There are times in life when it's much harder to see what God's doing than others. The past few months and especially this last week have been "those times". It amazes me when God shows His love very clearly for brief times during the hard times; it's an incredible gift. It also helps me keep faith when He seems silent; when I can't feel His love; when life hurts so much I want to curl up in a ball and stay that way forever.
My follow up appointment for the Crohn's disease tests was this morning. I was not prepared to be so discouraged by the report. Initially, when I had my tests two and a half weeks ago, the GI doctor led us to believe that things may be "better". That really isn't the case. They were not even able to successfully complete one of the tests (which they didn't tell us previously). I now need to go in to try and have it tested a different way (and if THAT doesn't work, there's another test they'll try).
They want to put me on a rather high dosage of Prednisone for at least a month. I'm very, very leery of that. Friends have shared the side effects they've had when taking it and I'm very hesitant to risk experiencing that myself. There are a couple other options as well but they wouldn't be as effective. The ulcers in parts of the intestinal tract are pretty bad.
Being a very "naturally minded" woman, I prefer to do things nutritionally; not with medications and steroids. The thought of going on Prednisone is something I wouldn't have even considered a few months ago. However, if Crohn's disease isn't kept under control, it can lead to the need for things as serious as chemo and surgical removal of the infected areas. After four months of being very sick, there is a sense of urgency to get this into remission for awhile.
On Saturday, Mom fell and broke her wrist very badly. She has been in terrible amounts of pain ever since. Surgery was Tuesday and one plate and eleven screws were put in. Seeing her like this is almost more than I can handle on top of dealing with my own pain. Whenever someone calls, sends a note or email, comments on facebook, or brings a meal, it's a good reminder that God is here. He is loving us through the amazing people that He's surrounded us with. He may not be giving us answers, but He is giving us continual love.
Another sibling is dealing with some major issues. And another sibling is dealing with some major issues. And another sibling is dealing with some painful issues. And yet another sibling had a very scary "episode" on Monday. It feels like our family is falling apart physically. When it rains, it pours.
I am so thankful for the times that we can have fun, laugh, and enjoy life through all of this. Saturday most of us siblings hung out together in Milwaukee...we had dinner at Olive Garden, stood out in the parking lot for awhile talking and laughing our heads off, and then went to a movie at Mayfair Mall. It was SUCH a wonderful break from life. Laughing with my siblings is one of the most wonderful things in the world.
Paul Washer tweeted the following words earlier this week: "The heights of our usefulness are directly related to the depths of our suffering. To be weak, we must be made weak. There is no other way." It goes along so well with the verse that has been "my" verse for the past several months. "And He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." (2 Cor. 12:9) It also makes me think of my life verse, Philippians 4:13: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
God continues with His perfect plans, no matter how imperfect they seem and how imperfect I am. I would be lost without Him. His mercies are new every morning, and His faithfulness is great.