The Precious in the Difficult

We have another God story to tell. Most of you know that I passed Lyme disease to Jason. His symptoms aren’t as debilitating as mine yet but I feel a little bit like I’m living with a ticking time bomb. We can’t afford for both of us to receive treatment so I kept trying to convince him that it’s more important for him to be treated because he has the job. He did not agree and how could I continue arguing when I’m so miserable? Honestly, we were getting to a point where we couldn’t even afford treatment for one of us so we decided to open back up our Go Fund Me page a few months ago.

During the time that has lapsed since I saw Dr. Sunshine, he has learned how to better treat MTHFR, a gene in our bodies, the mutation of which causes all kinds of problems. This gene is involved with methylation, which has its hand in the proper function of all kinds of things in the body. I have two mutations of this gene. So it had been in the back of my mind to go see Dr. Sunshine again and I had a fleeting thought that it would be great if Jason and I could receive treatment together but I never thought it could happen. God is so good.

My dad is the one who finally convinced me to call Dr. Sunshine and ask about getting Jason in. New patients have a nearly two-year wait list. But, since Jason is my husband, they are waiving that list. It’s very common for Dr. Sunshine to treat entire families at the same time because Lyme devastates households. The wait list was the first hurdle crossed.

Our hearts were touched as money started coming into the Go Fund Me page. After awhile, we thought the campaign was over. But again, God is so good.

I opened the mail one day and what I found took my breath away. The card said something along the lines of, ‘We were challenged to take big steps of faith. We trust God will meet your needs.’ The check was the exact amount we needed to get Jason in as a new patient with Dr. Sunshine. Only Jason and I, along with our good God, knew the needed amount. That, along with all the other gifts, allowed us to schedule our appointment for the four-day treatment program, June 8-11.

As if that wasn’t enough, we contacted the owner of the AirBnb we stayed at last time. It’s impossible for me to stay in a hotel because I have to be able to cook. This AirBnb is perfect for us, just three minutes from the Knoxville office and practically in the backyard of the famous used bookstore, Makay’s. Haha. I truly believe God led us there last time because the owner is so caring, washed everything in unscented detergents, and prayed for me. She is a retired Special Education teacher so she and Jason can talk shop. And, because we seem to develop special relationships everywhere we go, she is opening her place specifically for us in spite of all the insanity of 2020 and is giving us a truly generous discount. God gives extravagant gifts.

We do need to be covered in prayer during this time. Specific prayers are needed that treatment will not be too hard on at least one of us so we can take care of each other. I can’t drive and Jason needs to feel good enough to drive. Prayers of peace in and around our car would be so appreciated. Preparing to go anywhere is exhausting, as it requires much planning, meal prep, etc. Our luggage looks like we’re moving. Please pray for smooth preparations, the ability to sleep, and minimal stress. We appreciate my parents coming to stay at Narnia with June, Queen of the Castle.

Jason seems to have some sort of bug and I have had very little relief from my symptoms for several weeks and, believe it or not, there’s a certain balance needed for feeling okay enough to make it to the doctor in the first place. Please pray for us to feel better, for my blood pressure to rise to a stay-conscious level and for Jason to feel strong and well enough to drive. I’ve had intense pain in my left lower abdomen on and off for years. Doctors have fought over whose specialty it is, ultrasound technicians basically call whatever it is a UFO (Okay, I may have added the FO part, but it was definitely labeled “unidentified”). I’m not joking when I say ETSU asked me to sign a release so the students could study me. It’s hard to describe the agony of this pain on and off for weeks, but just as quickly and intensely as it shows up, it calms down for a day or so. Do thorns in the side show up on ultrasounds? Dr. Sunshine helped rid me of this pain for almost a year so, if nothing else, I hope to have less pain and higher blood pressure upon returning, and I have very high hopes for Jason’s treatment experience. Please pray for guidance for Dr. Sunshine, that he will address the things that will help us function better, and address them in an order that will not cause me to pass out. Can you tell I have all kinds of trauma issues surrounding this? We will have very long, difficult days of treatment, sitting under fluorescent lights and I will sometimes have to be alone while Jason receives his treatment as well. Please pray for protection, settled anxiety, and for our bodies’ strength under these extra burdens. God is good and we trust Him.

I usually choose a verse to carry with me for these days of treatment but I think I’m just going to continue thinking about “extracting the precious from the difficult.” I actually don’t think it’s necessary to remove the precious from the difficult in order to appreciate it so I’m thinking of it more like being saturated with God’s love and extravagant gifts, and squeezing out that love for His glory through a constant searching for Him, even in the difficult. Recognizing Him in the hard things and pouring out praise is the goal.

It would also be difficult for me to see Dr. Sunshine without thinking of my friend, Traci, who was also his patient. She saw heaven’s healing before earth’s, but I carry a piece of her with me. She would be rooting for us, celebrating our victories, as we celebrate hers. She is never far from my mind.

As you pray for us, please share any words or verses the Lord brings to you. We will have long days to ponder them. We appreciate all of your love, prayers, generosity, and support. There are no words to adequately express our gratitude. May you be blessed by the part you play in our lives. To our good and faithful God be the glory.

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Author: Karina Baker

Hello, my dear friends! Glad to see you here. Thank you for reading about my beautiful rubble - my struggles with life, faith, and autoimmunity. Feel free to share your stories in the comments. My love and prayers to all of you!

2 thoughts on “The Precious in the Difficult”

  1. I will pray. Often I will pray this song:
    Jesus, Jesus, You make the darkness tremble
    Jesus, Jesus, You silence fear
    Jesus, Jesus, You make the darkness tremble
    Jesus, Jesus
    Breathe, then call these bones to live
    Call these lungs to sing
    Once again, I will praise

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