FAILURE … I felt like it was branded across my forehead. Could anyone else see?
As I’ve mentioned, I was diagnosed in 1998 with Fibromyalgia (FMS). That was pretty rough. This actually felt worse. I had spent 10 years working to overcome this beast. And here I was – back where I started unable to function and off work because of the FMS.
So much energy and effort during those 10 years. I had tried medications for about 3 years and by that point the effects and side-effects of the meds had so trashed my life that I was at a point of “if this is as good as it gets, I don’t want it”. I was desperate enough to even consider giving up “my right” to chocolate for surviving another day (YES THAT DESPERATE :)) when I found a FMS clinic on the internet whose premise was every person is a furnace and you have to find out what foods/fuels are toxic for you and what foods are safe. I have no doubt that I would not have gone through the 3 weeks of detox and discovered the freedom on the other side if I had not been that desperate. The clinic helped me to completely change my diet; get off of the majority of the medications; and taught me tools to test foods going forward. (FYI, this particular clinic is now closed.) I gained a big part of my life back – it took about 4 years, but was well worth it. Fuel check – done. Next. There was massage therapy and cranial sacral therapy. I did all the stretches and exercises prescribed by my PT religiously. I walked at least 1.25 miles every day. Check, check, check.
Not mention to mention the journey of prayer and revelation about God and about myself that involved many leaps of faith and learning how to rise up on wings like eagles.
So how in the world did I end up back here with my world spiraling downward? My answer: because I was a failure. I mean … wasn’t that obvious? I MUST have done something wrong or I wouldn’t be in this mess again. Obviously my efforts weren’t enough and I had not fought hard enough. I was SURE everyone thought of me as a nuisance and a burden – I mean it had been 10 years … who wouldn’t be sick of me. I was certainly sick of me!
I was yelling so loudly at myself with condemnation, I couldn’t hear the truth that God was trying to speak to me. I remember so clearly sitting out on the edge of my bed literally crying out to God exhausted, sore and overwhelmed trying to hang on for dear life and I heard “Let go.” I asked God, “Let go of what?” I reeled when I heard God respond “Me.”
My immediate reaction: I will be destroyed if I let go. Huh, no wonder this feels so awful.
Then I sensed God telling me “Let me hold you, rest, let go, rather than you holding on for dear life to Me.” Even in the upheaval of that moment I chose to say OK God. I don’t get it but OK. Don’t think I’m being noble here. My choice to say “OK” was because my current way of life had a very high “Hoover” factor.
I was so scared, terrified actually about “what if” – what if I don’t get better; what if I can’t work? What came to me was a picture of a child holding on to a parent and how easily an enemy could break that grasp, attack and steal. But, if a child is being held by the parent it is a completely different scenario. Safety. Rest.
I remembered just a few weeks before when the downward spiral was starting to snowball and I’d cried out for help and heard “my grace is sufficient for you”. My response was, let’s say, not exactly “religious” . My response was well that’s just not working for me Lord. Take a look at my life. I need more than that. What I sensed was go look up the original Greek for this portion of scripture (2 Cor 12:9-10). Below is what I discovered:
“My divine influence upon your heart
and its reflection in your life
keeps/puts you in my custody;
guards you and is your defense and protection.”
Revelation came that whatever “thorn” is in a person’s life reminds us that not only that we cannot “do it all” whatever all may be, e.g., keep our self safe, well, joyful, prosperous <– but it was never God’s intention for us to carry that burden for ourselves. He wants us constantly aware that it is His divine influence upon our hearts continually and how that is reflected in our lives that is our supply, our guard, our protection. God’s desire is for the power of Christ to continually tent upon; abide with; and rest upon us. And, for us to constantly have our hearts and minds attuned to receiving this miraculous supply!
I came out of agreement with the lie that if I hold on, God will protect me. I came into agreement with the truth in Psalm 119:117 “Hold me up that I may be safe.”
That was the literal start of a month of Sundays.
6 thoughts on “My thorn”