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?
What if God wants to use you and what you are going through to reach someone else? What if He wants to heal you so that your story can heal someone else? I know that I often see myself as insignificant but God does not see me that way! He sees me and you differently than how we see ourselves. He sees us stronger than we give ourselves credit for, he sees us as victorious, significant, and he wants for us to live the abundant life that he prepared for us before we were even born.
We were made to RISE above! Whatever you are facing today, it does not define who you are. Maybe you have an illness, depression, addiction, abuse, anxiety, or past regrets, whatever it is God has a plan. Be still and you will find it.
This song seemed appropriate for my mood today. Enjoy.
When you are suffering it’s easy to slip into a state of hopelessness.
I live with chronic illness, my major organs are being attacked one of them is my heart, that means unless God heals me, I am not going to get any better. That also means, each day I have to be at peace with where I am at today, at this very moment. You can be angry about the past or your present right now, that’s entirely up to you. I tend not to give the power back over to the people or my illness that have already ruined things once.
The way I see it is; that I can live life one of two ways;
One; I was born into an unfair world, I suffered and I didn’t deserve how I got treated. I get knocked down too much and I don’t think life is fair so I am not going to even try. Life just sucks…
Two; I can use my circumstances and become stronger because of them. Every time life knocks me down, I get back up again using it as a spring-board. I focus on the good things in life and enjoy every moment in life that I do have.
I choose to live my life exactly like the second choice. I have no time for negativity in my mind because my time is so precious and limited.
I refuse to allow myself to think about how unfair my illness is. I know the consequences in the end, but I do not dwell on them. I am making my life worthwhile anyway though, no matter the trials.
Make your life count for something no matter what is going on in your life. If you are sick, count your blessings still.
I would rather live out the rest of my days being grateful for all the things I do have, rather than be upset, live in regret, waste precious time, for the things I didn’t do or don’t have.
This is my best friend and her perspective. When you have chronic illness, it’s hard to keep friends close because you constantly have to cancel plans and she does get that from me. I have tried my best to educate everyone in my life what Lupus is. I believe that has helped my relationships.
the little sleep I have had, working over 12 hours a day, going out 10 days straight. I Love you Tabitha.
Living with many Autoimmune Diseases is difficult enough. I have to keep on living a life, being a mother and a wife. I have to deal with my pain and I have to keep a handle on my emotions.
Over the next few days I will share some of my closest family and friends writings on how my illness affects them. I asked each of them to write how my illness affects them. The first one will be from my Father, the second one will be from my 14 year old daughter and I will continue for a few days with a few more people.
The reason I am doing this is because I want to bring awareness that our families and friends are deeply affected.
When we are physically hurting, they are emotionally hurting for us. Sometimes it’s hard to express that you love someone when it hurts so bad.
See previous post for letters from other family.
Let’s get real for a minute.
I think at times I downplay the seriousness of my autoimmune diseases and I don’t allow others in on the reality of my story.
My major organs are being attacked. I have heart blockages in my right bundle branch and I have the beginnings of kidney issues due to lupus. My digestive system doesn’t work as at it should, for my digestive system to break down foods it takes three times as long as a normal system.
I have over ten autoimmune diseases all of them have symptoms of their own. Lupus, Mixed Connective Tissue Disease, Lupus Nuephritis, Gastroparesis Nuerocardiogenic syncope,Sjogens, Autonomic dysfuction, Esophageal dysfuction, Arthritis, Antiphospholipid Syndrome, Autoimmune dysautonomia, Raynaud’s phenomenon, Myositis, chronic pain syndrome, and fibromyalgia. I am sure I have forgotten to list something because I also suffer from short term memory loss.