Saturday, July 28, 2012

Side Effects

 Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve been on here friends.  Recently I had cataract surgery on my left eye.  Cataracts… one of many side-effects that come from the medications I take to help me feel better.  My life balances between just maintaining this autoimmune disease (Myasthenia Gravis) and really feeling normal.  Cataracts… I thought I was too young for this.

It was kind of weird after surgery to be given a wallet-size card that showed I had an actual implant in my eye.  I was encouraged to put it in a fireproof safe for future reference.  It felt like a “Bones” episode from television.  If anything were to happen to me unexpectedly, Temperance Brannon (“the Bones Doctor”) would be able to discover my identity quickly.

I now have an implant.  I never thought I would ever be saying that.  Side effects… weight gain, weight loss, facial swelling, hair loss, insomnia, heart burn, headaches, overall achy ness, forgetfulness, and the list goes on.

Even though the side effects can be frustrating, I am daily thankful for what I CAN do.  When the disease flares up and the side effects weigh me down, I try to remember how far I have come.  I think about what I couldn’t do at one point and how sick I was.  This immediately changes my mindset and lifts my spirits. 

Life can be overwhelming if we let it.  I could easily allow myself to sink into a deep depression over what I am missing out on or what I CAN’T do.  BUT I choose to live differently.  What kind of life would that be for me or my family?  There are a lot of things I CAN do!  Yes, I do have limitations, but life is full of creative possibilities.  I just have to be willing to pause every once in awhile to manage the randomness of this disease.

Occasionally I have flare ups out of the blue where my symptoms rise up and stir up trouble.  It usually occurs when I am busy and have things to do.  It happens when I am unprepared and my schedule is full.  It happens when things are tight and I NEED to work. When my schedule is free and the stress is low, it never strikes.  Isn’t that the way it goes?

Since my cataract surgery I have experienced a side-effect that has really frustrated me.  I haven’t been able to write.  I have been waiting for my eye to heal enough to get glasses.  That has meant no study time, no reading, and no writing on this Blog.  That has made me one frustrated cookie.  I finally tonight found a pair of reader glasses that work for me.  You know those old lady glasses that sit on the end of their noses to read.  I may look silly, but I’m SO excited to SEE! 

My life has been an interesting ride so far to say the least.  One thing I know is that I could have never made it without God.  With all of the circumstances I have faced, He has been my strength.  My all time favorite verse in the Bible through all of this has been… Philippians 4:13, “For I can do EVERYTHING with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I NEED.”  How true!  I can do nothing with out HIM!

As I have recently been thinking of all of my side effects, I realized something.  A life WITHOUT God is full of side effects as well.  A life without God experiences the side effects of: emptiness, loneliness, addiction, broken relationships, bitterness, anger, turmoil, despair, heartache, hopelessness, and feeling unloved just to name a few.  A life without God is NOT the life for me.  HE has made all of the difference.

He has brought peace to my heart and life when I was worried, fearful of my future.  He wrapped His arms around me when I have felt forgotten and unloved.  He filled my heart with a deep joy within that sustained me when sadness surrounded me.  He has given me patience to endure through all of this and encouragement for others following behind me.  He is my source of strength and reason for being.  I am alive for a purpose and as long as I am able I will do what I can do to serve that purpose.  Even if I have to be creative to accomplish it!

Where are you my friend?  Are you struggling to get by because life is overwhelming you?  Reach out to Jesus, He is there.  Have circumstances crushed down on you and you chose to walk AWAY from God instead of run TO Him?  Come back home… He is waiting for you.  YOU are NOT forgotten.  YOU are loved!  Maybe you have NEVER even thought about this life I am talking about WITH God.  If that is you, I encourage you to invite God into your life.  Start living life WITH God and your life will never be the same. 

Wherever you are in life, I want to be there for you.  Please let me know how I can pray for you.   I am available to you and want to be a resource for you.  I can assure you that I don’t have everything figured out.  All I can say is that I’m doing my best to pave the way for others to follow Jesus behind me.  I have learned that He is faithful through every season of my life.  He is available and good at all times.  May His peace consume your life and His strength lift you up today. Blessings my friend!

Living to leave a legacy,