Wednesday, February 9, 2011

*Uncensored 3: Gearing Up For Battle

  I'm not gonna lie, sometimes this gets too stinkin' hard.

  The other day I was thinking about MS. What's new? That's the thing: it's always here. I'm always thinking about it. It may not be at the forefront my my thoughts, but it's always swimming around in my brain somewhere (figuratively speaking)......just waiting to pounce. I'm usually pretty tough about it. I'm a big girl, not to mention pretty positive about everything that's thrown my way............but I'm also human.........with many flaws and downfalls. I get my panties in a wad about stuff all the time and every now and again I really wanna tell this disease exactly where to shove it......in lots of un-Christian four letter words. I want to cry. I want to scream.

  And I do. (Although privately so as not to offend those around me.)

  I was having a blip a while back; as I've explained before, it's not just the physical that's effected, but the emotional and of course, the spiritual. I cry at the drop of a hat when the blips come for their unwanted and unexpected visit. It's completely out of my control. I'm rendered totally helpless. I'm at the mercies of the Beast, and let's face it: this thing SHOWS. NO. MERCY. 
  I was home alone one day and again, I was crying. I wanted to give up but knew that I couldn't. My brain says, "Throw in the towel, Griffin!" But I know it's not in my nature to do that. However.............While washing my hair  in the shower I started to pray. I could feel the soap and the tangles of my wet hair under my fingers and hands. Then I felt my head. Like lightning it hit me: these lesions are only a few centimeters away from my grasp. If I could just reach in and pluck them out this would all be over. I could reach into my skin and pull the meyelin back together...maybe stick it with glue or even sew it with a needle and thread. They're right there, it's all right there!
  And then I knew.
  God, you can see them, can't You? My breathing escalated. My heart began to race. THEY'RE RIGHT HERE! RIGHT UNDER MY FINGERS! I screamed at Him. I looked at my arms and legs, my hands and feet and the rest of the body my Creator had given to me. My fingers knotted into fists. You can see it all, can't You? You're holding all of this, aren't You?! My hands jerked away from my head and I froze under the shower waters that beat down on my shoulders.
  I was terrified.
  I felt so far away from myself and God, as if I were having an out of body experience. Who am I?! What's happened ME? Whose body is this?! I was totally alone. Then I cried out to Him from my personal hell I felt I was in.
  Soap and all, I collapsed on the shower floor.....BEGGING. PLEASE JUST TAKE IT AWAY!! Oh, God, I'll do ANYTHING if You'll just TAKE THIS AWAY!!!! PLEASE!!!! I sobbed so hard I almost vomited.
  My hand was numb and weak; I use my hands for EVERYTHING! I don't have time for it to quit on me! My leg and foot were so weak that just standing in the shower caused me to topple sideways. I was dizzy......and tired beyond belief. My right eye was 3/4 of the way blind.

  Then I broke and I asked "WHY?"

  This is NOT me. This is NOT my style. I cry, yes, who doesn't, but I don't have complete breakdowns unless someone has died........or unless God gets to me. Crying over my "situation" was pretty foreign to me, but again, just how familiar is MS?

  Some days I think.....I just can't do this anymore. Shot days are horrible. I've lost all confidence in myself when it comes to shot day. I can't do that anymore. I have someone do it for me.  I was getting to the point (no pun intended) where I would get kinda nervous.....the next week I was a little more nervous and it took me a little longer to inject.....the next I broke into a sweat and shook from head to toe. The last time I injected myself the whole process took me almost 30 minutes. I sat on the toilet holding that dern shot with its intimidating metal needle in my clammy and achy hand. My job was to stab said sharp metal into my plump thigh. I was sweating. I was crying. I was asking God again, WHY? I  just wanna know why, I said to Him. I was pleading with Him for peace and understanding, comfort and strength. My hands were shaking and I almost vomited right on the spot, yet again. Finally, I was able to inject.....but I hit a capillary and when I pulled out the needle, blood literally squirted from the side of my thigh. A sore knot and a big purple bruise were my reminder of that lovely mishap for a good two weeks. Needless to say, that was the last time I injected myself.
  Now that I have someone else do it, I feel like a dang burden. Then I start to feel like a burden on Jo. He shouldn't have to deal with this. I want to be his Stepford Wife with no flaws. I know, it's impossible to be perfect; perfection doesn't exist except for in the form of Christ, but I want him to have the very best and for Lilli to have the very best. They deserve a wife and mother who can keep the house spotless, always be pretty, always be a vixen, always be happy (save for a few bad days which we all have no matter what), always be awake and alert, always remember, always be on fire for God, ALWAYS BE ABLE.

  I'm not always able.

 And it makes me feel like a wuss.

  After having pleurisy for two weeks recently, I was finally getting over the hump, but was still pretty tired as being sick will take its toll on MS. I was in the bathroom trying to straighten up when I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror.

  What is it with the me and the bathroom, furthermore, me and the mirrors? It's like the place God catches my attention to what's really going on.

  I looked like crap. I had on my pajamas because I was ordered to rest until this pleurisy mess was gone. My house was a disaster area, as in, Lower 9th Ward style, and I was a wreck myself: no makeup, no hairstyle to speak of, chipped nail polish and I'm pretty sure that those leopard PJ bottoms were not matching that awesome sage green tie-dyed Lake Tahoe shirt I was sporting.

  In my famous words, as well as those from everyone around me who supports me: It could be so much worse, Bran. 

  But could it? I'm taking this from a different angle than the usual "it can't get any worse than this" angle, so bear with me. I often say, "I could be paralyzed" or "I could have some form of cancer" or "I could be dying" or even, "I COULD BE DEAD." Well, what's wrong with that? Let's back up. I do NOT want to be dead nor do I want to die. GOOD GRIEF, NO! I'm not finished with what I'm doing for Jesus and I know He's not finished with me. (As I said, bear with me here.) I thought about my circumstances like this:
To live as Christ and to die is gain.

  TO DIE IS GAIN.

     I was at my worst before I was ever even diagnosed with MS. I was already disease ridden with sin. SIN is what separates us from the Father, not some dreaded physical disease. A disease may debilitate or kill the body, but SIN is what debilitates and kills the SOUL. So my question shouldn't be WHY? but rather WHY  NOT? As Paul says, I GLORY in the cross and death! Death isn't dying, it's LIVING! "Death" is my reward for it's in "death" that I'll receive my crown of glory for all of my efforts.
   I utterly detest the Beast. Really. I look for words that can describe how I feel about it, but I can't find any. I'm pretty convinced they don't exist. My heart aches to know that every inch of me, inside and out, is covered in this filth known as Multiple Sclerosis. But through it, I see my Father more clearly than I ever have before. I see His plans more than I ever have before. I see His grace and mercy more than I ever have before. Lying in the floor of the shower that day I felt His gentle hands on me encouraging me to finish the race with the MonSter on my back. Oh, how it pulls me down; its gnarled talons sink deep into my flesh as the weight of it yanks at my already weak and torn body. I drag it through the dirt behind me. When I slow down and fall, it crawls upward to my shoulders, stomping me into the ground with its heavy feet, a pain I sometimes can't bear...........but I see the worth in all of it.

   So I say this to my Beast:  

   BRING IT.
  The harder you make this, the harder I'll work for Him. The harder you pull, the harder I'll push. The more you nag, the more I'll fight back. The rougher the terrain, the more use I'll get out of my tools. The steeper the hill, the harder my feeble legs will work to climb it. The weaker you make me, the stronger He becomes and I will be made strong through Him. Even if I'm crawling, I WILL continue my race. I have so many more miles to go and a prize waiting for me at the end.


 "Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.  For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.  If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me."  (Philippians 1:18-22)

 


 

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