Tag: Dysautonomia

Impact #2

My last impact entry was about 2 months ago. A lot has happened in that time. Health scare, which was relieved by a less serious health problem. Good news! (Bad news is: POTS is the reason for worsening symptoms. All before Spring.)

Feeling – Lately, I have felt a myraid of things. Home Sick. Loneliness. Frustration. (Dis)Contentment. Peace. Joy. Laughter. Mmmm, variety of emotions. Good, Bad, and in between. POTS has been rough, but I am still here. So, that is good news. I am not hooked up to a hospital bed with monitors. I am finding joy in unlikely places of chronic illness.

While all days aren’t joy-infused, I have the hope of my Savior Jesus Christ to remind me who I am. . . in spite of illness. Looking forward to Heaven, but trying to make the most of my time on earth to do something worthwhile.

Studying – Since my last impact, I have nearly finished studying 1 & 2 Thessalonians. Last week, I began the book of James. I am really enjoying it. One of today’s verse hit home for me, and is found at the end of this blog post. I have been reading and studying using The Living Bible found on Bible Gateway, which is a paraphrase like the Message. I am absolutely loving it! It is soo nice to have the privilege to open up the Bible in a new translation, using different wording, but having the same meaning. The Word of God is coming alive!

Reading – I am not quite sure that I am reading anything right now, since I have gotten out of the habit of reading actual books. Desiring God and reading the Bible in chronological order (that things happened) is what I am reading. Our church is reading the Bible together in a specific schedule. We have gone through Job, Genesis, Exodus, and are in Leviticus. Even with the audio Bible, my reading track record isn’t perfection but who says it has to be?

Listening To –

Celebrating – Many things.

  • Jesus is the top celebration. He loves me, and stays with me no matter what!
  • Doctors who care about their patients.
  • Good music that speaks God’s truths
  • Seeing how God can revive my broken spirit.

Loving – the gift of streaming biblical teachings, for anyone to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the biblical truths we need to know.

Praying – for my health, family, and a new blog series idea.

Holding Onto – Jesus! I am holding onto Jesus. Jesus is the One who is holding me, through all of life’s storms.

But when I am afraid, I will put my confidence in you. Yes, I will trust the promises of God… (Ps. 56:3-4)

Other Scriptures – James 1:9 (found below)

A Christian who doesn’t amount to much in this world should be glad, for he is great in the Lord’s sight (James 1:9).

Sunday Confession

I really do love church. The people, ermm not always (just sum it up to::: highly sensitive introvert, who lacks the ability to pour out emotional energy to be there for people when she can barely be there for herself). The music, yes. The nursery where I service, absolutely.

… But, sometimes, I struggle with my “want to”.

As someone with POTS, it can be utterly terrifying to go anywhere. And church is no different. It can be difficult to go and know if I will be able to stay. Lately, my symptoms have been worsening and I have the lowest attention span. There are often a bombardment of thoughts accompanying the questions – “Am I well enough to go to church? Or, how bad is it?”

Most people have to find their “want to,” in order to exercise. Me too, but my life has many areas where I have to find my desire to riskily make decisions.

The risk is what it comes down to. This morning, I had to weigh the risk. Was the pinnacle of symptoms worth the few minutes I would spend at church – especially knowing I was not in any kind of mood to jollily go socializing and encourage the world (my personality… if you see me at church, you know this one) before Sunday school?

You know, I believe it was worth the decision and symptoms (in the grand scheme of eternity, anyway). Contrary to the struggle to find my “want to,” I actually do want to go to the church and be with God’s people. This is simply (and it is not simple) just part of the process that it takes – in order to get me from my house to the church. There are internal talks, prayers, and questions going on, while I make the decision. I may feel “a little” uneasy in my decision, but at least I made the decision.

The hardest part of it all is – making the decision, and coping with the aftermath wondering if I somehow made the wrong one. I hate it when we have to leave early, because POTS is trying to kill me. Today was definitely one of those days. But, the highlight of my church day today was – sitting in the nursery, underneath our speaker that allows me to hear our musicians practice singing before service, and working on the Bible Reading Challenge. I loved just being there.

I hate the fear and questions I have to face, but I love the blessings I get to pick up along the way – that I would have missed otherwise. That’s what make the decisions hard. I don’t want to miss anything. It’s there that I need to remember that I am…

  • loved by God – whether I go to church biweekly, weekly, monthly, etc. He knows I am plugging into my relationship with Him.
  • called His own. I am even called His daughter, because of Jesus Christ!
  • still me, I am still me, despite illness.

Until next time,

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“The Lord your God is with you,
    the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
    in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
    but will rejoice over you with singing (Zeph. 3:17).”

FMF – Joy

Five-Minute-Friday-4-300x300Welcome to this week’s edition of Five Minute Friday! This week’s theme is “joy”. FMF is a weekly online gathering of writers where we write for five unedited minutes. To learn more about Five Minute Friday, please visit Kate’s blog for more details…

After two decent health days, I am back to any motion of standing trying to bring me down like a deck of cards (which apparently means I rather skip dinner than stand again…). It’s been weeks of feeling like this. Nonstop almost, or so it seems. I could scream. I could verbally share my frustrations with the world, or even manipulate my facebook account into sending out word weapons in effort to share my true thoughts on the subject (of standing).

… But, it will not bring me joy.

Joy isn’t a feeling.

It has to be a heart felt response to – yes- our lives, but more than that. Joy is something God is capable of giving us – even when we feel like we are in a place that is quite rough.

Joy is deliberate.

It is found in my mindset, and where those thoughts wander.

It is found in what I choose to do with my time, mind, and energy level – while I sit in captivity and do anything but stand.

. . .

I started writing out the Word of God. As a chronically ill person, I have quantities of time available. But, that’s not my identity. My identity is wrapped up in my Savior, not these moments where I sit on my bed wondering what to do with myself for the rest of the day… God is where the joy is found.

I have been trying to write out the Word of God, in these moments. It’s a new habit I am forming. It allows me to get to know my Abba Father on a much more intimate level. This is where the joy is found.

While standing is not anything joyful, God is present in the storm. God is the One strengthening my body as I rise, and giving my heart the courage to stand.

God is the One giving me courage and joy, in midst of heartache.

While our trials don’t last forever (imagine that!), my God does. Scripture is clear. God endures forever. It is found in Scripture many many times. Just as God endures forever, so does every single one of His attributes – including joy. This is what He gives, He lovingly offers to those who have believed in His Son Jesus Christ and been called into His beautiful family!

During today’s Scripture writing, I came across this verse in 1 Corinthians 1:9.

“God is faithful! God has chosen you to share life with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord!”

I absolutely love this verse. Jesus is my forever companion, and that is where my joy is found!

Jesus is my full-time Companion who walks with me during the storm, and brings with Him joy to be available to me.

I really enjoyed Andrew’s guest post on Five Minute Friday. Be sure to check out his post.

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When Our Strength Runs Out {{Five Loaves and Two Fish}}

(Disclaimer: I am referring to chronic illness, but God wants to take every single symptom of every single problem we have…. and do something incredible in the midst of the stuff of our lives. Will we allow Him to?)

Sometimes, it isn’t about the pretty little filters, make-up, or hair products used in effort to disfigure the symptoms…

It is just about getting up for another day and giving it all you got.

Trusting God to stretch what you do have available.

Trusting Him to take the “five loaves and two fish” of our strength, hope, and best laid plans… And stand… And watch Him multiply it in crazy amounts.

Amounts that go beyond anything we could ever imagine.

All because we chose to give it to Him. To Jesus.

To Jesus, I give this day.
To Jesus, I give my strength.

I know, in Mark, Jesus is multiplying actual fish and loaves of bread. But, one problem we have – is our ability to limit God. The God we envision is not the God we see and come to experience in the Bible.

God wants to do so much more in our lives, friends! He wants us to enable us to use His power, which we are given access to from the moment we say “yes” to Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, to overcome all kinds of crazy obstacles!

What would happen in our lives, if we would give God our little bit? Even though it is “five loaves and two fish,” what if we gave it over to God as our genuine offering? How could that not only be transformed into something more, but it could be an instrument in our love relationship with Jesus Christ?

The truth is – God wants to give us far more than we have settled for!

Life has a way of turning everything upside down, and we just want the roller coaster to settle down. So, we settle. But, we need to keep our spiritual ears open to what God could do in our midst.

Let’s read and soak up the truth found in this Scripture –

“Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he kept giving the bread to the disciples so they could distribute it to the people. He also divided the fish for everyone to share. They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftover bread and fish. A total of 5,000 men and their families were fed (Mark 6:41-44).”

This passage of Scripture offers us beautiful hope!

God can take our little, and make it into so much more. But, we have to come to Him. We have to come to Jesus. Bring our little to Jesus, and share it with Him!

We will come away with Jesus, gaining far more than we had when we first came to Him. What are we waiting for?

Five Minute Friday – Easy

Five-Minute-Friday-4-300x300Last week, I had to skip over our FMF time. I was having a really hard week, and the writing prompt was the word – easy. Needless to say, I wasn’t feeling it. The last few weeks have been hard. This is the part that Annie overlooks when singing about the sun coming out… I didn’t feel like I had anything to share about “easy”.

However, I do – today. As a sufferer of chronic illness, I want to share a tool that has made my life easier.

Before I jump in to the one tool that has made my life easy, I want to share some information on Five Minute Friday. Each week, writers join together to write on a given prompt. Following our writings, we can come together and share on each other’s blogs. To learn more about FMF, click here. I have cherished each week I can join in this life-giving community!

My Mobile Tool –

A few years ago, I bought a beanbag on a whim. Turns out to be one of the best purchases I could make, for living a better life with chronic illness. It has really helped me in learning to live with Dysautonomia and POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome). One of my chief complaints (symptom-wise) is fatigue and body weakness.

For these purposes, the beanbag helps. With Dysautonomia, a person’s energy level can fluctuate from low to extremely low. This is where my beanbag steps in. It helps with that. It’s so nice to not worry about trying to hold/carry things – in order to use my laptop or begin my Bible study. I can use my beanbag to help me do every day tasks more functionally.

How I Use It?

It is my mobile desk. I can use it to lay in bed, and do my Bible study. Or, use my laptop. It is huge, for helping me to be able to write. I can use it as a place to set my food, if I need to. That way, I am less likely to fumble and drop food everywhere in my room (it has happened, and it’s a nightmare to try and clean up on low energy).

It is my foot rest. It has become very helpful, in helping me to keep my legs elevated during the day and at night. With POTS, keeping legs elevated in helpful in reducing symptoms and taking care of my body.

I can sit on it. Not so hidden use for the beanbag, I know. ::Smiles::

Best Part –

It’s portable and light-weight, so I can grab-and-go. 

Even if I am low on energy, I can still grab and go. My beanbag doesn’t have to stay in my room. If I want to go hang out on the living room floor with a coloring book, note book, laptop, etc, I am free to do so. So, for me, my beanbag offers me something else – freedom.

Provision –

God has definitely provided by giving me my beanbag. It makes a big difference, especially on the days of body weakness. I don’t have to try to hold things on my lap – because I can use my beanbag to set my laptop, books, Bible, notebook, or food on.

It’s inexpensive (we paid between $10-20), but it gets used sooo much!! (Not a day goes by, where it is not utilized in some way.)

It makes my life soo much easier, just by adding a beanbag into my daily life routine.

What makes your life easier, when you begin to struggle with low energy and carrying things?