Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Survival Mode is Exhasting

Survival Mode is Exhausting
I remember this time last year when I knew that spine surgery was inevitable.
My husband and I knew that everything else on the daily “to do” list would have to be put on the back burner.  We called it “survival mode”.  House is messy.  Laundry is behind.  Dinner is peanut butter and honey sandwiches AGAIN. Time with friends was impossible. And as far as serving in any ministry…well, we were our own ministry. We just needed to focus on my health and getting through surgery and on to wellness.  We just need to all survive.  And only top priority could matter.

When the time came for me to gear up for surgery…My amazing husband kicked into FULL throttle Super Husband, Super Dad, Super Cook, Super Maid…He was juggling it all.  I cannot tell you how grateful I am to have him as mine J   He is tough yet sensitive.  He focused on work and home.  Never stopping until late at night when he would get a little sleep and then get up early and start all over again.  I heard a message last week about how our works on earth are rewarded in Heaven.  That man is gonna have one massive crown waiting on him.  :)
Funny thing, Im almost a year post surgery and I feel that we are still in survival mode.  Wellness HAS come to me in some ways … but I grieve its absence in many others ways.  By now, I was supposed to be Super Woman.  I was supposed to be hiking with my kids and riding bikes in the park.  Enjoying my career. Serving in ministry. Meeting the needs of my husband and children.  ALL PAIN FREE, might I add.  The house is supposed to be spotless and dinner is supposed to be planned.  But, here I am. Stuck in survival mode.  It is better – don’t get me wrong.  But this chapter is far from over. 

I'm desperately trying to keep my chin up with being my own health advocate.  The days of going to one doctor and getting answers are over.  Being sent to a Specialist is good.  Until your physical problem is not diagnosed in their field.  BUT when you hear the words, “we could TRY to fix it this way”…and “spine surgery” in the same sentence your heart sinks.  Truth is.  No one can tell me where my pain is coming from.  Having another back surgery that “MIGHT FIX IT” just doesn’t sound appealing to me.

Honestly. Today.  I just wanted to quit.  It’s the ugly truth.  But after my cry-fest, I realized that if I am going to get better, it’s going to be because of something that I actually do.  Better said – “Something that God leads me to do.” 

I’ve been recently challenged to ask God what HE wants me to do each day in my pursuit of wellness.  I’m weaving God and Wellness together.  Realizing that wellness will not exist in my body without HIM.   He is showing me IN A HUGE WAY that this plan is His.  He is teaching me to ask Him for wisdom and understanding, He is placing great people in my path to be His example in this pursuit.  He is doing this Just for me.  Cause He loves me like dat!

I was kind of leaving Him out of that part.  I was doing what I was supposed to be doing as far as surgeons orders.  But my thoughts didn’t go past that.

So, here I am…still in survival mode. Only it looks a little different.  Less stress on my husband.  My pain level isn’t as bad as it was a year ago, so I am able to do more around the house.  I went back to work for a while…but pain kicked up terribly.  Pain has robbed me of my career.  It still robs me of doing a lot for my family.  It robs me of truth too.  Pain is Satan’s favorite tool for lying to me.  I am aware of that. (The jig is up Devil!)

So, Im not sure what the next step is in my wellness…but I at least know that it is THE NEXT step.  Quitting is still not an option. And, I may still be in survival mode…but, at least Im surviving. Right?

So, tomorrow, I will get up out of my bed, put my big girl pants on and God and I will figure Tuesday out.

The goal is to thrive…not just survive.   This scripture is perfect food for my soul tonight:
I am the vine, you are the branches

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Discouraged. Now what? #chasing100

So, I’m a little discouraged this evening.  
No reason to hide it. 
Why do we do that? 
I mean, it is good to internally process our emotions, right?  
It is good to let the personal “filter” do its job.  No reason to speak without processing. 
After all, this is a part of emotional intelligence.  
But, isn't it odd how we feel the need to keep the raw, real, discouragement to ourselves? 
I rarely show that part. (Ok…with exception of my loving Superman husband and a couple of friends that I have way too much on for them to ever let my brokenness truly be revealed. But that is their job, right? LOL.)

I’m learning a lot in my wellness journey.
Trying hard to get physical pain under control from spine issues including a spine surgery and get on with my very blessed life.
It is a process.
A physical process and a spiritual process.
And as much as I like having all the answers to my questions, the truth is that sometimes the answers are difficult to find. 
Maybe they are even non-existent on this side of Heaven.
Hard truth to ponder.
But, something in me keeps chasing. 
Something in me keeps feeding the hunger to gain knowledge and understanding.
To research. 
To make better health choices. 
To encourage others.
To beat this.

I tend to shut down when I am discouraged.
I am an emotional blocker.  At times, it just becomes exhausting to talk to anyone.
Prayer and reading my Bible are shoved to the side.
Not sure why.  I’m just drained.
It is damaging. I am aware that I am missing out by choosing my rut over God and still, at times, I do nothing about it.  It can go on for days. 

I am blessed in knowing that He understands though.  
He loves me unconditionally. 
It is this Love that ultimately lifts me out of the pit.
(Psalm 40: 1-3 I waited and waited and waited for God. At last he looked; finally he listened. He lifted me out of the ditch, pulled me from deep mud. He stood me up on a solid rock to make sure I wouldn’t slip. He taught me how to sing the latest God-song, a praise-song to our God. More and more people are seeing this: they enter the mystery, abandoning themselves to God)

If there is anything God is pointing out to me lately…it is that it is NECESSARY to bring Him into my wellness journey. 
I mean REALLY bring Him into it.
Canned spiritual answers from years of doing “the church thing” is not enough.
(It never was.)
So…here it is…Although it has taken me all day to get to this point (and that is ok!), I’m taking this moment of discouragement to my True Personal Trainer.
The God who says that I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  
He understands every cell that makes up my entire body…even my spine and every muscle and joint in it.  So, I sit here and think…and I process…and finally read His Word. 
And, He begins to help me start to understand a little more.

Along with listening to the Spiritual Cheerleaders that God has recently put in my path. I’ve been reading the book of Proverbs.  I mean Solomon chose wisdom over EVERYTHING.  
He personally asked God for it and it was granted to him!  What a smart man!!  
Wisdom and knowledge are the keys to getting through day to day situations. 
To hear truth is one thing…but to understand it and put the truth into practice is essential for our growth in everything we face in life.  In researching a little on Proverbs, one article states “Many of the eternal truths in the Bible have to be carefully mined, like gold deep underground. The book of Proverbs, however, is like a mountain stream littered with nuggets, just waiting to be picked up.”   
The prayer that popped in my mind:  ‘Oh God, let this be true in my life, as I pick up these nuggets of truth and apply them to my daily life. Help me to ASK YOU for wisdom for MY journey.’

Recently, I have gained the understanding that my wellness journey is not going to look like the journey of others.  My diet.  My exercise.  My recovery from spine surgery. My physical/spiritual wellness.   It is MINE.  It is SPECIFIC.  God knows me better than I know myself.  
I must ask Him for wisdom about myself.  
How does HE want me to approach all these areas?  
I’ve prayed, don’t get me wrong.  
But, I have to seek Him in this.  
So, I am.

In my reading tonight, I chose The Message version.  I like the message version because it gives me a new approach to scripture.  Like hearing it for the first time. No way of reading over the words because they might be familiar from hearing them before.    
I read:
     Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
     don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
     Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
     He’s the one who will keep you on track. Proverbs 3: 5-12

When I paralleled The Message version of the Bible to the NIV

I read:
     Trust in the Lord with all your heart
     and lean not on your own understanding;
     in all your ways submit to him,
     and he will make your paths straight.

The same scripture that our Pastor made come to life last Sunday at church. Isn’t it amazing how God just worked in my life tonight?
Hear I am … seeking…and being changed.
Pulled out of my pit, once again.
Encouraged to do it again tomorrow.
Because when I seek Him…I find Him…every time.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart by MessyHeartStudio on Etsy