My Adventures, Uncategorized

Better Day.

What a wonderful after being extremely sick for the last three weeks. Today was my husbands birthday so we enjoyed the sunshine at one of our favorite towns. Felt so good to get out and about. Doesn’t that quinoa bowl look amazing! I brought half of it home for dinner.

About a week ago I decided to go gluten free and it’s already shown a huge difference, and most of my clothes are extremely loose. I guess I have a excuse to go shopping for new clothes. Hubby actually insisted on a beautiful black dress that was on clearance and a necklace he thought was perfect for me. I am excited to wear it for Mother’s Day and the ladies tea at church.

Like I said, the last the last three weeks have been rough. The first two was a fibromyalgia flare, followed by four days of sore muscles, nausea and migraines, and all the sudden I was just tired and yesterday everything happened at once. I finally went to the doctor and they thought I maybe had diverticulitis but thankfully I didn’t. It’s been rough and at nights it’s the worse, and I feel like giving up, but having my husband next to me every night and comforting me and lifting me up in Christ, I know that I must give this trial to God because he knows my future.

My family has been my rock. We spend all of our time together when the girls aren’t in school, which may change next school year depending if the girls want to be homeschooled or not; right now it’s up to them and based on my health and what God wants us to do. We have our little spits and arguments but we always come back together. Family is extremely important to my husband and I because we never had a strong family growing up. So far, I have literally everything I ever dreamed of.

Even though I struggle through my chronic illnesses, I know I must pick myself up and continue. Through prayer, I am able to bring myself together and move on. It’s never been that way, and it has meant I have had to give up many things that were of the world, but it’s been worth it.

Through the blood of Jesus Christ all my sins have been washed away, and because of that I am free and wish this upon everyone. I have fallen rock bottom many times but God picks me up when before I relied on other people or myself which made it even harder. God is the answer. Better is one day in his courts, as the worship song says.

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Holding On

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The last few weeks as I stated a few days ago have been rough for me. Not only did I go through a two week fibromyalgia flare, but after it ended I then had to go through the aftermath of sore and twitching muscles and fatigue. It’s been like this for many years.

I used to not do very well when I went through a long flare like this, but this time was different and it’s only by the grace of God that I was able to hold on.

May is going to be a month of “who knows”. Many appointments and procedures, but I am ready. God has a plan for me, and I am already being led down the path, I just have to hold on. I am going through these medical trials to shine the light for others, and I know that is what I have been called to do. It’s not always easy, but I can say with all certainty that it’s worth it and makes us stronger, but only if we stay in prayer and the word. I have been doing daily devotionals and reading through the Bible every day. I keep a prayer journal just because I have found it easier for me to pray while I write. Whatever works for you. Just give all your burdens and struggles to God, and you will be led and these trials will become easier to go through because you aren’t doing it alone.

I spent way to many years trying to figure out my health on my own, and that was a mistake. I had more stress and fell into a deep depression, but this last flare I found joy and became more thankful for what was given to me and my eyes were opened to just how blessed I was. Pretty clear that if we accept Jesus as our Savior and give our lives to Him, happiness becomes more evident.

So today when I went to church, I was reminded by how much we are loved and if we give our lives to Jesus Christ, we are new and cleansed, and will be carried through our trials. Plus, my church family is always there for me.

You don’t have to go through these trials alone. Give them to Jesus Christ and live your life for Him, and He will lead you and carry you through. He has with me and is continuing.

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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.

 

 

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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

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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

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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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Ministry from the Sofa

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Happy Wednesday everyone. I honestly wasn’t sure what I was going to talk about today, until God told me I should share as to why I even started this blog in the first place: as a ministry that I can do from home since I am disabled.

First of all, today is my first day ALONE in my house, minus my ginormous Husky/German shepherds, but they are just chillin’ next to me on the floor. So, I am going to be working on a Podcast today (hopefully, we shall see how it works)

But back to what I wanted to talk to you guys about was ministry. Many people, I was once included, believe that in order to serve on a ministry, you must PHYSICALLY serve. I can tell you first hand that is not true, and the Bible never said that either (I looked that up). Of course our Father wants to see us serving in the church (and when I say church, meaning the building) but we must also serve THE church: all Christians around the globe. In the Bible, in Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” This includes a building, but can also sitting together with someone and speaking of Him, even a phone call, and I firmly believe that when there are two or more gathered even online talking about Him, praying and in fellowship, that God is with all of us.

I have not talked much about my medical conditions because I feel a bit like I am rambling, but I will list them off now: Endometriosis, Intersticial Cystitis, Pelvic Floor Myalgia, Fybromyalgia, Degenerative Disc Disease, Atypical and Chronic Migraines, Chronic Depression, Severe Anxiety, PTSD with dissociative traits and I just found out I have lymphomas on my back. We found the church God called us to, but with all of these medical conditions, it has been hard to consistently serve, and it really brought me down. Not to mention being a mom and wife, it can be very frustrating. I had let all of my illness, both physical, mental and emotional, take over me the whole winter, until I had an awakening through our Father and started Chronically Faithful.

I spent hours searching online for a podcast, website, blog, even Instagram for those who have any sort of chronic illness and is looking for some help, prayer, and even friends. This is a ministry I can do from home on the worse of days, and you can too. Being chronically ill gives us the opportunity to not only uplift others through God’s word and everlasting love, but also will help ourselves. I know it has helped me. Keep fighting the good fight, and feel free to contact me up above. I would love to hear from and and pray for you or even talk.

God Bless,

Shanell