When health lets you down

Health is a very elusive thing to quite a few people in this world. Those who are blessed to be truly healthy from birth to death, don’t always understand how draining it is to have a nagging, chronic illness.

Perhaps it’s a physical pain that never goes away. Or perhaps it’s a true disease that drains your mental health and physical body.

Pain, is in a way, a gift. It allows your body to realize that something is wrong. It means that the body is attempting to fix it, either internally or making sure you get external help. Pain is supposed to be good. It helps the mind recognize that the body is still alive and functioning. It’s a survival instinct.

It’s not an evolutionary instinct, but truly a God given gift. He gives us the ability to be able heal ourselves as well as the knowledge to remove ourselves from the very thing that hurts us.

The human mind and the human body are amazing for what they can put up with. But it is equally amazing what they can’t handle. Emotional anguish can affect the body just as much as an actual wound can, sometimes even more. Sometimes a simple little prick to the skin can equal death, while another person can survive falling on a steel bar that goes all the way through the body.

It’s the chronic pain though that is the hardest to deal with. It doesn’t allow the body to rest. It doesn’t allow the mind to find a solution. It can literally drive a person insane because the pain never ends. There isn’t a way to stop it. It can also drive us to do some truly drastic measures just to find a tad bit of relief. Cautious people throw their money at quacks just for the slim chance that their snake oil might take the edge off. Others try to numb themselves with drugs and alcohol. Still others spend months in the hospital trying to medically treat it with anything a doctor suggests.

We learn how to attempt to harness the pain enough that we can still have a life. But, we have to chose what is going to hurt the less, rather than what would be the most fun. We crave the oblivion of sleep, which is elusive, rather than just having fun with friends. We try to map out every little thing in our lives to attempt to figure what causes the pain to worsen so we might be able to steer away from it.

Chronic pain is so draining. Is it any surprise that many sufferers become chronically depressed as well? It affects every aspect of your life, your attitude from the pain can strain your relationships with loved ones. Sleep is elusive because there isn’t a lot of positions that will keep the pain manageable. So exhaustion makes our attitude just as bad because of that pain.

For me personally, chronic pain makes me not like myself too much. My sarcasm, which to begin with is never the sweetest, gets a sharper edge to it. Sometimes, it slips and can do some damage. It’s bad when you can’t stand yourself, because of something you can’t control.

I had hoped yesterday when I had exploratory laparoscopic surgery, I had really prayed and hoped that there was a reason for the pain. I was ready for what ever drastic measures had to have been done so I could live without pain.

It came back clear…

I was so disappointed. I still am. I hedged so much of my emotional welfare on the fact that there could be an end to the pain soon. Maybe in a few months…no such luck. It has really thrown me for a loop and having to realize that the excruciating pain in the back and front are things I’m going to have to live with for numerous more years.

Pain. It can be good for you. But like right now, it’s a monster that clings to my back and refuses to leave me alone.

God’s grace is in this though. I know that. I just have to struggle with the fact that nothing right now is going to change. And that’s really hard.

Where I am

So this last Friday was graduation for my former school. It’s already been a year since I walked across the stage to pick up my diploma and shake the hand of my dean of students.
A year.
I am so totally not where I thought I would be, but I think I am where I should be for this moment in time.
Right now as I write this, my uncle is in surgery to remove a large golf ball sized tumor from his frontal lobe. We don’t know what will happen, we don’t know how he will come out of it. Life is uncertain.
My mom is facing another surgery next month, this time to repair a hernia due to all of her other abdominal surgeries. Life is uncertain.
I’m finally in the process of trying to get to the bottom of my own health issues, which might take a bit of time. I finally will be seeing a specialist come next Monday. Life is uncertain.
I do not know where I will be when another year comes around. Right now, I do think I am where I need to be. I’m with my family. I’m working, and I am actually healthy even with all the oddities that are going on.
God is Good.
No matter what, no matter when, no matter where.
God is Good.
All the time.
And all the time, God is Good.
Life kicks us some times, sometimes it feels like we can’t get ahead no matter how hard we try. But we have to remember, Life is under no obligation to treat us well.
Life is uncertain because it is not written for us, only God has our instruction manual. He isn’t keeping us in suspense because he’s mean. We have to learn how to trust in the moment no matter what that moment might look like.
Admittedly, sometimes that’s easier said than done.
It is hard to trust God when you have no clue what is around the bend. But, for me at least, it’s easier to wait for that reveal when trusting God, than it is without him in my life.
I’ve been on both sides of the faithful/ non-faithful waiting games. I know God has it totally in control, whatever happens is by his design. My family is in his hands.
My uncle does not have a relationship with God, so I know going into the surgery early this morning had to be nerve wracking, because how do you have hope when you have nothing to hope in?
Ultimately, that is what I was worried about. My uncle, having major surgery when he doesn’t know God. This is versus my mom, having major surgery, again, who does have a relationship with God. My concern is vastly different between the two. I know exactly where if something were to happen, where I would see my mom again. I also know where my uncle could end up, and that does scare me.
But, God is good.
God gave us the freewill to choose where we wanted to end up. It is ultimately up to us where we find ourselves. We can rail against God, saying he’s evil, when he laid it out there exactly what he wanted from us.
It’s not about doing a fancy ritual with lots of sacrifice, it’s not about doing so many ‘works’ to earn our way into the gates, it’s not about following all the rules so we look perfect- all the old ways don’t get us no where. The gates will not be opened for us if we look good to other humans, it’s all about what our souls look like to God.
Are they dipped in the blood of the sacrificial King?
Do we make the conscious decision to accept that sacrifice?
That’s what we have to do, just accept the love that the sacrifice represents.
Such a simple decision that can change your life and your eternal destination.
Why don’t more of us make that decision? Why don’t we all? Because we think we know better than God.
A free gift, given to all. Accepted by few.
Make a choice. Don’t blame God for your decision, all you have to do is accept. Where you end up is up to you. Heaven or Hell? Life or Death? Accept the gift or deny the sacrifice.
What’s your choice?

The messes of life

2014…It’s here.
I’ve been absent from this blog since October, though I’ve thought repeatedly that I need to get on to record my thoughts, just so I could make sense of what was happening. Obviously, I failed at that.
It’s not that life got too crazy, it’s not even that due to the new job that I started in November I was removed from a place where the internet works. It’s not that I got too involved with church and family. It’s really not a whole lot of anything.
The thoughts just refused to jell into words that anyone, much less myself, would want to read.
I think best when I’m writing. To have this wall (it’s not writer’s block just so you know) in between my fingers and the thoughts twirling in my head, basically made communication of any kind hard. I even saw it play out in verbal communications, like something held my tongue in place so that I wasn’t even wanting to speak that much.
It was as if I was in a bubble. Everything slightly muffled as it happened around me. Feeling disengaged and not knowing how to fix it.
November and December were kind of family trauma months.
November saw my dad in the ER for chest pains, he spent a night only to be discharged with a doctor’s shrug. There seemed to nothing wrong with him or his heart. The only thing that happened is that his much needed knee surgery was placed on hold. His surgeon wasn’t going to touch him due to the chest pains.
Then at Thanksgiving, my uncle informed the family that he was going to have to go in for brain surgery. He has a tumor growing on his frontal lobe. He was, so we wouldn’t have to ‘remember him during the holidays and ruin all the future ones,’ going to wait until the new year to plan the date of the surgery.
My other uncle who has been out of touch for over a year, mentioned some health issues he was having that were possibly serious but were right now lots of uncertainty.
December came and with it a new slew of health problems.
Mom’s hernia is becoming a little more pronounced.
Dad’s knee is getting worse.
I’m having to make some health decisions as I start looking for specialists myself.
Grandpa fell hard on the cement without realizing it.
Then the Saturday before Christmas, my uncle called because Grandma had fallen and was horribly bruised. She could barely walk. To say the least, Christmas was tense as the kids tried to get their parents to realize that they needed to call when something like that happened. Pride was hurt so feelings were bruised while words were hurtled.
Outside the family, I had others I was concerned about. Dear friends who life was forcing them to walk through some rough times. Friends who were losing their sight on the truths they knew. Friends getting into situations that they knew would eventually hurt them…
Then I went into my year check up on my ankle (all good) and found out that my doctor was now wheelchair bound due to a very rare spinal stroke. A young man who was just getting his own practice running and becoming more well known, hit by something that could keep him paralyzed for the rest of his life, or he could walk again.
The list of things that happened these last few months is long and varied and really in the grand scheme of things not exactly horrible. All have possibilities for growth taped in their seemingly dark wrappings.
Life is messy. It’s not always understood why some of us have to walk in certain valleys while others seem to be walking on the hills. Sometimes it feels like dominoes are falling and there is no way to stop the destruction that is happening. One after another all fall, toppling into each other, crashing into one standing so strong and bringing it down to the ground.
Sometimes you can’t help but wonder if you could just get a break. Just for a few days or months. Just so you can breathe. Remember why you laugh, why you pray, why you have faith. Other times, in your guilty shameful mind, you wonder, does God hate me?
This is why I enjoy the book of Job. Anything I feel? Nothing in comparison to the depth that Job felt it. Job endured it all and didn’t know why. He was shamed by his wife, lost his children, his home, his well being, his financial security, and then stood accused by men who knew nothing of the deeper plan.
Each person has their own Job story. I think that’s why the story is so important. We can walk with Job and see how he handled his valley, and hopefully we can learn something about our own.
The only problem that I run into is that…sadly, when I need answers, I decide to escape. My grasp on my Bible is weak, while I get lost in films and the written word. And that makes my valley so very dark.
I know my mind is doing this, I know my sin is getting in the way. So here I sit. Praying. Praying to pick up my Bible, praying to pray.
God’s walking with me, I just need help to take off my blinders so I can see him again.

‘Mr. Spock goes to church’: How one Christian copes with Asperger’s syndrome

I truly appreciate these glimpses into someone’s mind when talking about faith and disabilities. Brant Hensen is an radio personality on the national syndicated Air1 Christian Alternative. Take a walk with him as he describes what is like to be a Christian with Asperger’s.

CNN Belief Blog

Opinion by Brant Hansen, special to CNN

(CNN) — In the book “Jim and Caspar Go to Church,” an atheist turns to a Christian minister as they’re watching a Sunday morning church service and earnestly asks, “Is this what Jesus told you guys to do?”

I’ve grown up in churches and I’m a Christian, and I’m right there with the atheist.

I honestly don’t get the connection. (To be fair, I’ve grown up on Earth, too, and there are times that I don’t understand any part of this place.)

You see, years ago, I was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome — and like a lot of “Aspies,” sometimes I’m convinced that I’ve landed on the wrong planet.

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World Walking

Today, I met Erik. Erik and his dog, Nice are taking the world on a walk. So far they have walked over 5,000 miles. According to his website blog (www.worldguy.org), the duo has walked in at least 30 different states as well as in Washington, DC. Erik says that they average around 10 miles a day. This recent walking goal is to walk from Washington state to Oregon. He and Nice have been doing this for 5 years now.
So, you might wonder. Why in the world does some guy decide to walk with his dog all across the country?
Not only is he walking with his dog, but he is also walking the world. This huge rubber ball has a way of catching one’s eye. Painted like the world with the Worldguy’s website address on it, it rolls along beside Erik and Nice. It’s also the reason I stopped to talk to him, I just had to know what in the ‘world’ he was doing.
I caught up to him when he stopped at the town’s library to rest and I did something I very rarely do– started a conversation with a stranger. “I just have to ask…” I said.
Erik smiled and said that he was raising awareness for Diabetes and that he was trying to get people to get up and take a walk.
He allowed me to take a picture of him with his walking buddies as he told me where he’s walked and why he was doing it.
His mother, Gerta Bendl, a Kentucky legislator, died from complications with diabetes when she was 56. Erik (50 years old) decided to get the word out about diabetes and let people know about the disease.
So he walks the world and his dog, stopping to answer questions and posing for pictures. As I wished him safe and well on his travels, Erik said, “Take a walk with a loved one and live healthy.”
I encourage you all, if you see a world rolling on by with a dog and a man- stop and talk to him. Offer him a honk of the horn, a wave, or a handshake– for trying to keep you healthy and aware.

Do you have a passion or a desire that you would be so willing to walk across the country to raise awareness for?