Monday, October 26, 2015

Fall in Chicagoland

This time of year is bittersweet. The foliage is absolutely beautiful! I enjoy warm sweaters and hot tea. It is also a time of realization that soon snow and ice will cover the ground and keep me from getting out of the house much. It is difficult enough to get around with one leg that doesn't fully work but adding slippery surfaces and uneven terrain make things much more difficult, if not impossible, for me to navigate alone.

It has been several months since I last blogged. A lot has been going on here. It has been almost three years since I was diagnosed with Chronic Inflammatory Sensory Polyradiculopathy, and things are progressing faster than I would prefer. I have numbness, tingling, nerve pain and severe leg cramping in both legs now. The neurological symptoms are causing some muscle weakness, whichs hinders my ability to climb stairs and sometimes makes walking difficult (along with more personal and depressing symptoms that I will spare you the details of).

I wish I had a great analogy to tell or story to have this all make perfect sense and encourage your faith, but at the moment I cannot think of one. I have grown a lot spiritually these last few months. I have made new, irreplacable friends, who have studied scripture with me, driven me to appointments, sent me cards and let me hang onto their arm when I needed help getting out in bad weather. God has shown me so much love and compassion through these dear friends, and has grown me in my capacity to love and care for others as well. This is not the road I would have chosen for myself, and I am struggling daily to keep my eyes lifted up toward heaven, and not on my circumstances in this world. The battle against depression is real, and I have to immerse myself in God's truth (which is trustworthy) and fight against the feelings of my situation (which are not trustworthy).

I don't know how I will feel tomorrow. I don't know what all the tests will show, or if the medicine will help me or make me sicker again. There is SO much that I don't know, but what I DO know is this: God will never leave me or forsake me. The path He has chosen is for His glory and for my good. I don't need to understand it, I just need to be faithful in it, and I can trust knowing that He who called me IS faithful.

So if I can encourage you at all in your time of sorrow, pain, depression, grief, let it be in this: YOU ARE NOT ALONE! There are people who have walked this path, some who understand your pain, and those who care for and love you, but greater still is a merciful and loving God who has made Himself available to all who would believe and call upon the name of the Lord. Confess your sins, admit your utter need for His forgiveness, His Spirit, His righteousness, and cling to the Anchor for your soul. He can get us through this and He will wipe away every tear from our eyes! I rejoice knowing that He shall preserve my soul!

Psalm 121:

"I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.

He will not allow your foot to be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
Nor the moon by night.

The Lord shall preserve you from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul.

The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore."