Last night was one of my roughest nights. At that time I was just experiencing such pain, distress and anguish. All I could do was cry out to my God for help and comfort. Finally, the medication eased my discomfort and put me to sleep. I woke up this morning five hours later to take my morning medication.
Now, physically I still don’t feel great but my mind and heart are more settled. There’s no doubt that satan loves to pound most when we’re most vulnerable. I’m just thrilled to say that my God has gotten me through another dark night. That I can once again breath in and out with a feeling of hope. I still hate how my body feels, but I know things can always be worse.
Thanks from the depths of my heart for anyone who interceded with prayer on my behalf. The prayers were answered and I believe are still at work. I’m so thankful for God’s relief and mercies each morning. Many didn’t even wake up this morning, but by the grace of God I did. Now, I’m gonna try and sleep some more as I still have more giants to face later today.
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)
What I’m about to share I believe to be prophetic. One day you will read this in a book God plans for me to write. Except then it won’t be prophetic anymore, but my new reality. Right now God is writing this book through me daily. It was around 24 months ago God spoke to me about this book. I was 30 days into recovery from my first brutal surgery. At that time I was still pushing a walker around 2 miles each day.
That day I was out walking and God spoke clearly to my heart. He said, “Craig your first book is not going to be called “By The Bedside” but it’s going to be called “Faith Walking.” At that time I sincerely thought I had already gone through the toughest part of this journey. I thought I was near chapter 12 when in reality I was barely done with Chapter 1.
I do believe I’m now in the toughest stretch. The pain is more intense and I’m so battle weary. However, I believe Chapter 12 will have a happy ending. That God will restore to me and my family all the devil has taken. But, I’ve got to make to that finish line. The only way I can do that is to return back to the basics.
I’ve got to take things one day at a time. I’ve got to keep walking forward believing God for my total healing and restoration. I believe if I can hold on by faith then the later part of my life will be a sheer testament of what an awesome God we do serve.
“The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Only you know how much I’m painfully bleeding inside. I’m only a shell of myself and can do nothing about it. I don’t believe anything happens apart from either Your divine allowance or orchestration. Please give me the faith I need to keep trusting You through this valley and beyond it. You’ve carried me so far and I need You to carry me further.
In the midst of my pain help me be found faithful. Help me to practice what I preach to others. Help me to see what it is You want me to learn through all of this. Grab me by the hand and don’t let me sink into any further depression. I’m counting on You and You alone to deliver me out of this quicksand.
I’ve seen You perform many miracles. I need You to part the Red Sea for me and my family. I give You every ounce of my anxiety and fear. Hold me together Lord Jesus and give others hope through my life. Stay close to me so I can have peace. Remind me of all Your promises. I’m trying so hard but this storm is way too big for me. I need Your resurrection power pumping through my every vein. Thank you Jesus in advance for what I know You will do in the midst of my distress. In the Mighty name of Jesus I pray!
“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”
My skin is crawling so bad and my heart is hurting so much. I feel like a prisoner in this broken body. Yet, I more than realize there is no quick fix. In fact, obviously there is nothing really man can do for me except listen and pray. I just never saw these days coming so early in my life. My grief of this reality just keeps coming in stages.
Pain makes it so hard to focus on anything else. Even praying is much more difficult as you struggle to even speak with words. Your prayers become groans of desperation as you just want relief. You feel so unstable minded as after awhile you just can’t process things anymore. Comfort, peace, and compassion become the greatest gifts on your wish list.
I just took a Valium that hopefully helps sooner than later. However, I know it’s comfort will be very short lived. Oh how I need the continued prayers of many. I’m bound to collapse apart from God’s grace and mercy. I feel like I’m on an IV drip that needs to be refilled. I feel on a deserted island where I’m left to cry alone. Oh God, I wish this cup could be taken from me. Yet, not my will but your will be done!
“Jesus told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
Seems like by the day I discover something new that I’m dealing with on a daily basis. Earlier I went to the doctor to figure out what exactly I could do to treat this most likely viral crud that’s been making me feel awful by the day. I left away with some antibiotic and something to break down the congestion in my head. I also got my doctor to look at the pictures I’ve taken of my daily skin breakouts. I feel I’ve finally got some clarity on that matter. In fact, my skin is broken out and itching all over as I write this article.
Doctor says he is almost certain that I’ve got neurodermatitis. Researchers have discovered that a trigger can increase the risk of developing neurodermatitis. Things that can trigger neurodermatitis include: Injury to a nerve. Period of intense stress or emotional trauma. Tight clothing, especially clothing made of wool or a synthetic fabric like rayon or polyester. Dry skin, allergens, sweat, heat, and poor blood flow can also be a trigger. The fact that I’ve experienced all of these being triggers makes this pretty clear. Also the fact that it’s so short lived on my skin eliminates meds that I’ve always taken or just some specific allergy. It’s activated by my nerves and further stimulated by things such as heat, sweat, dry skin, and even water.
As I walked into CVS to pick up my medications my eyes were further opened. I can’t tell you how weak my legs have felt recently. I’m now having to use my cane all the time to get around. I had to sit down as I waited on my prescriptions. As I sat there in misery I realized I was now that guy. That guy that is disabled, handicap, and struggles every moment from point A to point B. It’s so humbling, challenging, and frightening as you wonder what the future might hold.
You feel like people are looking straight through you and that only other fellow sufferers really understand. I try my best to explain things to my wife who observes me daily and even she can’t seem to realize the level of my constant pain. All I keep thinking about is how I can’t wait to start my chronic illness support group in September. I need the encouragement from my new tribe and they need mine. Because everyday it seems your body fails you and no one seems to understand you. Maybe this is the only way God could prepare me to be a missionary to others who are suffering daily as well.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
I’ve never had more big decisions staring me in the face all at once. Everything in my life is in the building or rebuilding stage. In most respects, I’ve been living by extreme faith for the past 18 years. I can truly say I’ve always allowed God to lead me and my family to whatever and wherever His spirit leads. However, with a family of six and my uncertain health issues nothing is getting easier. Yet, the process and approach to life must remain the same.
I will stay on my knees every step of the way. I will ask God to lead my heart to nothing less than His good, pleasing and perfect will. I will wait on God’s green lights. I will yield when He says yield. I will go when He says go. I will stop when He says stop. And, I will ask God to bring everything into order in accordance with His will and timing.
One thing I know for sure during this challenging time in our lives. God has never failed me before and has always blessed our obedience. I know a great future lies ahead as I put all my eggs in God’s basket. He will end up amazing me once again with how He puts things in order and does way beyond what I deserve. So, here I go again Lord Jesus. I’m free falling into your arms expecting you to carry me towards the promise land.
“Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.” (1 Chronicles 4:10)
To say I’m totally exhausted would be such an understatement. I can’t handle much more physically, emotionally, or mentally. My body aches all over. My eyelids are hard to keep open. Any critical thinking has the potential of making me go crazy. I’m becoming more and more dependent upon walking with a cane. I’ve had several times that my legs have felt like they were totally breaking down.
The position I find myself in is both humbling and draining. If not for the support and grace around me I would have long ago been on some hospital’s psychiatric floor. This nerve condition just breaks you down bit by bit. Leaving you feeling like just a shell of yourself. It’s so overwhelming you can’t worry about tomorrow because you’re too consumed with trying to survive today.
Honestly, I don’t know what tomorrow will bring my way. If I based things off how I typically feel I might as well file for full disability now. With 4 boys all still in school it’s hard for me to picture living with those limitations. It’s challenging enough to live with a normal income.
Even still, I’m making every adjustment I possibly can in respect of my health condition. I’m not the man I once was by any stretch of the imagination. Slowly but surely I’m sorting through the damage that still remains from a major slip and fall that took place over 2 1/2 years ago. I’m having to learn how to walk again. I carry a cane in one hand and attempt to drag both legs that are absolutely worn out.
I’m definitely in a sorting and sifting season. God will keep showing me what I need to let go of and what I must hold onto for dear life. There is no specific blueprint for how to handle all of this stuff. Yes God sheds light on your path, but many things you just have to process piece by piece, season by season. Only God sees the bigger picture as we can only see things from our limited viewpoint.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens; a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. What do workers gain from their toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”