I was sitting in the sanctuary during an evening church service (like I had done a thousand times before) when both legs started tingling as if they were completely asleep. This of course had been happening on and off for awhile in various parts of my body but was more alarming now that it had been completely unprovoked and had happened just a few short weeks after waking with a completely limp arm that only regained function after flailing it around for what seemed like an eternity but would most likely had only been a few minutes.

I knew what it meant.

I couldn’t push off seeing the doctor any longer. And that is exactly what I have been doing. Seeing doctors.

I have been in and out of doctor’s offices every month since the beginning of this year with more and more questions and even fewer answers. I have been shuffled from one field of medicine to another and at this point even I am confused. I had almost convinced myself that I was just overthinking what was actually happening and that there was actually nothing wrong with me. That was, until the next time my hand started cramping up again, and I couldn’t use it to stir, or write, or grip a coffee cup and that is when I would tell myself to make that next appointment.

They think they have it figured out now… Fibromyalgia with symptoms mimicking those of MS.

Dear body,

You are 29. This is ridiculous.

Love, Me

I wish the amount of crazy had stopped at my severely age confused body but this year has been all kind of crazy. And while I am in the mood for writing letters I would also like to send one out to 2015; this is everything I wish I could say to the year that tried to take almost everything.

Dear 2015,

I had to hear of my father’s THIRD BACK INJURY in just a years span over the phone and I thought for sure this would be the one to hurl him into an early retirement or take away his ability to do most of the things he loved.

I had to watch from a distance as my mother was diagnosed with CANCER and then walk out months of chemo and a life altering surgery, with only the ability to visit a small handful of times.

I was helpless to do anything but pray when I got the call that my sister was minutes from BLEEDING OUT from a ruptured cyst that would send her into a spin cycle in and out of consciousness.

I saw pictures of my brother in a hazardous containment room after he had been misdiagnosed and released only to be readmitted with a LIFE THREATENING INFECTION that left him ill for many weeks to come.

And then, as if it all hadn’t been enough, I had to wonder if something was seriously wrong with my body after being drug through almost ten months of doctor’s visits that offered no answers at all with even MORE SYMPTOMS as the time went on.

This of course was all just the tip of the iceberg after having to deal with an overly anxious dog that would bark for hours on end followed by a stubborn toddler who would join in by screaming for hours more, my dream of LHOH being almost snuffed out by more “no’s” than I can recount on top of a lot of discouraging circumstances that had already fell through, and the onslaught of feeling incapable and unworthy of not just ministry but friendships as well.

Everything seemed to hit at once and the God that I have known to be loving and faithful seemed to go silent. If I had stopped and sat long enough in my wilderness to have a pity party I might have been a goner for sure, but the simple truth is this… it could have been worse.

If I had been without God it would have all been for nothing. The worst is never the worst when all we have left is God because God is all we need. And He is loving and faithful, even in His silence.

You were not kind, 2015, but my God was.

As the year draws to a close I have also gotten to hear about the many projects my dad is still engulfing himself in (like building a cabinet, you know- small stuff) as well as the many more shifts he is counting down until he can officially retire...

and I have watched from a distance as my mother bravely battled through each day and is now 100% cancer free with only a few treatments left to finish it off...

and  while I helplessly prayed, I also got to praise God for rescuing my sister from the bed they thought for sure would be her last...

and I have now gotten to see pictures of my brother not only recover, but continue to rock climb and hike with his wife and dog-children as if nothing had happened at all...

and finally, while I have had good days and bad, I no longer wonder about the thing that plagues my body. He will see me through this, too. Even if it is not a miraculous story of healing but one of daily faithfulness; nothing will be in vain.

Oh yes, I also got rid of that dog, was renewed in my purpose for LHOH, and seen more depth of ministry and relationships in these last few weeks than in any other time in my life before.

God has been faithful.

Even in His silence.

So, 2015, you have played a great game but our time is almost through. And while I never thought I would be saying this, here I am saying it... THANK YOU.

I have gained more through my trials than I have lost; clearer understanding, greater meaning, and deeper trust just to name a few. It could have been the worst year in the eyes of many, but I now see it as one of my best. I am a better person because of you. My pains were my past but my God is my present. So I will keep saying what I have been saying all along, do your worst. No matter what may happen, with Christ we win.

My pain will not be in vain.

Sincerely,

The girl who has everything


Romans 8:18-28 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose

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