Be the Balm or Say Nothing

Today, I became very angry with someone I don’t even know. He had the misfortune of speaking negatively about Functional Medicine on a friend’s Facebook post. He said that Functional Medicine is a hoax and the only reason anyone gets better using alternative medicine of any kind is due to the placebo effect. I lost my cool. I wasn’t rude but I most definitely hijacked my friend’s post and tried to put him in his place. I was burned up and still simmer every time I think about it. After the incident, I stopped to reflect on why I was getting so angry. Here are a few of the reasons I have discovered while searching my wounded heart:

ONE: I so desperately wish people would look past what they know and at least be open to the idea of what they don’t know. How will we ever progress or learn anything new otherwise? I am so weary of doctors who try to put me in a diagnosis box and of people looking down on my illness as if I am weak. I never have, and likely never will, be anything but an exception to the ‘rule’. People are different. Individual. Otherwise, we’d all be robots and life would be boring. Sadly, in my experience, Conventional Medicine does not often embrace the God-given uniqueness of each human body.

My uniqueness should be celebrated, not stifled.  

No one should try to shove my sharp corners and jagged edges into a pretty little perfect box. All this accomplishes is bumps, bruises, and breaks in my body, mind, and soul. Just one example of how this practice of shoving me into a box has hurt my body is the fact that I have almost no good bacteria in my body anymore. I had a lab test to find this result, lest you think I pulled this finding out of my feeble mind (*sarcasm*). Thanks to repeated antibiotic use for illnesses for which I should never have been prescribed antibiotics, my body has no good bacteria to prevent dangerous and illness-producing overgrowths. I cannot tell you how many times I have wanted to ask about the oft-heard medical motto, “First, do no harm”. I am here to tell you, I have been harmed. I’m not saying all Conventional Medicine doctors do this, but most of the ones I have encountered have thrown treatment at me before finding a cause. Functional Medicine finds the cause before any treatment and that is what I appreciate about this practice. I will speak later about the breaks the skeptics have caused in my mind and soul.

TWO:  I want Functional Medicine to work for me. I feel that this is my last hope for physical healing. I didn’t realize before today how devastated I would be if this doesn’t work. Of course, I’ll still have my faith and many other blessings, but I won’t have physical healing and that is a difficult pill to swallow (ha!). Hence, the impassioned response to my opponent, who does not believe Functional Medicine can work at all.

The only reason I can think of for someone to be threatened by a new idea is because they are afraid of what it will do to his/her established ideas. I think people fear Functional Medicine because they are afraid people will start realizing that it works. And sorry/not sorry to be so blunt, but where is the money in that? If we don’t have sick people, they don’t spend money on medical treatments. I’m absolutely convinced that is why Functional Medicine is not covered by health insurance. The powers that be want sick people to stay sick and that, my friends, is a crime against humanity, and another blog post altogether.

THREE:  Most importantly, I am sick to death of people treating those who are chronically-ill as mental cases. My opponent argued that the only reason Functional Medicine works is due to the placebo effect. I guess he was ignoring the research and clinical studies that support the validity of Functional Medicine. Why is it so impossible to believe that something that WORKS is not all in our heads? It’s the same reason many people believe that the illness itself is in our heads. We know what we know and fear that new ideas might change our worldview. But let’s think about this. The placebo effect works when the patient believes a treatment will work, right? I’m here to tell you that if that were the case, the countless medical treatments I’ve had over the years should have made me invincible! I was so naive, so trusting, such a faithful patient, following all doctors’ orders. WHY AM I NOT THE HEALTHIEST PERSON IN THE WORLD?!

This subject clearly fires me up so if you’ve skipped all of my rage, come back for this section. Those who feel the need to put a person with a chronic illness in a diagnosis box or a mentally-unstable box have NO idea how damaging they are.

People with chronic illnesses should NEVER have to defend the fact that they have an illness, how debilitating that illness is, or the fact that a treatment’s success is not something they’ve made up in their minds.

Every single time someone (doctor, loved-one) has tried to put my experience in the mental box, I question everything I know about myself. I wrack my brain trying to figure out how something in my physical experience can be all in my head. I was a mentally-stable person with an extremely blessed life so I ask you, why? Why on God’s green Earth would my brain have conjured an illness? To the skeptics who believe only in logic, how is it logical to believe that a treatment’s success must be the placebo effect? Madness, I tell you! Madness! Before I finally received any of my diagnoses, I would nearly beg my doctors to believe me when they tried to put me on antidepressants. I told them, “My illness is not due to my mental state. My mental state is due to my illness and your disbelief about my illness!” It burned me up when they looked at me as some feeble-minded woman. Haven’t we progressed past that notion yet? Tell me, why is it so difficult to believe someone’s EXPERIENCE, even when it does not fit our preconceived notions?

So, here is what I want each of you to do when you encounter people with illnesses:

BELIEVE them. To believe them does not hurt you at all. But not believing hurts them immeasurably.

If you cannot believe them, KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT. You may not intend it to be so, but your input accomplishes nothing and actually causes harm. Imagine how it feels for a person with a chronic illness to hear that his/her illness, or healing experience, is not valid. We don’t tell a person with a broken arm that his/her arm isn’t broken, or that the fact that the surgery was a success is the placebo effect. I’m not sure I will ever understand how this is not common sense.

And lastly, if you do believe them, tell them so. Not necessarily by saying, “I believe you”, but that’s ok too. I mean, show them you believe them by learning about their illness along with them and from them, by offering your friendship, understanding, and even assistance if you are able. By doing so, you validate one of the most important aspects of the person’s life and you actually help soothe the mental distress that the skeptics have caused. Be the balm for our wounds, my dear friends. If you can do this, you have no idea how empowering you can be. So I say again,

BE THE BALM OR SAY NOTHING!

"Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wound of my people?" - Jeremiah 8:22 (NIV)
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The Next Big Thing

Recently, I came across a list I wrote in my journal right after I turned 30 entitled, “Things I Want to Do in My Next 30”:

Re-purpose piano
Refresh Spanish skills
Lose 20 lbs
Write at least one song per year
Write more, in general
Sing
Learn about essential oils
Get off medication
Send birthday cards on time
Study the Bible consistently
Pray for my patients
Service projects
Surprise Jason often
Vacation in the mountains
Go to the beach

I was pleasantly surprised to have already made progress on some of these goals without remembering that I had compiled this list. But trust me, the manner in which I lost 20 (ahem… almost 50) pounds was not what I had in mind! It was a surprise that my illness has actually led me, and even helped me, to do some of the things on the list. I definitely write more now. I have learned more about essential oils and I am finished with almost all synthetic medications. I have been studying the Bible in search of a deeper understanding of my life and the world in general. Other things on the list have been quite impossible, like re-purposing the piano, service projects, and vacationing. But hey, I’ve got 28 more years left before my next 30 is up so I’d say this list is looking pretty good!

Isn’t it interesting that we are always searching for the next thing? – “I cannot wait until my vacation!”, “TGIF!”, “Looking forward to cooler weather”, etc, etc, etc. Setting goals is not necessarily a bad thing, unless it means that we are always searching for the greener grass instead of learning to see the beauty in our present circumstances. Along with Paul, we should be able to say:

"I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want." - Philippians 4:12b (NIV)

It has been interesting to me to discover that I keep pinning my hopes on the next big thing in a several areas of my life. One of these areas is my career. I have gone down every avenue I can think of over the past nearly seven months of unemployment and I have hit closed doors at every turn. I’ve applied for several work-at-home jobs but I am always either not ‘techy’ enough, or don’t have the right certifications, equipment or internet speed for the job. I have thought about trying to work part-time outside the home, but every time I think that, I get really sick again, or the car breaks down. I start desperately trying to find work online and our computer goes on the fritz again. I am getting a very clear message that God wants me to focus on taking care of myself. It’s not easy to trust our financial situation to God, but there’s nothing else for me to do but wait on him. It’s actually freeing and scary all at the same time. God is teaching me to trust more and more each day and I cannot wait to see what he does in our lives.

Like I said before, I was reviewing some of my old journaling just to see how far God has brought me. Part of the ‘joy’ of brain fog is that I truly do not remember writing some of these things and it is staggering to see how God has been working in my life. I was STUNNED when I read something I wrote on February 4, 2015. I was sick but still working, freshly married (a year and four months is still fresh, right?) with a great little life. But here is what I wrote about my Social Work career after what I can only assume must have been a particularly draining time:

Sometimes I feel like I need to do something that doesn't matter so much. But is that really what I'm meant to do? That seems so lazy. I just don't feel like my emotional state can handle much more humanity. Come, Lord Jesus. I'm not sure what my passion is anymore. I want to be passionate about the things that Jesus was passionate about but it hurts so much to take on that kind of burden. But maybe that's what he wants from me - totally broken so I can depend on him for strength.

Did I say I was stunned? STUNNED. When I asked God for a reason for all of these struggles, he used ME to show ME at least part of that reason. He told me, IN MY OWN WORDS, the reason for my suffering. What?! I might have laughed and cried at the same time when I read it! How ironic and weird and cool and crazy is that?! God has such a great sense of humor! I love it. He already knew what was coming and he was already working back then to get me through the right now. I’m so amazed by my God!

With regard to my health, I’m always looking for the ‘next thing’ to be my cure, to get me back to normal. I’ve tried everything, and each ‘next thing’ is always supposed to be the real deal. I’m not going to lie. Every ‘next thing’ that turns out not to be THE thing is heartbreaking. For awhile, the well-meaning people who told me I was going to eventually get better, or eventually go back to work, left a bitter taste in my mouth because I was too broken to get my hopes up again. Hoping hurt too much. For awhile I said I didn’t want to hope anymore. But something didn’t sit right with me about that attitude. I’ve slowly learned that I was hoping for the wrong things. So I started studying all of the Scriptures that mention hope and I was blown away by how numerous they are! Apparently there is a godly way to hope and I was doing it wrong.

"Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my savior and my God." - Psalm 42:5 (NIV)
"His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of a man; the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love." - Psalm 147:10-11 (NIV)
"Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." - Isaiah 40:30-31 (NIV)
"And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." -Romans 5:2b-5 (NIV)
"We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you." - Psalm 33:20-22 (NIV)
"Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope; Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." - Lamentations 3:21-22 (NIV)

I was putting a substantial amount of hope in my own doing, my “legs of a man”, if you will. And when God took that away from me, my soul was downcast. I got so tired while living life with God just kind of hanging out with me while I persevered on my own strength. I believe that during this illness I am supposed to be hoping in God, who will renew my strength (HIS strength in me). During the dark days, when I decided I didn’t want to hope anymore, I was struck with the verse that says, “hope does not disappoint us.” My first inclination was to become angry because, oh, how disappointed I had been! But during this painful hope, which is reflective of a longing for things that are not of this world, his love and faithfulness rest upon us. We will not be disappointed when we learn the big, beautiful picture. My wish is for the above verses to give you as much godly hope as they give me.

What if my ‘next big thing’, whatever it may be, is where I find my healing? Not necessarily physical healing, but healing in hope. What if I added ‘hope’, ‘contentment’, and ‘carrying out God’s plan’ to the list of things I want to do in my next 30? Maybe the next thing is God’s way of taking over, teaching me, and helping me find my true purpose. I am now beginning to see my illness as a starting point for my deeply-authentic, soul-filled life, for letting go and becoming fully reliant on God, for discovering myself (the good, bad and ugly), for discovering and having time for new passions, for opening to emotions I had buried in a sea of busy-ness, and for cultivating the deepest relationship with God I have had in a very long time. What if I could fully embrace the next thing, even if it is not physical healing? What a truly hopeful life I could begin to lead!

It’s difficult for me to say this but I mean it in all sincerity. I want this illness as long as God wants me to have it, to accomplish HIS purpose in it. He has torn down MY life so that he can re-build HIS life out of the rubble. What a beautiful gift my God is giving me.

Blessings of godly HOPE to all of you,

~Karina

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Yep, I’m Sick

Time for an update! Most of you know I had a follow-up appointment at my Functional Medicine provider’s office in Knoxville yesterday. Although she didn’t have all of the test results yet, she told me to come in since I have been feeling so bad. I am not a doctor so I am just relaying the information about my own situation to you in the best way that I understand it. I’m a complicated mess!! If you don’t want to read all the science-y stuff, that’s fine, but I am finding it completely fascinating, and this is what I wanted. Someone to tell me the specific root cause of my issues and how to fix them. Disclaimer: Please do not take any of my musings as advice. Speak to your own healthcare provider about your own issues.

I am happy/not happy to report more diagnoses. Yay! (I can’t decide if that’s sarcasm or sincerity. In some ways, it’s very validating to know that I am NOT crazy and there is REAL EVIDENCE that I am seriously ill. HALLELUJAH!!)

First of all, I definitely have Hypothyroidism. However, I did not have any thyroid antibodies, which just means that it is NOT an autoimmune thyroid disease. That was fairly surprising but she said that since it is not autoimmune, there is a chance I will not have to take the meds for the rest of my life. That’s pretty great.

Secondly, my adrenal stress is at a phase 2 (of 3), so not completely shot but getting there. She explained that unless you take care of your adrenals too, a thyroid med is not going to do a whole lot of good. So, she put me on a calming thyroid supplement (my panicked self says, thank goodness!), along with a bio-identical thyroid med, which just means it’s natural and non-synthetic. Also, at least according to this article, popular synthetic thyroid meds usually only contain the thyroid hormone T4, while bio-identical thyroid meds usually contain T1, T2, T3 and T4. Since I stopped taking my other thyroid supplements, and the med hasn’t kicked in yet, I’m having some very severe panic attacks. Would love you all to be praying me through until this stuff starts working or I lose my mind! If you want to read more about hypothyroidism and anxiety, you can click here and here. Yes, it is more likely for HYPERthyroidism to cause anxiety than HYPOthyroidism, but since I personally know at least two people besides myself who suffer from hypothyroid-related panic attacks, and I have read countless testimonies from others, it is not as uncommon as we think. Leave it to me to get anxiety and actually lose weight with hypothyroidism. But my own provider has a hypothyroid and lost weight with it so, while uncommon, that is not unheard-of either. I encourage you to read Emily Kopek, PA-C’s Journey into Functional Medicine. She is my new provider and has a fascinating story.

Third, my SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth) test was surprisingly negative, meaning I do not have a bacterial overgrowth in my guts. However, I do definitely have some malabsorption issues, which I knew all along, but now it is finally confirmed.

Fourth, I am severely anemic and she couldn’t believe no one has ever told me that. It hasn’t been too long ago that a doctor told me my iron was too high. I am unsure how it dropped that much that quickly. She did more labs yesterday so she can figure out exactly what to give me to treat the anemia.

Lastly for now, my Homocysteine level is the highest she has ever seen, as in, double the highest it should be. Yay, me! I’m extra-special! Homocysteine? What the heck is that? LifeExtention has a huge amount of useful information on homocysteine if you are interested. From what I understand, a high homocysteine level means that I am not getting enough B vitamins and Folate, which help to get rid of excess homocysteine. This could be due to my malabsorption issues, or a genetic issue I will discuss below. I’m super-happy to read that a reduction of homocysteine often leads to a reduction of migraines and brain fog. I haven’t wanted to admit it but lately I’ve been having more serious brain fog than just the feeling of cotton balls or fog in my head. I’ve actually been starting to forget where I am going when I’m driving somewhere. Not just the direction I need to turn, but actually where I intended to go when I got in the car! Yikes! A high homocysteine level is also likely the reason I have such trouble detoxifying anything out of my body, and contributes to my extremely high inflammation levels. I never know if the next thing I put into my mouth is going to cause a serious struggle for my body to detox. I can smell someone’s perfume or dryer sheets and be sick for a week. I have to make Jason go get our washing soda to make laundry detergent because I cannot go near that aisle in the grocery store. I can be stuck in traffic and smell exhaust and become ill. I LIVE IN CONSTANT FEAR.

So, how did my homocysteine level get so high? The answer is potentially a combination of malabsorption and a genetic mutation that she thinks I very likely have called MTHFR. Did I just cuss you out? Nope, it’s a real thing. MTHFR produces an enzyme that helps your body use B9, so if I’m not getting enough B9, my body can’t clear out the excess homocysteine. How’s that for a domino effect?  Shew, my head is spinning with all this info! If you’re still with me, you are my amazing health warriors!

I had suspected that I have the MTHFR mutation in the past, but wasn’t sure exactly how you get a doctor to look into it without having multiple miscarriages (the mutation makes you highly susceptible for miscarriages). Now, I am completely fascinated to learn that it could explain so many things from my past that have always seemed so odd to me. Random example – I have always felt sick drinking any amount of alcohol, which is why I’ve hardly drank anything in my life. (That, and the fact that the taste is horrendous! I shall never understand you alcohol-drinkers, but excuse my rabbit trail). People with MTHFR often have extra trouble detoxifying alcohol. It’s a pretty big blessing that I’ve always gotten sick with just one drink of alcohol, because the nightmare of the last few years probably would have made alcohol look pretty enticing! MTHFR can also be a major cause of my anxiety as well. Double-whammy! I learned a lot of this information from Wellness Mama, and this site also has a video about MTHFR and Thyroid Disorders that I’m looking forward to watching when my head stops spinning a bit. INFORMATION OVERLOAD!

The enzyme produced by MTHFR is also needed to produce glutathione, which, according to this article, is The Mother Of All Antioxidants. This is a big reason for the difficulty detoxifying. Therefore, a huge part of my treatment will be boosting my poor body’s lack of this precious antioxidant.

In short, I very likely have the MTHFR gene mutation, which causes a decreased ability to detoxify the body and absorb certain nutrients. Therefore, I will be receiving IV infusions of Glutathione, which is a high-powered antioxidant that will act as ‘fly paper’, collecting free radicals and other toxins to help detoxify my body. I have my first infusion on Tuesday and I am super-nervous but super-excited! It scares me because they infuse Zofran first due to reported nausea in most patients and I’m nauseous all the time anyway. Also, I do not do well with needles and the infusion takes an hour and a half. They will give me a half-dose on Tuesday to see how I do, wait a week, and then do a full dose. Then, I will likely have the infusions quarterly along with a possible infusions of Vitamins B and C.

What I am assuming from the above information is that, when I have these high-powered antioxidant treatments, my body will be able to start detoxifying the bad stuff again. My poor guts will finally be able to start to heal, along with the proper diet. Maybe one day, just maybe, I will not have to live in so much fear. While I will probably always get sick with certain things, I may not have to feel like I am dying anymore. I will finally be as close to FREE as possible. That is the hope I am taking from all of this, and I am so excited!

Once my other test comes back, we will start working on my diet. I told her I’ve changed my diet so many times, I honestly have no idea how to eat anymore. Thankfully, her goal is to get me feeling better enough to add as much food back in as possible except gluten. I will never knowingly put another shred of gluten into my body. With an autoimmune disease and a severe intolerance, it is just too risky.

Well, that was a whole bunch of complicated stuff that only some of you may have wanted to know! But, it definitely helped me understand it better by researching and writing it all down. Throughout this journey, I have learned that I HAVE TO BE THE EXPERT IN MY OWN BODY. NO ONE ELSE WILL DO IT FOR ME!!! So, that is my tidbit of advice to you today. Study, learn, and DO NOT GIVE UP!!

I will leave you with a passage I came across today that gave me some encouragement.

"In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength... Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, 'This is the way; walk in it.'" - Isaiah 30:15,20-21(NIV)

What I took from this is TRUST. God’s got this. He’s using the right people at the right time to teach me the right way. I covet your prayers that this is truly the final answer, but HIS will be done.

Thank you, my loves! Now, let’s all go take a brain-break! Here’s a pretty picture to get you started!

DSCN0832

Blessings,

~Karina

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The “Me Too” Factor

Have you ever clicked the ‘publish’ button and immediately wondered if you should have said such a thing?  

Unfortunately, once your thoughts are out in cyberspace, you can’t take them back and be certain that no one saw them, so you must live with the consequences. There have been many times that I have published a blog or written a comment on Facebook and stressed about how it would be perceived by others. Sometimes my daytime self has more of an ‘edit’ button than my late-night self! Also, since I’ve been so sick for so long, my ‘edit’ button is getting very tired and sometimes malfunctions. Then, I wake up in the morning and wonder if people will pity me, be angry with me, or think of me as an attention-seeker. None of those things appeal to me very much.

So, why am I so public with my struggles?

There are some very practical reasons. The first is that I am trying to earn an income with my writing (not yet successfully because I don’t know what I’m doing) and the reality is, no one reads unless you are deeply personal. The second practical reason is that having two ‘homes’ that are 500 miles apart means that there are many people near and far who want to know how I am doing. Social media makes a mass update much easier and more efficient.

One of the more significant reasons for my public presence is that I am terrified and need an army of pray-ers behind me. There are days when chronic illness comes with crippling anxiety. I am so afraid that I will never get better and I know that I cannot handle it much longer. I also know that God can do anything and I need as many people mentioning my name to him as possible! Speaking of the body of Christ, 1 Corinthians 12:26 says, “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it” (NIV). So, thank you all from the bottom of my heart for suffering with me!

Sometimes I have trouble praying for myself. The mental state that results from constant pain, fear, nausea, or other discomfort is difficult to describe. It’s as if the nausea is all there ever was and all there ever will be. It doesn’t feel like I will get better during those stretches of time. My prayers often sound a little like, “Oh, God. Oh, God. Oh, God. Please help me.” And that’s all I can muster. I need people in better states of mind to help form prayers for me. I’ve asked God to take me home to him enough times to know I need my people to tell me that I’m still needed here. I know the Holy Spirit communicates for me, but having others pray for me is a great source of comfort.

Probably the biggest reason I am so “out there” with my problems is the “ME TOO” factor. I cannot tell you how reassuring it is to bear your soul to someone and have them say, “me too”. The ones who share their stories because they have been there, or are currently going through the same struggles, are so precious to me. Since I have gone public with my illness, many people have come forward and shared their personal stories with me. Each one has deeply touched me and I feel very blessed that others would be willing to share their journeys with me. It comforts me to know that others have been this ill and conquered. I feel solidarity with those who are still struggling along with me. It is so much less isolating. I will quote Close to the Bone: Life-Threatening Illness as a Soul Journey by Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D. again, because her book has so many great tidbits.

“In order to keep on keeping on, anyone with an illness that has a long course needs the soul support of others. The daily difficulties and humiliations to do with the wear and tear of physical aches and pains, the mundane and inelegant concern for nutrition and elimination, the fatigue and discouragement that accompanies ill health, the constriction of interests and the limitations that are reminders that you are no longer your old self take their toll on the spirit.” And, “When there is no protective holding back, the soul-to-soul connection that grows is beautiful and tender.”

When I opened up, I discovered my true soul-sisters and brothers. Relationships that had drifted due to distance or life grew much stronger in a solidarity of shared pain and prayer.

Holding hands

I’ve been thinking that perhaps the reason for my struggles is so that I can be the “me too” factor for someone. If my story helps just one person who may be on the verge of giving up, it is worth every agonizing moment. If I can somehow help another get through her/his agony, my agony is worth it. I was very struck by this statement from Dr. Bolen,

“…nothing in my life goes to waste, that anything that has ever affected me deeply might someday be an empathic connection… it meant that there was meaning in my own suffering, that anything that I have lived through might someday be redeemed if it enabled me to help someone else.”

Oh, how I long for my suffering to be redeemed! I want to make a difference in someone else’s pain, like so many others have made in my pain.

I’m not saying everyone needs to be so open with their suffering. You need to do you according to your comfort level. Some people are terrified by the thought of being so public and it can be just as healing to have their own intimate circle of people to share in their pain. To each his/her own. I’m just not strong enough to do this life without an army. So, while some of you may think I am crazy, or may be annoyed at what seems like constant complaining or negativity coming from my corner of the world, I’m probably not going to stop. I need the “me too” people more than I care about what the others think of me. The deeper relationships I have cultivated through my vulnerability are much more important to me than my privacy. Public love does my heart so much more good than private suffering. And the thought of being the “me too” person for someone else helps me get through each day. God may have led me to my purpose in this suffering. Use me, Lord.

Use me, Lord. 

If you would like to listen to the newest song God gave me, click here.

Some days I fight control of my weary soul
A constant game of tug-of-war I know I cannot win
You hold my life’s plan in your steady hands
The constant in my whirlwind, the peace within my storm.

Make my life yours, Lord. My heart is in your hands.
I offer every fleeting breath to carry out our plan
But who am I, Lord that you would use me?
I’m weak, but you’re strong so use me, Lord.

The waiting and the longing for your healing
Keeps my eyes fixed on you and yearning for my home
But until this life is through, I’ll hold tight to you
I’ll sing you my heart’s song. May you be glorified.

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