Monday, October 17, 2011

change of perspective.

Over the past 5 weeks, I've had my world semi tilted off its axis. I thought I was clear of stress related issues after I had taken and [finally] passed my exam. I never thought that the day[night] after my test was over that I would wake up in the middle of the night to my heart racing and my body shaking out of my control. I didn't expect on that night that I would have several other episodes and would be dealing with the unknown as I went to the doctor who then set me up to see a cardiologist. Then I never would have imagined that I would have a heart monitor attached to my body for a month, or that I would have to have an echo cardiogram done. Heart issues are for old people, or people with poor health.

Let me tell you, blog readers, that this has been a difficult period in my life. The uncertainty, the worry, the fear, the anxiety[yes I know some of these words mean practically the same thing], the doubt, the's all been a bit overwhelming. The more I focus on my issue[whatever it may be, because I don't know what's causing it] the more I think and "feel" that something is really wrong with me. I tend to go to the worst case scenario, and think "I'm going to die". First of all, I'm not dying--not now at least[I don't plan on that till I'm old and gray]. I just have all these things come into my head, and I dwell. Then fear begins to grow. Then I "feel" my heart beating--it's hard to explain this--it just kind of feels like it may beat out of my chest[not really--because my pulse isn't racing] I know it's confusing. Just go with it. I then come to the conclusion in my head that something is really wrong--and then I can't sleep or I have an episode. Nighttime is the worst. I dread nighttime now. I hate going to bed...because I dread having an episode. Granted, I have this super duper beeper sized thing attached to my body to record my "episodes" to help the doctor figure out what's going on, but I still do not enjoy having my heart race and the shaking that follows. I also found out my bilirubin count is high and then I got a stress fracture. All in a matter of the past 5 weeks. It's been a crazy mess.

Okay, enough of this "woe is life is awful....etc". I have had to have a little bit of a perspective shift. A change in my point of view of the issue at hand. Granted, I still have my worries, fear, etc. But I have come to realize--and need constant reminders of a couple of things. First of all, and most importantly--God is in control. Okay, why am I still worried? Oh it's this little thing called weakness[in me] and my flesh. Secondly, there are much worse things that I could be dealing with. Case and point, last week in Lifegroup, I drew someone's prayer request for their friend who has brain cancer. So, all last week, I prayed for this person everyday[and am continuing to] who is struggling with an illness that is so menacing and horrible. I know there are probably better words to describe that dreaded word, but that's what I've got for now. Here is a person, who has a disease in their brain that doesn't seem to want to go away. I don't know the whole story, but I know it's not good. I cannot imagine what this person is going through, what they are feeling, what they are thinking. I'm sure they've asked God "Why?", "Why me?", "What did I do to deserve this?", least those would be some of my questions probably followed by some anger issues as well. [This is how I've dealt with my health "issues"] As I have prayed for this person, God has shown me that I'm really okay. If there were something really seriously wrong with me, I'm pretty sure the doctors would act more concerned--and something would be done to help make me better. I am thankful that I'm not dealing with treatments, hospitals, medicine, IV's, etc. Yes, I have had to go to the doctor a few times, and I have a heart monitor on. But this pales in comparison to what life would be like if I were in the shoes of this person with brain cancer.

It makes me sad that I am so selfish and close minded. Why did I get so upset the other day because I didn't like what I had in my closet[that was clean] to wear? Oh, because my heart monitor wires were sticking out? Seriously, I got upset because of that!?! Wow, reality check time. I still have a full head of hair. I can go out and hang out with my friends and not worry about getting a cold that could potentially lead to my death because my immune system is so low from my cancer treatments. Perspective[oh and some wisdom and harsh, but truthful words from my dad] on my situation made what I'm dealing with seem much more bearable and easier to deal with. Yes, I still am afraid of what the doctors could find--but why do I fear something that could easily be fixed by medicine, vitamins, or surgery? I also know that I have a mighty God who can heal me[as well as this person with cancer--and I pray that is God's will and very earnestly so]. Words from a powerful worship song keep coming back to my mind to help keep me focused on the One who has all the power "Whom then shall I fear, whom then shall I fear? Oh no, You never let go, through the calm and through the storm. Oh no, You never let go, every high and every low. Oh no, You never let go. LORD, you never let go of me" When I start to doubt, and fear begins to creep in I sing this song to myself to reassure me that the One who created me will never let me go. He'll never leave my side. He'll never leave me on my own to fight this battle. He is there with me every step of the way. To give me peace. To give me hope. To give me joy. To give me comfort. To give me life.

I know that God would never give me more than I can handle. I must say, sometimes it's hard to believe. But think about it. Think about your life. Then think about your neighbor. Think about a coworker. Think about a child in a third world country, or even the child who rides the bus with your kids. Do you know what they are dealing with? Are they dealing with a terminal illness? Are they dealing with hunger? Are they dealing with homelessness? Are they dealing with abuse? Sometimes the best thing you can do to help you put things in perspective in your life, is to count your blessings. Do it. Write them down on a piece of paper. See all the wonderful things that God is doing in your life or has done for you already. Of course the one at the top of the list is that God gave you life. Eternal life through the wonderful gift of salvation from the precious sacrifice of His only and perfect Son, Jesus. That's all that really matters. Even if we suffer trials, think about your Savior. Remember what He did for you, so we wouldn't have to suffer. And when I talk about suffer, I'm talking about the suffering that we'd have to do had Jesus not died for us and paid the debt that we could never repay. Romans tells us that what we deserve is death because of our sin[and that means total and complete separation from God], but because of Jesus we have eternal life[if we accept His gift of salvation]. Yes, life is hard. But He never said it would be easy. It's a race that we are all running. I want to finish well. So through this trial, I want to persevere through it well. I want to keep the faith. I have hope of a glorious ending and the wonderful gift of an eternal life with my LORD. I look forward to that day when I will praise Him forever in the most AMAZING worship I can[or more like can't because of my finite mind] imagine.

So I challenge you, if you are going through a difficult time in your life to remember and focus on the One who made you. On the One who saved you. On the One who has your best interest in mind and can carry you through your trials. Don't let Him go--because He, for sure, will NEVER LET YOU GO!