When You Finally Break Through

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I’ll be the first to admit it, 2015 started out awful, it had a great high with the writer’s conference. After that, my stability was chipped to pieces. It was the worst year of my chronic pain and illnesses, I was going from doctor to doctor, each one swearing they knew how to fix it. I was let down, multiple times, by people who I had loved and trusted, who were close to me and I was more vulnerable. My depression was at an all-time high and I was asking doctors to refer me to a psychologist because I realized that I needed some professional help.

Suicidal thoughts swarmed my brain and I came to the sad conclusion in my last post that I may never be well again. When I said so to my boyfriend, thankfully, he believed for me that I would be well when I couldn’t even believe it myself. I felt abandoned by people and couldn’t understand why God couldn’t just throw some healing my way from the sky. But it was all in good time if it hadn’t been for the journey, if it hadn’t been for all of the pain physically and mentally, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

I wouldn’t have met all the other wonderful people who are fighting their own battles and we do all have our own battles to fight. I wouldn’t have learned to depend on God, instead of doctors and medications.

My dermatologist told me up front that he didn’t care about my pain, it was the last time I went to see him.

The pain management doctor that I believed could truly make a difference ended up causing a chronic migraine that lasted for two and a half MONTHS. When that didn’t work, he told me to exercise an hour a day, 6 days a week. And not to come back until I could do that for three months.

My rheumatologist told me just keep on working at my job, I told her I had already lost it from not even being able to walk.

On top of my pain, the chronic migraine and nausea limited what I could eat and it was a struggle just to find things that wouldn’t make me feel sick.

Then, just when I had given up, just when I thought that pain was forever. I got a comment on my last post, telling me to look into a holistic doctor and I did some research and found one. He wasn’t anti-medication, but going over things we realized how many medications had caused issues which led to my depression which led to me feeling worse and having more trouble sleeping in an endless loop.

One night when I was still awake at 7 am after a night of struggling to sleep, I saw a friend posting about how well she had slept, how her chronic pain was going down. I inquired about it and looked into Plexus. It wasn’t some miracle drug that just cures all your diseases, but it does help regulate your body systems and at this point I felt like my body was falling apart. Instead of grasping at straws, this time, I sat down and prayed about it and asked God to provide the money for me to get it. I also talked about it with my holistic doctor.

Within 5 days of taking it, my sleep had improved and my migraine had gone away for the first time in two and half months. I felt better on the inside, more peaceful, not so depressed, almost happy. Truly happy for the first time in a long time, not because my situation had changed, but just because I felt better on the inside.

I realized just how badly my body had suffered on the inside from all of the medications that I had been on and yes, all of my poor food choices beforehand. I could really only blame so much on the medications themselves.

After seven years of chronic illnesses and pain, I finally had a break through.

I’ve been taking it for almost a month now and the changes inside my body have been phenomenal. I wish that more doctors would tell people about natural changes and supplements that can help our bodies to recover, but I also take responsibility for not looking into it sooner myself.

My chronic pain is not completely gone, I still have a mild bit of pain in my back. But it is nothing like it was before, I have much more energy every day, I’ve said goodbye to chronic fatigue! I sleep deeply at night again and don’t keep waking up. I’ve been losing tons of inches around my waist, suicidal thoughts no longer cloud my mind, everything is clear again and some days I feel like I’m in a dream compared to where I was last year.

Before I started Plexus, I had come off all of my medications for Fibromyalgia under the guidance of doctors, not on my own. I am now only taking Synthroid, for my hypothyroidism, and a medication for migraine prevention. Otherwise, I’m just taking my supplements and feeling happy and healthy. My body has almost fully recovered to the point where I feel I can exercise again.

Most importantly, I feel like I can live again.

I wanted to share this because I would not have known about this as an option if someone had not shared it with me. I thank God every day for helping to guide me, providing for me and for starting out 2016 with so much positivity and hope. I’m thankful for everyone who believed for me to be well when I couldn’t believe it myself.

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I know that Plexus is not a cure for diseases, but what it does for the inside of your body is truly amazing. I didn’t try out Plexus originally for the weight loss, I just knew my body was really messed up and could definitely use help with regulating everything. I take the Tri-Plex and Xfactor, along with 1000mg extra Vitamin D, as was suggested to me by my holistic doctor, and 1000mg calcium a day.

I have learned the importance of taking care of our bodies and every day I’m making smarter food choices, it’s like a load has been lifted off of my mind. All that time I was chasing after different medications to try, what I really should have been focusing on was giving my body the tools it needed to fight back and slowly heal the damage done.

I know this was a long post, but I haven’t updated for a while and had a lot to get off of my mind, thanks for reading through to the end!  God bless! ❤ Thank you to everyone who was still supporting my blog while I was away.

Deeper Still

You are never alone

The past few weeks have been traumatic to say the least. I’ve still been recovering from the blow that this may be my reality for the rest of my life. I’ve always clung to the thought of being better one day, somehow. Once that slipped away from me, I wasn’t sure what to do and my depression came back in waves.

The gripping truth of the matter settled heavily on my mind, my pain went from bad to worse and I couldn’t even write for a while. I asked my physical therapist about it and she gave me a few things to help strengthen my hands, but with how rainy it’s been my pain has just gone into overdrive. They said it’s normal for pain like mine.

Some days I feel like I don’t understand, it seems like as soon as I conquer one part of living with chronic pain and illness something else comes that totally throws me for a spin.

Being unable to write for the short amount of time left me alone with my thoughts (when I wasn’t going vegetable mode watching Netflix) and I realized it is the way we grow. We struggle with the storm and as I talked about in a previous post, sometimes we may even learn to keep our eyes on Jesus and walk on water.

The trials of the world seemed like they were finally underneath me and I had a grip on a much larger reality than myself. But the storm got bigger and I felt God pulling me further and further out to sea, away from all my safety nets. Even writing was unavailable to me for a while, I had no way to vent my emotions and I fell. Drowning in the sea of troubles.

I couldn’t find myself.

All I saw was darkness and despair, all I felt was that my hope was ridiculous and I drowned. It was as though I had cracked but couldn’t repair myself this time, but slowly, surely over the past few weeks I felt Jesus reaching out his hand and I finally took it. Pulling me above my thoughts, above my pain, above my frustrations and now I take a tentative step forward.

I’m not used to being a water walker and I’m sure with the next big disappointment that comes my way, I may forget who I am and start to drown again. But I also know, when you feel like absolutely nobody else in the world feels precisely how you do at this moment, you are never alone. He’s always walking with us, guiding us and comforting us.

Taking us deeper still, to painful, yet beautiful, places we have never been before.

Here’s a song that resonated with me while I was going through:

Faith and Works

faith and worksMy mind is ultimately the greatest battle that I face daily. It can shred me to pieces if I allow it. Or it can build me up and give me the strength that I need to keep on smiling and encouraging others. There are times when even with all that I have learned about focusing on taking care of myself and depending on God, that the thoughts of what can I do? Still flood my mind.

I’ve been doing physical therapy over a month now, sometimes it goes so slow it’s frustrating. At times I feel like I’m going backwards, my knees have improved but everything else still hurts and my back hurts even worse than it did before. But then there’s the topic of money, sometimes I spend so much time worrying about where it’s going to come from next or how I’m going to make it. I spent half a day worrying about something I had no control over when it resolved itself, without me doing anything.

Although at the time I was freaking out and looking at culinary jobs (knowing I would only make myself 100 times worse), all I really needed to do was be patient. That’s the hardest thing for me to do at this point of my life.

I keep putting things in God’s hands and then pulling it back out to see if I can do something with it in the meantime. I still try to reanalyze and figure out the balance of faith and works, but here’s what I have realized:

Work as hard as possible on what God has given you to do.

Don’t overstep into the things that God is already working on, just do what you can with the strength that you can. There are things that we can’t force to work, but we simply have to believe, have faith and pray continuously.

God is infinitely bigger than whatever we go through, although at times doubt may flood our minds even when we are following along doing the things that we are supposed to be doing, it is okay. It’s up to us to push it back down, to take control of our mind and thoughts and let them know that there is a plan. That we will overcome.

Praise Through the Storm

Job 1 21

I’m tired and weary. The thing about chronic pain is that you never get a break or a day off. It discourages me sometimes, even when I cling on to hope for a better future, I worry about how long it will take to come. On top of the pain, things seem to keep spiraling out of my control. I see prayers being answered left and right for other people I’m praying for, but when it comes to my own issues there’s a significant lack or slowness to the results.

What do I do when I feel like my world is falling apart and nothing is going my way? I read the book of Job.

Now I’m not the type of person who finds comfort that someone else “has it worse than me”. If anything it just makes me feel worse that other people are suffering too. But the curious thing about Job in the Bible, is that when literally everything was going wrong, just because the devil decided to see if he could make Job curse God, he still didn’t blame God for it. He still kept on trusting God.

Job was rich and had tons of children, he had a good life. And in one fell swoop, he lost all of it. His livestock and his children were all killed in one horrifying twist. Even then:

20 At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship 21 and said:

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
    and naked I will depart.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
    may the name of the Lord be praised.”

Job 1:20-21

But that still wasn’t enough for the devil to destroy his life, after that he went back and asked for permission from God to attack Job’s health next and said then Job would curse God, even with Job losing everything and his health in tatters, he still didn’t curse God. In time, God restored everything to Job and more. It always lets me know that even in the darkest of times, there is always hope for complete restoration.

I strive to hold on, even when I can’t understand what God is doing in my life right now. For the first time in a long time, I feel like I’m exactly where God wants me to be in my life. I’m blindly walking out on the water and trusting him to show me the way. I’m believing that the plan he has for my life, for all of our lives, is greater than any of us could ever comprehend.

If we continue to trust him through the storms, if we continue to pray and praise him when we hurt the strongest, when we have no way of knowing how things will work out, or when they will. Then we can all say “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”

Here’s a song I love from Joseph: King of Dreams (a retelling of the story of Joseph) that resonates with how I feel much of the time. It’s called You Know Better Than I:

Change

It won't always be this wayChange is something that I have had to come to terms with. I was never someone who was always happy even when things changed, I was very resistant to change. I would stay within the same friendships simply for fear of change. Toxic or not, I was a people pleaser so I would do whatever was necessary to avoid the change. I dreaded change. I liked things to be organized, I liked to know what was coming and when it was coming.

I had planned my life out neatly.

I would simply obsess over going to school, overachieve, get a great job, and rise up the ladder of whatever career I had chosen. I would rise quickly because I was a hard worker. I could do anything. But then my health changed.

I struggled and I resisted change because all I knew of it was that it was scary and whenever I felt well enough I kept trying to go back to my plans. I kept trying to reorganize my life. Now I recognize life for what it is, a messy disorganized journey that is forever changing.

Jobs change, people change, friendships change, life changes.

Pain changes, the pain stays, seasons come and go. Most importantly, I change. Every time I had to resign from a job I would cry and cry for weeks at least and even now I may still get teary-eyed if I dwell on it too long. Instead with my free time, I started writing again and creating art. I hope to one day open up a little Etsy shop when I have worked out more designs. I realized that while I was resisting and fighting the change, all of it really just resolved itself. I always wanted to be an artist, a writer, and a chef. That is exactly what I am right now. The pain slows me down and limits me some, but really it just makes me put my priorities in order and plan out my days carefully.

Did I get here in the way that I planned? No. Am I making a lot of money right now? Of course not! Change isn’t easy and things don’t work out perfectly by themselves, it takes time. And time is what I have right now, so I’m making the most of it.

Change happens whether we plan on it or not. Not all change is bad change, many changes are actually good. I’ve managed to start taking control of my life and making good changes, emotionally and physically. Sometimes you just have to do your best to look at the bright side and enjoy the day that you’re living right now. This day is full of possibilities. Take it slow and believe that everything will work out.

If you’re going through big or sudden changes in your life, it’s okay. Even when it’s seemingly bad things, just take it one day at a time. Everything happens for a reason and in time good changes will come about too.

Have you ever had a huge change in your life that you never thought you would recover from? Let me know in the comments below.

Letting Go: Walking by Faith

sunset skiesThere are times in our lives when we cry out to God, asking him to turn situations around, begging and pleading for miracles. And sometimes it seems like, he doesn’t hear. In my mind a lot of the time, I would even say that he is late. Long after something has come to a close, then he shows up. Peacefully, in his own time, working things out. I’m very much someone who wants things to be resolved immediately, so I don’t have to worry about them anymore.

There is a story in the Bible of Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha. When he was sick, they sent word to Jesus letting him know. Still, he didn’t go right away and by the time he did arrive, Lazarus was already in the tomb, four days later.

21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” John 11:21-22 NIV

God, if you had just been there. We question him all the time. If you had provided that job. If you had of let that relationship work out. If you had of not let me be wounded. If you hadn’t let it die.

Martha knew that if Jesus had just shown up early, he could have quickly healed Lazarus and been on his way. If you want to read the whole story you can in John 11. But basically, Jesus had a greater plan in mind. He knew either way that Lazarus would live, but many of them there didn’t have faith or even have any idea that he could also raise the dead. They were full of sorrow and doubt and moved by their sorrow, Jesus himself cried with them.

He felt their pain.

And he raised Lazarus from the dead. Even when it seemed to everyone that he was late, that it was too late. That there was no way for it to work out, there was. He knew there was a way.

Sometimes, we can get so caught up in rushing things that we don’t realize that some things have to die. We have to be dead to some things, in order to grow. God can bring life back to situations, relationships, he can restore and heal the pain and wounds of the past. However, there are also some things that he may have to forcibly remove us from. But he is never late even when it doesn’t work out in our timeframe.

We must have faith all the same, we must believe and know that even if a situation seems hopeless or lost to us that it is not lost to him. There are many great things at work in all of our lives, even if we don’t yet see it all or understand, all we need to do is know that he has the power.

And believe.

This has been one of my favorite songs to listen to lately and I thought I would share it with you all. We are all storytellers, the greater the pain and the struggles, the more of a story we will have to share to give hope to others.

Finding Peace

Soul collage, my expectations for a healthy, peaceful future!
Soul collage, my expectations for a healthy, peaceful future!

I had lost my peace. It’s a sad fact, but I did. I was so happy with discovering who I was, I was so sure that everything would work out. That this pain would not be forever. The lack of sleeping has only gotten worse, my head hurts and I try to lay down and sleep but my body hurts too much to even go to sleep. My doctor believes that physical therapy will help relieve some of the pain and I start today. I feel the flickers of hope and I grab on to it tightly.

How did I lose my peace?

I looked at the storm. I looked at the storm and the waves directly, I allowed my joy to be stolen by people. I couldn’t handle the stress that overcame me and I slid over the edge. But before I went all the way, I reached out. I spoke up, I said, I’m not okay. Normally, when people damage my emotions I withdraw, away from everything and everyone and I let the darkness consume my mind. Now I practice release, I let it all out. I can’t afford to hold it in anymore. Not when I’m so close to a breakthrough that I can feel it.

Everything is coming against me stronger than ever, my mind and body are both frazzled, but I can just see the light. I know good things are right around the corner. I know that I can’t give up. I know that no matter what anyone says or does, I know who I am and I know that I am loved.

A lot of people know that Jesus walked on water, but Peter did too. Even though it wasn’t for very long.

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” – Matthew 14:28-30

Like Peter, I became a water walker. I was living strongly by faith and hope and trust. That no matter what storms were going on in my life, I was okay. I could do anything as long as I kept my eyes on Jesus. As I came under attack from those I did not expect it from, I became broken and afraid. In my brokenness, my physical pain intensifies because I can’t quite fight the pain as much as I would like and it’s basically just a mess of emotions and pain. I began to sink.

Lord, save me.

He did save me and he saves me still. I am so blessed, to have a family that loves me as they do. To have my boyfriend, who is also my best friend; who has always been with me through it all and lets me pick out whatever I want to watch on Netflix! I am blessed to have friends who check up on me and during my bad days, they pick me up. I am blessed to have connected with so many new writer friends through the Ragged Edge writer’s conference who support me, understand me, love me and pray for me.

I look at all these blessings in my life and I look away from the storm. I focus on the light, I focus on Jesus. And I’m able to take one more step, I’m able to go one more day. I know that things will get better, it’s really only a matter of time.

Even though we are all locked in the fight right now, the battle is already won.

When we’re overwhelmed by our struggles and by the things that try to drag us down. We can rest assured that as long as we keep on fighting, nothing can stop us.