The Pain That Never Ends


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I married to get out of the house, when I was just 20 years old. That lasted 10 weeks and it was so terrible that I won’t even discuss that time period. Luckily that marriage was annulled and I moved away to another city to work at a school for the Deaf. I lived between my 2 aunts homes and got to work with Deaf children. I loved that job and I was also Interpreting for the Deaf at a great church. I got to participate in 2 drama groups that did sign language or “ASL” to songs and choreographed dance. I had a wonderful time during the year that I lived in Arizona. It was 1982-1983 and I celebrated my 21st birthday there and was part of a church youth group with wonderful friends.
I arrived home from Arizona and later met someone. We dated, got married and we were married for 8 years. We had 2 daughters, a dog and a beautiful home. I won’t belabor the story of how the Marriage ended because people can be hurt still today, from that “story”. I will say that I obtained help from a shelter and the Women’s Resource center. I moved out of our home a few months later when my older daughter finished kindergarten. Their father moved 1800 miles away and rarely saw them. I took care of them all by myself. I was the only person that was always there for them! Even if I had to leave my job in the middle of the day to be there for them and return to work afterwards; I would do that. So much has happened in my life. Most people would think that it’s horrific, but I soldiered on. I was almost completely alone but the three of us had each other. We were very lucky to have received some help from some very good people, churches and counselors.
When my oldest daughter was in 4th grade, I went on field trips and I took every chance possible to help out at the girls’ elementary school. I started a “Sign Language club” at their school, for a group of 4th and 5th graders. I taught 35 children some songs in Sign Language and did that for about 4 or 5 years. I love children and had so much fun interacting with them. I would teach fun songs in Sign Language and at the the end of the year we would have a show for the parents and the rest of the school. The “Silent Impressions Sign Language Club” was after school each Friday. I had that day off from my job and used it for volunteering in the classroom or at school and for teaching the Sign Language club. Towards the end of that year, my daughters’ teacher and I started to discuss meeting up for a coffee. He was a single dad and I was a single mom but we decided not to date until the school year was finished. Once we started dating we found that we were truly “soul-mates” and a little over a year later; we were married in the Wedding Chapel on Valentines day 1997.
One Saturday afternoon during the Summer of 2002, my husband and I were meandering & sipping lemonade at an outdoor Craft fair; while deciding where to go for dinner. The girls were with their friends and so we headed towards our town to a restaurant. As we were driving through a green light, a man ran through the red light and “t-boned” our mini Van with his SUV. I only remember a terrible burning smell after screaming “OH MY GOD”! The “lights went out” and I have vague memories of being in an ambulance and at a hospital and crying due to horrible pain. Luckily my husband was not hurt and a Police officer took him home to get our other car and our kids. I have no memory of the time without him being there with me.
I could not stand or barely move. My husband says that people were leaving the halls because my screams of pain were too hard for them to hear. My case was given to a trauma Dr. and I was admitted to the hospital. After 5 days my husband called my Neurologist (who I knew because of a Long thoracic nerve injury in 1999); and signed me out against medical advice. The weren’t doing anything for me. My husband told them that I was not acting like myself. I wet the bed and could not even stand to go to the bathroom. Instead of diagnosing me correctly with the TBI, that I later was finally diagnosed with; they sent up a Psych consult. They told us that I was “acting that way due to being abused”. My husband stayed with me the whole time and it was still a horrible experience. I left the hospital and that’s when questions started being answered. My then, G.P. and Neurologist helped get me the testing that was needed. I was found to have 2 torn rotator cuffs and multiple herniated/bulging lumbar and cervical discs. I had a torn Meniscus, sprained ankles and wrist. Also, I was diagnosed with Chiari I malformation, which I was born with but until the MVA, it was “sleeping”. Well, it awakened and I started having the worst migraines in the back of my neck and head. I could not hold my head by myself. My husband had to put me in a wheelchair with a yardstick behind my back and head with a pillow holding up my head. I couldn’t dress or undress myself or even go to the restroom alone. I couldn’t cut my own food or sleep in my bed. The insurance company sent a hospital bed for me to use or I slept in our recliner. I was in the most pain I’d ever known, outside of childbirth. The Physical Medicine & Rehab Dr. sent me for Neuro-Psych testing and I was found to have a TBI or “Traumatic Brain Injury”. The report said that my “short term memory was in the toilet”!! I went to a TBI Rehabilitation Center, daily from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm for 3 years. I had several different areas of nerve damage. It was discovered that I have a convergence insufficiency in my eyes and Moderate hearing loss in my ears. I needed Prisms on my glasses and 2 hearing aids. As I continued to faint nobody would help me or even listen. My husband knew something else was wrong and so did I. But to get Dr’s to listen when things are complicated and when so many things wrong; is very difficult. I saw a Neuro-Cardiologist because the TBI center sent me to him finally because of the fainting. I was diagnosed with Dysautonomia and POTS. I had Coronary spasms and a permanent pacemaker was placed. I ended up having 8 surgeries! I had visited so many shoulder Dr’s but none of them would listen to my issue regarding a “nerve zing” that went down my left arm from my left shoulder. One Dr. said to me “What part of “I can’t fix it, don’t you understand? Is it your brain injury?” OMG!! He was horrible and while I was walking out with my walker; the girls in his office looked horrified by what their boss had just said to me. I had several awful experiences with physicians, until one finally listened to me. It only takes ONE Dr. Folks! One to listen to you and help you. I ended up finding out that during that entire year that I was visiting shoulder Doctors; my biceps tendon had ruptured during the accident and it had grown onto the bone incorrectly. I had to have open shoulder surgery! They had to un-attach my Biceps tendon and reattach it with 2 screws. It was very painful.
I went through so much! Later, I had my 7th surgery, which was in 2007 on my right foot. It was the start of another nightmare! I was told that it would be a 30 minute surgery. I had been put on Coumadin, a blood thinner; due to having a heart attack in 2005. Following that Heart attack, I was diagnosed with Atrial fibrillation. After that, in 2006, I suffered a CVA or stroke. The surgeon didn’t want to take me off of the Coumadin and so she put a blood pressure cuff around my ankle to stop blood flow to the right foot. The surgeon came out and told my husband after 90 minutes, that “once inside, the foot was much more gnarly” than she originally had thought. It took much longer than expected and there was no blood going into my foot during that time. Five days after my surgery, I was hobbling along in our kitchen and suddenly a big golfball sized lump popped out of my ankle and was purple, black and blue instantly! It felt like knives sticking in my ankle and I was writhing in pain. My husband took me to the E. R. but nobody wanted to help me. I sat there crying in so much pain while they “were waiting for another ambulance to come for the girl in the next bed who was “stable”. I was crushed again that no one would help me. We paged the Dr. who did the surgery and left the E. R.! She told us to meet her at the surgery center the next morning. I had to make it through the night like that! It was so much pain! She said that the “synovial joint sac had burst over my ankle joint “ and that is why it was so painful! She gave me Fentanyl Lollipops and told me to take them until the swelling could go down. That would take time & then the pain would lessen, slowly. I went for my 6 week check up and told her that the pain was worse than before I started. She told me that I had “a little RSD” and gave me some “Lyrica” I waited and things got worse and the Lyrica was horrible with nasty side effects. It did nothing but make things worse for me. I went to another Orthopedic Dr. and got a 2nd opinion. He walked by the room and said that my foot looked like “classic RSD” and he sent me directly to a pain clinic.
Prior to that MVA, I had only known the pain of abuse, and non physical types of pain. Childbirth was painful because I had 2 C-sections. The second time was a C-section after 43 hours of labor! But it was worth it because I got to have a beautiful baby both times! Also, there was an end to the pain of labor! There is no end to my current pain. The CRPS or “RSD” has gone systemic or full body since my 2nd pacemaker placement in 2013. Everything that could go wrong, has gone wrong. Mostly, because Dr.’s would not listen or had a preconceived notion of me and who I am. But I am strong! I am a survivor and it’s time to listen to me! I’m fighting for the pain patients and I won’t give up.img_3995

Illness Doesn’t Equal Lack of Faith


 

I have heard  that my tragedies, illnesses, abuse etc. are cast upon me because maybe I am not virtuous enough?  I’ve even heard that maybe I am cursed because I do not have enough faith?  A friend of mine had someone in a local market say that they were going to “cast away the devil in her” because she carries a cane. I have had people say that they want to “lay hands upon me and pray upon me, because I am afflicted”, they feel that their prayers will “cast out evil spirits, or evilness that has caused my afflictions”.  There was  another who  told me that I don’t “have enough God in my life” and therefore I have “so many tragedies” and it is because I “have not forgiven my abusers in this life”…..Sometimes I feel that over zealous, “fundamentalists”, who are excited about God’s miracles, try to “play God” in peoples lives. For instance, I heard about an 18 year old girl who went to a Christian camp and was told that her younger brother need not have died from Cancer, if only the family had more faith! WHAT?  You NEVER know who is going to be stricken with an affliction, an illness, disease or grief.  Put yourself in their shoes and think about what you say.  I am a “Chemo Angel”.  I get assigned a person who’s going through chemo therapy and I send them small gifts & cards of cheer. Right now I have a small, 3 year old girl, with “Langerhans cell Histiocytosis (LCH) “, a form of childhood cancer. Could anyone say that she is ill because she doesn’t have enough Faith or that she’s done something to wrong God and he is “disappointed” in her? Can you say that she has had cancer for 3 out of her 4 years of life, because her family doesn’t have enough faith? NO, that would be cruel and judgemental!

First of all, none of the statements about “illness being due to a lack of Faith”, are accurate. Look at Job and all that he went through!  Job was persecuted because of his faith in God.  Job was given an “affliction”, not because he was “cursed” and certainly not by his own fault.  Three of Job’s friends came to comfort him at the beginning of his worst pain and loss! They were sure that Job was sick and suffering because of the sins he had committed during his life. They told him that “righteous people don’t suffer”. Job always continued to say that he had done nothing sinful or wrong.  In the Bible it does not say that a lack of healing is equal to a lack of faith! God can choose not to heal the faithful, but it is not connected to a lack of faith.

It is cruel, unloving, unkind and just wrong, to say that someone has a lack of faith and is ill, or stricken with loss and tragedy in life because they don’t have enough prayer, faith or enough love of Jesus Christ.  To accost anyone in such a judgemental way does not help but only makes them feel marginalized and more alone.  There are many different faiths in our society. Each Religion has its own set of beliefs, rules and rituals. I’m not here to judge any of these Faiths or  beliefs, but I am here to say that nobody is sick because of their belief system or lack of faith.  People don’t live with chronic pain day in and day out due to any Religious affiliations or lack thereof. We don’t use a cane, a wheelchair or a walker because we do not pray enough.  It does not help a person with chronic pain and illness, to approach them and say any of the words that I’ve stated above. If you choose to pray for someone, then you can do that. But don’t try to push guilt and more pain onto anyone who’s already suffering. That doesn’t help, it only hurts and makes things much worse. Please try to remember to treat others as you would wish to be treated.

Earthquake, An ASL Cover Song


I was so inspired by the NEWSBOYS and had to do this ASL Cover song…this is very difficult for me due to chronic pain. I am unable to interpret anymore. I have several pain issues/illnesses. I have CRPS systemic and if you look at my hands, especially the left very closely, you can see the lesions and it hurts so much…but I was so inspired..

 

Living Beyond Your Illness


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Hello Luvs,

IF you haven’t read any of my blog before, you won’t know that I always start out my blog with “Hello Luvs”.  I had meant to write this long ago, but time gets away from all of us, so today the phone was on mute and the kitty was lying in her spot with me in the same room and it seemed a good time to write about this.  We can all get down and sad sometimes, even depressed.  I mean, having a chronic illness, or a list of chronic pain illnesses can get pretty monotonous to say the least! If you let yourself get in a “rut”, then you will panic and be sad and “down” and things only get worse from there. You can try to join a support group or make friends that share some of your illnesses. But you really must be careful in that as well. All things are good in moderation, is what someone used to say, right? I cannot for the life of me, remember who said that originally, but I know my mother said it to me many times.  She said “we need water to survive, but even too much water can kill you”. She was right.  Sometimes when we join groups and make friends who have the same or similar issues or illnesses as we have, things can get a bit “strange” at times. It may be a good thing but you just need to be careful as some people try to compare themselves to each other, see who is the sicker one, who is worse or better? Things like that! It is sad but true. The more and more that I work with groups for the past 7 years and with awareness events, projects and people in pain, like myself, I have seem it all.  Sometimes the people do the things they do to make themselves feel better, and that’s not all bad either! It’s great to make yourself feel better by doing something to help others. But when you do it for accolades, applause, gifts, patting yourself on the back or for someone patting you on the back, then it becomes a bad “game” of people hurting people instead of people helping people.

In my life, I first got approved for SSDI in 1998, due to CKDII and PTSD. They had called us the day before my scheduled Dr’s appointment with the SSDI office Dr’s, I’m guessing? They told my husband that they received all of the information from my team of Dr’s. They told him that “she doesn’t need to come tomorrow to see our physicians. She’s been through enough. After reading her history and stories from several of her physicians and Psychologist; we’ve decided that we don’t want to put her through having to tell her story even one more time! She is approved”! I was crying, I was so happy. The reason being, that when I have to go to a new Dr or a “scary” situation (due to the PTSD), I do get stomach aches and diarrhea and even vomiting!  I didn’t want to feel “judged” or ridiculed or afraid again. So that one thing, I did not have to do and I was so greatful for the “gift” of not having to be “sick” through all of the poking, prodding and questions.

As time went on, I ended up getting into a motor vehicle accident, just before I was thinking of trying to return to work maybe even part time? But the MVA just took that notion and threw it out the window!  I will make a very long story, very short. Because this writing is about getting “BEYOND” the illness and pain. I will just say that I suffered and still do suffer from many issues and injuries following that MVA, when a man ran through a red light and not only totaled our car but my body and my brain as well. You might say that my brain “seems great”. I am writing to you and all seems just fine! Not so much! I have suffered since that time from the aftermath of 8 surgeries, screws in my shoulders, both knees damaged, 2 pacemakers, a stroke or CVA and  a heart attack in ’05. I acquired an auto immune disease called “Combined Immune Deficiency Disease”, along with a Neuro-autoimmune disease called “CRPS” (sometimes called “RSD) and also known as “Complex Regional Pain Syndrome”. Mine went systemic or “full body” following my 2nd pacemaker surgery in 2013. The wonderful Neuro-Cardiologist at Univ. of Toledo Med Ctr. tried with all of his might to head off a full body attack of the CRPS inside of me. He did a “internal Bipvucaine surgical wash” and it was because as he went into my body, to replace my pacemaker, he saw that the old one had been wearing a hole right through my pectoral muscle for those past 10 years that it was inside of my chest! So he had to call other Dr’s to come and help him rebuild my Pec muscle first and then he wanted for that not to ever happen again. He tried so hard to stop a full body attack inside of me, from the CRPS. We were hopeful that he could do that as it has worked a few times in the past. But sadly for me, it did not work and I am now with CRPS “systemic and full body”.

After that surgery, which was not my last, I still had to have some jaw surgery, but that did go well. But I could have gotten depressed and given up on life. I don’t have an extended family as far as parents or siblings or Aunts, Uncles, cousins (just a few). It’s pretty much my husband, myself and our cat, Luna! We have 2 grown daughters with their husbands and 2 granddaughters with another on the way in June of 2016.  They are busy and have their own lives to live, but I’m very close to my daughters and so glad of that. Still, because I try so hard to downplay my feelings of being in pain, nobody really “gets it” except those who truly live or haved lived in the same house with me for an extended period of time. It’s hard to explain to friends and family that you are on medication for pain, but that mornings are still bad for me and the pain gets worse with each outing and the more I do. Nobody except someone with daily chronic nerve pain and more, can truly understand. It is OK though because I needed to find a way to help myself and not complain to everyone around me every minute of every day. It makes people tired to be around me if or when I do that. I learned that lesson very early on.

So I became involved in something other than thinking about myself. I became a “chemo angel”, a card angel, special assignment angel and I became a prayer angel. These are all for the same non profit org. I actually volunteer and I get daily emails of who to pray for and then I get a list of who might need a cheer up letter or card, with a small mail-able uplifting item. I get assigned a “buddy” who is going through chemo-therapy. I accept or decline the assignment and then I go from there. If it is a good “fit”, and usually it is; I accept and then I start to send a weekly letter and cheer up mail to them. I send small mail-able items, such as: magnets, book marks, tea bags and such. It is good for me and I enjoy doing it. I have a cat, as I mentioned above, her name is “Luna” but online and for chemo angel kids, she is “Angel Kitty Luna”. The stories for my assignments, which are children, they get stuff from “Angel Kitty Luna”. She writes stories about chasing bugs and jumping up at flies and swiping them with her paws. She tells of how she drinks water from the faucet and sleeps on me, her “momma”. She has exciting adventures and it makes the children smile for a few moments. That makes me happy and it takes my mind off of my own illnesses. I am not allowed to be sad or grumpy or talk about my own problems. I do not ask for nor expect, “thank you’s”. I hear back from some of my “buddy’s” and/or their families, and sometimes I never hear anything…that’s OK too.

I started to dabble in making jewelry one time when we were on an overnight trip with our daughter, who was about 18 at the time. We got some beads and elastic and just made a bracelet. Then I started to look for “awareness” beads online. I started making Awareness jewelry in earrings and bracelets. I would put them up online after I made a website and started to sell them. Then I started some fun other jewelry items as well, such as: Pet jewlery, Swarovski crystal necklace, earrings sets and just a lot of different things. People asked me to make jewelry for their wedding and wedding party. I was so excited to be doing something that I could do sometimes, at my own pace and I took no money except to replenish supplies. The money went to whichever charity the items were for, including the Humane Society.  If it was for a wedding party, then I made it their gift when at all possible.

I got involved in Bible studies when I could, but then I missed so much because they were all in the mornings or later in evenings and I couldn’t do well at either. I started making “groups” for support online and inviting everyone with any pain, or Invisible Illnesses to join. I made the groups “closed” and one is “secret” and one is just “private” and people can choose both or either one to join. I am the only administrator for the groups and it works well for me in that, this way not “too many hands in the pot”.  I don’t tolerate any drama and if I come across a post that is in any way demeaning or hurtful to anyone in any way, I remove it. I have  a couple of “pages” too. Some are ….or actually only one is for people in pain with Invisible Diseases, chronic pain and issues such as these.  The other pages that I have are for ” Angel Kitty Luna”, for helping those who’ve lost hope or who’ve been abused, also for my second love and my old career; that of ASL and Artistic Interpreting. That page is called “I Luv ASL”. I post information sometimes about different things that has to do with Deaf Culture.  Other times I post a song that I might do in ASL. I try to do an Artistic version of a top 40 song or a song to motivate people or make them feel happy.

I have a few very wonderful friends in “real life”, who truly understand or try to, when I’m unable to go someplace that we’d planned on going, for example. I try to go out to dinner once in awhile with my husband and these good friends. We have a really nice time, but then afterwards I’m pretty much exhausted and in pain. Same with putting some quality time into being with my lovely oldest daughter who lives only blocks away. We do something several times per week, but only for an hour to two at most.  Then the rest of the day I’m exhausted and in pain. But it is worth it because  I get to spend time with our granddaughters and daughter. On weekends we try whenever possible to visit our other daughter and son in law, who are due to have a baby girl, Kiera, in June of 2016 maybe once a month or so?

I have been a mentor for RSDHOPE.org since about 2008, after having a mentor from them for a year after my diagnosis. It helped me so much to have someone who understood and could answer my questions and knew what I was going through. Now I try to do it back whenever they need my help. I feel like the Orsini family is my family too. I’ve become an Advocate for those in Pain, chronic pain and with Invisible disabilities. I’ve helped the I.D.A. by doing a feature commercial for them a couple of years ago. I write to try and give people idea and information. I love blogging and helping others. I do try to help other pain org. also at times when they might need me to write something. I have tried to be a health activist by writing for Pain News Network as a guest columnist and I am an avid “tweeter” about CRPS and chronic pain as well.

We can live beyond our pain even though we must live with it. I don’t mean that we should “make light” of it.  We can share experiences with others and have our friends that have pain. I feel we should also get “out of that” at times and have friends and activities not involving Dr.’s and only our “sick friends”. If you don’t feel well you might try music or writing, like I do? There’s always knitting, crocheting and things with your hands if they don’t hurt too much. Some can do Yoga, that’s not a thing I can do. But you see there are Bible studies and mom’s groups and libraries, coffee shops and a whole world of things to try and keep your mind off of your pain. I honestly have full body, systemic CRPS and I have several bad pain diseases such as : Rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis, Arnold Chiari malformation I, Degenerative Disc Disease with multiple herniated and bulging discs in my neck and lumbar spine with L-4/5 radiculopathy. I have Poloyneuropathy in Collagen Vascular Disease and Autonomic Neurapathy along with several heart problems and a pacemaker.  I have right long thoracic nerve injury where an 8″ span of nerve is broken and I have numbness in my hands/feet due to a CVA in 2006. I have Prinzmetal Angina which are Coronary Spasms. It’s alot and I have much pain. But the pain Dr. even told me “I cannot ever take your pain away, but I can try to make you more comfortable”. So that’s what we do. I take medications to help and I get about 2 good hours per day before I start to slide. I am unable to drive more than to just go to the corner store and get milk or eggs or something like that. So I truly know it’s not an easy thing to do.

Just try your very best to get involved in something, anything aside and outside of your pain. Try not to do something where you need a “pat on the back” or you need to “pat yourself on the back”. You don’t need to have a “title” or be a “important” or “special” person in the pain community because you ARE an IMPORTANT and SPECIAL person no matter what! Do something that makes you feel good just for you and believe me, if you can relax even for 10 minutes, it can be TV or music, a book or quiet time with your fur baby or babies. But those 10 minutes when your body and mind are relaxing will do you a world of good in your physical and mental world. Get someone to drive you if you are unable to drive and do something like a small outing even once per month. ..get out of the house if at all possible. These things will cheer you up, I promise! Lastly, find some organization, or a family that could use some kind of help that you are able to do or give?  Like I do the writing letters or even just join a prayer group at a church? Be someone who prays for others, that cannot hurt you? If you don’t have that belief, find something that you believe strongly in and participate in some way?

If we just concentrate on the pain, that is all we will have. If we just concentrate on Facebook, Twitter and/or online groups 100%, we must remember that all of these people that we associate with in the “illness themed groups” are also all fighting their own battles with pain. They can feel vulnerable, in pain and intolerable at times; when they may not mean to be that way at all! Make sure you are getting real and up to date information and double check it for yourself if you know how to use the internet. Help a group or a person in need ….you don’t need money to do that. You can do many things that you probably don’t give yourself enough credit for doing.

Know that I always have all of our lives best interest in my heart an soul and mind. I want only what is good for you and for me. I want to help and the other way to help is to “KEEP HOPE ALIVE” (my favorite slogan that I started using as a Meme and in other ways during CRPS Awareness month in 2013!!). Don’t lose hope and do not lose your temper. If you cannot sleep, that doesn’t help with pain either. Try as best you can to sleep or take a nap during the day if at all possible. Try to Live beyond the pain and use it to work for you and your life instead of against you and your life! Try to find something to make you happy and remember the best way to make yourself happy is by doing something kind for others without asking anything in return. Random acts of kindness are also free and do a lot of good for you and others. Peace to you and know that someone cares!

Please Help Nicole, A Mom of 5 Who Is Having Brain Surgery…


Nicole, Fred and family
Nicole, Fred and family

Please….calling all prayer warriors! We need your help.  Nicole is the daughter in law and sister in law of some very dear friends of mine. She is undergoing brain surgery right now as I am writing this post. She is in Boston, MA at a major hospital and it is hopefully a benign 5 cm tumor at her brain stem. She and her husband Fred have 5 children all under the age of 8 yrs. When she entered the hospital on Monday, November 24, 2014, Nicole was 14 weeks pregnant. Sadly, they lost the little one the same day she was admitted to the hospital.

The surgery started at 10:00 am today, Tuesday, November 25, 2014.  It will be several grueling hours of surgery by a team of highly skilled surgeons. Each will be taking about a 3 hour turn in surgery. She may be in surgery at least a minimum of 8 hours.

We need your prayers and we need any monetary help you can afford at the link below. It is a “pay it forward” fundraiser. The money raised will be paid for Nicoles’ medical bills and her recovery which will take at least a year, in the best of circumstances. Please share this link and help by praying and any way that you can possibly help.  Your effort will be praised and appreciated by many who love them and care about Fred, Nicole and their family of 7.  I promise to keep you posted on her progress.  The link is below and your prayers, again, are much appreciated.  If you could possibly Say a mass in honor of Nicole and/or special intentions, a candle….anything is appreciated. We are warriors in prayer and the Lord said in Matthew 18:20 “Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. 20“For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.”

Thank you for any and all help given….any and all prayers, special intentions and any amount of money donated. They are a family of 7 on one income and Freddie, the husband and father of the 5 children, is a teacher at a Catholic University called Christendom college. They need this help for her recovery of up to or exceeding a year of rehab  not foreseeing any extra challenges.

https://www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/7vn6/god-bless-nicole-fraser?utm_source=facebook

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Illness Doesn’t Make Me Any Less Christian


jesussI have heard  lately, that my tragedies, illnesses, abuse etc. are cast upon me because maybe I am not virtuous enough? Maybe I am not “Godly enough”?  Possibly I am cursed or being put upon because I do not have enough faith or pray enough. A friend of mine had someone stop them at Wal-mart and tell them they were going to “cast away the devil in them” because he carries a cane. I have had people say that they want to “lay hands upon me and pray upon me, because I am afflicted”, they feel that their prayers will “cast out evil spirits, or evilness that has caused my afflictions”.  There has been another who  told me that I don’t “have enough God in my life” and therefore I have “so many tragedies” and it is because I “have not forgiven my abusers in this life”…..Sometimes I feel that over zealous -fundamentalist Christians, who are excited about God’s miracles, try to “be God” in peoples lives. For instance, I heard about an 18 year old girl who went to a Christian camp and was told that her younger brother need not have died from Cancer, if only the family had more or even enough faith! WHAT??? You NEVER know who is going to be stricken with an affliction, an illness, disease or grief.  Put yourself in their shoes and think about what you say.  I am a “Chemo Angel”. I get assigned a person who’s going through chemo therapy and I send them small gifts, cards of cheer. Right now I have a small, 3 year old girl, with “Langerhans cell Histiocytosis (LCH) “, a form of childhood cancer. Could anyone say that she is ill because she doesn’t have enough Faith or that she’s done something to wrong God and he is “disappointed” in her? Can you say that she has cancer for the last 2 out of 3 years of her young life, because her family doesn’t have enough faith? NO!! That would be heretic in the very least!sins

First of all, none of the above statements about illness being for a lack of Faith, are  true. I believe in my whole heart and soul that I am a God loving and God fearing believer of Jesus Christ. I believe in One God, the Father and the creator of Heaven and Earth.I believe in one being with the Father and through him all things were made. I believe that Jesus Christ his only son came down from Heaven and  suffered, died and was buried. I believe that on the 3rd day he rose up into Heaven, with his fresh wounds in full view and he did not try to hide them. Jesus suffered more than anyone has ever suffered. He suffered and was persecuted all of his life and most of all at Cavalry.  He was called a “fake” and much worse. He was abandoned, denied, and he was physically and verbally abused. He never tried to hide these facts. They are not a cause of shame for Jesus. He went up into Heaven on the 3rd day and rose from the dead, in fulfillment of the scriptures. He is seated at the right hand of the Father, God. He did not hide his wounds as he appeared to the Apostles and showed them his fresh wounds. He is seated with God the father and his wounds were not healed.    Jesus had more faith than any human that ever lived.  He most certainly was and is both God and Man but His suffering was not taken away because He lacked enough faith. No,actually,  “the author of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” Hebrews 12:12..*****SOMETIMES it is because we HAVE FAITH that we SUFFER…LIKE JESUS DID!!!

Look at Job and all that he went through! Job was persecuted because of his faith in God.  Satan told God “take away his good life and see how much faith he really has?” Job was given boils and lost his 10 children and so much more happened to him that would be just horrific for any of us to live with. Job was given an “affliction”, not because he was “cursed”. Not because he did not have “enough” of God or praying in his life. Job was given these things along with his afflictions, BECAUSE of his belief in our Lord God.  Three of Job’s friends came to comfort him at the beginning of his worst pain and loss! They were silent for 7 days. Once they began to talk they ruined everything. All 3 of them in different ways hurt Job deeply and accused Job of sinning. They were sure that Job was sick and suffering because of the sins he had committed during his life. Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar had believed and then told Job that “righteous people don’t suffer.“  They figured if Job was suffering (and he was suffering horribly), he must’ve committed a terrible sin, secretive sin. His friends told him to admit his sins to God and then “he will make you well and give you back your health”. Job always continued to say that he had done nothing sinful or wrong. He didn’t feel that he deserved such an attack from God but refused to shake his faith in a merciful God; because he had not sinned and he had great faith.  Job and millions of other faithful believers, may come to believe that we are afflicted or ill, well within the intent, will and purpose of God. He is the Artist and we are the clay. It does not say anywhere in the Bible that a lack of healing is equal to a lack of faith!!! God can choose not to heal the faithful, but it is not connected to a lack of faith.

We need to examine our own hearts if we are stricken with illness. Anyone who has sinned, or who has not been obedient, should pray and ask God for forgiveness; whether sick or well. We should all make the changes that God asks us to make through prayer. The sick and well alike should search their hearts and also allow God into their hearts!  BUT we can have a sin-free heart and soul, a super clear conscience to stand before Jesus Christ; and still be sick!!!!. It is cruel, unloving, unGodly, unkind and UNBIBLICAL to say that someone has a lack of faith and is ill, or stricken with loss and tragedy in life because they don’t have enough prayer, faith or enough love of Jesus Christ and/or God.  Many people in the Bible’s stories who were sick, weren’t ill because of their own sins….NO…They were followers of Jesus Christ and they were very faithful.  God, for unknown reasons, possibly many different reasons, had it in his plan that some must endure physical illness. Most of the faithful followers who were ill, were afflicted due to their great Faith and not for a “lack of Faith”.  I cannot think of any person in the Bible who is a follower and believer in Jesus Christ, who suffers or suffered, and their lack of Faith was to blame.  In John 11 1:14 you will see these words:  “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” These do not sound like words about illness for lack of Faith!  Also…think about a poor Sudanese person, ravaged with illness throughout his/her body because they are so malnourished.  They had no way to get the food that their body needed to keep the illnesses away. What if they heard these words? How do you think that would make them feel?  I wonder how many Christians, like me, have suffered or are suffering in despair because someone has said such cruel words of condemnation to them?  toohards (331x152)
Having Faith pretty much assures us that we WILL suffer.  Look at Paul in the Bible, who had great faith in Jesus Christ and he had even seen the resurrected Christ.  This did not reduce his sufferings at all!! . In 2 Corinthians, it states some of the sufferings he endured, “as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger” (2 Cor 6:4-5). Paul suffered so much, “yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything” (2 Cor 6:9-10). Here Paul had so many negative and horrible things happen to him! He suffered:  beatings, imprisonment, was in riots, had hunger, sleeplessness, was beaten, felt sorrowful and he was poor!  He had nothing but possessed everything due to the faith he had in his ministry, his future deliverance, and in Jesus Christ!. I believe that our sufferings keep us in prayer more often. I believe also that illness and suffering cause us to depend on God more frequently and thus it keeps us humble. Perhaps this is why God refused to heal Paul even though he prayed three times to have his “thorn in the flesh” removed. God didn’t tell Paul that he didn’t have enough faith but that God’s grace was enough for him. Paul says, “Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, [kept Paul humble] I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me [kept Paul in prayer]. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. [kept Paul dependent upon God]” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me [glorifying Christ]. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong [when he is suffering, he must depend on God Who shows Himself strong]” (2 Cor 12:7-10).

If you would like to read more about this subject in the Bible, you can find some discussions in the following places:

Psalms 71:20-21You who have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again; from the depths of the earth you will bring me up again. You will increase my greatness and comfort me again.
John 16:22 “So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. (Jesus’ words)”

I found this verse the most profound for my own situation. I am going to keep this one close to my lips when the tormentors try to admonish me or even make fun of me for being ill, for having been abused and for having had many tragedies in my life thus far (I am 54 yrs old). I will tell them to go to Lamentations 3:31-32For the Lord will not cast off forever, but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; for he does not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men.”

wills

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