Lessons of Looking Back - Year after Year
In the first year it started with the excitement of planning a long overdue "getaway" cruise for my husband and I. My thoughts were so fixed on this cruise, the hope of having together time away from home was all that kept me going that year. I had been waiting for time alone with my husband for so long. It had taken a toll on my spirit. I was angry that it took this long to plan a trip like this. I was desperate to rekindle and reconnect with my husband. However, our dog began to walk funny. Within a day he couldn't walk at all. We took him to the doctor, ran some tests which showed he had developed bladder stones. The dog had to have surgery. So our trip was cancelled and sadly, we never went on the cruise.
Following Old Patterns
I learned that I was depending too heavily on an event to make things right. I wasn't focused on improving my relationship with my husband every day, instead I was waiting for a time we could be alone to talk about all that was bottled up inside of me. This is not healthy. God calls us to relationship. He expects us to be open and honest about how we feel. By my holding on to things, I was causing more problems. God opened my eyes to see how I was following my old patterns again. He reminded me of how He had delivered me from dysfunctional.
Next Year - bronchitis
The next year started with me getting a bad case of bronchitis. It was the worst case I had even experienced. It lasted for over four weeks! During this time I thought I would pray more, read more, and maybe write more. That was not the case. In my illness I could barely think, let alone pray, read or write. I slept a lot of the time too.
I had been trying so hard to get my ministry off the ground. I was working full time in corporate workplace. I spent every moment away from corporate focused on writing, posting, or networking on line to get more exposure for the ministry. This down time helped me see that all my efforts are as filthy rags in God's eyes because I wasn't depending on Him.
On the third year, I experienced another physical problem. This one was the onset of fibroids in my uterus, which kept me bleeding for more than 80 days with no relief. This wasn't your typical period. I was going through an entire package of super maxipads a day! I had to change the pad every hour and sometimes twice an hour! It was ridiculous. But that wasn't the worst of it. There was a lot of pain too! The pain actually felt like labor contractions!
This time I did turn to God. I didn't know I had fibroids during the 80 days. I kept praying He would show me what was going on with my body, but no answers came. I called my doctor, but all they told me to do was log what was happening and schedule an appointment next month. Finally, after waiting all those days, the ultrasound confirmed fibroids were the cause. By March I ended up having a hysterectomy.
During this time, God used it to show me just how much my husband loved and cared for me. He bought me fuzzy socks when I was at the hospital. He was so helpful. He cared for me during my recovery. He helped me up the stairs. He cooked for me. He was like Jesus to me again. He was so concerned for me. I felt so loved by him.
That brings us to the current year. You guessed it another physical problem to deal with. Now I'm diagnosed with diverticulitis. Bloating, sharp pain in my lower left abdomen and difficulties using the bathroom are some of the symptoms. I already have dietary constraints. I can't eat anything with sugar as the results are migraine headaches. Dairy is another thing I must avoid because I can't digest it. Now I have to change my diet further! Yikes!
Well, it turns out it's not Diverticulitis but rather it is a bad case of C. diff. This condition occurs when the bad bacteria outweigh the good bacteria in your gut. There is no way to get rid of the bad bacteria completely. All I can do is avoid foods that trigger painful symptoms, which is a slow process, and take Florastor probiotics. However, God knows all that is going on in my life right now. He has been very kind and tender with me. He brought to my memory Psalm 34:19 "Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all." God will deliver me out of this problem, just like He did with all the other things I have gone through. As I look back at all these past events, I can see how God drew me closer with each one.
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In God's Grace, Elizabeth Marks