Finally, Peace.

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What does it mean to have a sense of peace? This has been a discovery for myself, and I really started to question what it really meant to have peace. I have noticed I enjoy my quiet times of prayer, reading scripture, my books, the newspaper, and I used to never be that way, until pretty recently, and it was a very simple change I made that gave me my peace within.

As I grow more my faith, I have a much higher sense of peace than I have ever had before. I used to be a worry wart. Things would happen to me that I couldn’t control and I would stress out about it to the point I would throw myself into a flare. Literally, I was giving myself pain when it was unnecessary.

Finding such a loving church, I have peace knowing I have a community who supports me and loves me. Knowing my husband is there for me and everyday he lifts me and our children up with the Lord on a daily basis, that gives me peace. The fact that I know that I am imperfect and have sinned, and God still loves me, and with me accepting Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and following His Word, that gives me peace.

Before I came back to my faith, I was miserable. There was no peace at all. I was bitter, angry, and felt a emptiness in my heart that I tried to fulfill with multiple things; hobbies, jobs, even business opportunities, nothing fulfilled the emptiness. I truly believe that was Satan holding onto me, because I was weak without staying faithful in my relationship with God. Yet, He has saved me over and over again from a destructive cycle of depression and anxiety that I would cause myself. Once we hand our lives back over to God, He is in control.

Cast your burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved. -Psalms 55:22 NKJV

Hand your burdens to Him because He is there for us always. Why go through unnecessary pain when you are able to give all our burdens and worries to the God that created us and knows our future? The answer is you don’t have to. Pray to God, and He will release you from your pain, and you will finally be at peace. God is truthfully amazing, and I can promise you that.

 

 

Faith

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Today has already been a rough day. The pain has been great, and honestly I have had a little trouble emotionally. I prayed to God asking what I should do to help me get through this, and He answered that I should focus on sharing my faith and story. It’s easy for me to get caught up with the fact that my body is going against me and I want to just bawl in bed, but instead I am praying every time I feel like crying, and God gives me peace.

Faith is something that I haven’t always had during my now decade long journey of chronic illnesses, and I can tell you during the time without it, I was miserable. With me being miserable, my family was miserable also. Without God, I can’t get through these trials.

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of our faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that hew ill receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. -James 1:1-8 NKJV

Because I remain in faith, God has been showing me how faithful and righteous He really is. I am personally experiencing what the Bible tells us we will. He has even opened doors for me and my family that I never thought were a option. God’s plan and timing is perfect, and once we acknowledge that, you will feel peace as well. It breaks my heart when a fellow brother or sister in Christ loses their faith because of impatience. God’s timing is perfect, and many times He may say no to something we personally feel is best for us. God knows our future and by faith He will help us through this journey.

Faith is so important, it clearly states it in the book of James. Have you fully given your trials to God, or are you trying to tackle them yourself?

-Shanell

Another Rollercoaster

Today I had my follow-up for my spine injections. I had my second injection just about three weeks ago and the relief was none. My doctor is now sending me to a neurosurgeon for an opinion as to what the next path of treatment will be.

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Yay! (😒) Just another specialist to add to my crazy list of doctors who are part of my chronic illness journey. Friday I see the general surgeon for the lipomas on my back, so that should be interesting. Meanwhile while waiting for my doctor to come into my exam room, my gynecologist who specializes in over half of my invisible illness gave me the news that I have a bladder infection inside of my bladder that’s diseased with interstitial cystitis, which explains why I am having horrible pain around my pelvic area. Oh! And I am still waiting on rheumatology.

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Truth be told, I’m scared. My pain is an eight and goes up to a ten at night. All of my body had been in some sort of flare for five days now. My degenerative disc disease and bluffed discs at L4/S1 are is creating my left leg to go dead and pain in my left hip, that is flaring up my pelvic floor myalgia, the bladder is flared from the infection, and all of those flared up my fibromyalgia. Yesterday I slept all day and couldn’t even leave my bed. So yeah, I’m all sorts of flares! img_3201

Life isn’t easy. The trials we face are of all different sorts which teach us lessons as we go through the journey. When my journey all started ten years ago and they kept telling me that I needed to see multiple specialists, I would immediately go into a panic attack, but today I didn’t. Today was different and there was just one reason why: my relationship with God. Plus the fact my husband is with me, that always helps. img_3239

The closer I have become to God the easier my life has become, but that doesn’t just come freely. It’s a relationship, a continuous and faithful one at that. That’s what gives me this freedom. As relationships with others consist of mutual love and respect, it is the same with our relationship with God. If we expect something from God yet don’t give him what He has clearly written in God’s Word (trust, faith in Him, the list goes on), that’s not truly a relationship with Him. Do you constantly ask your friends or spouse to do something and when they ask of something of you, you completely ignore it? Is that a relationship? Nope.

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Because I have been listening to Gods Word and trusting what it says and Him in general, I have been able to get through my trials and this journey much better. It has also opened many doors for me and our family in ways I can’t even imagine. Sure, I’m being sent to yet another specialist and am not healed or even close to it, but I trust His plan because He is the maker of me and my future. I have no right to intervene with our maker, and He knows what’s best for me. I used to fight and try to solve issues by my own ways, and it would just cause me further pain, both emotionally and physically. But once I gave my trust unto God, I have peace because when I pray, and I mean truly pray and have a full conversation with God, and after learning how to discern His voice, I know everything will be ok and He is using these trials to help others and to show me where He wants to use me in this world.

One learns the deepest meaning of faith during the biggest trials of their lives. Sure, this is going to be a new and crazy rollercoaster ride because of the new specialists being added, but I’m ready. I am chronically faithful and forever will be because my future has already been written and He is showing me a little at a time.

Twitter: the Attack against Christians and God

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Recently my husband and I have constantly been asked why God doesn’t stop Satan from doing evil, or why God doesn’t heal everyone; basically why God doesn’t intervene during something that is considered bad. Little did I know it would just end up an attack on my faith. I’m not expert, but I do have God’s Word.

After I left Facebook, which was thankfully before the whole scandal happened, Rick and I decided we would give a try to Twitter, not knowing just how hate filled it was towards Christians, but the Bible clearly states that we should not be ashamed and to be disciples unto Him. Having chronic illnesses, that usually mean me being in bed all day when my girls are at school, what better place to share God’s Word on Twitter, and that’s how this blog post came to being.

When the original question was brought up, I immediately shared Romans 9:22 which gives what I think is a pretty clear picture. We can’t answer to all the bad, except that due to the fact God has given us the free will to accept Jesus Christ as our Personal Savior or not, many of this world is following Satan’s path and not the one of God.

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My personal examples are as follows: I personally have multiple chronic illnesses and am still battling them. I am unable to do what I used to and have lost count of procedures. God hasn’t healed me, but what I have learned throughout this decade of fighting my illnesses is that this was God’s way to bring me where He wants me, which is closer to Him and trusting Him in everything. I have gone through so many trials when I was wondering in the darkness, and He allowed bad things to happen to me. It was a wake- up call for me. Yes, I am not healed, and many would say that this is not love from God, and I say it is; like a father raises up his daughter or son. We must learn what it’s like without Him to truly understand how much we need Him. My oldest daughter was born with a severe birth defect called a Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia. She had basically died 3 times, and we prayed so much while in the NICU, and during the times she would crash, we prayed even harder and had mass texts sent to 400 people. She revived. She is now healthy, but is borderline deaf and has some other medical issues, but she know’s God is real and has had her own personal experiences with Him, as of I. God IS real.

And then this is what I get from those on Twitter as I share my faith.

We are called to disciple, and yes, when we are attacked especially on our faith, it’s easy to shut down and surrender to Satan, but how else do we plant the mustard seeds throughout the world? How else will anyone hear the good news that God gives, even though many unbelievers will use scripture to tear you down. As Christians, and especially stay in God’s Word, we know the truth. In Hebrews 4:12 it says “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of thoughts and intents of the heart.” Use God’s Word in battle of the spirits.

Even though I am being attacked on social media for my faith, I won’t back down and I WILL continue to use God’s Word for the greater good. Right now we must stand up for God more than ever. Raise up our children for Him, stay in His Word daily and in prayer, and we can do anything, through Christ Jesus.

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Beautiful Spring Day

Today I was able to venture out of the house with my family and the dogs. We went to our family property, which is where I have always gone when I need to just clear my head or get some real country fresh air. The family property has been around since I was young, and I am so thankful I can share it with my family now.

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As we started to drive down to the property, it started to rain, and hard, but by the time we made it there, it stopped and the sun came out just in time. It was like God was showing me that everything was going to be okay.

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I have been a bit worried about my doctor appointment coming up on Tuesday. I have gone through now two sets of hip shots and no relief, and after my husband reminded me that the doctor said if the shots don’t work I would need to have the procedure to remove to matter in my spine, I instantly became nauseous. I have lost track of how many procedures I have had between all of my illnesses, and to have them remove the nasty matter caused by my degenerative disc disease and herniated discs, just makes me feel extremely uneasy. I’m a outdoorsy girl and always have been, so if this procedure is God’s will and will get me back in the wilderness in the future (mountains, not the family property), then so be it.

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I walked around the property and just prayed. Prayed that God would bless the land and that any negative and evil spirits would be removed in the name of Jesus Christ. I prayed that God would show me His plans for me and ease my nerves. He did just that, and I caught some beautiful pictures, which I felt was God telling me “You are doing it. You’re listening to Me. Continue.” I’m on the right path, and it’s been much more gentle and joyous because He is the one leading me.

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As for the surgery, not sure what the future holds, but it doesn’t matter, because God is already there and already has it planned out for me. I trust Him. He knows what is the future for not only me but my family.

Have a very blessed Saturday.

Shanell

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A Glimmer of Hope and Grace

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With this being the first time writing about the Daily Prompt, I wanted to make sure it came from my heart.

God’s unwavering grace has been glimmering all around me, and it wasn’t until December I started to notice that this glimmer of light was always there, especially during the darkness that tainted my way of thinking and viewing my life.

I am only 28 years old and my life has been nothing compared to what I had planned for myself. I never planned on becoming ill, let alone be set with chronic invisible illnesses to the point of disability. The plan was to complete college and find my dream career, or so I thought.

10 years ago when my journey of chronic illness began, I never would’ve pictured myself where I am today. The trials are hard, and my faith remained broken, until I cried out unto God when my flesh could no longer take the pain. All this time, there was a glimmer of His Grace out there, but my eyes were to busy focusing on what can’t be changed or fix instead of what I can do with His help. I love the story of Peter when he saw Jesus walking on water. I can relate to this account with my own personal experiences on more than one occasion.

Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. -Matthew 14: 26-33 NKJV

Jesus was the glimmer that Peter could see, but the second he took his eyes off of it, and focused on the wind (the darkness), he began to sink.

I am still in my storm, but instead of focusing on the strong winds and giant pounding waves of pain, my focus is set on the glimmer of light, Jesus Christ. I have found new hobbies that I greatly enjoy such as reading and writing, and am currently taking courses to broaden my knowledge further and to become a much better writer, and very possibly make a career out of it; whatever God has planned for me. I am no longer pursuing college, but focusing on God, my family and being a Proverbs 31 woman. And here’s the thing. The closer you get to Him, that glimmer becomes a shimmer, and soon a beautiful glistening glow that you give off yourself.

Focus on the glimmer of hope and His grace that is ahead, and you will not sink.

via Daily Prompt: Glimmer

Welcome to my life of Chronic Illness

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It’s been difficult for me to write recently. Fibro fog has been attacking me the last week while the rain and snow continues to come down. But, God called me to share my story, share my thoughts and share His word with those who feel how I feel many times. Lonely.

I have been fighting chronic and invisible illnesses for a while now. It all started with endometriosis 10 years ago, and today I have now added fibromyalgia, pelvic floor dysfunction, interstitial cystitis, degenerative back disease, chronic and atypical migraines, alone with all the emotional and mental illness that comes with the rest of my medical problems, and I am not afraid to share: PTSD with dissociative traits (thanks to childhood abuse, my daughter’s medical and abusive from a ex), Chronic Depression and Severe Anxiety. I am actually still battling endometriosis. That’s the facts, I am not ashamed and welcome to my life. I am sure there are many others who are trying to get through life like me, and I am here to tell you one thing:  you are not alone, even though you may feel like it.img_1610

The last 2 years is when everything came to knowledge of my doctors and when my body really started to get bad, but of course it wasn’t without a fight. Invisible Chronic Illnesses many doctors and practitioners don’t believe are real and then send the patient off to a psychologist or counselor. THAT IS NOT OKAY, and you should never give up! I fight on a daily basis to put a smile on my face as I send my children off to school even though the pain is excruciating. I have had to cancel multiple times with people, business functions (can’t even work my business because of my health), even church functions, and many have given up on even calling, texting or coming to see me.

Now, I am not saying this for pity, I am far from that. This is my life and I am okay with it because I trust in Jesus and His plan for me. Yes, I hurt all day, every day because I choose not to take certain medications that make me feel worse. I have turned to God more than ever. I grew up in church, even though my family atmosphere was far from a Christian household, but I held onto my faith. My oldest daughter was born with a Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia and her medical journey was stressful, and caused lots of stress between me and her father. The abuse from him continued, he refused to believe I truly had my medical conditions and were never there for my procedures, and I literally lost it. Yup, I have had my share of emotional breakdowns, but this was by far the worse. I gave up, went down a dark hole of depression and lost my faith, until I met my husband. Now, we have the family that I always dreamed of, and our blended family is beautiful. I had given up the idea of having another child due to my infertility from the endometriosis, but God gave me my younger daughter Ashley when I met my husband.

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The last 4 years my husband Rick has been a saint, and just in the last year, we both have found our faith together and our family has seen the power of Jesus work in our lives. He is always there for me, he goes with me to my appointments and asks his own questions. When I am stuck in bed, he cares for me. God truly sent me him for a reason, and I love him so much.

Due to the fact that Adam and Eve sinned, many people live with illness. What I find the hardest is that us with chronic illnesses that are invisible are told we are faking or over reacting for attention. If they could only step into my shoes and feel the pain and battles we face every day. But I will not allow my illness to keep me from serving the Lord in our youth ministry.

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So I will end with this. Don’t give up, I know its hard and many times you feel like the world is going to end. Give it to God. Maybe you aren’t a Christian and don’t understand how He can help us. I lost my faith and my life became worse, my physical and mental health became worse from stress, but then Jesus made it clear that He was calling me back to Him and since, I have been able to make it through the battles. It’s still hard, i’m not going to lie about that, but I know that Jesus is my protector, and when He comes back to save his church, there will be no more sickness or pain.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working or us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

Love and God Bless!

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