I’m not dead and I can prove it

I am doing something I thought I’d die happy never doing. Jogging. I know I posted about it before but it’s seriously a big deal around these parts. Family members don’t believe it. Friends are skeptical. Kids are puzzled.

How did this strange thing come about?

About a year and a half ago, I started having migraines, then I started having anxiety symptoms that were uncontrollable, after that I had what I thought was strokes or MS. To top it all off, I was pretty certain I was going to die. I’m not talking the type of thinking that hypochondriacs do. I’m talking about all these weird symptoms that were coming out of nowhere and smacking me down. Lumps in my breast area really freaked me (and the ER physician) out. Fatigue punched me in the face and pain became a constant presence that I wanted to hurt back. If I could have kicked pain’s sorry butt I would have.

The good news is that I’m not dead from breast cancer, I’m not suffering from MS, and my fatigue, while still ever-present, is not hanging from every limb like an overgrown fungus. I am alive!!

There were so many moments with God this last year that I can’t recount every one to tell you how amazing they were. Some of those moments were rending the air with curses. The pain got so intense for so long I secretly wanted to die. If you’ve ever had the kind of pain that is so endless that you would cut off the limb or body part and throw it out the nearest window just to be done with it, then you know what I’m talking about. That kind of pain and tiredness can drive one into depression, which is where I ended up eventually.

The other times with my sweet Jesus were times of healing. When the Dr. felt lumps under my arm instead of diagnosing me with a stomach ulcer I freaked a little.. I felt the lumps, felt the other strange symptoms and knew that if I did have cancer it would probably be the end for me. At that point, I didn’t think there was much to lose by starting to exercise and get closer to my Lord. I know, that sounds so stupid. I wanted to make my last months, if that was truly what was happening, good ones. Physical exercise would help me if I was either dying or not. I plugged my iPod in and got on the elliptical.  This song came on and my heart came undone. God ministered to me in those minutes.

Hold My Heart (Tenth Avenue North)

How long must I pray
Must I pray to You
How long must I wait
Must I wait for You
How long till I see Your face
See You shining through

I’m on my knees
Begging You to notice me
I’m on my knees
Father, will You turn to me

One tear in the driving rain
One voice in a sea of pain
Could the maker of the stars
Hear the sound of my breaking heart
One life, that’s all I am
Right now I can barely stand
If You’re everything You say You are
Would You come close and hold my heart

I’ve been so afraid, afraid to close my eyes
So much can slip away before I say goodbye
But if there’s no other way
I’m done asking why

‘Cause I’m on my knees
Begging You to notice me
I’m on my knees
Father, will You run to me, yeah

One tear in the driving rain
One voice in a sea of pain
Could the maker of the stars
Hear the sound of my breaking heart
One life, that’s all I am
Right now I can barely stand
If You’re everything You say You are
Would You come close and hold my heart

So many questions without answers
Your promises remain
I can’t see but I’ll take my chances
To hear you call my name
To hear you call my name

One tear in the driving rain
One voice in a sea of pain
Could the maker of the stars
Hear the sound of my breaking heart
One life, that’s all I am
Right now I can barely stand
If You’re everything You say You are
Would You come close and hold my heart
Hold my heart
Could You hold my heart
Hold my heart

I had previously felt like one tear in the driving rain. One voice in a sea of pain. I had felt like I was one insignificant little girl who didn’t have the attention of the Maker of the Stars. At that moment I knew. I knew He loved me. He saw me. He cared. He cared about my anxious heart. He knew I could barely stand. I knew he would hold my heart and heal it. It became my prayer.

“Jesus hold my heart.”

That was the beginning. I’ve posted about how I asked God to deal with my anxiety if it was something I could do, or confess or whatever. I wanted that physical feeling of anxiety to be GONE. I’ll go into how that has been a burden that has been lifted in a bit.

Through prayer and many hours wondering how I could make some steps toward healing, I decided that I would try to jog this spring. Inspiration has come in a few different ways. My cousin’s daughter, Lindsay, who has suffered with Rheumatoid Arthritis, and had achieved an amazing feat. She had run a 5 Km. I have also been inspired by someone who has no arms or legs but has been a source of inspiration and encouragement to millions. If Nick Vujicic can touch the world, minus all of his appendages, surely a small town gal like me could at the very least be healed enough to shine light to my family and possibly to my community. Even if I were to stay in pain to the degree that I was, would I allow God to use those “good days” to reach others? The bad days are impossible to do much but exist. Still…Would I try the impossible?

I started looking at possible ways to train to run a 5 Km. I found Couch to 5K and thought it was doable. I got excited about it and even found an app that would make it easier.

I began seeing a psychologist as a part of my healing. She said something so key, so healing that it made a difference in major ways. She told me that she hears “I feel like the anxiety is a physical thing.” from a lot of women over 40 years of age. This lifted a huge weight of anxiety I had about the anxiety. She also encouraged me to do the little I can do every day. She told me that she does just five minutes every day. She said that if she only does 5 minutes it was better than nothing. I thought to myself, I can do just 5 minutes too! Something is better than NOTHING!

I thought to myself, “how do I make it so that I can succeed?” My brain messages were changing course. God was showing me that the impossible is possible. So, how do I make sure I don’t injure myself with this new exercise with all the health issues I have going on? I have had this problem before. I go all gung-ho and take myself out with a too-high karate kick to the sky or a too bendy bend. Take it slow. The Couch to 5K seemed pretty slow and realistic. So that’s what I did.

The messages I play in my head now are “With God all things are possible.” and “I can do the hard thing.” When I feel like giving up I figure out a way to make myself successful and consider setbacks only setbacks and do not think of them as monumental failures and that I should quit.

It’s almost like a switch has gone on inside me. I had nowhere to go…I was at the bottom. I knew it would be painful to start moving my body but really, I was already in pain.

I am going to do this thing I formerly and daily hated. That’s right, I may have decided that I like jogging. Don’t quote me on that yet. I like that I’m feeling better. I am still finding severe times of fatigue and pain, but not every day like a weighted blanket is covering me. Now, I have more “Go get ’em.” days as opposed to the “I will lay down and try to will my pain away.” I am so thankful to the Maker of the Stars that he has given me the will and the hope and the STRENGTH to Keep on going when my mind and body say stop.

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2 responses to “I’m not dead and I can prove it

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