Many of you know that follow my journey I’m known for sharing the good, the bad and the ugly. Well when my first medicine alarm woke my exhausted body up this morning at 7am I found the following words typed, but left unposted on my phone. All I remember is it was after 3am and I was begging God to help me and knock me out as quick as possible as I was loaded with every sleep med and pain med I could take at that time…
(Around 3am) “Real & Raw 6000
Any of these posts are clearly for my sanity. Apart from feeling like a truck hit my body the torment is even worse. The nonstop itching in my hands and feet are like fire ants you can’t just brush off. Laying in any position hurts as I can feel any metal within me. The massive battery on my right side is still extremely sore from laying down for an MRI that never panned out. My level of misery would certainly be a 7-8 right next.”
(7:30 am) Evidently God heard my prayers once again. At some point, right when I thought I was literally going to go crazy in pain God swooped in once again and said “Peace be still, devil I’ve seen enough.” Then, I fell right out asleep and my severe pain ceased while the above words were left sitting on my phone for me to see later.
Now, that I’ve taken my morning meds I’m heading back to sleep in a moment very thankful. For while very sore I presently feel nothing like I did hours ago. And, I’m reminded of how much God has done and does do for me every time I’ve reached all I can physically and emotionally take. He swoops in and saves the day. And remembering His constant faithfulness can help carry me through one more day with great faith forward.
“In my distress I prayed to the Lord, and the Lord answered me and set me free. The Lord is for me, so I will have no fear….”. Psalm 118:5-6
I’ve finally just got to accept the fact that without strong meds I will hardly ever sleep a wink. Plus it’s not helping that I’m not presently even 25 percent as active as I once was even 2 years ago in my past rehab days. If I’m to reach any greater level of recovery my walking regiment must return. I’ve simply lost all momentum and strength. At least warmer days are in front of me. That makes a big difference with lots of metal in your back.
Oh the ups and downs of recovery. I’ve experienced the highest highs and even today the lowest of lows. I still remember my surgeon saying 30 days after my first major surgery “sir you may become my poster child for recovery you’re progressing so well.” When I look over the past 30 months of relentless recovery effort I can ponder so many “what if” moments it’s far from funny.
What if I had never slipped on that wet floor? What if I had not been put in physical therapy several months too early that actually set me way back and killed my daily walking momentum? What if they didn’t make me wait 8 months to have my first surgery when the first MRI showed my lower back disc was close to paralyzing me and increasing my permanent nerve damage by the day? What if ????
Honestly, that approach changes nothing except my anxiety level. Yes, it’s human to look back and second guess many things. But, ultimately you find yourself right back desperately needing to trust God with everything. I’m certainly trying and confident that God is bigger than everyone of my “what if” moments. Nothing can stop his plans and his grace covers over a multitude of our shortcomings. Lord Jesus, I give you the past, the present, and the future. Help me to rest it all in Your hands.
Jesus said, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
“And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God[e] above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”
I may be down, but I’m not out. I may cry often, but I’m far from hopeless. Life is full of painful, unexpected moments. We all must learn how to walk through the valleys so we can appreciate the mountain top experiences. We all must learn that no matter what life throws our way God is with us, for us , and nothing can take certain hope from us.
In Jesus Christ the future is always bright even if we feel like we’re walking through a constant tunnel of darkness. So, don’t lose hope no matter where life finds you right now. Hope is not lost. For our hope doesn’t rest in our circumstance, but in our lord and savior Jesus Christ. He will never change, leave, or forsake you.
“ This hope [this confident assurance] we have as an anchor of the soul [it cannot slip and it cannot break down under whatever pressure bears upon it]—a safe and steadfast hope that enters within the veil [of the heavenly temple, that most Holy Place in which the very presence of God dwells],” (Hebrews 6:19)(Amplified)
I’m writing these words for my own peace and hopefully to encourage someone else. Sometimes life is just too overwhelming to swallow all at once. It’s in these moments that it’s critical we take a bite out of that elephant one piece at a time. Otherwise, you will be paralyzed by all that needs to happen and nothing much will happen. Therefore, before you go any further take out a sheet of paper and map out your best God-led approach.
First, write out a list of the most important things that need to be done or given attention. Then, seek to put things in an order of priority from most important to least important. This doesn’t mean that all these things aren’t important, but not everything needs to happen right this moment. What do you need to do today that can’t wait for tomorrow? What do you need to do right now that if not done will be deeply regretted later.
One thing I can tell you from experience is you need to pray. Not later and not just in reference by some words. You need to earnestly put everything in God’s hands and ask God to guide your every step forward. Let Him reveal the difference between what you can handle and what you can’t. Often God’s word and spirit simply sheds light on the next step and doesn’t give us the full picture. However, as a buddy of my used to always say “If you do what’s right you can’t go wrong.”
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and thanksgiving present your requests to God. Then, the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ. Jesus.”
I just woke up at 7am this morning to the first of 4 daily alarms that remind me to take my scheduled medications. My hands, lower back, legs and feet all aching and itching long before my my day will even get started. As I struggled to just walk to the bathroom I couldn’t help but wonder was last night a dream. Did I really show up for a 3rd guaranteed MRI only to be told this time that neither the wires in my spine or “newly” implanted battery in my back weren’t MRI compatible. This time not only two hours before I got to my appointment, but this time nearly two hours after I got to my appointment. Even after 25 minutes in the actual machine thinking I’m halfway done.
I can barely type this due to the nonstop nerve pain itching and running constantly through both hands. Yep, thanks to my Fitbit that tracks my sleeping things have been confirmed. Last night was a reality and my most reliable car did break down on the way back home delaying me from getting in my bed before even 2am. So, I’ve only had 3 hours sleep after having my vehicle towed still awaiting major repairs.
Now, here is the good news. Nothing irreparable happened last night. The night could have been a whole lot worse and the challenges so much greater. Yes, I’m still frustrated and I’m in more unnecessary discomfort as a result. However, there will always be times in life mankind makes plans only to realize they are often subject to change. Therefore, I thank God that while I don’t like what happened it was just another long night. And, it changes nothing, but only confirms that only God knows all each day or the future holds.
“You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.”
It’s 2am and me and my car just got towed back home. My nerve pain is flaring, my body is dragging , and my nerves are literally shot. Seems that the devil is coming at me from every direction. Inside, outside and anywhere in between. This was not how I ever expected tonight to end.
Now, I’m certain God has a plan and will work everything out in the end. However, in the meantime my nervous system circuits are blown. I’m trying so hard to be strong and weather this storm. I thought I did everything possible to ensure that my 3rd scheduled MRI in just 3 months would finally take place. Nope, I was still disappointed and shocked that nothing went as planned.
If I was trying to create daily nightmare scenarios I’m not sure I could have scripted all the mishaps. It’s like satan is hiding behind every corner just waiting to jump out and shock me. Oh wait, that’s exactly what he is doing. That’s ok my God is bigger. He won’t steal my joy and he won’t determine my future. He’s just doing all he can to steal, kill, and destroy all God has planned. So, I’m not gonna fall to pieces. I’m just gonna fall to my knees.
Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy. I’ve come so that you might have life to it’s fullest.”
For those of you who only follow me online you know I was so excited about finally getting my MRI this evening. Was there almost two hours after riding over an hour to get there. Here is how the evening ended, Here are my back to back Facebook posts as I wait patiently at Trident hospital for a tow truck.
8:45…..UNREAL!! The drama continues. They put me in the Roper St Francis MRI machine twice only to tell me they can’t do it either because of my battery that I just got replaced just for this and my lead wires in my spine can’t be scanned. I was in there at least 20-25 minutes in the machine and been here since 7:15pm. They say they can’t do it at any of their 3 locations. Neither can MUSC. They are very fortunate I’m full of Valium. The devil is determined to discourage me, but I know who’s still in charge! There is somewhere out there that can do this I know and they confirmed. Maybe it’s in Africa! I need no explanation just prayers for patience. 3 scheduled MRI’s in 3 months all turned away the day they were scheduled. All of them admitted they never looked at my information thoroughly or had it before scheduling me. #HowDoesThisHappem
9:30pm…. I told you we are under attack. My Honda Pilot that has never given me a day of trouble just broke down on us. We rolled into the Trident hospital parking lot. Freezing because my heat went out earlier and we had to walk a mile to get inside anywhere! #JesusLiterallyTakeTheWheel
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28