Today I Stand Victorious

Today I stand victorious!
For You, my God, have saved me.
Today I stand victorious!
For You have lead me through the valley.
In every tear I cried,
You were right by my side.
In every darkest night,
You never left me.
And every pain I felt,
And every storm I faced,
In this You gave me grace,
For You have used them to shape me.
Though there were times of doubt,
Though there were times of fear,
You were always working—
Working within me.
Today I stand victorious!
For you, my God, have saved me.
Today I stand victorious!
For you have lead me through the valley.
Written on 6/9/17 by LymeDiseaseWarrior
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Return to Me My Little Sheep

An original song written by LymeDiseaseWarrior on October 3rd, 2011. 

Return to Me My Little Sheep

Return to me, my little sheep—
You who wandered away.
Come back to my path,
Come back to my light,
Let me lead you again.

Return to me, my little sheep—
You who thought your way was better.
But now you are not satisfied,
You have no joy in your made-up life;
Come back to me who gave life.

Return to me, my little sheep—
I have missed you while you were gone,
I miss our talks, I miss your walk,
I want you here by my side,
Come back, you who are lost.

Return to me, my little sheep—
I love you, and I want you near,
I promise you that you do not want
To continue on the path you are on;
Run back to the path I have chosen for you.

Oh foolish one, I made you to serve me;
In nothing else can you be happy—
It is your purpose,
In this you can only find joy,

Return to me my little sheep.

Your Ways Are Higher Than Mine

I wrote this song on September 8th, 2012.  I was away at college, growing more ill by the day.  I started to face the harsh reality that I would soon be forced to drop out and move back home, unable to cope with my classes and unable live on my own.  In a moment of reflective prayer I wrote this song as a prayer, submitting myself to God’s will. 

Your Ways are Higher Than Mine

I may not know the plans You have for my life;

I may find myself frustrated at this time;

But I know that You truly love me,

And Your ways are higher than mine.

Though some days I may face pain unbearable,

Though I feel that I simply cannot carry on;

I know You will provide the strength to follow,

You will hold me in Your loving arms.

And no tear I cry goes unnoticed by Your eye,

And the pain I feel, though great, You are aware of;

And though times are hard and days may be difficult;

I know Your ways are higher than mine.

My plans may have to be changed, to make room for Yours,

And I may have to go through pain and weakness,

But I know Your plans are far greater than my own,

And in my life Your purpose will be shown.

And so,

Even though it hurts to go the path You have laid for me;

Even though it may not be what I would have chosen;

I will submit, so lovingly, because I have the notion,

That Your ways are higher than mine.

 

Lessons from Illness: I Don’t Make the Plans

As teenagers we often feel invincible.  Our bodies are surging with new-found strength and beauty, we feel older and like adults, but our minds haven’t had time to catch up yet.  I was no different.  At the age of fifteen I had my whole life ahead of me!  I got carried away dreaming about all the wonderful things I was going to do in life.

I didn’t often think about after life.  About the fact that my life is not eternal, my days will not stretch on forever.  The day will come when my eyes will close for the last time.  My spirit will leave my body and I will go to my eternal destination, which I know to be Heaven because I have trusted in the sacrifice Christ made on the cross to pay the debt I owed for my sins.  And then, what of my earthly life will matter?  All those years spent following my own pursuits.  What will it count for?

One day when I was fifteen I woke up to face excruciating pain all over my body.  I may not have been dead, but I felt like I was dying.  And indeed, I was!  Slowly, over the next five years the bacteria I had contracted continued to ravage my body.  At times I was constrained to my bed for weeks, other times I felt almost normal; but never did I recover.  At first I struggled with anger and depression.  I was facing the fact that none of the dreams I had would be realized, (they couldn’t be accomplished from a sickbed).  After determining to have a useful life in which I would change the world, I suddenly found myself useless.  With each new symptom that came, my depression grew worse.  “What’s the point of all this?”  Ultimately, I was angry with God.  Angry that He should cancel my plans for my life.  Angry that the fun-filled life I was having had been replaced by the most boring, aggravating, frustrating, life I could ever have hated.  But as the weeks stretched to months and then years; God worked on my heart.  He worked in each symptom, each sleepless night, each hopeless feeling, and ultimately changed my heart.

Here’s what I learned:

I learned that God is leading me every day, through the good days and the bad.  He has an ultimate plan for my life.  And while I may not understand it, and I may not always see where we are going, I can trust that He is working in me and through me.

Proverbs 16:9 A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps. (NIV)

Psalm 25:5 Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou are the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.  

Psalm 31:3 For thou are my rock and my fortress, therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me.  

As I submitted myself to God’s will for my life and ‘allowed’ Him to lead me, it became more and more of a comfort to know that someone was in control and there was meaning in this seeming chaos.  In my moments of confusion, in my moments of feeling overwhelmed, I would cry to the Lord, knowing He was in control.

Psalm 61:2 From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. 

Psalm 145:18 The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.

Now that I am recovered from Lyme Disease, I can look back on my time with Lyme and I can see how God has used suffering to shape me into who I am today.  I am wiser, more patient and kind.  I have a deep empathy for the suffering of others.  I appreciate my life and see beauty in the simplest things.  I would not be who I am today were it not for those experiences.

Psalm 32:8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. 

Philippians 2:13 It is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. (NIV)

Psalm 16:7 I will praise the Lord who counsels me, even at night my heart instructs me. (NIV)

Proverbs 2:6-9 For the Lord grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest. He is a shield to those who walk with integrity. He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to him. Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair, and you will find the right way to go.” (NLT)

May you find comfort in knowing that God is in control, and He is making the plans for your life.

Have a blessed day,

-LymeDiseaseWarrior

lymelightfight@gmail.com

My dear readers,

I am walking through a bit of a difficult time.  My joint pain continues to plague me, sometimes at high levels.  Not every day, but much more often than I would like.

Mh husband thinks it is stress induced and be could very well be right.  We are trying to get pregnant,  but we are not pregnant.  Its been a year now, and in that year it feels like every couple except for us is having a baby, sometimes a second or third.

Last month I was so convinced I was pregnant. I had all the symptomatic signs and my period was even late several days.  But three pregnancy tests and eventually my period made it clear that we were not yet having a baby.

I had been so careful to focus on the moment, to enjoy my life with my husband and not think about babies.  But when i was so sure, i had ket myself dream of the possibility.  I made nursery plans and thougbt about names, imaging how wonderful it woild be to hold in my arms a sweet child of my own.  But it was not to be. Not yet, that is.  I hope.

We are praying together, encouraging each other, and doimg what we can medically.

We would covet your prayers at this time, for our hearts and for a baby, if God wills.

Thank you,

Lynediseasevictor

 

He is Always There

An original song written in 2012 by LymeDiseaseWarrior

He is Always There

When everything is stripped away
And you feel as though no one is left
God is still there.

In your moments of desperation
In all your agony and fear
Out-springs your sweetest hours of prayer.

When you’ve gone as far as you can go
And you collapse onto the ground,
You gain the opportunity
To be carried in His arms.

When your pursuits fail
When you use up your resources,
Then joy will abound as God
Reaches down to pour out
From His abundant riches.

When the path ahead is cloudy
And you can no longer see to guide yourself
Profound comfort is yours
As you follow His rod and His light

When faced with a choice
That determines your course,
You never have to worry.
God is beside,
With your interest in mind,
He will open the doors
And close them.

He really does love you,
It may be hard to comprehend.

You may be one among a thousand,
And yet—
He knows your name.
He knows your every day.
He planned your life.
He chose you.

Not for anything you had to give—
You had nothing.

Not for anything you did or would do—
You can do nothing.

Not for any reason we would choose someone—
He simply chose you.

And He died for you.

And He longs for you.

And He loves you.

 

 

College with a Chronic Illness Part II: Preparing to Go

college chronic ilness.jpg

A while back I started a series of posts about surviving college while dealing with a chronic illness.  It’s time to pick that series up again, with tips on how to survive and succeed at a college despite having a chronic illness.  It’s time to set up some strategies ahead of time in order to better prepare you to not only survive, but thrive at college!

1. Know Your Enemy

If you’ve been a good sicky, then you’ve already studied the illness you have.  But before you head off to college, it’s important that you study up on your own specific condition.  Know the various triggers that cause flare ups, know how you react to stress.  If you’re aware of how your body reacts to things, then you won’t panic when your body aches more during finals, and you can be more prepared to combat it.

2. Think Ahead

Decide ahead of time how much you want to share and when, how you might approach the subject of your illness, how you might deal with questions about it that might come up.  In most situations you’ll be able to play it by ear, but having some basic guidelines for yourself can help prevent over-sharing and under-sharing.  You don’t want to clam up and alienate yourself, because you might hit a wall and need help later on. But you might not want to be pitied by everyone on campus.

3. Study the School

Study the school before you get to it.  Learn about their special foods program (if any) and about the accommodations available for any disabilities you might have.  Learn the typical weather you’ll face, the temperatures you’ll endure, the terrain of the campus, etc.  The more you know about the campus, the better prepared you’ll be to overcome any obstacles!

4. Put Your Ear to the Rail

Talk with the students there and learn about the professors, the classes, and the majors.  Learn which classes to take, and which to skip.  Find out which professors are tough, easy, generous, understanding, difficult, etc.  Learn the campus secrets, for example: lunch sacks from the cafeteria!  Saved my life.

5. Bring Your Wheels

Don’t do a traditional backpack.  It will kill your knees, your back, and your neck. It will sap your energy and you simply won’t have any to spare.  So go out and buy a rolling backpack.  It will save you in ways you can’t imagine.  Make sure it’s waterproof if the college you chose is in a rainy location.

6. Start Networking

Most schools have a student website or Facebook page where you can already start to connect with people before you even hit the campus.  Talk to your family and friends. Do you have relatives in that area?  Old family friends?  Perhaps they can be an open home for you to take a break from campus.  A network will be a lifeline if you start to struggle.  Friends can step in to offer rides to the store, a relative Ca provide a home cooked meal, etc.

7. Get to know the Nurse

Introduce yourself to the nurse, health center, or first aid center. Let them know what you will need or may need in an emergency situation.  They will be thankful for the heads up on your needs and can be a great guide for what resources are available to you on campus and in the immediate area.

8. Buy Your Books in advance

Buy your books in advance and start reading them.  An illness can cause one to fall behind very quickly so avoid that by getting a jump start where you can.  Download your syllabi ahead of time to find the reading requirements.  You can even get started on projects ahead of time.

9. Contact your professors

Email your professors ahead of time to introduce yourself.  Let them know if you have limitations such as a learning disability, or if your treatments will require you to miss several classes, etc.  Your professor should be kind enough to work with you on making a plan to help you succeed.  If he is cold and unbending, you’ll still have time to switch classes.  If you do need something special, like a moment away to step away and take your meds or extra time on tests, but you don’t communicate it ahead of time, your professor may assume that you are skipping class or not studying hard enough.

Many schools will have a disability office that can help determine what accommodations would be best suited for your needs.   Look into it.

10. Pack Well

Don’t show up with just the clothes on your back.  Bring layers of clothing, food, a mattress topper, extra pillows, a medicine cabinet, extra of all toiletries, etc.  Anything you can think of that helps you overcome your condition should be on the packing list.

Is there anything you would add to this list of tips?
-LymeDiseaseWarrior
lymelightfight@gmail.com
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