Chronic Illness Journal My Heart

Just Come!

Our lives can be consumed by pain or chronic illness. When we are in these rough places of intense symptoms (or pain), it can be quite difficult to think of anything else. I am in this place tonight, well last few days – to be honest.

It is in these moments, that we need to desperately cling to our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ tighter than ever before.

Do you remember the woman who had the issue of blood?

I find myself thinking about her and the hem of His garment lately. Her desperation is what led her to Jesus. And His grace and power is what saved her! Keep running to our Savior Jesus, my friends!

43 A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding, and she could find no cure. 44 Coming up behind Jesus, she touched the fringe of his robe. Immediately, the bleeding stopped. 45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked. Everyone denied it, and Peter said, “Master, this whole crowd is pressing up against you.” 46 But Jesus said, “Someone deliberately touched me, for I felt healing power go out from me.” 47 When the woman realized that she could not stay hidden, she began to tremble and fell to her knees in front of him. The whole crowd heard her explain why she had touched him and that she had been immediately healed. 48 “Daughter,” he said to her, “your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”

Luke 8:43-48, New Living Translation

Friends, all we are expected to do is – come to Jesus Christ, just as we are! It is His power, which heals. He may heal us today. Or He may wait until we reach Heaven – because He wants to use our suffering to draw us nearer to Him and help us to encourage others.

Our Mighty God is in the healing business.
But, we don’t know His plans for our trials.

And, He makes us sons and daughters of the Most High God – who face trials and sorrows and overcome. So each day, we can endure and overcome our circumstances by walking through them. Jesus, in John 16:33, says, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

We don’t know His plans, but can know His Word. So, let us take time to pray and read the Bible today. Take time to read and talk about His Word. I don’t care if it is Ephesians, Proverbs, or another book of the Bible – keep running to Jesus and sharing Him with others.

Chronic Illness Journal My Heart

Looking Intently At Our Lives

Sometimes, our grief to our trials or illness can overwhelm us soo tremendously! I watched “I Still Believe” tonight. I sobbed uncontrollably for the entire two hours.

Suffering with chronic illness is very difficult. There, often, aren’t words to sum up what a person (even a true follower of our Savior Jesus Christ) can experience.

Over the past few years, my health has continued to decline. And, it’s hard. It affects my life as a whole, my relationships, my ministries, how I serve.

But, our God – despite all these wordless variables – y’all He is so good to us!

Tonight, I am reminded of some regrets I have in my life. As a single and childless woman, I am reminded of things, which will bring with it – consequences (for lack of a better word). When I am old and gray, I will face elderly years that will be different because I am choosing to forsake earthly pleasures like marriage and kids.

I turn 33 in August, and those choices seem to be more on my mind. I am not getting any younger, but I truly believe there are many blessings on the road ahead. Guys and girls: When we choose to make Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, He will always see and reward our every sacrifice – to truly seek His face!

31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. 34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

Matthew 6:31-34, NLT

But, there is something else that is different and more valued. If we are going to think about potential regrets, we have to look intently on the heavenly blessings:

Most importantly, I have been given eternal life with God through His Son Jesus Christ and eternity will be far different as a result. Not only am I His child and choosing to walk with Him, many others will be greatly influenced… because I chose to walk with Jesus and continue to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I am choosing Jesus Christ.

I am choosing to minister to others, from this place of hurting.

May the Lord be glorified in all we say and do!

He is able to do more than we could ever think, ask, or even imagine. Because of who He is!

Here is some Jeremy Camp for you guys, from his “Stay” album!

And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

Matthew 6:30
Journal My Heart The Overcomer Life

My Heart: “Erm, Sorry. Did I Say That Aloud?”

I think, the title says it all. Doesn’t it? I often say things without thinking. It’s not intentional, but tonight was one of those nights – where “it slipped”.

When you stand up and state “I haven’t been to service in roughly a year,” how many folks will take notice of such a statement and reach out to you? This is a question I am asking myself tonight, mostly because this is what I did tonight. Not only did I attend our Monday Night Women’s Bible Study, I chuckled at a comment made and then made such a declaration.

Now if I were one in the crowd, I imagine I would have assumptions and questions. A handful of assumptions and yes even more questions. I don’t know why I told the entire Bible study group that I wasn’t coming to service – even though I am at church “most Sundays” (except for my mom’s recuperation from surgery). What kinds of questions would I have?

  1. Do you still believe in God?
  2. Do you still choose to believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins and rose on the third day to give you brand new life?
  3. Do you still follow Jesus Christ on a daily basis?
  4. Do you still wholeheartedly believe in the purpose and ministry of the local church?
  5. How are you choosing to meet with our beloved Savior and Lord Jesus Christ?
  6. How are you allowing others to be voices of His biblical truths? (Community and Accountability)

I want to be more understand than judgmental in terms of how I respond (or react) to hearing someone else’s story or struggle. But if I were on the other side, how would I respond? I hope I would respond by trying to understand my sister in Christ’s struggle and seek ways to minister to her with grace rather than judgment. I hope, I would seek to help and serve her, in the midst of her hard time. Maybe even, meet up to study the Bible together.

I wish I could go back and hit the pause button on “I am seldomly in service” announcement. But, I cannot. What I can do is choose to learn through the questions I can ask myself about my relationship with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I can choose to love myself right where I am and seek Jesus Christ in every circumstance.

My Heart

Broken, Yet He Calls Me

I feel like I could go back and forth in my thoughts on all the ways I am unworthy. Not only about how unworthy I am, also about how God shouldn’t have to deal with my mess. I feel like I could go back and forth arguing with God about how it’s too messy. Telling God “You don’t understand…”

Think of a panicked widow.
Obsessively cleaning.
Maybe, a widow is the wrong example.
More like a panicked sinner.
A panicked sinner, in desperate need of God’s grace.
She doesn’t fight against God, knowing He won’t forgive her.
She fights against her spirit reminding her of how unworthy she is.

If I could, I would continue on panicly trying to clean the sin spots. The effort wouldn’t remove the stains, but maybe if I could make myself better… Make myself somehow more worthy. Somehow soothe the attacks I feel come against me. I have a healer who stands ready to help me, heal me, and take care of me.

“God, You don’t understand. This is messy. You deserve more…. But, maybe I am the one who doesn’t understand. I know You are holy. Your understanding is greater than mine, but somehow I find myself obsessively panickly scrubbing and running- 0ut of fear. Help me to solely trust You. That is all I need to do. Help me to trust You. I have come so close to a breakdown. Not only spiritually, also emotionally. Thoughts of self-destruction, anxiety, panic attacks, and other things have come on strong. All I need to do is come to You. You knew what You were asking when You said “Come to Me… All You who are heavily burdened, come to Me. Help me to trust You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

I wish I wasn’t so screwed up mentally. I wish I could think clearly, to appropriately fight this fight. If I wasn’t so anxious and panicked, maybe I would have less pride, stubbornness, and distrust in giving my God all of me – like He has asked me to do.I pray if I just need a little bit extra sleep and rest, then it will come find to me. Being so screwed up mentally, is making the attacks feel much worse than if I was well rested and a functional cognitive human being.

My Heart

Mid-Day Conversation

I wonder what would happen if I could literally hear my Creator and God conversing with the Devil about me. Imagine, based on knowing God and His love for me through His Word, it would go something like this:

Yahweh (God): “Have you considered my servant, Stacey?”
Satan (the accuser): (laughs) “HER? Oh come on, you gotta be kidding me! Not her?!? Anyone, but her! I mean, she is not talented, pretty, smart, or even worth much.”
Yahweh (God): “Oh, but she is. See, you do not know her like I do. I have gotten to great lengths to pursue her. She is my beautiful daughter. Though she may fail, My grace is all she needs. She doesn’t need you, or this world’s version of perfection. She has all she needs: Me!”

This, friends, is just a glimpse. If only, we understood the spiritual attacks beneath our circumstances.

What would happen if we challenged the voices inside our heads that question our unworthiness to be God’s children and walk in obedience to Him. What if we questioned the lies and cross-examined our thought train?

In Job 1, we learn Satan attacks those who are following after God. The harder we follow after God, the harder the attacks may come at us through circumstances, people, or temptation. God pursues us, and we can follow His leading. He is always in control. He is always good.

Reflection Questions:

  1. How is your thought train?
  2. Do you habitually practice replacing the lies with God’s truth?
  3. How is your time in the Word?
  4. What part of your thought train needs evaluation?

See 2 Corinthians 10:5; Philippians 4:8