Monday, June 27, 2011

My Triumphant Return! ^.^ ....and Some Interesting Divulsions.... =/


(Please diregard smelling...whoops. 'Spelling' errors XD (I seriously did and unintentional mispelling of spelling typing that *laughs* hoo boy...O.o ...I wrote this in two sessions,and late at night.....that alone says it all =P)

Well hello everyone!
It's been too long!!! ESPECIALLY since I posted on Musings. It's been on my heart to start blogging again, as it was good for me (at least) to do, if not for other people =P
So.....if you know me in real life, stay watching me and pressuring me to write.....unobtrusively of course. If you order me outright I might respond in my knee jerk way and balk, cutting my nose off to spite my face....and I really want to keep my nose! *holds shnoz tenderly* ANYWAY.
I have to say though, every time I start working on another update, something else comes up, I leave for a trip somewhere, I'm with limited internet access, or I get majorly sick. But I apologize that I haven't made time for the updates you all have asked for so many times. And since it has been such a while (and again, I apologize), this will be a long one. A looong looong looooong one. =P I welcome any questions, clarifications, messages, emails, phone calls, texts, or letters you may want to send my way. In fact, I would love to meet with ya'll, get phone calls, read your letters, get a good morning text.....anything I can get....and anything is what I need to help keep me connected to a world I am often not well enough to participate in due to my currently and steadily declining health.

Here’s all that stuffy contact info-
Cell: 317-753-9952 (I have unlimited texting and internet with my Droid2)
Address: (contact me thru email for this =P)
Email: intoknowledge333@gmail.com(I get emails directly on my phone, so I can answer more quickly =D)

Now. The update.Just forewarning, some of the things I discuss are not the easiest to hear. If you want to know my true heart, my fears, my pains, and my emotional upbringing to create who I am today, then read on. Otherwise, just know that life has been hard….but I’m making it through. I would really appreciate your patience though, as the strength it took to write down all of this is staggering….and this update is a milestone in self analyzation…and in emotional vulnerability. If you’re tagged in this, or I have asked you to read this, or you are on my friends list at all after my last friend culling, I am placing a trust in you that I am both excited by, and deathly afraid of. So please…..read on, but realize the enormity that this piece represents.

*sigh*
Per usual, I have no good news when it comes to my health. My diseases are still progressing to the point of debilitating and incapacitating more often than not.
The recent addition of IV Therapy to strip the lead and its poisons out of my body started 7weeks ago. It has progressed, while my illness has progressed as well.
With each IV treatment, I grow paler...the circles under and around my eyes grow more pronounced. Each week it has been harder to find a vein that would support the needle for the 1 to 5 hours needed to complete the treatment. Luckily, two weeks ago, they found and stuck a vein on the first try, and my therapy was complete in an hour. Perfect. The way it is for nearly everyother person who has ever undergone iv therapy.
But the average needle sticks with subsequent digging are 4 per treatment. Two Thursdaysago it was 7, almost r eaching my all time record of the 8 sticks that occurred during one of my short ER hospitalizations.
That unhappy Thursday, even with a physician, a nurse recently transferred from a hospital Oncology (cancer) ward, and the IV nurse all working one after the other with needle after needle, on both of my hands and arms, they were not able to find a stable vein to go through with that week's therapy. The Dr. said to take a week and heal. I went in the nextthursday again to try once more. It was successful, after only two sticks this time, and then came the fateful next day for treatment, this most recent Thursday. They weren’t able to get me again, and that sealed my fate for one, possibly two outpatient surgeries to put hardware in my body that would allow them to draw blood, do IV’s and so on without the disturbingly and unhealthy hit and miss of my current situation.

Now, the worst part about them being unable to stick methe first time was that it was my mineral treatment. You see, IV therapy works by having two treatments of EDTA, the chemical and mineral cocktailcreated during WWII to counteract lead poisoning in soldiers. It's still an effective remedy today, and as of now, is my Last, and as far as we are aware, ONLY option to remove the Lead if my body can’t do it itself, and thus stop the ravaging effects on my body from the lead poisoning. Every THIRD treatment, after two of these EDTA treatments, is a Mineral Replacement treatment, meant to infuse my body with all the good minerals that are stripped out along with the lead. After each EDTA, I get more tired, more haggard. Once the Mineral treatment rolls around, I am usually so nauseous I can't eat anything, if not sick with flu like symptoms, throwing up 5+ times a day, or contracting some other condition. My bodydesperately needs the minerals, it turns out.
That first bad Thursday, I was so sick that I almost couldn't drive myself to the doctor's, let alone make it to the IV room to let them start experimentingwith needles on me =P I choked down almost a complete half a piece of toast, and only a small glass of water, not making it any easier on the nurses and doctor when trying to find my veins. You need to be majorly hydrated when giving blood or having IV's, as it makes the veins easier to find, and open and ready to accept the needle.
Well, with my veins small, deep, and able to roll (literally) and "hide", it's hard enough. So without much in my stomachto counteract the negative side effects of the mineral treatment, and little to no hydration that morning, and my already queasy disposition, that Thursday's IV therapy was not my best of days.

So, once I was stuck 7 times, unsuccessfully, they sent me home. I crawled into bed and lay huddled there for the rest of the day, and most of the night.
I had to do shopping for groceries Friday, but felt terrible upon returning home. So again, I lay down for the remainder of the day.
Saturday rolls around, and that night, awave of some of the worst nausea that my body can course through me, hit s with a vengeance. With it camethe unique pain phenomenon that we now call "Halving".....my nervous system divides my body into halves, either straight d own the middle where I only have severepain on the left or the right side, or it divides my body straight across my abdomen, just below my belly button, where everythin g above or below hurts like hell.
Well, Saturday was the vertical halving, where my whole right side seemed to scream at me. An angry headache pulsed with a blunt weight, pounding dullyyet forcefully behind my right eye. My ear throbbed, my neck and shoulder muscleswere knotted up, my shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, and knee joints all ground in agony with every movement, and even the muscles between my ribs were tensed and hyper sensitive.
So much for a relaxing Saturday night, huh?
Well, I texted back and forth with my friend Blake, who was happy to distract me from my "uncomfortable situation". As is kind of normal for me these days, despite its improbability in anyone else (=P), I was still happy and in good spirits. You see, that Sunday I was going to go to church, see my friends, see my family, and go to my friend Lead Harmon's bridal shower. *happy sigh*
Guess what happened?
Did you guess right? Let's just see....
I got sick.
.....Well, sickER. Did you guess that one? Probably...as that's the common theme running through everything that's happened to me over the past 3 years of my illness.
I woke up at 8:30, ready to jump in the shower, make myself some cinnamonoatmeal and a fried egg, drive down Keystone, around465 and onto LafayetteR oad to Church, and enjoy my day with the people I love. Somewhere along the way that plan got screwed up and tied in such a complex knot that even a boy scout couldn't figure that one out.
Or you could say it just got derailed.
Instead of waking up to jump in the shower, I woke up 5 minutes before my alarm, rolled over, my face pinched, grabbed the bowl I've kept next to my bed at all times for a year, and threw up. Twice.
I sent a long text message to my mum explaining why I would not be able to attend church and the bridal shower (I'M SO SORRY, LEAH!!!) after half an hour curled upon the bathroom floor. Over the course of that day I ate one crack er. I promptly threw up again. By midnight I had thrown up 7 times, not counting the extra heaves. Thankfully I had 3 hours to recuperate somewhat before the Crocker's got home from their trip to Texas. I was able to walk, talk, and drink some water by then. Trifecta!!! =P
Mrs. Crocker's first question was "How are you doing, Rachel"
Me:"Ummm.......O.o " I finally said "Not so good", but explained it away as just some troubles from Thursdaynot going well. Which was true. The resultant flu or bodily upheavalwas b/c of being too worn out from the treatments, or not getting the mineral treatment like my body so desperately needed. Or both.

Monday rolls around, and I talk with my Mum for a while on the phone, enjoying her description of the bridal shower, feeling my heart go pitter patter at her description of Michael missing me, and discussing the newest development in my medical history:
A pick line in my arm, and a port in my chest.
The nurses suggested I do so off an on, but especially that first Thursday when they realized it was unlikely they were going to be able to start the treatment.
And now it is a reality.
See, it's not just that it's hard to stick my veins. One of the best veins at the beginning of the therapy has since "died" a very terrible death...as it is scarred and damaged so severely from the previous treatments that it will take at least 2 months to heal. When the texture of the vein and the surrounding tissue is grainy and course, you have to cringe a little and admit it's not prime real estate, know what I mean? So there goes my left hand. The same happened to my right last week, and now both are so damaged that they’re not healing right, have scars where they stuck the needles so many times, and are tender, filled with course thready tissues, and now, scare tissue, making the veins hard on the outside to prevent further trauma from the needles.
So, since they can't get the other veins reliably, or have damaged them, Plus the fact that I'm getting sicker and more haggard with each treatment, a port seemedlike our best option. My treatments go till about Christmas, mid-to late December. Imagine trying to this every week till then with every vein they can get their hands on? I….- Lord help me-I don't think so!!!
So, outpatient Surgery....here I come *sigh*

This Monday (June the 27th), at 8:30, I’m getting a pick line installed in my left arm. A 6 in catheter will snake up a main vein, the hardware sticking out with one two long tubes that they can attach IV’s for treatment or syringes to draw blood. But it presents more risks for me than most other patients who get what should otherwise be a routine procedure. My circulatory condition makes it so that my veins will narrow, and blood flow will be obstructed in area. This occurs in areas of trauma, or exertion….which will occur when they start the procedure and threading of the catheter. Such narrowing of my veins triggers my fibromyalgia, which makes my muscles spasm around that vein, and thus, with more limited blood flow, small, thinning vein, and spasming muscles, it’s much more likely that they’re push the instruments and catheter out of my vein and into my tissues, and the last thing I need is a small internal bleed…..and another blown vein that is far deeper than the poor specimens now residing in my hands.
*Clutches still achy hands together* I can honestly say I’m not looking forward to the op, and your prayers are coveted right now.

Since they couldn’t draw blood this last Thursday, as my veins refused any kind of entry, or blew as soon as the needle settled, they couldn’t star the IV, OR draw blood for 3 urgest tests the doctor wants to make, one being key to a possible new avenue of exploration and help: Genetic modification.

“Genetic modification!!” You yelp! Relax people. It’s natural genetic modification. There’s a cycle in my body called the methelation cycle, and it’s connected to energy production with B-12 (which I cannot use or absorb), hormone production and governance, healing, immune system, cleaning of toxins, bodily repairs, and so on and so on. It’s very important.
Well, a group of scientists came up with a way to analyze the genetic makeup of every protein involved in the cycle, and are able to tell which genes aren’t being turned on, which ones are deformed or damaged, etc…
Believe it or not, 90% of the population has at least one gene sequence in one of the proteins that is damaged or deformed, and thus increases risks of everything from cancer to any other kind of illness. EVERYperson with ADHD and other conditions like that have 2 or more genes that don’t work right. And if you fixed those genes and found a way to have them turn on and off correctly, they would be healed, or at least greatly improved. So yes, this methalation cycle is KEY to the body’s proper functioning. Since our genes are turned on and off over 2 million times per second every day of our lives, it’s a vital system to monitor. And thus, I’m going to have all my genes in the cycle and the proteins involved analyzed, and they scientists are going to work with my doctor to figure out if they can do gene by gene modification to repair damaged genes, find ways to supplement for their jobs if they’re irreparably damaged or defective, and turn genes on and off that are not being triggered correctly.
If they do this, I could naturally expel up to 10xs more lead from my body without the IV treatments, and since the Lead was what started everything, and is the reason no other treatments have or even CAN work, It’s necessary.
You see, the docs now think that I started being poisoned by the lead building to toxic levels in my body from the age of 12 or 13, my body finally becoming so severely traumatized that it triggered my genetic disposition for Fibromyalgia, my Circulatory condition, and my myriad other health problems that include, but are not limited to, no vitamin D, almost toxic levels of tin in my body, limited hormone production, and compromised digestive system, no immune system, bacteria growing on the outsides of my organs and thriving in the open spaces outside the organs in my abdomen, bacteria in my left lung restricting proper breathing, chemical imbalances in my spinal fluid, and so on and so forth. Not a pretty picture.
If they can do genetic modification to help my body start repairing itself naturally, then my only words are “Hell yes! When do we start?!?!?!”
It’ll take 1 to 2 months to get the test results back, and then we’ll see.
If IV therapy is still needed, and in all likelihood it will be, I’ll have a more permanent port installed in my chest close to my heart, which will increase my risks, the ones already present with the pick line being installed in the morning.
Lord help me *cringing*

……As I said. Lots of medical stuff. Oh. And I’m getting three new doctors this month. Just fyi. Joy. Now it’s over the count of 20 doctors in three years =/

*Clears throat*
Now. My living situation.This is going to be the hard part, and the most revealing look at my life and my emotions and my hurts and fears that I have ever written in my life. If you’re still reading, I commend you for your patience and ask that it continue. And you have my apology if my emotions get a little raw. But this is enormously hard for me.
*A deep breath*
Most of you know, but some of you don't…I have moved out. Things got too terrible at home for me to stay. Most of you know my Dad, and he is often a charming, outgoing and "fun-natured" guy when in public, especially with our church family. At home though, my Dad is a monster. I can't remember a time when I lived at home that I wasn't in constant fear of leaving my room and facing my Dad's wrath forsomething I didn't even necessarily do...and it's only gotten worse the past couple of years. Michael (my four year old brother), was becoming afraid and flinching when somebody became angry, because he was afraid we'd grab him and treat him like Dad did on a regular basis. Matt hates it when Mum isn't home some nights, since Dad usually is home and "in control" then. Mum wont leave the house for a whole vevening becaus ehse worries about how my siblings are going to be treated, and how much of an emotional war zone will exist when she gets home. *dejected sigh*. Matt doesn't know whether to run an dhide just to stay out of dad's presence, or if the wrath will be worse from that than if he actually went and faced our father, dealing with his very mercurial temperament.

Sarah no longer wants to be "Daddy's little girl", and won't go and ask him for help with computer problems etc... because if you've asked him once before, and he hasn't done it, he will just shout at you for questioning him and his timing and to “Just leave him be and not be rebellious and arrogant LIKE YOUR SISTER (Meaning me....since he uses me as a curse, especially when anyone stands up to him....he says that i corrupted them, that they should want anything but to become like the rebelious bitch your sister turned intoa the saddest part is when he traps michael and treats Matt and I like leapors, call us evil, and idiots, and whiners, and warns Michael to not become like me, or he'll face a fate worse than death.....*chokes back a sob* and that repuation is the last thing i would ever want....) thinking your prob lems came before his time table!”Then he turns to his computer where he's playing solitaire ,and the n to thetv, where he has a movie or tv show playing. =/ He sure is busy, huh.

My life has been marred with one frequent, scarring encounter after another….Fights, shouting matched, even having to shove my Dad away when he got so close I could feel his breath on my face as he yelled.
Needless to say, I got into fights with Dad constantly, especially concerning his behavior towards my family, and I wasin tears more often than not. Over the past year, My days were often filled with me just trying to hid eaway in my room to keep from being told by him that I was just “faking much of mydiseases or acting weaker or more in pain than I actually was just so I could get other people to do stuff for me. My "lazy ass" was too used to the luxury of being an "invalid" to realize that if I just did some of my own work, exercised, and cared about getting better, that I would. Simple as that.
He even said the words "I don't care what your doctor said. You're too complacent. It doesn't matter what the test results said. If you worked at it, you'd start getting better, instead of wallowing in this "pain" that you seem to ignore at times only good for you".
*grits teach and clenches jaw*

I can barely even type this stuff without crying. I have so much pent up anger, rejection, fear, hurt, pain, and broken pieces of my heart from my life at home that I don't know what do with it. So, like I do with everything else I can't deal with, I wall it up. Thank the Lord for my ability to compartmentalize. I'm not sure I'd be here without it. *deep breath*

Eventually, it all got to be too much. All the times I was driven into the ground under his heel, feeling tattered and torn, and having hurtful habits and mindsets ingrained into me from my earliest of memories…..

Despite my Mum’s efforts, I grew up being treated as a burden, not worthy of care or attention unless I performed more than adequately. It’s hard to move past my personality and self esteem (or lack thereof) carved during those severely painful years of being reduced to dust, often multiple times per day.
It’s led to a habitual train of thought, thinking that I am worthless. It’s only recently that I’ve been able to start overcoming it and accepting that people do love me. But a part of me still balks, as the thought that someone not blood family could ever want my company as much as I desperately craved theirs, and want to spend time with me more than my flesh and blood ever seemed able to, well, it’s quite an alien concept to me.
You might think that because I have so many friends, and so many WONDERFUL friends, that I am outgoing and open. But I have to force myself to be that way, because trusting another person is far from second nature to me. It got so bad at home that in order to not hate the idea of family at all, I had to treat my friends as my family, so I could have a reserved detachment when it came to my family at home. It made the tearing my heart endured a little less painful. It even numbed it, thinking that no one who was my own family could treat me so badly…and make me feel like a commodity to be used only when I met an undefined expectation.

So those of you who I have befriended…and those of you who I’ve even talked much with…..you should realize how much I am stepping out of my comfort zone to associate with you. The fear of being hurt is overwhelming sometimes, and it often means me shutting myself away from people for days, weeks at a time. I don’t even know I’m doing it often. And it seems that since I CAN’T participate in many events, or see people that often, that the old adage “Out of sight, out of mind” applies….And despite fearing deep friendships, it is what I most desire right now, and it fills me with a sense of lonliness that I haven’t found a way to overcome. So I guess I have to become more proactive…altho the thought of asking someone to spend time with me is slightly appalling. I grew up where one on one was either forced, obligatory, but rarely with an abandon that showed the personal attention to me was a happy occurance of their own free will. And asking makes me feel like I would be forcing myself on someone else, who would accept the invitation because of my invalidic status.
I’m working on changing my point of view, but it’s so very hard….as I must trust that I can be loveable in spite of my past. *a tear falls and I brush it away* Oi. Talk about baring my soul *clears throat*. This of course does not reflect on you all any. I think of you all, and especially my close and long term friends, as the best things to ever happen to me. I don’t know what I would have done, or how quickly I would have slipped into depression because of my daily feelings of doom, without you all to fall back on.
I’ve grown so able to slide on a mask and make everything all right for that one perfect moment though that most of you never knew anything was even wrong on the home front until I upped and left.
And here’s where my story picks up again.

You see, It turned out that my amazing friend Molly Crocker lived in a house with an extra bedroo m, and after her parents talked with my mum and I, agreed to let me live with them. I have shelves, a desk, a dresser, a closet, my beautiful wooden chest, and a bed, all in my own room. God is gracious, and knows what we need, when we need it. I don't know where I would be right now if the Crocker's hadn't been so kind to me, but no matter where I could have been, I am in the place I should be....in the home of a loving, Christian, homeschooling family with oneof my best friends, and only 15 minutes away from my family.

The only real problem is the fact that other than my Dad, who I could do without for the rest of my life, I am away from my FAMILY. The Family that Loves me…the family that is also just as torn up as I am because of the terrible home situation. The family that I am just learning was reacting in fear and defense just as I was, resulting in the feeling of complete isolation and abandonment that I lived with for most of my 19 years. My mum and I are getting closer, now that she doesn't have to referee fights that would leave the whole family in tears and in an uproar. My sister and I are dearly missing each other, and are swapping emails, having sleepover, and tackling each other with big loving bear hugs. My brother Matthew has even acknowledged his desire to do things with me....movies, games, even short times talking with each other. It's been wonderful the times I go back home. But Michael is the one that hit me the hardest....I was a second Mom to the little guy since the day he was brought home from the hospital, to the point that when he saw me, the first word to pop out would sometimes be "Mommy!" before he corrected himself and would just as gleefully shout "Rae-Rae!!!". Holding him in my arms, having him bulldoze me to the ground and smother me with bear hugs, seeing him reach his arms up to me, a radiant smile on his face, giving me long, loving kisses as he repeats "I love you, Rachel. You're my Rae-Rae. I'm not going to share you with anyone..... *whispers quietly in my ear* I've missed you, Rae-Rae."....Moments like those are the ones I live for. The times when I want to shout to the Heavens "Thank You God!!!", because God has provided for me in the face of the multitude of trials and damaging relationships in my life.I’ve been told that at least once every week, if not more, my mum or siblings have to hold Michael as he sobs into an old sheet I used to have on my bed, his little voice calling for me. He cries and get’s very disturbed if he has to say goodbye to me, especially after short visits, and will curl up in my arms and lay his cheek against my own for 10, 15 minutes at a time, an Olympic record for one of the most energetic four year olds on the planet. *soft, wry smile* I left my family because I was at the end of my rope and unsure how much longer I could continue living in a world that treated me so poorly. And now, as soon as I settle into my new, better life, my family (and I no longer include my dad in that statement, as he treated me as nothing even close to a daughter most of my life, and merely acted as the tyrannical ruler of my own little hell…. =/), well *sniffs* My family and I have grown closer, and we now realize how much we missed out on. My sister and I were just getting to the point where we could be best friends and tell each other things we’ve never told anyone else in our life, mere weeks before I left. If that’s not tragedy, I don’t know what is. *pained expression*

My life hasn’t been as easy as everyone seemed to think…and while the diseases slowly eating away at my body are bad, it’s a welcome distraction from the pain I try to wall myself off from….that would cause me to drown if I faced it all at once. Key events in my life though, probably go in this order:
Remembering my firstemotionally fearful moment in the face of my Dad's anger happened when I was only 3, and is one of only two memories of that age….and the second earliest memory of my 19 years of life. I startedto act out in defianc e of him and his methods at 5, while trying desperately tohope that he would change at age 9. I gave up and resigned myself to the fact that hoping only made the betrayals even more wounding by the time I was 11. My health trials started shortly thereafter (and I guess, my lead poisoning started building the year after), with hearing I might die from an (eventual Mis)diagnosis at 14. I wasbeing sent to the ER for one of many visits an d eventual Hospitalization at ages 15 and 16, hearing I was to probably have lifelong, possibly debilitating conditions just before my 18th birthday, and just before my 19th birthday, having to move out of my house because I couldn't handle the emotional damage that was inflicted almost every day.....
You could say I've had a bit of a hard life in that respect. Yes, we had enough money and got to go on vacations. I got a car at 16. We ate out all the timeand often had state of the art technology . But I would trade those things and more just to have had a life where I wasn’t constantly consumed with fear and self-loathing. …..Where I was deathly afraidthat the next move I would make in my dad's presence would result in feeling crushed and abandoned.
*takes a shaky breath*

But God does not give up on us. And over the course of my life, God has never given up on me. Dad was in control of his actions, his choices, his decisions not to get help, andhis decisions to keep inflicting damage without enough pause or fortitude to stick with treatments that could have kept our family from being fractured. God didn't cause my Dad to become what he was...and sadly still is. But God DID make it so that He isthe Perfect Father to comfort me and pull me from the wreakage that was my life from the age of 3 till now . God has given me a hope that I can overcome the family traits of over controlling, temperamental, volatile, on edge, depressed, and at their core, fearful people that I am descendedfrom....paramount being my Father. I simply cannot hope he will change anymore....it hurts too much to even think that the dad my fathercould have been will come out too late to not be there for his children...not that it's likely it ever will. His track record speaks for itself. My biggest fear about who I am and who I am to become is that I don't ever want to become like my dad. He is the antithesis of everything I hope and dream of becoming. If I keep my eyes focused on God, letting him bit by bit start to work on assuaging the pain that often threatens to consume and overwhelm me, letting Him guide me on the right path, letting Him show me His wisdom, His mercy, His everlasting Love and Devotion and FORGIVENESS, I know I can succeedin my wish to beco me more than my past, and make a future for myself and my family….a future that doesn’t include the burden of a house filled with fear….and a life made up of bouts of euphoria when I could escape for more than 5 minutes and forget that I ever even lived….acting like I was someone else, and thus able to forget for that moment that my life wasn’t everything I wanted…and not even close to anything I desperately needed.
But this realization that I grew up 'knowing' I wasn't loved conditionally spurred me on to try and show love to everyone I know...and let you know that no matter what, and no matter how insignificant it may be, at least one person will love you unconditionally. And this is my unspoken promise every time I smile at you, give you a hug, and call you friend. And just as I could never count on love, I am the juxtaposition of that, guaranteeing love. I hope you all never forget that. When I love, I love unflinchingly. *shrug* And it will always be the case in every aspect of our relationship. I will Love you. No matter what. Forever.

I am nothing without God, yet everything in Him. I have nothing to fear, and as such, God is starting to take that fear away, memory by memory. I can't forgive my dad. Not now. And my heart feels like not ever. I don't knowif it will ever happen . But if I stay steady in my walk with the Lord, a miracle of miracles might happen.

But right now I can praise the One and Only, the Mighty Provider, the King of Kings, because He has provided for me in ways I could not have imagined, giving me friends and loved ones I can rely on, and in whom I can TRUSTand find peace and acceptance. He is teaching me that self-worthdoesn't have to be based on what I do or do not do, on how well I accomplish a task, on whether the people around me are in a benevolent mood to overlook my obvious deficiencies *cringe*, but only that I AM, and I AM IN CHRIST!!!!

I can't even tell you how good it feels to say those words! I can never get tired of them!! I AM IN CHRIST!!! The Lord is my Shepherd, I SHALL NOT WANT. And truly, my LIFE IS GOOD. I am in a peaceful house with people I love. I get to see my Mum and siblings every wednesday night when we get together, and on the sundays when I am well enough to go to church. I have friends that, although they are often too busy to see me, or be able to make time to stop by, I knowin some part of me that they love me. And I know with every fiber of my being that I love them.
I am provided for. I have my medical bills covered.I have a car of my own and thus, mobility and freedom of choice . I have a freedom of spirit I have never known before, and the black cloud of anger and fear and mistrust that seems to hang over my family's house is no longer present in my life. I truly feel free. And that is all because of the Love of God and the Freedom that He provides through His Son, Jesus Christ.

***
Being sick has taught me patience, understanding, and how to better love the people around me. Coupled with God's grace, it has led to more personal and spiritual growth in the past 3 years of being sick than in the 16 years previous. And truthfully, I wouldn't trade my time being sick for anything. I have been given too much during this time to warrant any change. Nicole Nordeman's song "Sunrise" seems to put it best....
"If I had the chance to go back again
Take a different road
Bear a lighter load
Tell an easy story

I would walk away
With my yesterdays
And I would not trade what is broken for beauty only

Every valley,
Every bitter chill
Made me ready to climb back up the hill and find that

You are sunrise
You are blue skies
How would I know the morning
If I knew not midnight

You're my horizon
You're the light of a new dawn
So thank you, thank you
that after the long night, you are sunrise

There's a moment when
Faith caves in
There's a time when ever soulis certain
God is gone

But every shadow is evidence of sun
and every tomorrow holds out hope for us
for Every One of Us

You alone will shine
You alone can resurrect this heart of mine

You are sunrise."

And I would not trade what is broken for beauty only".

Music, and words like these, are what I listen to in the long hours when I can do nothing else but curl up in bed and try to keep from shaking as the pain washes over me in agonizing waves. Music is often my tether to God and people...and to dreams of where I could have beenhad I not gotten sick , and where I will be, God willing. Over the course of these past few years, I have compiled a number of verses from various songs to help explain in a poetic way, how God has helped me rise above my circumstances and see who I am, and who I could be. I will be posting it soon, I hope.

*Sits on my bed, arms wrapped around my knees, a few tears sliding down my face, as the ghost of a smile touches my lips* So, my friends,when troubles, trials, and tribulations hit, remember....you are not alone. *looks at you earnestly* You are not the first to experience these emotions, to endure pain, fear, depression, trials, broken relationships....God does not leave you alone!He does not leave you defenseles s!I often find myself thinking that the highlight of my day are God’s"small miracle s" that He does in the everyday.For God is my provider and He says "When the world falls in around you, there will I be to lift you up again" May you find the love of God even in the tough times. He's always there, and He is always faithful!

In Christ who is with you always,
Rae <3


*PS: For those of you who are wondering, My dad is forbidden from seeing me by my mum, by my therapist, and by his therapist; My doctor ordered me out of the house because he said it was making my conditions worse, and sapping what little energy I had into merely surviving emotional trauma, the last thing I needed when I had physical trauma to endure. And I have permission to get a restraining order should my dad pursue contact with me despite all these objections and orders….and at my own request. So right now, I don’t have to worry about contact….and I am eternally grateful. The breathing room is something I have never known till now, and I am loathe to ever give it up.
Read more "My Triumphant Return! ^.^ ....and Some Interesting Divulsions.... =/..."
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