Friday, May 28, 2010

Answered Prayers

My court date was yesterday and I have great news! I was awarded disability benefits. It was a long hard fight and I am very thankful that it is over. I wanted to thank everyone for their prayers and to give God all the praise and Glory! He did this for me!

When I got there my lawyer and I had to sit in a little room for over 40 minutes, we went over a few things and then just talked about kids, family, life, etc. When it was our turn we entered the room with the judge and I was sworn in. My lawyer gave an opening statement, the judge asked me 2 or 3 questions and then he said "She is disabled".
That quick! My lawyer told me the night before that our case was very strong and that even the state docs said I was unable to work full time. I'm still a little shell-shocked.......I feel like it was all a dream and I'm going to wake up and still need to fight for it. But I know that it isn't a dream.....the Lord heard and answered my prayers. This is such a blessing for me and my family. A huge burden will be lifted off my husband, who works a lot of overtime. This of course doesn't heal me, doesn't relieve my pain or give me energy to do more things with the boys. But it helps in so many other ways. I am hoping that this will also give hope to other Sjogrens and Fibromyalgia patients out there.

Thank you Jesus for your blessings and for giving me so many friend who are willing to pray for me!

God Bless! Denise

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Needing Prayers

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  Phil 4:6

I am asking you to pray for me. Next week is my court date for Disability. I have spent the last 3 1/2 years struggling to get through my days. I have had 3 doctors agree that I am not able to work full time. I have been turned down by the state and appealed and now my time has come to go before the judge so he can decide. Please pray.......pray that I get approved. It would bless my family and would bless me incredibly. A huge burden would be lifted.

I want God's will to be done. I'm just hoping that this is His will.

Father God, I am praying that you will be with me as I go before the judge next Thursday. I pray that you will also be with the judge and that you will help him to see how difficult daily life is for me. I know you WILL provide for us and I am thankful to you Lord, no matter what the outcome.  In your holy name....Amen!

God Bless! Denise

Thursday, May 13, 2010

This is Me - Part 3

I don't have many real friends. I have plenty of friends but only a handful of true friends, friends that know me inside out and backwards. And of that handful only a few know about my illnesses. I don't like to share that part of me. To me it is embarrassing and shameful. Don't ask me why, but I can't help it. It's been like my dirty little secret that I have done everything in my power to hide. There are people who know me and see me on a regular basis that have no clue that I am sick. And I am OK with that. I don't like attention, and I really feel uncomfortable with sympathy. Weird, right? That's just me. So for God to push me to start sharing this was REALLY uncomfortable. The more I share, the more people will know. Why God? Why can't I stay in my safe place where I can't give people my vulnerable side?

It's not really my place to ask. No more than it is my place to ask God why am I sick? There are just some things we don't need to know. We WANT to know, but don't need to know. If we did then God would tell us. So right now I am doing my best to be obedient to Him, and I have shared my illnesses with a few more friends. Just yesterday I posted a link on Facebook about National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day. Yeah, I put my business on FB.....and I got that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. All those people who scanned over my status yesterday and didn't give it any notice are the same people I get nervous about sharing it with.

In a perfect world I wouldn't be sick. I wouldn't take tons of medications daily and still hurt. I wouldn't care much about whether people knew the real me or not. Guess what? Someday I will be in that perfect world.....Heaven. Someday I will go meet my Heavenly Father and He will heal me and I will spend eternity with Him. That is where I get my strength to get through the days.

God Bless! Denise

Monday, May 10, 2010

This is Me - Part 2

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

This is one of those scriptures that I can personally tell you is true. Just about everyday I call upon Jesus to help me get through. Some days I need help to push through the pain or the fatigue, other days it might be to get me through the daily stress that comes with having a family. Trust me, if you stop and pray to our Father for help, He WILL hear you and answer you. It is the only way to explain how I get through most days. Believe isn't on my own.

Back when I was a "lukewarm" Christian, I knew this verse but didn't apply it to my life. I was self-sufficient and things were good. My prayer life was good but I had stopped going to church and I wasn't reading the Bible like I used to. I thought I was too busy (and I left the church I grew up in for other reasons I will explain later). Too busy......too busy for the Creator who gave me life. My heart breaks with guilt thinking about how casually I treated Him. Being sick started my journey back to Him. I prayed more. And did a lot of reflecting on things I had been taught in church growing up. One of the biggest things that helped me was remembering my old pastor talk about the massive heart attack he had. He said he never asked "Why Me?!?"......instead he said "Why Not Me".  I borrowed and held tight to that.
Yes I am facing a future of pain, pills and uncertainty.....and as much as I don't feel I "deserve" these diseases, I also know that I don't "deserve" to be healthy. People don't get sick because of something they did or didn't do. They aren't healthy because they are good or bad either. And as much as illnesses are cruel and horrible, I know that God can use them for good. Bad things happen, we can't avoid it. It is up to us to decide what to do after those bad things happen. When it happened to me, I turned back to God.

To be continued....

God Bless! Denise

Sunday, May 9, 2010

This is Me- Part 1

Before I start writing about where I was, I will tell you a little about where I am now. Right now I am in a good place. I am in a peaceful place. A peace that can only come from God. My life is NOT peaceful and most would not consider it good either, but I do. Because I know this life is temporary and I have hope for the future.
 My body is sick. It will never get better, the best I can hope for is for it not to get worse. Three years ago my body started to fight itself, more specifically my immune system went into overdrive and started to attack my body. I have Sjogrens and Fibromyalgia. Sjogrens has attacked my moisture producing glands and my joints. I have arthritis everywhere. EVERYWHERE. Fibromyalgia effects my muscles giving me constant pain and fatigue. My life is filled with pills, doctors appointments, blood work, tests, more pills, pain and disabling  fatigue. On a daily basis there are numerous things I cannot accomplish because of my illnesses. They have robbed me of so many things. Things I can't ever get back. Things like having to tell my boys that I can't play with them or that we can't go to a birthday party because I don't feel well. I have missed parties, sporting events, shopping trips, vacations, etc because of my health.
In the past three years I have had to slow down....way down. Pretty much stop. I have discovered who my real friends are and how much my family loves me. When you are sick and have to spend a lot of time resting, you have more time to pay attention to your heart. Not your real heart that pumps your blood, but your heart where your soul lives. My heart was missing something.....something Big.

God was using my illness to draw me back to Him. At the time I didn't even realize HOW far I had gotten from Him, but I see it now. In the years since I accepted Jesus as my Savior I had managed to set him to the side, only going to Him when I needed a favor or a request. Even though I prayed to Him daily, I know now that I was praying AT Him, not really praying to Him. I gave Him a list of my wants everyday, vaguely asked for forgiveness and then said thanks for everything He had given me. How selfish was that?!?

I can look back now and see different times when God was trying to get my attention back to Him. That is not saying that if I had listened then, that I would not be sick now. No one knows that for sure. All I know is that God uses every situation in our lives to draw us closer to Him. And for me it took a serious health problem.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.  Romans 8:28

To be continued.....

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A New Start

God is leading me. OK, maybe more like pushing because I have been dragging my feet about doing this. What is "this" you ask? Starting a new blog. All about my journey closer to Him. It's been a hard journey, but totally worth it. I have heard people talk about God trying to get their attention. It starts as a whisper, then a yell, then a scream. I always thought that it wouldn't apply to me and my life.....I'm a Christian and have been since I was 18. I pray all the time and never, no matter what, went a day without praying. I was sure that I was close to God......I loved Jesus and knew everything I had in life was a blessing from him. What else needed to be done? Right?!?

Wrong!!! I was so far off track. Maybe even on the wrong track completely. And it took a whole lot of pain to figure that out. Would I change it? Probably not. I don't think I could be where I am today without going through all that pain. Do I want more pain....No. I would much rather just listen to God's leading and hope He doesn't need to do anything drastic to get my attention again.

I hope my story interests you and you will come back to read more. I am really not sure if God wants me to do this for me or for someone else.....but it doesn't matter. All that matters is that I listen and do His Will.

God Bless!

The kind of sorrow that God wants makes people change their hearts and lives. This leads to salvation, and you cannot be sorry for that.       2 Corinthians 7:10