Monday, March 29, 2010

A Psalm of David

One of the hallmarks of this anxiety disorder is that negative thoughts about you seem to come like second nature. As a Christian I know that most of these thoughts come from none other than the accuser himself. I experienced some of these thoughts this morning before I even got out of bed. They were lies about me, but they made me angry at Will. I told him I didn’t really like him at the moment, but I wasn’t sure why. Later I was able to identify what that lie was that Satan had whispered in my ear. Will and I read Psalm 143 together over breakfast, and were comforted by David’s words. If David ever suffered from Generalized Anxiety Disorder, this would have been the psalm he wrote! I am not the first to be oppressed by Satan’s lies, and I believe this disease allows a stronghold for Satan if not treated correctly. But atlas, God is faithful! How great is God’s word!

Hear my prayer, O Lord, give ear to my supplications! In Your faithfulness answer me, and in Your righteousness.
And enter not into judgment with Your servant, for in Your sight no man living is in himself righteous or justified.
For the enemy has pursued and persecuted my soul, he has crushed my life down to the ground; he has made me to dwell in dark places as those who have long been dead.
Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed and faints within me, wrapped in gloom; my heart within my bosom grows numb.
I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your doings; I ponder the word of Your hands.
I spread forth my hands to You; my soul thirsts after You like a thirsty land for water.
Answer me speedily, O Lord, for my spirit fails; hide not Your face from me, lest I become like those who go down into the pit.
Cause me to hear Your loving-kindness in the morning, for on you do I lean and in You do I trust. Cause me to know the way wherein I should walk, for I lift up my inner self to You.
Deliver me, O Lord, from my enemies; I flee toYou to hide me.
Teach me to do Your will, for you are my God; let Your good spirit lead me into a level country and into the land of uprightness.
Save my life, O Lord, for Your name’s sake; in Your righteousness, bring my life out of trouble and free me from distress.
And in your mercy and loving-kindness, cut off my enemies and destroy all those who afflict my inner self, for I am Your servant.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Victorious Suffering

No I did not give up the blog again. Caleb was feeling a bit under the weather, and therefore so was I.
I am excited to say that I was able to take my heart monitor off about 3 o’clock this morning (yippee!)… no more blinking lights and random beeps! I will see the cardiologist on the 4th of April for my results. Now I have the task of getting the giant blisters (yuk) to heal without scarring.

I have spent some more time in prayer really asking God how all of this in life is connected and what really strikes me is that it is more interconnected than I realized. Life, marriage, kids, health, trusting the Lord… there really is no separating them. We were created ultimately to be spiritual beings (psalm 139) and so when we separate the medical out from that aspect, we are only seeing part of the picture. I feel that I am finally thinking clearly enough (thank you Celexa) to start to process a lot of what has happened over the past two years. If I had to sum it all up… I would have to say… Blessed be the name of the Lord! If you are interested in this prayer process I would love to share more. PLEASE ask!

Here is that second entry from Streams in the Desert that I wanted to share. Enjoy.
“Out of the spoils won in battle did they dedicate to maintain the house of the Lord.” 1 Chron. 26:27

Physical force is stored in the bowels of the earth, in the coal mines, which came from the fiery heat that burned up great forests in ancient ages; and so spiritual force is stored in the depths of our beings, through the very pain which we cannot understand.

Some day we shall find that the spoils we have won from our trials were just preparing us to become true “Great Hearts” in Pilgrim’s Progress, and to lead our fellow pilgrims triumphantly through trial to the city of the king.

But let us never forget that the source of our helping other people must be victorious suffering. The whining, murmuring pang never does anybody any good.

Paul did not carry a cemetery with him, but a chorus of victorious praise; and the harder the trial, the more he trusted and rejoiced, shouting from the very altar of sacrifice. He said, “Yea, and if I be offered upon the service and sacrifice of your faith, I joy and rejoice with you all.” Lord, help me this day to draw strength from all that comes to me! – Days of Heaven upon Earth

“He placed me in a little cage,
Away from gardens fair;
But I must sing the sweetest songs
Because He placed me there.
Not beat my wings against the cage
If it’s my Maker’s will,
But raise my voice to Heaven’s gate
And sing the louder still!”

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Desiring The Refiner's Fire

For the next two days I want to quote from the book “Streams In The Desert” by Mrs. Charles Cowman. I’m not trying to flake out on you here, but her writing and understanding of these scriptures is so accurate that I could not say it any better. Much of what she says in this first post is what I continue to hear from the spirit as I listen in Prayer. Enjoy!

“And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of Mt. Sinai an angel of the Lord in a flame of fire in a bush… saying… I have seen the affliction of my people which is in Egypt, and I have heard their groaning, and am come down to deliver them. And now come, I will send thee into Egypt.” Acts 7:30,32,34

God is never in a hurry but spends years with those he expects to greatly use. He never thinks the days of preparation too long or too dull.

The hardest ingredient in suffering is often time. A short, sharp pang is easily borne, but when a sorrow drags its weary way through long monotonous years, and day after day returns with the same dull routine of hopeless agony, the heart loses its strength, and without the grace of God is sure to sink into the very sullenness of despair.

Joseph’s was a long trial, and God often has to burn his lessons into the depths of our being by the fires of protracted pain. “He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver,” but He knows how long, and like a true goldsmith He stops the fires the moment He sees his image in the glowing metal. We may not see now the outcome of the beautiful plan which God is hiding in the shadow of His hand; it yet may be long concealed; but faith may be sure that He is sitting on the throne, calmly waiting the hour when, with adoring rapture, we shall say, “All things have worked together for good.”

Like Joseph, let us be more careful to learn all the lessons in the school of sorrow than we are anxious for the hour of deliverance. There is a need-be for every lesson, and when we are ready, our deliverance shall surely come, and we shall find that we could not have stood in our place of higher service without the very things that were taught to us in the ordeal. God is educating us for the future, for higher service and nobler blessing; and if we have the qualities that fit us for the throne, nothing can keep us from it when God’s time has come. Give God time to speak to you and reveal His will. He is never too late; learn to wait.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Radiance of the Rain

Well this blog has once more been abandoned. For good reason. Perhaps over the past few years you have called here or stopped by and heard something along the lines of:

Teresa doesn’t feel good… headaches… infertility… chest pain… going to the ER again… don’t know what’s wrong… sorry we have to pass for health reasons…

Some of you have walked along this road the whole way with us, others have gotten glimpses along the way. But here it is as we currently understand it. I (Any one mind if I just write in the first person?) have something along the lines of generalized anxiety disorder.

In my case, the anxiety is not caused by circumstance, but biology. This means I am wired “incorrectly”, most likely genetically from my one of my parent's blood lines. It means that my body’s “Fight or Flight” response kicks into gear without any stimulus. Imagine if someone screamed that your child had just fallen out a second story window. You would have that feeling in the pit of your stomach, the adrenaline rush, and the instant spring into action. My body does this, only no one yelled anything and no one is in trouble. My symptoms included shaking, nausea, migraines, overwhelming feelings of doom, numbness, chest pain, heart palpitations, panic attacks. At its’ worst I was unable to sleep, carry on conversations, read, cook, balance, etc. It is important to note that anxiety like this is actually a chemical imbalance in the brain, the same imbalance that causes depression. Every time I was having an attack I was losing serotonin. They are two sides of the same coin. By the time I was diagnosed with the anxiety I was already in clinical depression because my serotonin had been depleted. I am currently on a low dose anxiety medicine to keep me leveled out while they use an anti-depressant to ramp up my serotonin levels again. Counseling for coping behaviors comes next.

I am currently finishing up a month’s worth of heart monitoring to make sure the palpitations and chest pain were simply from the anxiety. I have also seen an OB-GYN and have been officially diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. This has long been suspected, but this time all my labs and ultrasounds were very obvious. I go in next week for a uterine biopsy to rule out anything else, and then we will begin treating the PCOS. For those who do not know much about PCOS, there is still the possibility to conceive, it just means that my ovaries produce very small cysts each month because of some hormone imbalances. It is not fully understood, so Docs treat individual symptoms instead of a larger cause.

Phew!! I got all that medical stuff out of the way! Let’s be honest, that stuff is boring, and not my favorite topic. The real reason I share all that is because there is so much more I want to share about the journey! So if you will indulge me for awhile, this blog is going to become the place for words and thought about the place of suffering in a believers life… and more specifically in my life! God does not do things by accident, and while the Doc might say that this is just something biologically wrong with me, I know that it is no less than the very fingerprint of my Lord. I am thankful for it.

I have been through trials, some small and temporary, others lasting a bit longer, but this one surpasses them all. I will use this chance to introduce some amazing poetry that I have found that the Holy Spirit has really used to minister to my soul. I hope u enjoy it as much as I have. This one is inspired from Ezek.34:26 “I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing.”

“The landscape, brown and sere beneath the sun,
Needs but the cloud to lift it into life;
The dews may damp the leaves of tree and flower,
But it requires the cloud-distilled shower
To bring rich verdure to the lifeless life.

“Ah, how like this, the landscape of a life:
Dews of trial fall like incense, rich and sweet;
But bearing little in the crystal tray-
Like nymphs of night, dews lift at break of day
And transient impress leave, like lips that meet.

“But clouds of trials, bearing burdens rare,
Leave in the soul, a moisture settled deep:
Life kindles by the magic law of God;
And where before the thirsty camel trod,
There richest beauties to life’s landscape leap.

Then read thou in each cloud that comes to thee
The words of Paul, in letters large and clear:
So shall those clouds thy soul with blessing feed,
And with a constant trust as thou dost read,
All things work together work for good. Fret not, nor fear!”

-Mrs. Charles Cowman

George Matheson wrote:
“Thou, O Lord, canst transform my thorn into a flower, and I want my thorn transformed into a flower. Job got the sunshine after the rain, but has the rain been all waste? Job wants to know, I want to know, if the shower had nothing to do with the shining. And thou canst tell me- Thy Cross can tell me. Thou hast crowned Thy sorrow. Be this my crown, O Lord. I only triumph in Thee when I have learned the radiance of the rain."

For all of you who actually read this blog, Love you guys. Feel free to ask questions. I am up and about, feeling good most of the time, and taking time to know my savior more and more.
see u tomorrow :)