would understand. He wants to be the shoulder you cry on. He loves you that much.

“The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.” Psalms 34:17

Today may be a down day for me, and that’s okay because God is with me. He knows and feels my pain. Because of Him, I can withstand the lows, go through the emotions I need to feel, all the while maintaining my faith and knowing the love He has for me. I don’t know what my future looks like; I don’t know how all of this is going to turn out and that is scary. But I do know that He is using me during this time. He is teaching me, and allowing my faith to grow from a tiny mustard seed into a mature tree. And my faith combined with His promises tell me that He will deliver me in the end.

A milk weed seed pod open and waiting for the wind to spread seeds.

 

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Perseverance Under Trial

The-Power-of-Persistence-Perseverance-and-Tenacity-for-the-Entrepreneur

So I figured out what’s going on with me. Went to see a rheumatologist on Friday, and was told that that I have fibromyalgia. Something I have considered for months when looking at my symptoms, but I can’t say I find comfort in my diagnosis. My head is still hurting, day 95 now. I wonder now if it will ever go away. My body hurts, and it’s something I’m going to have to deal with for a long time. Maybe forever. I kind of don’t know how to deal with any of this. I’m still kind of numb and still kind of in shock. What’s going to happen to me?

This last week produced the most pain I have ever experienced.

Keep in mind this is coming from someone that has passed two kidney stones at the same time. Why you ask? Because the pain medicine actually works with kidney stones, and you’re able to sleep through the pain. Not so with FMS. Nothing I have taken in the last three months has helped with my pain. I can’t remember the last time I slept through the night and woke up feeling refreshed. While my body has calmed down some, I’m still walking with a limp, my hands keep cramping from typing, and there are a host of other symptoms I have to deal with now like cognitive issues. I have to type more now because I keep typing the wrong letters and the wrong words. I try to speak, but I often say the wrong words and the wrong names. I’m having problems thinking and remembering something said to me five minutes ago.

I’m learning that I have to slow down… a lot!

But I also need to listen to what my body is telling me. I tried to clean the bathroom the other day, and the repetitive motion of scrubbing the bathtub and shower walls left me so winded that I found myself laid out on the tub edge trying to breathe. I hadn’t even finished yet! Once I finally forced myself to take a break, it took 25 minutes for me to recover. Another day it was a simple task like putting sheets on a bed that quickly caused me to sit down out of breath. Perseverance is a good thing, but like my youth pastor’s wife said, I need to learn how to persevere in a different manner. There are a couple of ways I’m interpreting that.

The bible says to “be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer (Romans 12:12). Sure, this condition will present challenges for me, but I know that Jesus is with me through the ups and downs.

My faith has an incredible opportunity to persevere…

…not just through my trials but because of them. James 1:12 tells us “blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”

My work is not done. God still plans on using me, this I know. And I know that He will continue to be with me on this journey no matter what comes my way.

It Is Well

itiswellweb

It is well. It is well with my soul.

All that I have been through, all that I will endure. It’s okay with me. I didn’t understand before the true meaning of the words “it is well,” even after hearing the story behind the song. It was such a foreign concept that seemed beyond me. For some reason last night, out of the blue, it all made sense as I delve deep into worship with You. My life and the depth of faith made sense. It is well indeed.

I am no longer running. I am no longer running from the trials You put in front of me. Firm, I will stand with Your resolve, and endure with Your strength. No matter the trials I have to bear, You are here with me. You never leave, and You never will. Everything that I am, every hurdle I overcome, I overcome them because of You.

It is well, Lord. All of it… the sickness, the struggles, the uncertainty.

It is well with my soul.

 

Praying For You

I know you hear me Lord. I know you hear the cries of my heart. They are screaming for you to save someone I love, to save someone that desperately needs you. It’s happening all over again isn’t?

“Sitting here in the dark
Waiting on a miracle;
Don’t know what to think
Not much that I can do.
So I just keep praying, I am praying for you;
And when the sun is going down,
I’ll still be praying for you.”

I wrote this song so long ago, for a different person, under very different circumstances but my prayer is the same. I’m praying for you to reach down and save her from disease and pain, from fear and uncertainty. I’m praying for a miracle.

“He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in whom I trust.
Surely, He will save you…” 

Miracle in the Making – Part 1

It seems I have been fighting a silent battle for awhile now. One look at my Twitter account in the last month and a half, and you will see several requests for prayer. I feel like I am finally at a point where I can talk about my struggle.

It started as nausea and an upset stomach that started the day after my single was released. My head was hurting so bad that I was lightheaded and dizzy. Over the course of several days, these symptoms continued and new ones like belching and a strong sense of smell left me feeling bewildered, weak, and overwhelmed at the same time. What was going on with my body?
I thought I was pregnant. I hoped I was pregnant. 
You should know that my husband is fixed. After three kids with his ex, he thought it a good time to stop having more. I’ve never had children of my own and I want nothing more than to have a child with Nick. We don’t have the money to have it reversed so let’s just say that I’ve put my faith in a miracle.
I took my first pregnancy test. Negative. 
And over the course of the following two weeks, I would take three more, devastated each time but still holding on to hope. Maybe I didn’t have enough HCT in my system yet?
I was so sure that I was pregnant that I had started praying for my baby. 
I prayed that I would carry a healthy baby full-term, that God would keep me in this world to see them grow up in the love and faith I planned on raising them with. I had joy in my heart over this miracle growing inside me but also had to contend with the doubt and reality of every negative test. Hearing my husband tell me I looked pregnant reassured me throughout the process of disappointment. These were the most trying two weeks of my life, struggling to hold onto faith and God’s promises while calling out to God for truth.
Once I started having pelvic pain, I panicked. I was afraid that I might have an ectopic pregnancy and so I had my husband bring me to an urgent care clinic. I knew they would need to do an ultrasound and I was scared.
My consistent prayer was “Be with me Lord.”
All during the procedure, my husband wore a frown as he watched the screen I couldn’t see, the one the technician was using to key different measurements. Afterwards, I tried everything to stay patient. We had been there for hours, waiting to find out the truth. And when the truth finally came, I was heartbroken.
I was never pregnant. 

 Stay tuned for “Miracle in the Making – Part Two” to find out the affliction in Kristeen’s life and her struggle to find the healing promised to her in God’s word. For more information about Kristeen Nicole Gillooly, her music and her ministry, please visit http://www.kngmusicministry.com. You can also visit her artist website at http://www.kristeennicolegillooly.com.