(By Lois Robinson)
I told you readers last month that I would bring more insights from my current journey. These new insights are just that: new. God is working new things in my heart that I do not think would have been possible if not for what I am going through. He really is giving me beauty for ashes. Thank you for your feedback, comments and encouragement. It is great to know people are actually reading these blogs and are getting encouragement in some way from them.
The focus of this blog will be about embracing the painful reality of a different kind of life than I had always imagined: fully mobile with two good, strong legs to walk and run, going shopping for groceries and carrying them to the car, mowing the grass, taking a long walk, climbing a set of stairs. These are just some of the areas of my life that have been radically changed. When I get into a heated therapy pool, I nearly cry because it is then I remember what it is to walk again, somewhat normally. But, in that loss, I have gained a lot. Here are my new gifts: God is breaking my heart and opening the eyes of my heart in order to know Him more, love Him more, love people better and, last but not least, understand His faithfulness, goodness and love for me.
1. Growing in awareness of my deep control issues:
~having to depend on others to mow the grass.
I love mowing and want to mow when I want to mow. Now I have to wait on others :)
~having to ask store workers to load the heavy things into my electronic scooter and unload them into my car when I am shopping alone.
I want to be self sufficient and not have to ask for help at all :)
~eating habits: there are natural remedies available that assist in the healing process. Learning to embrace a new way of eating for health benefits can be difficult.
I want to eat what I want, when I want!
~finances: a lot goes into the medical journey each month, so following a weekly budget is crucial.
I want to spend my money on what I want. Fun stuff, not medical stuff!
~having to do exercises and stretches daily to keep whatever muscles and nerves working that I can.
I do not feel like exercising every day. I’m tired. I’ve worked all day, week, etc and the list of excuses goes on and on.
~dealing with the embarrassment of using a wheelchair, crutches and scooter in public, and the stares or sympathetic grins that I get from people. Honestly what goes through my head is, “Let the cripple through.” I’m still working on that lie.
2. Growing in my Awareness of Loving and Serving People:
~When I go into any store now, I immediately look to see if all the electronic scooters are plugged in and charged. It is impossible for those of us with mobility handicaps to shop unless the scooter has a full charge. There have been times the basket is full and the scooter dies. I am now left to slowly walk up to the front, get a cart, have help to load everything into the cart, push it up, pay and have help loading it into my car. NOT GOOD! Nightmare material.
3. Growing in my understanding of the Godly benefits of friendship/community:
~My best friend Jess, some of you know, is so wonderful in walking with me through this. She holds me accountable to exercise, to the nutritional aspect of this journey, and introduces me to natural foods to battle inflammation, etc. She attends doctor visits with me as I have learned it is too much for one person to deal with. Jesus knew what He was talking about when He says live in community!
~Our lawn mower was broken, and I spent 3 weekends trying to fix it. A friend from church offered to fix it, and one hour later it was working wonderfully! Praise God!!
4. Growing in my wisdom and knowledge regarding God and medical treatment:
~I always questioned the area of medicine called Pain Management. I was completely ignorant of the necessity of such doctors on a long term basis. Now I have a much better understanding. Yes, the system gets abused horribly. But for those who have painful conditions on a daily basis and still desire to continue to live a life God has called them to, pain management doctors are very necessary. For the longest time, I wouldn’t even tell anyone I went to pain management. It was an area of shame. Thank God He has healed me of that set of beliefs.
~I have learned how God points me to the doctors he wants and closes doors to the places He doesn’t want.
~I have learned to trust Him in deeper ways because I have had an issue with striving to obtain a level of healthiness and functionality, only to result in it all falling apart physically, again and again, believing all three times it was because I didn’t work hard enough, didn’t do the exercises exactly right or long enough. The doctors and physical therapists have said there was nothing I did wrong; it is just that my body is very broken right now.
As you can see, no, God has not chosen to heal the most noticeable brokenness in my body, the leg and back. But, what we must do is look at the way He IS HEALING ME! With all of my heart, I want to walk normally again, have no pain anymore and be functioning well again. What I must never lose sight of is all the beautiful things in my heart that are being birthed and healed in me because of the brokenness I am experiencing physically. In all honesty, experiencing such brokenness on a daily basis makes most things hard physically, emotionally and psychologically. But, what rises up in all of that is His promise to give me beauty for ashes. I am experiencing this verse that I will leave you with. Thanks for reading :) See you next month! Blessing friends!
Isaiah 61:3 (from The Message)
[Announce Freedom to All Captives ] The Spirit of God, the Master, is on me because God anointed me. He sent me to preach good news to the poor, heal the heartbroken, Announce freedom to all captives, pardon all prisoners. God sent me to announce the year of his grace— a celebration of God’s destruction of our enemies— and to comfort all who mourn, To care for the needs of all who mourn in Zion, give them bouquets of roses instead of ashes, Messages of joy instead of news of doom, a praising heart instead of a languid spirit. Rename them “Oaks of Righteousness” planted by God to display his glory. They’ll rebuild the old ruins, raise a new city out of the wreckage. They’ll start over on the ruined cities, take the rubble left behind and make it new. You’ll hire outsiders to herd your flocks and foreigners to work your fields, But you’ll have the title “Priests of God,” honored as ministers of our God. You’ll feast on the bounty of nations, you’ll bask in their glory. Because you got a double dose of trouble and more than your share of contempt, Your inheritance in the land will be doubled and your joy go on forever.