Saturday, August 7, 2010

Who's Happy? Well, That Would Be Me!

Hello again, Muselings!
I've got some good news for you, today!
Over the past few weeks, I have been working on getting into a daily routine of reading my bible, doing bible study, spending at least half-an-hour (if not an hour) in prayer, and being more like Christ wishes me to be. I can happily say that I have succeeded! If I put things before my quiet time and "God time", I hear that little voice urging me to "do it....you know you need to!"

Now, my computer has often been my biggest distraction and excuse. "Just one more minute" I say, and then put off almost everything else. I can get some decent work done, yes. But not what I needed to at that moment or that was high priority. Sleep is also a temptation. My body says I need it. My doctor says I need it. My mum says I need it. I say I need it. But I choose that extra half-hour of sleep instead of reading a couple of Psalms and spending a few minutes in prayer.

So, as of now, I can say that I have conquered both of those challenges (at different times :P) this week. If I don't have anywhere to rush to that morning, I spend a minimum of half-an-hour in prayer for me and my friends and family, and friends of friends, and anyone else God lays on my heart. I then open the Bible and read a few sections. Then, I do my bible study. And, after that, I often listen to worship songs for an hour or so each day.

It's been amazing.

I have never felt this at peace, or this able to endure all my physical pain. God knew what he was doing, because his timing in what things He fixed in my life, put in my schedule, and laid on my heart, was perfect.
Since my doctor is trying to take me off completely from my prescription pain medications, even though I just developed bursitis and tendinitis in my right shoulder (and I'm unhappy to say, my left shoulder now =( ), my pain has increased exponentially. Luckily, I have found some new herbal pain relief pills, my doc has me on some de-inflammation meds, and I am learning to rely more fully on God to get me through each day.

Let me set up a physical scenario for you so you can begin to grasp the enormity of this:
If you think you're tired after an exhausting day of physical labor/workout/etc.., you're beginning to get my daily energy levels. I go up a set of stairs and my heart races. I do too much lifting and my muscles seize. And throughout the day my muscles almost constantly stay taut, or in flux between loose and tight. Yes. Major work out, believe it or not. It makes one ache and want to go to bed or lie down and die. Then, add in pain, from the sharp pain one feels when being hit by a baseball bat, stabbed with a knife, or kicked multiple times to the dull ache of over exerted muscles, and you've got my the other half of my physical state. *sigh* Right now I'm even lucky to have enough pain-tolerance to type this up on my computer.
Ok. So that was the bad news.
Want some good news?
I'm happy about it!

I know, I know. Disbelieve all you want. It's true!

Lately in my prayers, I've been becoming increasingly thankful for the past three years of trials, especially this summer. I have grown so much emotionally and spiritually. God is closer to me than ever before, and I have a better vision for my life. I am getting more of a heart for the Lost, the poor, the underprivileged, the hurt, and the broken than I ever had before. I have much less interest in secular music, and an almost insatiable desire to listen to worship music all day, every day. I am more thoughtful, more grateful, and more willing.
If I had to go through a bit of pain and exhaustion to get that, then so be it!

One of the reasons I think God used this time to reach me is that I am stubborn. I will do anything and everything if at all possible. I push myself to and past my limits. In increasing measure, I've been unable to do just that. I've had to dramatically reduce my social activities and sleepovers. I haven't been able to carry a full school load. I haven't been able to work at the University Writing Center at IUPUI. I haven't been able to go on retreats, go to concerts, go camping, go on all-day trips, or play physical games with my anyone. It's all been very depressing at times, and now very humbling. I've learned how important it is to make everything you do count for Christ, instead of just for selfish ambition. And I've learned to trust God with my life, especially with His plans for my future, plans that have been set back from my timeline (and the general public's timeline!).

Again, I'm happy about it, if only because of the God element. Without Him, I'm not sure I would have survived this - quite literally in fact. Thankfully, He came along side me and carried me when I could no longer walk, explaining when I could no longer comprehend, loving me when I could no longer love. He Was and Is and Is to come. He is mine.

This has all culminated in this realization, and that realization coming from my daily quiet times. I would encourage you all to start your day off with Him. Even if you're a night person like me, or a sleep person, like me ;), or a busy person, like I soon will be again - let Him get you off to a good, loving, hopeful start. Trust me when I say it will make your whole day better.

Alright. I think that's enough for now. I'm (still) exhausted, and my shoulder is making everything on my right side hurt. I was actually told to go to bed around 9:00 because of hot flash, day sweat and almost unbearable pain I was in earlier. Mum's orders =P. But I couldn't wait to share this with you. I am too excited at the things God has been doing in my life!

Next post, if there's not something else that comes up and says "I MUST BE WRITTEN ABOUT!", I will tell you about my constant, audible companion named the Holy Spirit. He has quite a personality when He talks to me, but His advice is always better than my own, and often contradictory *chuckle*. Again, I am unique in my dealings with him, such that it makes for a good story :).
So, until we communicate again, I will pray that you all find some encouragement in this post, that you find out that God's hope and blessings are abundant in your life, and that you are able to enjoy being in His presence each and every day.

Be well!!
-Rae

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