That may sound like a strange title to a post, but it just kept coming to me over and over because that is where I feel like I have been. This is not a journey that anyone would want to take. I will try to put into words what is on my heart to share with you. After months of dealing with physical issues with my left leg and foot which the doctor felt was coming from a nerve root being irritated , I was put on prednisone (which in all my 63 years I had never taken.) Since I am extremely sensitive to any medications--including almost dying from a reaction to one years ago--after a few days, I began to have an adverse reaction and was told to stop the medicine. Then a week later, I had a steroid spinal injection----not knowing how it would affect me. Since that time many other symtoms started--being "hyped up" on the inside, extreme agitation, sleeplessness and many other physical symtoms--now having such intense ringing in ears that prevents sleep many nights. At times, I thought I was losing my mind. I could not think straight--even thinking I was not going to make it. The purpose of this blog is not to go on and on about what I am going through, but rather to share with you something I realized in the midst of it all. There are times in our lives--hard times which can be anything from intense grief, physical suffering, mental or emotional suffering---any time that is just extremely difficult when we are literally "carried" by others. During this time, I could not seem to think straight, I could not pray, I could not hear the still, small voice of God's Holy Spirit--I was just trying to get through and not doing a very good job of it. I did not praise my way through--I did not rejoice always--I did not sing in the midst of suffering---rather, I did a very human thing---I just cried. I was being "carried" by others. God's Holy Spirit--the Comforter---also means "one who is called alongside to help." Most of the time during the last month, all I could do was cry out to God to help me!!! I began to think about the story of "Footprints"--where there are two sets of footprints during our life when the Lord is walking along beside us, but during the hardest times of our lives, there is only one set of footprints---those times are when He is literally carrying us. I began to thank Him for carrying me through---it seemed to be all I could do. During this time, my greatest encourager has been my husband, Lynn. He has constantly told me that I WAS going to make it through--that I WAS going to be all right and that God would see me through. Honestly, at times, I doubted what he was telling me. It was like I was in a fog and was losing my way. Many times, he cancelled his plans to stay with me. During the worst of nights, when I thought I could not take it any more, I clung to Lynn for dear life. He did everything for me and patiently took care of me. He has been one of those "called alongside to help." Many of you--my family and friends--have been one of those also. I have received calls, e-mails, texts from all of you who have been called alongside to help me---even from some I write in prison telling me that I have been weighing heavily on their hearts. I believe it is the Lord Himself who puts other people on our hearts to pray or call just letting them know we are thinking of them or seeing if there is something we can do for them. That is what has happened over and over to me. Even with a lawyer I just met for the first time who held hands with Lynn and I and prayed for me!!! The real treasures in our lives here on earth are our family and friends. We have seen with all the fires how quickly all our "stuff" can be gone in a matter of minutes. You and I have something much more precious than all our "stuff"---which can literally be burned up in minutes. We are blessed with family and friends. They are the ones who will carry us through everything!!! I thank our God--the Creator of the Universe----for carrying each of us through those hard times in our lives and for sending many alongside to help. I believe He does this every day---putting others on our hearts. I pray we will all be obedient to either pray, call, text or e-mail that person on our heart who is in desperate need of a word of encouragement. I am so thankful for all those who the Lord has called alongside to help me. How BLESSED you and I are!!!! Even at times when we doubt His Word, we are remined over and over that "His GRACE is sufficient"---He sends many to us and we see His life coming through others to encourage, comfort and to "carry" us through.
I recently visited with Kenneth and his story will be the next post.