How Illness has Affected Me

I don’t often talk about the illnesses I live with but for today I am. Before I became ill, I was an active mum and minister. I enjoyed taking the boys out on walks in the woods, countryside, and fields. I loved watching them explore and we always brought home acorns, twigs, pine cones, etc. in little sandwich bags. I enjoyed working with children. I loved planning programmes and crafts and then spending time getting to know the children in our church. I taught Sunday School, Junior Soldiers, worked at summer camps, etc. I also enjoyed teaching/preaching. I am more a teacher than a preacher.

I was quite active with all these things until 2010 when my life changed. I had sinus surgery in March and then later that year I had swine flu. This was also the year I became a British citizen and went to Brengle Holiness Retreat. 2010 was a great year in many ways despite the surgery and illness.

I began to feel exhausted anytime I did something. If I did a programme at church, I had to rest for a day or two to get over just doing the one programme. Then my back began hurting all the time, little did I know then how much that would affect me now.

In 2011, we moved from Kendal to Gateshead. I still was always tired, not able to think straight and just simply had to rest a whole lot. I wasn’t diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome/M.E. until 2012 because frankly, I did not want to waste the GP’s time. I just thought I needed to get over it and move on.  I was told then I should really take some time off to help myself to get better. However, I worked for an extra year until I literally could not do it anymore. I had to stop because my body was not cooperating.

I went off work on the sick in December 2013. Doing this completely changed my life. I had to learn to pace myself in everything I did. I learnt that I needed to rest more often than I liked, for example having to have a nap everyday just so I can the energy to do the simple things I do. I began to get into a routine.

Then, pain set in. I was having pain in my lower back.  I was finding it harder and harder to walk. I went to the pain clinic to try to figure out what was causing my pain. I was diagnosed with facet joint syndrome- basically arthritis in the lumbar joints on the sides of the spine between the vertebrae. I was also diagnosed with fibromyalgia due to the intense nerve and muscle pain throughout my body. I got to the point that in 2014 I ended up having to have a wheelchair to get around outside the house, as I was totally confined. To add to this, I have Vitamin D deficiency, asthma (18 years), psoriasis (10 years), and anxiety/depression (16 years).

There have been many emotions to deal with through all of the changes. I have gone through stages of grief of who I once was, what I used to do, and just how life has changed. I have had to learn to depend on others, which has been one of the hardest things to do. I need helping getting dressed, drying after a shower, etc. I can no longer cook, clean, or do things spontaneously. I have struggled with loneliness, frustration, anger, etc.

Yet, I have not been able to go through this alone. My Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, has been my Rock and my strength. I also have an amazing husband, Mark, who really does a fab job of looking after me and the boys. He is indeed a blessing from God and I am so glad God chose him for me.

I have found that my faith has grown stronger in the Lord in these days. I have more time to pray and to study the Word than ever before. I am grateful for the sacred moments. In the midst of the physical pain, I listen to worship music and use my creative talents to create cards and crafts. I knit prayer shawls, blankets, toys, etc. for other people. So, I keep myself busy, just in different ways.

People have challenged my faith saying that my faith isn’t strong as if it were I would be healed. I find that it’s greater faith to live through all of this with joy and hope than it does to be healed. I never would have guessed how God would use me for his glory despite of my limitations.

I enjoy praying for other people. I have seen answers to prayers, which is a blessing and a bonus. I enjoy creating things for people, it gives me delight to know someone is blessed by something I made them.

My prayer is God will use me in any way he desires all the time. I am determined to be positive and give God the glory despite of the circumstances. I have learnt to give thanks and pray in all circumstances. I desire to have a joyful spirit that is contagious for others to catch.

No matter what the future holds, God is in control. I surrender all to him. God is my everything. Jesus is Lord. The Holy Spirit lives in me. My life is secure in his hands. I am truly blessed.

I hold on to the following verses each day to get me through:

Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines;
even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! The Sovereign Lord is my strength!He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights. -Habakkuk 3:17-19

My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever. -Psalm 73:26

For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior.He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” -Zephaniah 3:17

Always be joyful.  Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. -1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. -1 Corinthians 12:9

The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;
therefore, I will hope in him!” -Lamentations 3:22-24

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2 thoughts on “How Illness has Affected Me

  1. Reblogged this on Shepherdess' Sermons and commented:
    I’m sharing this as Shepherdess for the King is my friend (and I didn’t know you had a ‘Shepherdess’ blog! And also because ME is one of my diagnoses too, which has prevented me from pursuing my calling too. I have been told by two other pentecostal friends this week that I mustn’t say that I’m ill, because saying it makes me ill. I utterly reject such simplistic thinking. And no, it’s not because we lack faith that we’re being tried in the furnace of infirmity. Please, please have more compassion and kindness than to say such things to sick Christians. Blessings, Shepherdess x

    Like

    1. ShepherdessfortheKing

      Thank you for your kind words. I don’t understand why people tend to say we lack faith. But we know the truth. The truth sets us free in our spirits. God is in control and I keep leaning on him. Praise the Lord he knows inside and out and he cares for us. He hides us under the shadow of his wings. God bless you my dear sister xx

      Liked by 1 person

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