I spent seven days on the quiet, peaceful beaches of North Carolina. There was no laptop, no smart phone, no email or access to work. Although there were two families, four adults and eight children it was actually very relaxing. Once again, I had that exciting moment when I was convinced that I was healed. I spent mornings relaxing on the beach soaking up the sun, afternoons attempting to surf, evenings racing the kids on the beach and nights playing card games with friends. I even stopped taking all of my meds.
We returned on Saturday morning and was back to the grind on Monday. By mid-Monday the migraines and exhaustion kicked in. I emailed hubby and told him that it was official – we had to move south. In order for me to stay healthy, I need warm weather, beach and ocean. Hubby agreed. We were moments from packing up and moving across country just a few years ago, so the possibility of us actually doing it are pretty good. It’s just a matter of time – and God’s will.
So, the question is . . . . am I making this all up? Am I really sick? I’ve got the blood tests, baskets of prescription pills, diagnosis from Lyme specialists, yet I still doubt that there is something physically wrong with me. This disease plays such mind tricks on you, that even when you have a diagnosis, you find your self questioning everything. How is it possible that I can feel amazing just a few days ago and one day back in my “normal” life, throws me into a Lyme coma?
In this case, the answer is simple. A mini miracle. Yes, you heard correctly. My second day on vacation, I was up all night tossing and turning. Typically when my head hits the pillow, I’m out. So, I knew something was up. Was God trying to tell me something? I got up, grabbed my bible and sat out on the deck. I picked up where Pastor Lloyd Pulley had left off (I listen daily to Hope FM on my way to work – Pastor Llyod gives me my daily fill – I was actually excited when I moved further away from work, because I knew I’d be able to hear his entire sermon every morning now) Mark Chapter 9:23
23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”
24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
After asking time and time again what this meant for me, I got up, put the bible down and walked towards the ocean. I had visions of me going into the water and being baptized like John the Baptist. I walked up to the pitch black ocean, the waves poured over my feet, I hiked up my sweat pants and went in up to my knees. I felt as thought Jesus was sighing and saying, “Really? That’s all you can give me?” WIth that, I continued forward, fully clothed into the ocean. Once the waves were up to my chest, I turned, fell back in the water and baptized myself. Was I healed? Was that all it took? I ran back to the house, woke up my husband, shared the experience and sobbed with excitement. I dozed off with a bit of a headache and a few muscle twitches which led me to doubt Him already. But I knew I had to trust . . . . I had to believe, even if it seemed too good to be true.
So, you might be asking, “If you were healed, then why did your symptoms come back the minute vacation was over?” I asked myself the very same question. I learned that God allows temporary “breaks” or time periods where he cures people to give them a bit of a reprieve from what they are going through . . . to allow them to once again enjoy life and their family. That’s exactly what he did for me.
Two weeks later, I went back to the Lyme doctor, blood work proved that I was still sick, in fact I now had some additional items that needed to be addressed. I left the doctors office frustrated, tired of treating something that may or may not be there – I was still confused about my mini miracle and whether or not it was worth the time driving 3 hours to the specialists, spending hundreds of dollars in prescriptions every month, and agonizing side affects. I should just suck it up and deal with the stupid Lyme. Everyone has aches and pains, I should just get over it.
It was hubby that reminded me how far I’ve come over the past year. He reminded me of what a mess I was prior to these hard core antibiotic treatments, spending the entire day on the couch, not able to function as wife or mom. I couldn’t turn back now, we had come so far. And my mini miracle was just a glimpse into the life that I could once again have.
But it wasn’t easy – and I didn’t listen to hubby right away. It took God working through Pastor Lloyd again to reach me. This one particular day on my way to work, he was talking about how important prayer life is and how without it, it’s like trying to treat a serious illness like LYME disease without antibiotics! (What! No one ever mentions Lyme, it’s like the red headed step child – no one understands or cares about it) It not only justified that I was sick, that Lyme is for real, that it is serious, but made me realize that I can’t stop treatment now.
I got it – I heard God loud and clear. Stuck to the plan, swallowed the horse pills like a good girl and kept on chugging. But, it got old fast. After two weeks of new drugs, we leveled out my thyroid and liver (I think) and then slowly had to build back up to the double whammy antibiotic treatment, that just a few months ago had me laid out in bed, crying from pain. Joy – can’t wait to get started on this again. But like a good little soldier, I marched on.
Fast forward a week or two to today . . . I’m driving to work BEGGING God to take Lyme/Bartonella (whatever crappy bacteria is doing this to me) away. If Paul could beg three times to have a thorn removed, I figured there was no harm in me asking. I was tired of asking for strength and patience and everything else . . . just take it already! I’m done. I didn’t care about His plan. I didn’t care why anymore. I just wanted it done. Enough already!
I was half listening to the radio as I pleaded with God, catching myself bargaining with him about what I would and wouldn’t do if he took this disease away, when I heard Pastor Lloyd talking about an Elder in his church that was suffering from cancer. He spoke of those Christians who suffer the unimaginable and yet go through life with a smile on their face. It reminded me of why I started this blog . . . to be that type of Christian, to have that kind of impact on others. To remind them that no matter how dark that valley seemed, that Jesus was the light. What was I doing? Wallowing, complaining, giving up . . . that’s not the warrior that I used to be, the warrior that knew that God allowed Lyme to come into my life for a reason . . . so that just like my Autism fight, I would fight for those that have Lyme and either don’t know it or want to give up fighting.
He talked about his friend with cancer and how there were certain days when he begged God to just take his life – end it all. It was too much to deal with. But like a good little soldier, he worked through it and continued on. This particular friend/Elder of the church also happens to be a blogger who helped so many others that were affected by cancer. I immediately felt a sense of relief . . . I knew I could stop begging for God to take this, because I understood WHY I had it. In fact, giving up wasn’t an option. I HAD to fight Lyme and I had to get back to writing about my journey and how I will not let Lyme rule my life. I will conquer it. And like a good little soldier I will use the armor of God to get me through it.
So, I apologize for the long, over due post – but I felt like I had to fill you (whoever you all may be – friends, family members, strangers or fellow Lymie) on what’s happened, why I’ve been distant and what I’ve learned.
What can you take from this? It’s cliche, I know . . . but never give up. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”
Mark Chapter 9:23