Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Resolved: To Overcome Myself for the Greater Glory

Today's been kind of rough.
I was supposed to take my sister to Artclass and Piano, to help my mum out. But I was feeling soooo bad after last night, that I could barely make it out of my room. I still got myself dressed, and ready to go, but when my mum saw me, she said "Hey...I can take her. You can stay home". The only part of that was, I had to stay home with my little brother *chuckle* He was and IS very energetic today. But his reaction when he saw me was a squeal of pleasure, a huge dimpled grin, and an adorable half shy half excited skip towards me to give me a hug around the legs. If that doesn't make someone smile, I don't know what will! right shoulder feels like someone tried to rip it from it's socket. Actually, it's my WHOLE right side today. My head, neck, back, shoulder, hip, everything. I'm still nauseous. I'm still headachey. I'm still feeling worse and worse as the week progresses. I also feel like every ounce of energy has been sapped from my body, meaning every movement is in some way agony or at least, a major effort.

Still. I managed to find pleasure in playing with my brother. Today, the pleasure was in telling him another "Knight Bob" story with stinky trolls that like silken underpants, talking pigs who more often than not get squished, dragons with memory loss, and a horse name "Horsey" who gags at any "off" smell.
Fun fun fun XD

I fixed lunch for Michael (not me...I still can't eat), watched part of a movie with him, rolled around in blankets on the floor with him, snuggled him, and had many hugs and kisses. It was painful, yes. But it was also quite wonderful.
But now I am collapsed on a pillow, listening to Michael talk to his many stuffed animals on the monitor, and reading blog posts, quotes, and other such things.

I've come to one conclusion.....
I need to stop griping. Now, I know I don't complain that much about my pain, discomfort, inability to do stuff, etc... I'm actually able to give God the glory in most situations. But there are still those times where I feel like the whole world is against me and I have the right to complain about every thing, even that dust bunny that's hidden in the bookshelf because I haven't dusted. NOOO. It's not my fault! It's the dust's fault! Or the bunny's. I can't decide yet *grin.

What struck me though, were the common themes running through the various things popping up on my radar, themes such as "Overcoming fear. Overcoming self. Sacrificing yourself for the greater good. Giving God your all".
Michael watched a "Rescue Heroes" episode yesterday, and one of the lines is "You know the good thing about fear? You're bigger than fear! You know why? Because it's inside you. And you are bigger than anything inside you. Once you realize that, you can beat it, and not be afraid anymore".
How often do we just let the fear wash over us, not realizing or remembering that we, and the God we serve, is far greater and stronger and more in control than that fear ever could be?!

Lately a fear of mine is that I will never recover. I've been living with all these diseases for 2 1/2 years now. I'm finding it hard to find hope, when all that the doctors have been able to give me are shaking heads, desperately upturned hands, or just names to tack onto my conditions. Every test they do turns up something new that is wrong with me. Every medicine causes some kind of complication, or adds to the complexity of my treatments. My doctor is starting to flounder, as I'm his most difficult and complicated patient in terms of treatment. The problem? I'm not RESPONDING to treatment. Any of them. They all fail. I'll get better for a while, coast, then plummet down, worse off than I was before. We find the cause for that tail spin, add on more meds, then try again. Something else goes wrong. I end up stuck in the ER for hours while the doctors do what they can, but say "Go see your doctor. Something is seriously wrong, but we don't know what, or how we can help." These words, while not normally affecting me, seem to be really sinking in recently, the past two weeks especially.

In reality, I have no control over these things, nor should I try to! God is in control. My friend Courtney wrote on her new blog post "Hurry up!!", that "There are a lot of situations where I just want God to show me what's going to happen or what I'm supposed to do. But we're supposed to wait upon the Lord since we know His timing is perfect. Psalm 5:3 says, "In the morning, O LORD, You hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before You and wait in expectation." Also in Psalm 37:7a, "Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for Him;" We just need to pray for God's wisdom, patience, and endurance (see James 1!)."

*Deep breath* It's so hard sometimes! I generally do a good job about being optimistic, upbeat, and really, in a way, uncaring about my illness. The main care I've shown through it all is mainly to acknowledge and praise God's hand of healing and help in my heart, how He is molding me into the person He wants me to be. It's been amazing, really. And because of that, I'm not sorry that I've been diagnosed with so many diseases, complications, and potentially life threatening problems. But today is just one of those days, you know? A down day. One where I just need God's peace, and a few words of encouragement. Every spasm and shaft of pain coursing through my body, every wave of nausea, it all reminds me that I'm only getting worse. Where's the light at the end of the tunnel?

Well, it's there. The song "Calmer of the Storm" by Downhere seems quite fitting, and is one that actually will make me cry right now.....especially the first stanza. "When I'm rolling in my bed, There's a storm in my head. I'm afraid of sinking in despair". There are so many days and nights where I can do nothing but roll in my bad, clutching my stomach or my head or my shoulders, sobbing as pain wracks my body. I can't move but to writhe. I can't voice anything but groans of agony. I can't think of anything but the thoughts of despair that flood my head as I know my teenage years are passing me by while I can barely stay conscious because of the unending pain....It's so very hard. But this song, it gives me hope that even in my times of trials, the Lord IS. He is the calmer of the storm. He IS. He is the lover of my soul, and the protector of my heart. He has plans that I cannot fathom. He has a glorious end for me that I cannot see. I can only know it is there. I need to press on, to meet that goal....

"When everything is wrong
The day has passed and nothing's done
And the whole world seems against me
When I'm rolling in my bed, there's a storm in my head
I'm afraid of sinking in despair.

Teach me, Lord to have faith
In what you're bringing me will
Change my life and bring you glory &
There on the storm I am learning to let go
Of the will that I so long to control
There may I be in your arms eternally
I thank you, Lord, you are the calmer of the storm.

You rebuke the wind and the waves
Once again I find I'm amazed at the power of your will
Cuz I'm a child of little faith
I feel the wind and forget your grace
And you say, "Peace, be still."

There on the storm I am learning to let go
The white wave's high, it's crashing o'er the deck
And I don't know where I go
Where are you Lord, is my ship going down?
The mast is gone so throw the anchor
Should I jump and try to swim to land?

There on the storm, teach me God to understand
Of the Will that I just cannot control
There may I see all your love protecting me
I thank you Lord, you are the calmer of the storm."

Aren't those powerful words?
 The preacher J.C. Ryle wrote ‎"Let us persevere to the end, and never be ashamed of coming out from the world and being separate."
.....Let Us Persevere.
And that's what I plan on doing. Persevering.
I must persevere with my 8 classes. I must persevere in the writing class I'm teaching I must persevere in helping others when they are in need. I must persevere in taking the doctor's appointments in stride, and allowing God to handle my health issues as he sees fit. I must persevere in growing more like Christ every day, repairing relationships, being the friend others need,  being a good older sister my siblings need, and being the daughter my parents need me to be. I must persevere in the winning of souls. I must persevere in getting up every day, praising God with my first breath, and dedicating all that happens to Him, and to His perfect will.
If I do so persevere, then the Lord will be glorified in what I do. I will turn my gaze from myself and my suffering, towards the perfect light of Him who Saves and Comforts. And that, my friends, is my prayer, and my hope.

I would ask that you also pray for Callie Glorioso, the older sister of my good friends Ellie and McKenna. She recently wrote a short post called "Healer of My Heart" about her battle with doctors and untreated illnesses. Like me, she is still struggling with they "why", and yet, like me, still wishes to recognize God's will as supreme and far better than anything we could choose for ourselves. She needs your prayers right now just as much as I do.

And for all of you out there struggling with illness, heartache, relationships, jobs, school, LIFE....I encourage you to seek solace in the arms of the one who's love is never ending. His love is perfect. His love is already there. He is just waiting for you to collapse, exhausted, in his arms, so that He might comfort you and help you along your journey. He will never leave.
What better way can love be shown that that?

Until tomorrow, my friends. My heart, my thoughts, and my prayers go out to you.
We all need them. We all want them. May we all give them.

In Christ,
-Rae <3

NOTE: Here is an mp3 of the song "Calmer of the Storm". Take a listen. Let it wash over you, and help you realize how great our God really is. And it's beyond our comprehension. It is peace.


Robert said...

Very good attitude. Dr. Charles Stanley (preacher) talks a lot about keeping our thoughts positive. Negative thoughts never help, only hurt. Keeping positive, encouraging thoughts going constantly keeps the Spirit well powered in our lives( Galatians 5:22-23). The way someone told it to me once was "for every negative thought, think 3 positive ones." Good advice!

Calandreya said...

Rae, there's a line from the movie, GI Jane, that has gotten me through some tough times. "Pain is your friend. It lets you know you're still alive." Not a fun line, but a serious one for someone in chronic pain or a lot all at once.

Also - and this is kind of silly, but it works for me sometimes - I adopted all the people in the world with my same first name. So, if there's a Robin doing acting, some part of me is with them, acting, too. If there's a Robin who's a writer, I am genuinely proud of them - they've got a piece of me sitting on their shoulder and smiling. Yeah, I know it's fantasy, but it makes me smile at all the things -I'm- doing. ;)

A good attitude and desire to persevere is helpful, but don't push yourself, either. When I was young, I would sometimes tell myself I'm just being a wimp and force myself onward - only to collapse because I didn't accept any of the warning signs. When you need to rest, please rest.

Rae Hitchings said...

Thank you both.
Yes, Robert. A good attitude is key. I'm actually happier when I choose to have joy instead of letting my circumstances dictate my mood. So, when I choose to be happy, I am happy. It's hard, a lot of the time. But I'm getting there.

And Robin, you made me laugh *chuckle* So, I guess that Rachel McAdams in The Notebook and Sherlock Holmes really did those roles for and with me!
Awesomeness XP

And you must realize that, for me, I'm not pushing myself too hard. I'm not able to get a 'B' in a class without freaking out. I can skip out on classes and not go to events with my friends because I'm feeling bad, like today.
I'm learning *sigh*
Thank you.

Casey Elizabeth Ruble said...

You will get better. I know you will. Oh be quiet. I may not KNOW but I'm trying to be optimistic too here. Don't burst my bubble. :)

By the way, it's always the bunny's fault.

Rae Hitchings said...

I'm trusting that God will do what he sees fit. If it's to heal me, then that's great. But if it's not, then I will learn to live with it.
I'm just having to wrap my head completely around that concept =P
And I won't try to burst your bubble...just don't expand it so much that it pushes into the realm of the impossible. I may have to at least shrink it then XP
You've been through my blood disease scare, so this one shouldn't be as bad, right? I'm not dying (yet), and I don't have chemo and experimental treatments on my horizon, as we thought back then. So, you can be happy in that respect! *laugh*

And that is now one of my favorite quotes from you.
"Be the way, it's always the bunny's fault."
haha I made me chuckle and smile. Thank Case.
I love you, dear! *hug*

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