For the past 55 days, or 7 weeks and 6 days, or 1 month and 24 days….we have been forced to slow down. Spend time with our loved ones. Isolate ourselves from the world. And while, it may not seem like a lot of time; trust me it is when you have a child with special needs and the only way they cope and function is with structured routines daily.
Before & After
I’ve read that when people grieve they can break it down into two times. Before and After. Before the loss and after the loss. I know this is true. I also know that this just doesn’t apply to the loss of a loved one. It’s also the loss of a function.
Before sepsis, my memory was rock solid. Retaining anything was easy. Sometime’s I had to write it down, but once I had spoken it, read it or wrote it, it was easy to remember. After sepsis, I am finding that the only short term memory I have is in the moment. The moment it is being read, written down or spoken. THIS frustrates me so much, I don’t even know the proper way to express it as to how much it does. I need notes to remind me that I know something and even then the notes aren’t always helpful. Memory has never been something I have had trouble with and now anything that happened before sepsis is easily pulled from my memory and easily shared. After the illness and hospital stay, everything spoken or read becomes lost. And it’s scary.
As I sit and read The Word, I am glad that I knew God, Jesus and His Word before sepsis, otherwise, I might read something but have no way of retaining it or understanding it.
In His Word, it tells us to be thankful in all circumstances, with prayer and petition.
Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.-1 Thessalonians 5:18 NLT
I wouldn’t wish this life-changing sepsis (aka septic shock/septicemia) on anyone. It is dangerously devastating to your body, mind and can be fatal if not caught in time. However, going through this almost fatal health scare( had I not went to the hospital at the time I did, I would have died) has taught me to take care of my needs and myself: physically, mentally and most of all spiritually. To be thankful and content in and at all times. To be grateful and have a heart of gratitude for what I do have, for the millions of blessings God bestows upon me daily and for the many times he has kept me from harm.
Many things have changed in me and for me since before and after sepsis, but I am glad to still be here, very much alive, working on progressing to wellness again and thankful I can still share about Jesus and the love he has for all of us.
There are many things we go through and the one thing I have learned through all the painful pruning the Lord does with me is everything is for a purpose and a plan. His purpose and His plans. He continues to work in and through me, and in and through my pastors, friends and family members to teach and rebuke me when needed, to encourage me and strengthen me when I am weak and to continually pour out His peace and His joy and His love into me and my life.
Refining and purifying is a painful process. But in order for you and me to bear good fruit to share with others, we have to go through these processes and weed out what is not from Him. As you grow in your faith, there will be many things you will go through and each one will shape you into the person God has created you to be. I am working on not being resistant to the process. Some moments are more painful than others, but all are necessary.
May you know how much Jesus loves you~right now and always. Jesus Christ is my everything and that is one thing that has not changed. He was my everything before sepsis and He is my everything after sepsis. Having sepsis and recovering from it, has made me realize how much I rely on Jesus and how difficult it would be for me to make it through the rough days without it. I am so thankful I have my Savior, Jesus Christ with me daily.
Proverbs 3:5 New Living Translation (NLT)
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
I feel like I’ve been gnawing my way through tons of emotions this week to remember to trust in the Lord and realizing His ways I may not always understand, but He is in Control. Of EVERYTHING.
I love Jesus with all my heart. There is absolutely no doubt about that. I know HE is the God of Peace. I know He is Good. I know that many things happen in our lives and lately I have felt all alone, even when surrounded by those that love me.
I guess it’s some type of depression. I haven’t dealt with depression for me very much and so I have tried to banish it from my mind. I’ve lived with others that have depression and have lived with it for many years and I truly don’t know how they manage to make it through every single day, unscathed.
I know that I have always been able to turn to the Lord and He comforts me. He reminds me I am loved and no matter what I am in the midst of it is only temporary. I cling to that hope. I hold on so tightly that sometime’s the tears don’t stop. But no one sees the tears because I have learned to hide them. Even if they see tears, there is always an explanation of why. No one suspects anything. But hiding this depression isn’t helping me and it certainly isn’t helping anyone around me.
I am up late, usually alone, soaking in the silence and hanging on because once I go to bed, I don’t want to get up. I want to sleep. Sleeping is easy because then I don’t have to face all the high stress in the house. High stress of living with a special needs child that creates stress for the rest of us. Stress, none of us, seem to be able to get a grip on. And as much as I don’t like to use the word worry, lots of concern over if our happy little guy will ever be back again. If his appetite will come back. If he will want to eat foods again that he used to love and were good for him. If he will learn how to control the sensory overload and not go on a rampage throwing toys, breaking objects, trying to hurt himself and hurt others. And while I pray about this and I think about it every single second I am awake, life goes on.
My friend Mary went to be with the Lord eight days ago. I grieve for knowing I can’t talk to her anymore, her children don’t have their mom to hug and hold, her husband must go on without her and all the people whose lives she has touched, have this deep sense of loss just as I do. But Mary knew her time was near. She had visions of being with Jesus. No matter how painful her last few days were, cancer could not destroy her spirit. She fought her short battle with so much grace and dignity, I can only hope I can go as peacefully when my time comes. And I know I will gaze upon her face in the future. I know she is with our Lord and Savior, dancing and singing in Heaven showering Him with Praise and totally pain-free. And that gives me peace.
In 4 weeks, more or less, there will be a new life in our home. I am so excited to meet our newest granddaughter, but I am cautiously optimistic because I am concerned about how her brother will react when she cries. Will, he still gaze upon her as he does every other baby he sees with such awe and wonder? Or will he not understand and act out? Will he be gentle and kind, or will he………?
New therapy and new medications have started and I am believing this will be the missing pieces along with continued love and support to help our little guy gain some understanding of what works for self-regulation. For ways to cope when the noise becomes too much for his little body to handle all by itself. Sensory tools are being used in the home to help too. A new sensory swing that he now requests. A new “favorite game” he calls it. He lays on the couch and I lean back across him, applying pressure, for only a few seconds, several times in a row. And then he seems to feel better. And in those moments, we have peace.
Even as I write this, I feel a peace settling in around my heart. A peace that only comes from God because, without Him, I would be a wreck of a human being. I want this peace to become so much that nothing shakes me to the core. I used to have that peace and slowly, I let the distractions in my life, chip it away bit by bit. This last week has been proof of that. Thoughts that come to mind and I send them fleeing because they are not thoughts from my Lord. Words unspoken, because I realize we all deal with our emotions so differently and words hurt. Even well-meaning words can have an effect that nothing good can come from.
I consciously choose to love through it all. And I also consciously know without Jesus, His grace, His forgiveness, His love, and His mercy, I would be a jumbled up ball of emotions, shaking in a corner and wishing I could go home too.
I don’t like being depressed. Or even sad. I know the enemy would like nothing more for me to succumb to it. But the one thing satan seems to forget is I am a God girl and there is nothing he can do that will ever change my mind, my heart or my soul. I am a Princess of the King of Kings and I know my God is bigger than anything I will ever face.
Thank you for loving me unconditionally, no matter what type of emotions or circumstances I find myself in, You are always there. You hold me up when I feel like I am falling. You strengthen me when my strength is gone. You give me peace where I can’t find any. You battle for me in the realms where I cannot go and Your love endures forever. Your peace no one can snatch from me. I hang onto the hope Father that you have plans for my life, plans to prosper me and not harm me, plans to give me hope and a future. You give me people to counsel me and share their testimonies of what a faithful father you are. You will never abandon me, or leave me. I love you, Lord! Father God, I ask that you forgive my unbelief when I doubt that you are working in my life. When I can’t see past the hurt and sorrow, when I weep, I know you are still working in and through me and on my behalf. In Your Mighty and Powerful name, Jesus. Amen
Jesus Loves You~right now and always. He can turn any mess you are in, into a message and any test you go through into a testimony! #HopeAlwaysHaveFaith
Blessings to all ~ Carlene
As 2018 draws to a close, thank you from the bottom of my heart for sticking with me and being part of my life.
May 2019 bring you peace and joy. At the stroke of midnight, you will have 365 days to write your story. Every choice we make determines the destination we land at.
Love others, forgive often, admit mistakes, don’t be too hard on yourself. Show yourself grace in difficult moments.
Jesus Loves You~always. Jesus can turn any mess into a message and any test into a testimony! #HopeAlwaysHaveFaith
Faith Can Move Mountains
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33 NLT
I read the above verse, and I am reminded that I have the Holy Spirit with me. He dwells within me and I know that without Him, I wouldn’t have made it this far. Each approaching new year, there are always goals/visions/hopes/dreams we each have. Some people make New Year’s Resolutions, others choose to make lifestyle changes, dietary changes, relationship changes, and some choose to just look at it as another day and keep putting one foot in front of the other.
I look back over the past 12 months and I have seen a lot of hard behaviors to cope with, on a daily basis. Keeping the peace of Jesus in my heart and alive in my life has been nothing short of a miracle; many days I wept inwardly, wondering where that Peace was. How had I went from being able to handle almost anything that required coping skills, to being in constant prayer and conversation with my Maker because I felt I was losing my grasp on His Peace. What had gone so awry that I felt lost and alone, in a room full of people? And then I realized that I was relying too much on my own strength and not relying on His.
In our home, we have many medical diagnoses. Four of us live here, soon to be five give or take 6-7 weeks if our soon to be (second) granddaughter waits until her due date to make her arrival. I personally deal with fibromyalgia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, sleep apnea, degenerative disc disease in my lumbar spine with facetous arthritis, osteoarthritis in my hip/knee joints, carpal tunnel syndrome, thyroid disorder, high blood pressure. Plus I live with people who suffer from depression/anxiety/heart/stroke/language disorders, autism, adhd, sensory processing disorder, epilepsy, and mental illness.
Keeping track of medical appointments, therapy schedules, labs that need to be completed in a timely manner and pregnancy-related appointments, just about makes my head spin; dealing with IEP’s and developmental delays….the list goes on. If only one of us is having a rough day, we can manage pretty good; if all of us are having an off day, it’s a true struggle.
It’s remembering that I was not created to do things in my own strength. I have heard, as I am sure you have too, that God will not give you any more than you can handle and there have been days I have questioned that statement. But the Truth is, God doesn’t expect us to handle anything on our own, but to turn to Him and rely on Him.
And while in the midst of my cries to the Father, seeking guidance on how to proceed with this life He allows me to live, waiting on His answer is always the hardest part for me. In the past two years, since retiring early due to disability, I thought for sure I knew the path He would take me, but it has been such an amazing and frustrating journey, that He only gives me glimpses of what He has called me to do. Just enough to take that next step of faith. I can only imagine that if I were to see the entire picture of the plan He has for my life, it would be so all-consuming, overwhelming that I might crumble at the thought of it.
In His infinite wisdom, He knows what is best for each of us. He provides for every need. It may not be the provision we envisioned, or even hoped for, but He always gives us just the right words, at just the right moment. And yes, He answers prayers. Some days it’s “Yes, my child.” “No, not now.” or “Wait, it’s not time for you to know yet.” In His perfect timing. I have learned not to pray for patience because patience always requires testing of some kind; so I pray for peace to get through those times.
Every single solitary thing we go through in life refines us into the people God created us to be. Some are very exciting and mind-blowing, others are so sad and sorrowful, we want to skip that process, but every single second of our lives, He is working in us and for us. And the grass always seems greener on the other side of the fence.
I love my family more than my own life. I don’t like when we are nipping at one another, or being grumpier than normal, because it tears me up inside. I guess though, that since we are human, that is bound to happen from time to time.
I’ve been in my own world for weeks now. A close dear friend is fighting the battle of her life with a cancer diagnosis and no definitive results yet on exactly the type of or the best type of treatment for her. And when I think of all she has been through, what her family is going through daily, I give thanks because my problems don’t seem so out of control as they feel. The strength and courage that she has shown, in living out her faith and trusting in the Lord brings joy to my heart and encourages me to look for every single blessing I have or blessings I have overlooked.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 New Living Translation (NLT)
16 Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
Whatever mountain you are facing in your lives today, please know there is a Savior that would love to hear from you. He is always available. He is always listening.
Jesus can turn any mess into a message of hope and any test into a testimony.
May you know how much Jesus Loves You~right here-right now!
Blessings until next time~Carlene
I’m trying hard to comprehend the need for Tyson to break and destroy objects that he comes in contact with. Is it because it’s the natural course in the life of a toddler? The curiosity of how things are made and assembled? Or simply the pure joy of seeing toys, priceless mementos of a lifetime ago break apart, or does his need for sensory input figure into the equation?
I learned long ago as a younger parent to not ask the Lord for patience; inevitably that required walking out many trials involving the art of patience, only developed as you learn to maneuver the pitfalls and blessings of parenthood. In my 30’s, it seems I was more apt and skilled to tune out the chaos. As I’ve grown older and presumably wiser, my hope was I would be much more mellow than I am.
Some things require ongoing instruction; He’s teaching me to live in the Peace only He can give. To seek wisdom and discernment in areas that although familiar to when our children were young; they never seemed to have this much high-strung energy that never stops!
And in the same instant that something has been quashed, there’s this ray of sunshine that gleams thru and says, “I wuv you.” And sees my sad frown turned upside down, leaps in my lap and hugs me tight.
I talk to him about the broken objects and try and explain why we don’t break things. Some days, he says,”sorry” other days there is no comprehension that a mistake was made.
And I forgive.
I think of the many times in my life, I have done or said something that grieved Jesus, and yet, He loves every broken piece of me and forgives all.
He doesn’t hold our sins over us but lovingly rebukes and corrects us and allows us to live under His mercy and grace.
At the end of my walk here on earth, I want to know that thru all the brokenness and struggles, I learned to love and forgive like Jesus. To overlook offenses and show mercy. To not be the one pointing the finger, but the one saying, things are just things. People matter more.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
John 14:27 NIV
May you know how much Jesus Loves You~right where you are in this moment.
Discord or Harmony? Which do you choose?
I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.
1 Corinthians 1:10 NLT
This was my daily verse that appeared on my computer screen this morning and it made me realize that I cannot hold onto anger or irritation because that is not who God has called me to be. How easy it is though to let simple irritations or perceived wrongdoings take hold if we let them. Until I read that verse, I had mulled over what I had found and shared that information with my husband hoping he would be just as upset. And there at that moment, discord happened. I knew better. I know better, but I was angry.
I do my utmost to be loving in all circumstances and show mercy and grace to all; some days I fail miserably. Forgiving the offense is hard today. Maybe because it’s a repeated offense of thinking of oneself and no one else or the circumstances at hand. However, I know that if I do not forgive, the enemy wins. And if I do not give it to the Lord and ask for forgiveness for my thoughts, words, and actions, I am no better than the offender.
So I will forgive, not because people think it may be the right thing to do, but because that is what Jesus does for me daily. I will forgive because my perceptions are totally different and I can’t let this one offense rule over my thoughts and actions. Discourse in the church begins in our hearts. Different ideas, perceived notions, beliefs with an unwillingness to shift or change how we do life and how we perceive what other’s think or believe can leave you feeling pretty agitated. We have to be willing, as a member of the body of believers (the church) that everyone hears from God in different ways and every person has different parts of ministry in their lives. We have to be willing to stand up for injustice, love others~even if they aren’t very lovable and be willing to open our hearts and minds to the people God places in our path.
Each one of us is created in the image of God. I believe He did that so that we might see a glimpse of how diverse and omnipotent He is. Remembering that man looks at the outward appearance and God looks inwardly at our hearts, pricked mine today because it reminded me that my heart wasn’t in a very good place and for my heart to show the Love of Jesus to others, it has to be full of love, peace, patience, gentleness and mercy- not anger, resentment and bitterness.
I think it is simply awesome that God knows what each of us needs to read or hear in order to put our hearts in the right place, even though all of us have very different circumstances going on all at the same time. The fact that any of us could attend a church meeting, hear the same sermon and each receives the message to help us in our daily walk, shows us how Sovereign and Omnipresent our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is. He knows what we need, and He is always listening and ready to guide us. I am so thankful for that.
John 10:10 New Living Translation (NLT)
10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
May you know how much Jesus Loves You~right here, right now! #HopeAlwaysHaveFaith
Blessings to all~Carlene
I posted this on my Facebook page earlier, but wanted to share these thoughts with all of you.
Praying everyone will have a Blessed Easter weekend. After spending the middle of the night hours in the emergency department with Tyson for breathing treatments that couldn’t wait and very little sleep, it made me think how weary Jesus must have been today, knowing that on Friday he would take the weight of the world’s sins upon His shoulders for us. For me and you to be reconciled with The Father.
The story of Easter isn’t about Bunny Rabbits and candy and egg hunts, but about a loving God that doesn’t want any of his children to perish and I know he’s okay with Easter Egg hunts because He loves to see joy in the hearts of His beloved and for practical ways for the church, again you and me, if you are a believer to love one another and share the love He gives everyday.
Maybe, I’ll see you at the Egg Hunt or in the church building or at the grocery store, but know this one thing, Jesus Loves You very much!
However you and your loved ones choose to celebrate or observe this holiday weekend,may you know Jesus Loves You So very much!