Saturday, February 11, 2017

God With Us

This entry isn't so much about the song, but it's one I've been thinking about over the last couple of days.

Since a little before Thanksgiving, I've been sick and progressively getting worse.  It started out as a little bit of nausea, but I tried to push through it and exercise.  I was trying to get healthier.  By mid December it got to the point I couldn't work out anymore because the nausea was affecting me too much.  For the most part it was only in the morning between 9am-11:30am.  9 was when I would usually work out.  Just before Christmas my husband and I developed some sort of flu-like virus.  I thought maybe this was why I was sick for a month.  Maybe it was just my body trying to fight it off and it finally gave up.  My husband and I had not gotten the flu shot because my insurance wouldn't cover it and it cost $30, money we didn't have.  Even after the flu-like virus was gone, I still had lingering nausea, and still in the morning at the same time every day.

About three weeks ago, it got so bad it was all day and I was bed-ridden.  I mostly ate bland food, but I was still able to pretty much eat normal food - then last week happened.  Friday I had to go to the ER.  I had a 101 fever with chills, aches, light-headedness, etc.  All symptoms of the flu, but I didn't have the flu.  It turned out I had a slight UTI, but the UTI wasn't enough to cause my symptoms.  I ended up puking that night at home.  Sunday morning I couldn't eat anything.  This was really bad because I have meds, psych meds especially that I needed to take and I had to have at least 300 calories for them.  My husband called my parents while they were on their way to church and they came and got me.  We went back to the ER and I had a 103 fever.  The symptoms were getting worse.  They took some blood cultures, did an ultrasound (found nothing) and gave me fluids but that was pretty much it.  Since I wasn't puking at the hospital they couldn't keep me there overnight.  That afternoon I was already starting to have hallucinations.  That night (Super Bowl night) I still couldn't eat and take any of my meds.  That was a really rough night.  I threw up that night and I became paranoid.  I grabbed the wall and refused to move because I was afraid of my hallucinations.  My husband called my parents and at the time they had some friends, my brother, and his girlfriend over.  My brother and his girlfriend are EMT's.  When they saw how I was on FaceTime, they wanted to come over to help me but I didn't want anyone to come over.  I was scared yet also really embarrassed.  One of our neighbors came over trying to calm me down.  I wouldn't let anyone come near me.  Finally I allowed her to slowly come near me.  It was like I was some scared animal that wouldn't let anyone get near me to help me.  I took some nausea medicine and she helped me get to bed.  I was hallucinating all night.  It was a crazy night for sure and my poor husband had to hear me flip out so much.

Monday came and I still couldn't take my meds that morning.  We went right back to the ER, same thing.  They gave me fluids and took my blood.  Checked my urine.  They took CT scans of my brain, stomach, and pelvic.  I was so disoriented I couldn't look straight.  I had to have help walking.  They found nothing in the CT scans.  They gave me some water to drink and I was able to keep it down.  Since I was able to keep that down they couldn't keep me overnight still.  I was so scared because I knew if I didn't take my psych meds for another day or two, I would probably try to kill myself.  I had to stay overnight with my parents on suicide watch.  I was able to take my meds that night.  I could only eat bread and bananas to keep the meds down.  I had nearly a 104 fever that night.  I actually didn't really have any hallucinations or delusions while I was there.  I guess when I was able to take my meds it really kicked in just in time.  The next morning I was able to take my meds and keep them down again, so I was able to go back home.  Most of this week I've been living on literally just bananas and plain dinner rolls, only drinking water and Powerade.  I ended up puking one of the bananas a couple days ago.  I've been having to take really strong nausea meds.  None of the doctors could figure out what was wrong with me.  I was really losing hope, what if they never figure out what's wrong with me and I'm sick for the rest of my life?  Yesterday the fever finally went away, though the nausea was still there.  I went to see an infectious disease specialist and he couldn't figure it out either.  I almost puked while I was there.  He sent me back to my GI doctor.  I kept trying to be strong through all of this.  So many people have been praying for me.  I couldn't let them down.  I also knew if God really wanted to heal me, he would.  If he can raise his Son from the dead, surely healing me would be a piece of cake.  If he didn't heal me, then there's a reason for that.  I may not know what that reason is, but I've got to trust he's got my best interest for me.

Then this morning happened.  I woke up with no nausea at all!  I haven't had no nausea for a couple of months!  I even drank a couple of protein drinks this morning for breakfast and I've kept them down just fine!  I'm hoping to be able to reintroduce normal food slowly (I'm not going to eat pizza right away - though I've been really craving fruit).  I don't know if I'm completely healed, but I feel like I am!  If I am healed, I guess God listened to all those prayers people sent for me.

Through all of this sickness, I've really had to trust God in all of this.  I've had to trust that he'd take care of me no matter what.  That he hasn't abandoned me.  He IS the great physician and no matter where we are in life, he is ALWAYS with us.  We've got to believe and trust that he is there for us.  I can't tell you how many times I really wanted to just give up, that seems to be my tendency.  I give up and I become self-destructive.  Why else do I cut myself?  Why else have I tried to kill myself?  I gave up and wanted to escape the pain.  What if though, instead of running from the pain, we faced it head on?  What if even, instead of facing it, we perhaps even embrace it?  Now hear me out, when I say embrace it I don't mean becoming a masochist and enjoying pain.  What I mean is what if we say, "Okay, this is my circumstance, this hurts, this sucks, but I'm going to come out of this victorious!"

The helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the belt of truth, the shield of faith, the shoes of the Gospel, and the sword of the spirit.

We need to be equipped with the Armor of God daily, then we are ready to face what comes after us.  Whether it's sickness, stress, or the evil in the world, when we equip ourselves with righteousness, truth, salvation, the Gospel (the Good News), and the Holy Spirit, we can face anything.  It's not easy.  There are going to be times where we fall.  But guess what, our King is fighting FOR us!  When we fall, he helps us back up.  Life is not easy, we were never promised an easy life, but the opposite.  Jesus promised we would have hardships in life BECAUSE we follow him.  Now I'm not saying when we get sick it's because we follow him, that would be ridiculous.  We live in a very fallen and corrupt world.  What was once created perfect is now a corrupt reflection of what it once was.  It's not God's fault for it being the way it is now.  No, that is our (humans) fault.  When we try to do things OUR way, we screw things up.  We think we know what we're doing, we think we're smarter than God, we think we can do his job better than him, but in reality we're arrogant and stupid.  I mean it's like being at school and when the teacher says 2+2=4, you say "I know better than you!  2+2=5!"  We all have these tendencies - even me!  We need to cast our pride to the side and look at things truthfully.  We. Aren't. Perfect.  People say, "I don't need a God because I don't need a crutch!"  A crutch?  No, you don't need a crutch, that's for a broken leg.  What you need is a heart transplant.  Your heart is dead and you need a new one.  You can't get a new one without God though.  Only Christ can give you a new heart.

Going through this sickness has taught me just how much I need to depend on God.  Just like I needed to depend on my husband to take care of me, I needed to depend on God to give me the strength to keep going.  We can't do this alone, trust me, I've tried to do things on my own and it doesn't work for very long.  

"Don't let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God, and trust in me also."
John 14:1

We have to trust God will take care of us and be there for us.