Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Psalm 127:1

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Embrace n: an encircling of the arms. To take up readily or gladly

I have been wanting to write this post for weeks but wrapping my brain and heart around the concept or should I say truth has taken some time. Also, I didn't want to ramble. My hearts desire is to make sense of it all. Suffering and pain that is. Seeing that we are only human and not whole until heaven that may be an unreachable feat. I guess I should be happy if I am even able to wrap my heart around it right?

I have shared with you in the past and been mostly open about the fact that I have suffered with RA (rheumatoid arthritis) since I was in my 20's, roughly 10 years give or take. The thing with RA is and most people don't realize this is that it's not your average arthritis. It's not just waking up feeling a little stiff or achy and so you pop a Tylenol and go on with your golf game or head off to the gym and work out. It's crippling. It causes inflammation in not just your joints but your organs. It causes you to often loose function of major things like your arm or leg or hand. Sometimes this can last only for a few hours or for days. Your circulation is bad so you don't have the feeling in your fingers and toes like before. It can affect your hearing, your vision.
The craziest part is you look healthy to most people. I think in some ways this makes it that much harder to be open with the average person. If your sick with it though you can spot it a mile away. Weird really.
Everyone's diagnosis is different and complex. Mine just happens to be very aggressive.

A couple weeks ago I was driving home from somewhere and I was having a rough day. I was in a lot of pain, didn't feel good and having a hard time getting around. I decided to let myself go "there" and be sad. Feel sorry for myself and be angry. I was mad about my health, mad that I can't do a lot of things I want to do or even the daily things that are easy for most. I was in tears. I turned on the radio and wouldn't you know there was a pastor talking about suffering. Except he was asking when the last time was that I had embraced my suffering. I turned it up thinking surely I had heard wrong. Embrace your suffering? Why?
I got home and checked my email to find someone had found me through my blog post review I did of Carolyn's Chocolates here in town. I love Carolyn by the way. I almost didn't open the unknown sender but felt like it was safe. This mom who emailed me had "accidentally" found my blog while looking up Carolyn's Chocolates. Embrace your suffering. And read a post about me having RA. Embrace your suffering. Her daughter is young, 15 and has tested positive for this disease. She was reaching out to me for help. Embrace your suffering. I shared my testimony with her and the road I have been down. Embrace your suffering. I then sent her to Dr. Wellhausen for the proper medical support. A month or so later we still have not met but email daily. Embrace your suffering. She is a daughter of the King. Embrace your suffering.

I started in that very first email to feel Gods presence. Who finds someone on the internet through a chocolate place and gets to build a relationship helping one another? God works like that. On the very day I needed it most God reminded me why I am sick and why I don't have to be happy about it but to be joyful in this time is entirely different. To embrace my suffering is to help other people. To let my pride go about being sick and needing help and shout it out from the mountain top that in all the suffering and all the chaos this disease causes me and my house God is in control and has a purpose. I can go kicking and screaming or I can go willingly and be used. To embrace my suffering means I am telling God that I am willing to hold on to what he would have be go through and learn from it. Our first instinct when something is painful is to throw it back, get rid of it, run, flee. Nobody in their own strength wants to be in pain. And it's different for all of us. Some of us struggle with physical pain, others emotional pain. Loss, depression, loneliness etc. But are we getting everything from the "storm" God is allowing us to go through? Or are we taking cover and avoiding the obvious growth he wants in us. I personally am learning to be more patient, to be still, to give over control. To be more compassionate of others weaknesses. To wait on the Lord and to accept no as an answer. Sometimes the answer to our questions about the storm is because God asked us to. Obedience.

I decided last night to finally break down and write this post. My mom called me; she has had RA since she was in her 20's as well. She had just gotten back from her hearing appointment and it did not go well. She has been loosing her hearing for a couple years now and is legally deaf. They told her yesterday they could not help her anymore and to prepare to loose the hearing that is left. She told me she melted down and cried and got mad and indignant and then she said what convinced me to write this. She said,"It's OK now cause God has a plan in me being deaf. I will miss hearing your girls voices and Morgan play the piano, but God knows."
I was torn between crying and feeling excited about how God will use my mom and our family in this. She is embracing her suffering. She's going along for the ride to see where it takes her. Not only is she going she is rolling down the windows, cracking open the sunroof and attempting to take in the scenery.

Suffer: verb to experience something unpleasant. To bear loss or damage. A cause of distress.


The Writer said...

Yes!! Needed that post so badly. Thank you. I just received a new hearing aid and I am having a hard time adjusting. Sometimes I get so SICK of being hearing impaired. As for your mom send her my email - has you consider implant? I can give her a lot of information. Thank you my friend for always sending posts that help me to grow. You are a true RAY of sunshine.

Jessica said...

Great post Christy, and so true.

Rhonda said...

As I was reading this post I thought of Jesus, praying in the garden, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
Have you bought and read One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp yet? I think you would really like it.

Angela @ HomegrownMom said...

This made me all teary for some reason. Love what your are saying and sharing here, and we all need to hear it.

Jolene Grace said...

Oh dear friend, God bless you. What a beautiful insight into your heart. I agree with Rhonda, I too thought of the Garden of Gethsemane. Thank you for sharing.

littlecbsmom said...

Beautifully did an excellent job expressing yourself with such a tough topic.

I did not know your mom has this too.

Thanks for sharing some of what you go through and more important what God is teaching you through it...You are amazing!

Jeff and Aimee said...

Thank you, Christy.