"In my deepest wound I saw your Glory, and it astounded me."
This quote describes in so many ways where I find myself today. I am not even sure how to begin this blog. I don't have the words to describe what took place. Nothing I can say even comes close.This will be less than eloquent, but I hope that you will see Christ despite my inability to communicate His glory....
As many of you know, I have spent my entire adult life battling Lyme Disease. What I have come to realize is that I may never have the words to describe this devastating journey. Until you have battled Lyme personally you cannot possibly understand what it is like. Every moment of every day is a battle. The bacteria literally invades your entire system.... organs, muscles, joints... nothing remains untouched. These are the things that make Lyme so hard to fight. Lyme has been labeled a "chronic illness." At nineteen years old I was given a life sentence. I was told that I would have to deal with this disease for the rest of my life. If I got lucky it would go into remission at least for a period of time.
All of that said, I have a unique perspective on the human body. Because of Lyme Disease I have found myself thanking God for simple things. For instance, I have thanked Him for the nineteen years of health that I was blessed with. In those days I never worried about my body. It never crossed my mind that there would come a day when my body wouldn't function properly anymore. I have thanked Him for legs that ache, because despite the pain I can still walk. I have thanked Him for the opportunity to work. Most of all, I have thanked Him for the bullseye rash that appeared on my left hip just days after infection. God was so merciful to me! He did not choose to protect me from contracting this illness, but He gave us immediate signs that something was desperately wrong. I quickly received treatment. What we didn't know then is that I would spend the next 5 1/2 years in & out of treatment.
I married my husband on May 18th, 2013. Within a month my Lyme had flared up. I was sicker than I had ever been. We have spent the last 2 1/2 years fighting this through extensive treatment. When I was only 22 years old my M.D. told me that there was nothing else she could do & she suggested that I go back to the naturalist that I had seen when I was 19.
I am a fighter. More often than not that isn't exactly a positive quality. I don't know how to give up. So I went into "fight" mode. We had a plan & I was going to get this into remission. I was determined that God could & would deliver me from this. I had already written the story line... Others would come to know Him through a miraculous healing. Do you hear the problem? "I" was going to fight... "I" was going to get well. "I" was going to write this story exactly how "I" wanted it to go. I had yet to realize that God wasn't asking me to fight. He was asking me to give HIM the battle. It took years for me to figure this out.
This past summer I was studying about the Fiery Furnace. I found myself in awe of the strength of these three men. Daniel 3:17-18 states, "If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and He will rescue us from your hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know that we will not serve your gods or worship the image that you have set up." What I came to realize through this study is that God's goodness is not contingent on whether or not He saves me from earthly struggles. God is good in spite of. It was through this study & some time in prayer that I decided to "give up the fight." I remember distinctly praying in my living room floor & saying, "Even if you never heal me, you are still good. Help me live lyme well. Let your glory shine through my brokenness."
For whatever reason I was finally able to submit. I accepted my diagnosis & decided to live a life in spite of it. Through the next few months I was able to watch God use Lyme powerfully in my ministry. I became grateful for my ability to relate to others in their brokenness. For the first time Lyme made sense.
For whatever reason I believe that God wanted me to "give it up." All along He was calling me to submit. He was asking me to trust in things I couldn't see. "Faith is the substance of things hoped for & the evidence of things unseen." (Hebrews 11:1) He was giving me the opportunity to live out all of the things I've believed my entire life.
Last week a young lady that my Mom counsels said, "Your daughter is really sick. God is going to heal her." When my Mom told me what had been said I was a little freaked out. I told my husband, "Babe, that isn't the answer. He is using Lyme in my ministry. Healing isn't coming this side of heaven & I'm okay with that."
Fast forward a few days... Last Wednesday I went to see my naturalist for my 6 week appointment. I have been going to her every six weeks for the past two years. At my appointment she informed me that she couldn't find any traces of the Lyme bacteria in my system. This is medically impossible! Lyme stays in your system for life. There is no physical way that this is possible without the creator of the universe intervening on my behalf.
I serve a God who is famous for doing the impossible! He parted a sea so that HIS people could walk through on dry land. He used a rock to defeat a giant. After three days His son rose from the grave & conquered death once & for all. Lyme Disease is such a small task in comparison to the things my Lord has done. Yet I find myself today saying, "Lord, I believe, but help me with my disbelief." (Mark 9:24) I have known nothing but illness for so long that it is hard to even imagine a life that isn't dictated by Lyme.
This battle is far from over. There are still tons of toxins in my system. It will take time to detox. For the next two months I will be on forty-eight pills a day. Then I will see my doctor again for reevaluation. We do not know what this road looks like going forward. At this point it remains unseen. There is extensive damage to my body. We do not know if that will be reversed. What we do know is that God acted powerfully & miraculously on my behalf. We get to trust Him! Every single day that I am not constrained & confined from a bacteria that used to reside in my body I am going to get up & praise HIM.
God has a beautiful way of using the things that are most painful to reveal Himself both to ourselves & to those around us. Therefore, when you find yourself in a situation that you cannot see your way through cling to the cross. Jesus is our savior not just in heaven, but here on earth too. Allow Him to rescue you. He does not always save us from the trial, but He will never test us beyond what we can bear. We can bank on His promises. It is in your deepest, darkest moments that you will find a God who never lets go... Let Him hold you!
"Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere."- Psalm 84:10
"When I called you answered me..." Psalm 138:3
"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all that we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us." - Ephesians 3:20
"But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar in wings like eagles; they will run & not grow weary; they will walk & not faint."- Isaiah 40:31