Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Why Am I Still Sick? (From a Spiritual Perspective)

I am not a theology major nor do I have extensive knowledge on Bible verses, but today I wanted to write about being sick as a Christian, especially a Christian who believes in healing. I'm going out on a limb here! haha!

I know many do not believe that healings occur today. Well some believe it is possible, but it is not something that can be controlled or done consistently. Many believe it is all a scam. Some believe that healing is the work of Satan and that by being healed, he is tricking you. Others believe that once the disciples died, those miracles do not happen anymore or it is only by chance or some rare exception.

There is another group of people who say that healing still occurs today. These people are actively laying their hands on people in stores, malls and out on the streets.

I personally believe that healing occurs because of what Jesus did for me on the cross. He saved me from all sin and also took away my illness and sickness. I don't need to see videos or read testimonies of healings to know it to be true, but they are out there if you want to see them. I also know a woman who had POTS that was cured when a man layed his hands on her and prayed. It's been over a year now and she is still completely healed! Praise God!!

What becomes difficult is trying to understand why we all aren't healed instantly. I've had a few people lay hands on me, but nothing happened. I don't know why it happens the first time for some and doesn't for others. However I'm not about to start making excuses and questioning my faith.

Failures in healing are why people begin to build theologies around why God does and does not heal certain people. If you've been sick for an extended period of time, I'm sure you've heard things like this...

"You must have sin in your life"
"You must need to forgive someone"
"Your faith must not be very strong"
"You must have opened the wrong door"
"Satan has a hold of you"
"God must be angry at you"
"God must be teaching you a lesson"
"It's not your time to be healed"
"If God wanted it, then you would have been healed. God must want to keep you sick"

Being a sick Christian is tough...Many blame you for being sick.

All of the statements above are excuses. When a healing is seen, the church, rejoices and praises God (as they should). However when someone is not healed, it's much easier to blame and pass the problem off on the sick person. The church or ministry never has to feel uncomfortable about it.

The problem I have with this, is that the sick person is still sick. In addition to having to endure their sickness, now they are being told it is their fault? Huh?

Jesus did not make any excuses. He would have healed you, today. This very moment. 

Sadly, I find healthy people are usually the ones who go around saying these things to sick people. They have this belief that they have somehow been spared of sickness because of their faith. Therefore if someone has sickness, then they must have done something to bring it upon themselves. Sometimes bad stuff and accidents happen. Sometimes people are born with disease. Does it really matter how or why we became sick? Isn't all sickness equally bad?

Instead of having love and compassion for the sick person, people start to question the sick person's faith....This happens ALL THE TIME. There are entire websites dedicated to explaining all the reasons why people aren't healed...  By creating and having these elaborate theories for why it does not happen, I find it interesting that it must be happening often enough, that they have dedicated so much time to it. They don't have faith in the healings, therefore it does not happen...It's like a self-fulfilling prophecy.

These types of theologies can end up being dangerous and actually steer people away from God.

When everything is going fine, these people believe God is happy with them. However the moment something goes wrong, they get the idea they must have done something to anger God. These people begin to question God and their faith. "God if I was a faithful servant, why did you let my child die? Give me cancer?  Let my wife leave me? Make me lose my job?" The moment things get rough, people who believe in this kind of theology, believe it is God doing it to them.

That is why I reject all theologies like this. It is a slippery slope.

God is NOT in the business of giving us disease and making bad things happen to us. It is as if  the Devil and God have switched roles. If you believe that God is doing any of these things to teach you a lesson, then you have been deceived in my opinion. I used to be taught this and thought it was totally normal...hah!

If you build a theology where people with illness deserve it for some reason, then you go from being a person full of love and compassion, to a judging, self-righteous person based upon a self-written theology. :"You don't have enough faith". "You don't this. "You don't that". None of these reasons are based upon anything in the Bible. Websites like to pick and choose verses from the Bible, but I don't see anywhere where Jesus let someone suffer.

Jesus healed sickness from everyone. No exceptions were ever given in the Bible. Why are we expecting any less and making excuses? 

A great story in the Bible is in the Gospel of Matthew. When the disciples could not heal an epileptic boy, Jesus was angry and told them exactly why they could not cast it out. It was their faith.

Matthew 17: 14-20
17:14 When they came to the crowd, a man came to him, knelt before him, 17:15 and said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, because he is epileptic and suffers terribly, for he often falls into the fire and into the water. 17:16 I brought him to your disciples, but they were not able to heal him.” 17:17 Jesus answered, “You unbelieving and perverse generation! How much longer must I be with you? How much longer must I endure you? Bring him here to me.” 17:18 Then Jesus rebuked the demon and it came out of him, and the boy was healed from that moment. 17:19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why couldn’t we cast it out?” 17:20 He told them, “It was because of your little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; nothing will be impossible for you.”

It is quite clear that Jesus did not blame the epileptic boy for not being healed. He blamed his own disciples for having little faith.

Perhaps this is why certain people or certain ministries see more healings than others. The idea of it being based upon the faith of those healing, would make sense.

Why am I still sick? I do not know. I know it is nothing I have or have not done. I will continue to seek prayer from those who are willing to pray for me. I have already been sick for at least 12 years of my life, it is time for this to go. Praise God when it does!!!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Debbie Downer for Being Sick of Being Sick?

Fall is definitely here! The leaves have already been changing! :) I woke up today and it was actually cold and I needed to get a jacket. :)  Usually I feel better in winter, but last winter was really rough on me. I got strep and then erythema nodosum....Ouch. I hope I do not have a repeat of that.

I am already noticing that my heart has been racing a lot more. I have been getting periods where it just takes off for no reason. It has me concerned but what can I do about it? It's not like I can flip a switch and be better... I have been getting worse and worse this year despite my efforts with supplements, natural treatments, detoxes and rx drugs. Nothing has been working...

In real life, I don't like to talk about my problems with people because no one wants to hear things like this...What's the point when there is no end in sight? It's not like there will be a cure for POTS in 5, 10, 15 or even 20 years. As I get sicker, it is becoming increasingly harder to cope with. Most people are only interested in hearing about illness for a short time, but when an illness has been going on for years, they don't really want to hear about it anymore. You are old news and annoying.

Because of that, Facebook and this blog are the only places where I can vent and talk about what I am feeling with complete honesty.

On FB the other day I was accused of no longer listening to God's word and that I must have stopped going to church because I was being a debbie downer in my posts...Huh?...This does not make any sense at all to me. I am NOT about to be condemned for feeling and living sick. I do not subscribe to any theology that blames sick people for being sick. God does not give us sickness to teach us lessons.

Some people really need to get a grip on themselves. You see someone hurting and in sickness and all you have to offer is condemnation and some lesson on the Devil? How about having some compassion, love or even offering to pray for them?

On FB, I usually post random things about health, cats, weather, God, songs, etc. The last few weeks I have been posting links to some interesting threads on DINET that I could relate to and I shared some stories for Invisible Illness week. I normally don't post about stuff like that, but I thought there were some good things out there. I like posting about the emotional struggles we face when one suffers from a chronic illness.

Oh and I've also shared this amazing KittenCam on Youtube. OH MY!! Check it out. You will be addicted. :)

One of my "debbie downer" status updates was written after going to Kohl's and suffering with terrible symptoms.

I really needed some jeans. I haven't bought a single pair of jeans for more than 3 years. We are going to a Christian healing meeting and conference coming up in October and I realized I did not have enough clothes to wear to a conference for 3 days...haha! Normally I wear the same clothes over and over again because I don't make public appearances very often and I'm not seeing the same people. I figured showing up in the same old, worn pants might be a bit weird.

I hate shopping because of my health problems. I can't even remember the last time I went to a mall. I think it's been about 3-4 years. The only shopping I do is grocery and necessity shopping like getting cat litter, cat food, prescriptions, toilet paper etc. You get the idea. I don't go on day long trips where I come home with bags and bags of jeans, shirts, shoes and other stuff. All that walking, stooping down, reaching up for items, standing in line is awful.

Before we got to Kohl's I looked online to see which pants might work, so I knew where to start... There was no way I could walk around Kohl's, trying everything on I could find, so I had to narrow it down to 2 or 3 styles. That's all my body can handle.

Trying on and putting on clothes has always been a major trigger for POTS. When I get dressed in the morning, it takes all of my effort not to collapse. It's not that my BP drops, but I feel like the life within me begins to fade away.

So I start trying on jeans and immediately knew this was not working out well. I felt terrible. My heart was in the 170's. I had to rest on one of their mannequin displays. ;) I had shortness of breath, began to tremble, shake, sweat profusely, felt wired and thirsty yet had to pee all at the same time... I could not do any fine motor movements at all. Texting on my phone was impossible. I kept smashing like 5 keys together. Everything was so unsteady. The first 2 pairs of pants I had tried on were a bust, so I had to keep pushing through and looking. I started to slouch, sighed a lot and was even dragging my feet as I walked. I looked sweaty in the face as if I had been running a marathon. I have to believe marathon runners feel better than this because I don't think they would keep doing them otherwise! HAHA!

I finally did find pants that I liked, but I was too sick to try them on and compare, so I just bought them. I got home and realize I probably needed to try the smaller size and compare...NOO I have to go back now!?! I was considering of bringing my video camera along next time to show people how much I suffer while trying to do normal things. I dunno if Kohl's would allow it, but I think I'm gonna try.

So after that entire experience, yes I made a FB status update that said,
"I went to Kohls today to get some jeans and I felt terrible. Made me realize just how sick I really am. :("

I can't pretend I don't have POTS! When someone suggests something along those lines, I have to assume they don't believe you are really that sick. Doesn't that already mean I'm doing a good job at pretending? lol I also feel like you cannot possible be feeling compassion for what I am going through. No one would ever tell someone with cancer to pretend they did not have cancer. No one would ever tell a blind person to just think more positively, so he might be able to see! That is completely absurd....

After coming home from Kohl's, I was wrecked for the day. I had massive head pressure and a headache that did not go away until I went to bed that night.

One good thing did come out of it, as I was walking around, feeling dreadful, I started to have flashbacks to times in my youth where I felt the same exact way. It was as if I was being reminded that I have been sick for a very long time as early as age 5. My mom used to do day long trips to malls and I hated it. I would lie down on the ground, cry, scream and throw fits.  I thought I was just a brat, but walking around Kohl's the other day, I knew it was just POTS showing itself...

I'm not entirely sure where to leave this post, but for the past 7 years I have been doing the mental gymnastics to keep myself going. The 5 years before that, that I graduated from high school, went to college and worked full time. I'm not a quitter. I'm not someone who just gives up and pouts. The reason I'm not in a wheelchair or lying around in bed all day looking more sick is because of my willpower.  I struggle with POTS in every aspect of my life and have made as much good out of it as I can. Is it wrong to want more and be upset with where I am right now? I don't think so.

For 12 years doctors have told me I was faking, crazy, lazy, just anxious,"too stressed", that I needed to get a job, was a drug addict, needed to just start having babies and all of these horrible things. To then have a friend tell me that I was letting the Devil win by having debbie downer posts, it is really not very caring or compassionate at all. I can't just pretend POTS away...Don't you think I would have done that, oh I dunno, like 5 years ago when I started this blog? lol

My hope for healing and recovery is with God. I know that he is my Healer. He has already shown me with what happened with my cousin was not my fault. God is healing me right now in ways I cannot even explain here. I believe that the physical healing will happen too. And when God finally takes this illness away from me, then Glory be to Him. No one will be able to stop me, from shouting it from the rooftops!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Healing the Wounds of the Past

This has definitely been the hardest blog post I've ever written. I've been tossing it around for at least a few days now. What I'm about to write is very personal!

First though I need to write some backstory to what has been going on in my life recently.

The past few months have been quite an interesting journey and I have made 180 degree change in what I do. As many know, I have stopped focusing on health information. I took pride in what I have done and the information I gathered together, but it was becoming a negative influence on my life. By always coming up with new theories, new tests to get done, new concepts to ponder and new medicines and supplements to try, it was a way for me to feel like I was in control of my life and my illness. I am not in control of this. When one did not work, I just moved on to the next, then the next and the next. There are so many theories, tests and supplements out there, I could have literally watched my entire life pass by jumping from theory to theory, supplement to supplement. It was like I had something to prove by "figuring it out".

Of course consciously, I had no idea I was doing this at the time. I woke up one day and had this distinct impression that I needed to stop and needed to start paying attention to what was going on around me.

And so I did just that. I left all Facebook health groups. I stopped posting to forums. Most importantly I stopped discussing theories with people. This is the big one for me...It was not easy at first. I felt out of control. I felt scared. I caved in a few times. I even had resistance from people. I had people I thought were my friends, tell me I was giving up and all of this ridiculous stuff. I knew I needed to just walk away at least for a little while and try to find myself. 

I started to explore a personal relationship with God. I have always believed in some sort of God but did not really understand what Jesus did or why he had to die...But in June 2012 I "officially" accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, was water baptized and started reaching out and praying to God and asking him for clarity and knowledge. "Father, tell me more about you. Show me more of You in me." 

I had never prayed like this before...Things inside of me started to change!

At the end of July, the sudden death of my aunt forced me to face events from my past that hurt me very much. I had to look to God for guidance because I did not have the strength on my own to face it. For me, it's always been easier to try to ignore the thoughts, emotions and images than to feel them, or deal with them, but unfortunately that wasn't an option this time around. I had to make a choice. 
Well I chose to begin healing some of the deepest, darkest wounds of my past. These are emotional wounds that I thought I would take to my grave. In over 11 years time, I never told anyone except my husband. Not a single friend knew about it, nor did any of my family members up until a few weeks ago.

I had held these pains deep inside of me for so long because I never fully understood what had happened to me...The emotions I felt were so mixed. I was confused, scared, lost, afraid, unsure, mad and full of shame and sorrow. For those 11 years, I took responsibility for what happened. I thought it was my fault and that I should have known better because I was old enough to know better. I told myself that I was a dirty, gross and a terrible person, so of course I did not want to tell anyone.

I was scared of what might happen if the truth came out.

One morning, only several weeks ago, I started to look online and thanks to amazing people out there willing to share their experiences, I found incest survivors who thought and said the same exact things as me. I could relate to these people and then it all hit me...All of these emotions, thoughts and ideas in my head, were sadly very normal for someone who was a victim of incest. This was huge for me. This was groundbreaking. This was liberating! My first thoughts were...Wow is that what happened to me? That was abuse?

For years, I told myself it wasn't abuse and fought within myself try to make sense of it.

I know that might sound really ridiculous to people who have not gone through it. However whenever it is a family member you trusted, it makes things extremely difficult to process. I always thought if it had been a complete stranger, then it would have been easier to deal with.

Anyone who knows me in real life can attest to the dramatic changes that occurred during this time.  I behaved so erratically. I starved myself nearly to the point of death, but I did so to feel in control. I would burn my arms with needles and knives warmed under a flame to make my skin singe, just so I could feel something. I collapsed at an amusement park due to starving myself and hoped that I wouldn't live just to end the suffering. I abused ephedra and other supplements hoping they would kill me in the process. I started wearing chains and black clothes hoping to scare people away from me. I had nervous breakdowns in the middle of school and I pushed everyone I knew as far away as possible. I hated the very person I saw in the mirror. I started to become involved with people who were negative influences and dated as many people as I could to "bury" the past because my innocence had been stolen. Somehow I thought I could find it again.

In my senior year of high school, I stopped wearing black clothes and chains to look more like a normal person...But inside of me, the pain raged on. It continued on into college and I made bad decisions because I felt unworthy of being loved and happy. I put myself into situations where people could take advantage of me. Then I would look back in shame for what I had done. It was a vicious cycle.

By the grace of God, I lived through these years of really dark times...All of these pains, emotions, thoughts and moments will be hard to heal from, but it can only begin by finally breaking the silence.

For years, I hated everything to do with love. I did not believe in it nor did I really want it. All of the pain that had been done to me was by someone who confessed his "love" towards me. This kind of manipulation really messed with my head and I even began feeling empathy towards my abuser. After all if this was out of love, then he would not have meant to hurt me and I must have misunderstood or wanted it. I could go on and on and on with the weird thinking....It were these manipulated thoughts and feelings that make the whole situation much worse and why I struggled.

Recently, with my aunt dying, I knew it was going to bring a lot of this back up to the surface. I knew it was going to give this person a good excuse to try to get back into my life and well I was right. When he finally tried contacting me, I was terrified. I got on my knees crying and prayed to God to help me through this. I did not know what to do from here and needed guidance, peace and encouragement. I felt so out of control and terrified.

After praying that Saturday morning with tears streaming down my face, God told me it was time to come out of hiding and to reclaim myself. I never had any intentions of ever telling anyone and I had even planned out putting all of this in my will when I died. But now the truth is out there and all of those years of fearing what might happen if I did tell, it simply did not occur. The sky did not fall and I'm still here! Even though it was a really tough thing to tell my mom, it ended up being the most terrifying yet liberating conversation ever. Since my abuser is still alive, I also felt like I had to warn others to keep my little cousins safe.

I have written all of this, not to get people's pity but mostly to bring awareness to the fact that incest and sexual abuse is commonplace. My mom and dad did everything right to protect me and my siblings from strangers, but the damage was done by someone within our own family.

Despite the things that happen to us in our lives, we still choose what we make of it and who we become. We can either let our pains and experiences take us over or we can accept them for what they are and make the best out of life. I still have healing to do and even though all of this is part of me, I am not that same broken, beaten down naive girl today. I will never be able to be around this family member again because I know without any doubt this person would try to harm me again if given the chance.

I know God will take this all away from me and heal me through this. I have been told by several prophetic people that they see my hurt of the past and that God will continue to reach into my heart and heal me. It has not been a quick, overnight heal, but it is slowly happening. There are still some subtle issues I need to work out, but overall I am doing so much better now that it is out in the open and no longer burning a hole in my heart.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Help Out My Nephew! Cub Scout Fundraiser

I don't think I've ever posted something like this before on my blog. I know my viewership has gone done a lot since I've change the format of things around here, but I'm hoping maybe a few of you can help out.

My nephew, Noah is in Cub scouts and I sadly cannot afford a single thing on this website to help him out. I'd be ecstatic if any of you could buy one of the tasty food items to help him out. I've been drooling over the chocolate covered pretzels, but those aren't gluten Things are a bit pricey, but most of it goes directly back to the Cub Scout Troop, so you are mostly just making a donation and getting a food item in exchange. ;)

Both my sister and I have had health problems since a young age. Only 4 months after giving birth to Noah, my sister began experiencing severe headaches. 10 months later, she was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor at age 25 and the prognosis was bad. My nephew was only 1 years old at the time...I thought my nephew was not going to have a mom. It was really that scary, but she fought on and praise God the surgery was successful and she is still with us today, more than 5 years later!However, to say that things have been rough for both of them is an understatement. She is a single mom, living with my parents and could use your help!

You have to go through this link in order for my nephew to get credit. At the top of the page it should say, "You are supporting: Scout Noah D". If anyone is having trouble with this, please comment below and I can try to help out so we make sure he gets credit for any sale. If you can't afford anything, then that's totally ok! Try to pass the link along to a friend. Cub Scout stuff can get expensive, but it's such a great way for him to meet other kids and do normal boy things! :)

Here's the long link for copy/pasting purposes.

Again, I don't normally flat out ask for stuff like this, but I want to help my sister out! Thanks everyone.

As for me, I'm currently writing up a big blog post. Not sure if I'll have the courage to actually publish it, but we will see. It is extremely personal and will be a shocker to most of my readers.