This week I had the privilege to guest post on @ theviewfromnow.com
Amy fights her own battle with RA and an inheritable cancer gene. She writes about her faith journey in light of autoimmune disease. Her post are uplifting and encouraging, and I highly recommend taking the time to enjoy her posts.
I am so honored to have been asked to guest post but even more so, I am so happy that she brought my attention to her blog. Go ahead and check it out @ theviewfromnow
I have walked through some of the darkest years of my life alone, so I thought. I have felt broken physically, mentally and spiritually. I have been completely overwhelmed at times with life, and not knowing what direction to go that I was afraid to move. To think the next thought, I might fall apart. I have thought, that I just can’t just make it through another day through with all of my illnesses more times that I want to admit.
But I hold it all together for myself, my husband, and more than anything for my kids. I know that I am not alone,God is always with me, he will never leave me and I can always turn to him. I know that someone is reading this right now saying they know how this feels.
No matter where I have been in this journey, I have learned that all of those feelings are only temporary even if they come back after a while. God has always sent help my way.
It may have been an encouraging word from a nurse, or something I read, or sending someone my way to bring a word of grace, but he has always provided what I needed.
I have to look for God even in the smallest of things because even if it doesn’t appear that anything is changing I know that God is always doing something. I know the closer that I walk with God, the more Satan will try to knock me down but I have to stand tall, and be strong in my faith and know where my help comes from no matter the challenge I am facing.
What Satan doesn’t realize is the very tool that he thought would make me turn on God has brought me even closer to my heavenly Father. The sickness and the hardships of my life has made me put total dependency on God, instead of myself or someone else. Satan doesn’t want me to rise above my problems but I choose to rise above anyway even if it will take a little more effort on my part.
David wrote in Psalms 23,” Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me.”
Because of my illnesses sometimes I find myself feeling like I am broken and useless. No wonder, everything in my life has been turned upside down and changed; now everything revolves around my illnesses. Things I once loved were gone in an instant and what’s left of the old me slowly gets stripped away each day.
I have no doubt that even if you are not sick, feeling broken or useless may apply to some others as well. It’s not supposed to be that way! However, we can grow tremendously through the changes that we are forced to go through. And we can rise above any obstacles as long we are in God’s hands.
The mind is extremely powerful and can change our mood in an instant for good or for bad.
For me it’s easy to get caught up in the negative thoughts because of my illness. It never goes away, I always have a reminder even when my pain isn’t as high as normal! I have heard a few times lately someone say, “you know, you will never get better.” “This is, “Chronic.” “You just got to learn to live with it.”
Yep, I was told that a few times, over the last few months and it was like a knife in the gut. I could feel my existence get ripped right from underneath me. God just made me stop one day and made me realize it doesn’t have to be that way. I can control what I am thinking.
I am not in denial of my reality. But I am a child of God!! And I believe in miracles still. I am not at the mercy of what the doctors say!! I am at the mercy of God!
What you think consistently becomes your reality.
So, I am doing a new thing; and I challenge you if you are still reading this at this point and it has spoken to you at all to try it for a week in your life and let me know how it goes for you. Every time I think something negative, I stop and I immediately think of the positive side. If I am wake up hurting, well I turn that and think, I woke up alive, I have a bed, I have a house, I have AC, I have a family, I am dry etc.. keep going until it speaks to you. I have to be mindful of what I hear and what I think. I will not allow myself to dwell on the negative any longer.
Proverbs 4:23 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Carefully guard your thoughts
because they are the source
of true life.
I would rather be in control of my mind, have a strong mind and keep my thoughts positive and know that even if the world says this disease is killing me, God can turn this around anytime he wants. I would rather go down fighting with hope, than go down giving up.
Father’s Day didn’t have any meaning to me for most of my life, my biological father was abusive, and it was just a bad reminder of the past, but Father’s Day brings new meaning since I met my spiritual father.
According to the U.S. Census, approximately 15 million people in the U.S are fatherless. My earthly father was not a good father at all. He provided none of the essentials that I needed as a child or even now as an adult. My relationship with my biological father was anything but loving and trusting, and for the first 9 years of my life, it was torture.
After being placed in a foster home for a substantial portion of my childhood even there I did not have a father. At church, I was told that God was my father, but to me that did not equate because of the experiences that I had already had. How could I see God as my Father when when my biological Father caused me so much pain and abuse?
I have always loved God but accepting him as a Father was difficult. I had such a tainted view of what a Father really was, and I couldn’t grasp the magnitude of God’s love for me as Father.
It took the love of a spiritual father to change my mind about what a father was. A spiritual father is a father figure within the Body of Christ.
It was because of his relentless love and acceptance that I could finally see the Heavenly Father in a true light.
Seeing A Loving Father for the First Time
My Spiritual Father
I did not know I needed a Father figure, but God knew I needed a Father figure. It was amazing, God gave me so much more than just a Father, he gave me a Dad. We have a trusting, healthy father/daughter relationship and I thank God every day for that blessing in my life.
I can’t thank him enough for his love, and commitment to me. My Dad corrects me when I am wrong, and he forgives me even when I don’t deserve it. That’s the thing, a real father always forgives, and moves on, just like our Heavenly Father. A Spiritual father will always express and exemplify and knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. A spiritual father will always give sound counsel and pour out blessings. A spiritual father will nurture and protect.He never leaves you even when you have messed up. A spiritual father will use those moments as teaching moments. A spiritual father should always be a representation of the heavenly father.
My Dad has also taught me a few other things, like how a real father is supposed to be.
1. My Father will never leave me.
God promises, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).
God is deeply, unshakably committed to you. You never have to ask whether he will stay or leave.
My Dad shows me that a real Father will always be there no matter what. I never have to worry that he will get tired of me one day and be done with me, that’s not how a father/daughter relationship works.
2. The Father knows what I need.
Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.” (Matthew 6:8)
My spiritual father always seems to know what I need spiritual and mentally and offers loving advice with respect to who I am a daughter.
3. The Father takes great delight in his children.
God says, in Isaiah 43:44” you all “his children” are precious in my eyes,”
Without any love or encouragement from my dad, I could easily question whether I was loved at all. I used to constantly battle with how much I was worth.
4. The Father loves Unconditionally
(Romans 5:6–8) He is a hope for the abandoned, a refuge for the fearful, a Father to the fatherless.
Thankfully, our heavenly Father’s love for us is not conditional. He does not love us based on what we do to deserve his love. God loves us just because he loves us. Even when we’re disobedient and rebellious, He loves us.
God reaches out to you in great love even when you are at your worst.
Father’s hold such a vital role in our lives. In a Christian home they are the beginning foundation of what our relationship will look like with our Heavenly Father.
If you don’t have a Father, consider reaching out to someone that has a close relationship with God and accept them as a mentor and if you are approached reciprocate. Maybe you don’t have a father, but you have a person in your life that has made an impact in your life, thank them this year.
Lastly, remember we all have our Father in Heaven. You can’t get any better than that. Make sure you honor him this Sunday and every day after.
Happy Father’s Day!
I wanted to take a moment and discuss Brain Fog. I have Lupus, and Fibromyalgia and lately symptoms of brain fog have affected me greatly. It’s has made it extremely difficult to think in complete thoughts, I forget what I am saying in mid-sentence, I forget descriptive words, dates, the days of the week, etc. I was getting extremely confused more and more and to me it was really frustrating. I was feeling like I was stuck inside my own head.
My Rhuematologist suggested a supplement of DHEA last visit. She said, “there were studies that were proven that DHEA was used to treat Lupus and brain fog.”
DHEA is a steroid hormone produced by the body’s adrenal glands that has anti-inflammatory effects.
I was desperate to think straight. Ordinarly, I am not a believer in quick fixes, but it was an over-the-counter supplement that my doctor said she even tried, so why not, I tried it and I am glad I did. Within a week, I could tell a difference in the Brain Fog. She warned me that she will want to increase the dosage but right now a little relief was very welcomed.
So if you are a Lupus/Fibromyalgia/Chronic Fatigue/ or you just suffer from Brain Fog it’s definitely worth a talk with your doctor to see if this is good for you.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if life wasn’t filled with heartache and pain? Imagine a world covered with love, joy, peace. A world where no one grieves, no one has pain, no one faces hardships, no one faces sickness.
The reality is, we all face struggles and hardships at some point in our lives. In the last four years I have faced countless illnesses with few answers. If you know me you probably know that I have many Autoimmune Diseases that affect my internal organs, it has been an ongoing battle . I have learned a lot about keeping my faith in God in the middle of these trying times. I believe that because I have kept my faith pretty strong through out that has carried me through.
Constantly receiving unwelcome news
I don’t consider myself negative, or lacking faith, but after some time constantly receiving unwelcome news week after week, with no in end in sight it started to get to me. I didn’t even recognize that my mind had started to shift into a place where I was losing, hope until my Dad started teaching about finding joy. He called me one day and told me to find the positive in every situation, even if it is bad news, find the positive. I was just going through another health scare and I have to tell you that at first, I was really angry, and I was “ice cold”, whenever he brought the subject up for the next few weeks. How could he be so insensitive? He told me with all the negative news, the negative thoughts, the negative speech comes, negative results. He wanted me to not only find the positive but he wanted me to turn on praise music, sing along, take out my guitar and sing to the Lord as much as possible without hurting me physically.
As it turns out, Dad knows what he is talking about. I had realized that being sick has forced me to give up everything that I loved. So, I began to find little things that I could do even if it was in short increments, I had allowed my illness win for too long.
After praying about it, a lot, I did come around and realize the error of my ways and I began to really listen to my Dad. I picked up my guitar after a long time of not playing and began play worship music every morning. I had just quit because it hurt, but I can play for a short time and it is just enough for my spirit.
Change of mindset
What was most difficult was to make changes in my mindset, because when you are sick and there are no answers to be found, the last thing you can possible think about is something positive.
I pay attention to the blessings that are interwoven in my own struggles. No matter what I am facing there is always something that I can find to be thankful for, I just have to look for them. I have to keep my mind positive.
I found that if I stepped outside of myself and allowed my flesh to get out-of-the-way I could speak positive words over myself. I say things like, “I am going to have a good day today.” No matter what the doctor says I say, “I believe I’m getting better.” When I get a negative report from the doctor, I go to God’s word and it says I’m healed because of the price that Jesus paid for my healing. When someone says negative words to me, I cast them down and get rid of those negative words. I say things like, “I have a bright future ahead of me,”
I do not allow other people’s negative thoughts enter my mind.
I believe you are what you speak, so if you say you are going to have a bad day this morning, most likely you will. I am not saying its a cure all, but I am saying there is power in the mind.
Lastly, speaking God’s promises is a key element in my healing process. I speak things like.
Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
John 1: 12 (NKJV)
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.”
(As a child of God, I have all the rights and privileges of being His daughter.)
Isaiah 53: 5 (NKJV)
“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.”
Psalms 118: 17 (Amplified)
“I will not die, but live, And, declare the works and recount the illustrious acts of the LORD.”
Even though I do know a cure has not been found as of yet for Lupus, and I am facing some pretty big things, I also know that nothing is impossible, but all things are possible with God. I am choosing to put all of hope in him right now. I have nothing to lose at this point, except for maybe a bad attitude. I would rather spend my life deliriously joyful when the world thinks I shouldn’t be than be miserable and lonely and be the status quo.
What kinds of things do you do to change your mindset?