Wednesday, March 2, 2011

He Never Wastes Our Pain

Babies toddle around the waiting room, giggling a little too loud, and husband attempts to complete some homework while we wait for my name to be called. It takes longer than I'd hoped.

The nurse smiles, escorts me to the triage area, takes my blood pressure, asks questions. She tells me to step up on the scale. I've gained weight, from the water retention they tell me. I feel a surge of frustration, along with new resolve to get off the prednisone.

We wait some more.

Finally, the doctor comes in, opens up my file, his smile full of compassion. He gently informs me that my latest blood work reveals a more complicated diagnosis. It is a hard blow.

All my efforts to get better, to exercise, to eat more healthfully, get enough rest, to use all the right supplements... and my body, it just seem to be falling apart.

Autoimmune diseases are frustrating in their own right because, in essence, your body has betrayed you. The God-given immune system has gone rogue, and has turned to attack your own healthy cells.

I have three autoimmune diseases.

It is rare, complicated. And I don't know exactly what this will mean for my quality of life.

There is a very real possibility that I will get better. There is also the possibility that I won't.

Either way, this is something I know for sure:

God is in control.

I know this can sound so hollow, so cliche. I don't offer this up as someone who just wants to act like everything is fine when it isn't. There are very real, very difficult, very devastating things that happen in life. And they aren't easy sometimes. I don't mean, in any way, to gloss over that.

But I am sensing more and more that these diseases are a gift.

They have served to draw me closer and closer to God. And anything that does that is a gift. He is all in all. With that understanding, I can thank Him FOR the diseases, not just IN them.

I don't understand all of this. I don't know what will happen. But I know I can trust God. He never, ever, ever wastes our pain.

Of this I am sure.

So my list of thanks grows:

tiny toes peaking out of blankets
wispy ginger hair on baby Owen's downy head
laughter
friends who love and listen and pray
family within driving distance
electric blankets, warm socks, gloves
little gifts in the mail
a new book
long phone calls for prayer
rheumatoid arthritis
lupus
scleroderma
Raynaud's phenomenon
peace that passes understanding
reading the sermon on the mount with our children
knowing Jesus is closer than my next breath




Kind friends, if you would please be in prayer for us, as the Lord leads? YOU are gifts, as well. I am so thankful to be part of the love body of Jesus. xo

9 comments:

  1. (((hugs)))Amy. I was just wondering where you were today. I have been through a big trial with my health (dizziness, thyroid issues, etc) these past almost four years. I can tell you that the LORD has used this time in my life to refine me and draw me nearer to Him. We don't always understand, but I am with you in trusting that He is in control and all things work together for our good and His glory.
    I was just reading today about Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar and its' many benefits. It is supposed to be really good for arthritis and inflammation. Not sure if that is something that you would consider or not but thought I would throw it out there.
    I will be praying for you sweet friend.

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  2. These autoimmune diseases run in my family... my mom, sister, and me. They're horrible. I so depend on God's tender mercies as I know you do. You are in my prayers always. Oh and by the way, thanks for the encouragement. xo

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  3. I'm so sad. I grieve over every bit of all this physical suffering from disease. I know we aren't home yet, and these bodies are just the temporal tents for our glorious souls, but things are not the way they're supposed to be. Creation groans, our bodies groan, as we yearn to be clothed with immortality. It is coming. Until then, may we be lifted up by grace and filled with strength and power by His spirit. May your inner spirit be renewed today, dear sister. May the Balm of Gilead ease your pains in this moment. For His name's sake, for His glory, for your joy...

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  4. Amy, I just found your blog via a link posted on Thousands of Gifts group. I so relate to this post, and will be following your blog.

    I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis in September '10. I am being treated for a thyroid condition, and developed Raynaud's this winter. Now my rheumatologist thinks I may have a connective tissue process brewing, and that we may need to test for another diagnosis, like Lupus. So yes, I hear you. Your post is beautiful. I thank you for this wonderful perspective and whole-heartedly agree.

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  5. I have you in my prayer journal and I am praying for you weekly, Amy. Your tender heart in this is a blessing and I know the Lord is going to use your story and your faith to minister to others. Bless you.

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  6. Amy you and your family have been in my prayers for a long time. God has brought you to my heart and mind so often in the last few months :)
    You inspire me with your strength and positivity!
    God Bless dear one,
    xx

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  7. Amy, I came to your blog via A Walk Along the Way. I'm so sorry about your health issues. My husband and I had a few scares last year, so I can empathize a teeny, itsy-bitsy bit. I *am* praying for you.

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  8. Amy, by the time I finished reading your post tonight, I had tears in my eyes. Not tears of sorrow, but tears of of joy --- the kind of joy that comes from watching someone "run the race that is set before her", knowing that you will WIN! Believe me, I KNOW that God does NOT waste our pain. I've been there. And I understand where your statement comes from when you say that God is in control. It takes everything you ever called faith to say that, and in so doing, you find that, yeah, I REALLY DO believe it! I'll be praying for you, too. And I'm looking forward to coming back often to see what great things the Lord has done for you!

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  9. I’m here from Ann’s today, and first, I can’t know all of what you are going through – but I have a thing too – haven’t deep sleep in more than a decade – it affects everything including my immune system – a body that betrays itself – I get it – someday there may be a cure – but I’m suspecting not at this point. Still I just prayed for you – you deserve a cure.

    And - peace that passes understanding - that was the thank you on your list I most liked because it is just so necessary – and it’s hard to explain – and it’s not bluebirds singing – it’s just – well – you know.

    God Bless and Keep you and all of yours.

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