Quirks and irrational fears are the lemon zest of life that we all deal with to make it through the day.
One of my quirks is an aversion to creamy white sauces.
I even started a facebook group about it “I hate CWS: Creamy White Sauces!” It was super exclusive with only 17 members…
No mayo, no ranch, no sour cream, just no to all those evil things! They are implicitly evil.
This fear has contributed to my CLA: Catered Lunch Anxiety.
“Lunch will be served” is one of the scariest sentences to my soul. It’s a nice gesture and I’m grateful and whatnot, but once those words are spoken I am immediately wanting to hunt down the planners of the event to nonchalantly ascertain: WILL THERE BE MAYO SOMEWHERE?
“Let’s all thank Cathy for setting that up (audience claps)…”
Me: Where is Cathy? I must find her with Terminator-like zeal. I will casually thank/ask—Oh crap, there she is and she is SO a chicken salad lover. God bless her. I can tell from across the room!!! Dang it Cathy.
Can I just get a girl like that chick at table 8 over there to order for us? You know she’d be getting us pizza and can cokes- the choicest lunch ever devised.
Some fears are not so silly.
A few weeks ago, my biggest parenting fear was realized when our youngest child’s suffering was given a name- Reactive Attachment Disorder. Even though I had told myself and others, it will not be this, it is. With all my past hurdles, I really thought I was over being afraid of things. But it appears fear battling is a constant work in progress for me.
This whole situation has reminded me of when fear, pain, and illness ruled my thoughts.
Fear is a friend to pain and illness.
Will this get worse?
Will I ever be healed?
Is this my new life?
A few years ago, I was an idolizer.
I wasn’t making gold calves out of my costume jewelry, no. I was putting “the next appointment” or “this doctor will help” above all in my mind. I was living for a diagnosis to name my pain.
Living with a diagnosed illness is one thing, living with pain is a whole other beast. Seering pain in my hip joint caused me to not walk for almost an entire year. I had just had my 8th eye surgery too, so I was basically a pirate, which is a pretty cool look, except when you are a momma to an active preschooler.
Before the 10 eye surgeries, I had severe endometriosis which was absolutely wretched. I spent my days bent over in pain trying to help my then toddler learn to walk and play.
The pain and tissue were so rampant, I ended up having a full hysterectomy at 26.
I overshare here to explain: I am no stranger to pain and to the desperation and fear of wanting it out of my life and searching for the next cure/doctor/specialist/medicine/surgery.
I’m reaching the decade mark since all this started. Some have been with me since all that when I started oversharing on this blog 11 years ago! And I declare: Through the pain, God has taught me an immeasurable amount of things.
Your Sickness is Not For You
The fear and pity can be so heavy. It’s too much to bear. And if left uncounseled or unhelped it will crush you.
I don’t know how I got this thought of my sickness not being for me except that it was of the Lord. And you can scoff, I’ll let you.
When I started blogging about exactly what I was going through, my blog went from: “Our baby girl is signing! to I woke up with my lens (ocular) dislocated and jiggling and I am blind yet again” – people started telling me that it brought them such comfort to read.
Being a uterusless/blind in one eye/ nonwalking 28 yr old was something so alienating – I just had to write about it. Because I couldn’t bear thinking there was someone out there like me with no one who got it.
God started bringing people to me who were hurting too. And I realized this sickness has nothing to do with me.
My lack and inabilities became His witness. The more I shared about how weak my body was, the stronger I got. These verses hold such truth:
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.– 2 Cor. 12:9-11
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. – 2 Cor. 1:4
Your sickness, your infertility, your addiction, your failures, your depression- these places will become your ministry.
No One Thing or Person Can Heal You Except Jesus
You must be healed spiritually first.
One day in the middle of my pain- 10 months of not walking- and after I had hoped, prayed, and been seen by almost all the doctors our city has to offer, I just decided to start bearing weight on my leg again. If my hip breaks, then it breaks and I braced myself for that outcome. If the pain makes me fall, I fall. I just made myself walk.
Without a diagnosis, I decided I was tired of waiting to feel better to feel better.
The pain started to ease and then it subsided completely.
And here I am today walking.
After the pain, I went to a rheumatologist and a geneticist (because I had already booked the appointments) where it was confirmed that I have a rare connective tissue disorder: Autosomal Recessive Ectopia Lentis et Pupillae – dislocated lenses aka “Googly eye disease.”
They attributed the pain and the inflammation to that, but honestly, no one knows truly. And I don’t care.
I was healed when I no longer idolized what man could do, what med could help or what surgery could fix me. I made up my mind to just see where God wanted me to go with this.
Not only am I pain-free, I am spiritually free.
“But Even if He Does Not…”
To be healed spiritually, you have to get in the unflinchable a zone of: “But even if He does not.” You have to be willing to trust God regardless of physically healing. You have to go full Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego.
I’ve talked about this passage before and the help it has given me. I just had to talk about it again, because it is that powerful.
Forget that these three believers were not burned one bit nor did they even smell of smoke after being thrown in the furnace (even when the guards that did throw them in were obliterated just throwing them in!)– no no no- this is what is extremely awesome. Their faith in the Lord.
16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”– Daniel 3:16-18
It’s mostly about recognizing your fear and trusting God while being afraid: Lord, I trust you. If you want to heal me physically you will. But even if you don’t, I am okay with that too.
And I have had this emotional stance too when I was going through a hard relationship.
Lord, please help me forgive them. Even if they never repent or say sorry or change.
My daddy left this earth because he was never physically healed from cancer, but glory be to God, he went home to Heaven because he believed in Jesus and was ultimately healed.
Technically, my eyes could fail again and I could lose my hip mobility too, but even if that does happen I will still praise the Lord.
Does your life need a “but even if He does not” mind reset?
Lord, I trust you with my marriage. Please heal this wound, but even if you do not I will still praise you.
Lord, please heal my child. But even if you do not I will still praise you.
Lord, please take away this illness, but even if you do not I will still praise you.
The real healing is in YOU letting go of your attachment to the illness. You might still be afflicted physically, but mentally and spiritually, you will be healed through “still praising” the Lord.