Sunday, October 13, 2013

Celebrate the Wins!

My life is a series of ups and downs.  I am sure it is not unlike others.  My roller coaster just looks a little different.  The twists and turns, ups and downs, low dips and high climbs just have different names to describe them. One such name is Myasthenia Gravis, an autoimmune disease. 

My thorn in the flesh, constant frustration, and energy drainer is this disease.  For you it could be an unstable marriage, a wayward child, a debilitated family member you have to care for, financial hardship, abusive relationships, an addiction, the list could go on…

For me each day is different and unpredictable.  I give myself to God one day at a time and trust Him with the outcome.  Many people ask how I am doing health-wise, am I getting better? etc…and that is a tough question.  Am I better compared to what?  When I was bedridden for three months?  When I had a year long flare-up that made all of my symptoms come back like a hurricane?  When I had pain for four months until they figured out it was my gallbladder and removed it?  And so on and so on and so on…

Without God, this life could become overwhelming.  I could dwell on what I can’t do or what I have missed out on, but instead I choose to focus on the “Daily Wins.”  What have I been able to do today that I couldn’t do before?  What can I be thankful for today?  When I focus more on celebrating the “wins,” it keeps my eyes off of the worries of this world and it places them on the Prince of Peace.  Jesus is in control and I trust Him!

I love how Matthew 6:33-34 describes what we should do with worry.  Worry comes if we don’t put our trust in God.

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (NIV)

This past year has been a whirlwind… This month marks a year that I completed special IV treatments at IU Medical Hospital.  It was an attempt by my neurologist to throw this disease into remission.  I went one day a week for four weeks of treatments.  It was a somewhat risky treatment, but I felt like I needed to do it. 

The infusion center where I went was full of cancer patients.  It was sad to see them all around me.  They were walking weakly, skin & bones, hair thinning, but still fighting to live.  In those moments you see how valuable life really is.  Every day I am alive I know it is for a reason.  I want my life to “count” for something.  I want to be a tool in the hands of God to touch and impact lives for Him.

When I think about my daily struggles… side-effects of medication, fatigue, lack of energy, etc… they are frustrating, but pale in comparison to the joy I receive in the gift of another day. I am living on purpose with a purpose to shine brightly for God.  He has given me this life to live so I want to live it being intentional for Him.

This past year has been another roller coaster of symptoms screaming out for attention, BUT the disease has not flared up.  In other times it would have… it should have, but it hasn’t!  I am thankful for that.  I believe I have been moving into remission even in the midst of other health conditions surfacing as a result of on-going medication.  Side-effects, but things I can live with. 

God is good and is a daily reminder to me of why I am still alive and kicking.  He continues to place people in my life to reach out and love for Him.  My messy life seems to in some way inspire others.  I am glad.  I want only good to come from this, otherwise I feel my time has been wasted being sick all of these years.

Today I celebrate the wins!  I count my blessings and I am thankful.  I am thankful for another day to be alive on planet earth. I am thankful for family and friends.  I am thankful for each person I cross paths with… Each opportunity I have to share wisdom and life lessons to help others experience God in a real way pushes me forward.

I did something new this year.  I decided to collect my thanks and put them on paper.  I even enlisted my family to do the same.  We have a jar that we are using to collect all of the moments this year that we are thankful for.  God has blessed us in amazing ways and I don’t ever want to forget it.  On New Years Eve we will empty out the jar and read each one aloud to vocalize a year of thanks to God.  I expect there will not be a dry eye in the room.  Thank you God… for the celebration of “daily wins” and a year of being truly thankful…  I am not the same.

Living to leave a legacy,

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