It's been a strange week for me. It's been mostly good. I am getting back into some habits that I had laid aside, that I really liked. I've been happy and blessed. My kids have been behaving well, and my house is... well, at least if you stopped by today I wouldn't have to pretend I'm not home. It's been good.
And although it hasn't ruined my week, some old stuff that I thought was gone has resurfaced. I don't know how to put into words the disappointment of thinking something chronic has been defeated, and then realizing it's just hanging out in the background after all... but it stinks quite a bit if you must know.
If you've been reading for a long time, you know that the end of 2009 I went through a majillion tests and medications to figure out that I had developed late onset Asthma. It was a rough time, but in a way that only God can pull off, I learned some amazing lessons about eternity along the way. I struggled to breathe daily for about three months, but eventually-- it just vaporized. I would still have to be careful, but overall, I was breathing pretty well and had pretty much forgotten about RAD. Generally speaking, I was healed.
If you've even been reading longer, you know that once upon a time I had a severe personal crisis. I had a very close and wonderful friend who had gotten herself deeply immersed in sin. I did almost everything I could to make it go away... mostly, though... I ignored it, prayed about it, sought counsel, cried, hoped it wasn't so, lived in denial, and prayed some more for what felt like forever as I watched her spiral down, down, down. It was horrifying to watch. I felt like I was in one of those nightmares where someone you love is in peril but your feet are somehow paralyzed and you just stand helplessly, hopelessly by in horror. A confrontation of the ugliest kind finally happened. Peace was offered and then rejected. The last I heard from her is that I was part of a group that could never contact her again. So I haven't. It hurt really bad for a long time. I thought I'd probably have that deep grief feeling forever. But, time passes, and God revealed a good many things about himself during that time. I learned some really good lessons, I took inventory of the blessings that I have, and I moved on. Eventually-- the pain stopped. I stopped crying when I heard her name, stopped wondering if I should just drive to her house and fix it. I realized that this was not about me, and that I would just have to wait and pray. Generally speaking, I was healed.
And then... this week happened. Early on, I started noticing it was super hard to breathe again. Then, it snowballed, (I'm convinced that in my case my breathing problems are at least 20% mental. When I can't breathe I tend to panic and that makes it worse) and soon my chest was in severe pain, my breathing labored, and that sick, wheezy cough was taking over... leading me to wonder if it was all starting all over again. Instant despair. OH NO NOT AGAIN I CAN'T DO THIS AGAIN I THOUGHT THIS WAS OVER OH WOE IS ME.
Then, to add insult to injury, out of the woodwork pops up- no exaggeration- at least 10 mentions of that former friend. Some subtle, some huge... each of them picking away at the scab that had formed, exposing that underneath, there was still some healing to be done. Rats. Cue the tears, the worry, the dread. OH NO NOT AGAIN I CANNOT GO THROUGH THIS AGAIN I THOUGHT I WAS OVER THIS OH WOE IS ME.
But, (and here is the good part) THIS TIME IS DIFFERENT! This time, in both of the instances- I have firsthand knowledge that both the physical & emotional wounds are treatable! The good news about having been through this before is that I don't have to wander around without hope, wondering how to make it stop. This time I know.
Physically, I know that what medications work, which ones do not. I have a connection to the Chief of Pulmonary Medicine, who promised (and delivered) that he'd make sure I didn't go through this alone. No need to panic! Frankly, the lessons I heard from the Great Physician during the last crisis are still valuable today. I said at the end of the last string of attacks that I would go through it all again in order to walk that closely with God. Now's my time to prove it.
Emotionally, I know what thoughts get me wrecked and which lift me up. I have a connection to the KING OF KINGS- who's promised (and delivered) that I would never go through pain or loss alone. No need to panic! That horrible feeling is going to die down again- and I already know which scriptures and promises will bring the peace. I already know which thoughts I need to hold captive, and PLUS I have all the lessons I learned last time at my disposal. When the original 'injury' happened, I had the privilege of walking closer to God than I ever had before. That is what I need to focus on- clinging to God as he heals the wounds caused by betrayal and grief. The same God that was healing me then is healing me now.
Soanyway... that's a long way to say the thought that's been going through my head lately- I'm so pleased to have been growing with God for the last several years. I have an opportunity to actually lean on the lessons of the past to get through the present and I have the privilege of knowing those same lessons from the same God will get me through whatever will come at me in the future. That's good stuff.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.