“My Grace is sufficient is for you, for in your weakness I am made strong.”
I am going to be real, I have had a rough few weeks. Lupus has inflamed my entire body, feelings of pins and needles if I get touched, heat radiating throughout my body under my skin, chest tightness and pain, body aches, fatigue, sleepless nights. I was recently admitted in the hospital overnight for chest pain only to find out that Lupus is affecting my heart and that Lupus is causing a lot of inflammation. It’s hard enough for one illness but it is even harder to take on multiple. I struggle each day to get out of bed but I try to make sure I accomplish at least one thing. It takes great strength. I am not superhuman, I have the same fears, and worries as everyone else, I am just learning to handle it with less of Tabitha and more of God.
While I was in the hospital I had a stress test, it was only four minutes long and it was medically induced. I had been forewarned of what it would be like, I was told there would be discomfort, I was told all the scary things that may or may not happen but I knew that I had to face this four-minute test just to make sure my heart was strong. After all I had chest pains, and I had been told I had partial blockages. The first part was easy, they injected medicine into my veins an hour before and I didn’t feel anything. They took me down to the scanner, and I was asked to lay down on my back. Sounds easy so far. Right? I even took a short nap on the scanner as the machines ran with white noise in the back ground. Next they took me to the “table”, where the tech said, “This is perfectly safe. ” There is something already unsettling when someone looks at you and says that. He told me some people feel symptoms and some don’t but we want to know what you are feeling at any time.” Again it is only 4 minutes. I was ready, it’s been easy so far! I looked at him confidently and said, ok, I’m ready, it’s just four minutes.
Four minutes doesn’t seem that long when you are looking at it from the outside but for me that day, four minutes seemed like four hours. That day I had to rely on God for all my strength. Within seconds I began feeling the effects of the medicine, my head started pounding, my heart started pounding and my chest tightened up and it was hard to breathe. The heat radiated throughout my entire body and it felt as if someone had lite a match inside of me. I lay there in agony, praying that this torture would stop. They reminded me to breathe and counted down the last minute. They wheeled me into a dark room where I was to sit for 45 minutes for the next test. I did not want to go through that again, but I knew that I would have to dig deep and get through this.
I found myself in self-therapy afterward eating graham crackers and water with positive thoughts running through my head and remembering scriptures that I had read before. I didn’t know what was ahead but I knew I needed all the strength and bravery I could get. It was there that I had realized that all of God’s word that I had in my spirit was coming to the forefront of my mind. In the midst of the worst test of my life, it was there that I realized that God was clearly speaking words of strength and encouragement to me and he had never left my side. That day was a perfect reminder for me that in MY weakness, he is made strong and he will see me through the next time around as well.