There is one day left in March and for once I don't find it hard to believe the month is almost over. (Okay, it'll be after midnight when I post this, so technically it'll be the final day of March!) It's been a packed month. Lots of good things, lots of hard things. It's been a month filled with many memories and many decisions.
The mixture of the joy and the sorrow is something that is hard to understand and even feel sometimes. So rather than try to fully comprehend it, I'm choosing to just be so grateful that God gives smiles, laughter, and fun amidst the pain and trials. He's so awesome like that!
Last weekend was spent in Illinois with my bestie and her family. It was such a blessing to get away for a weekend (without being too far from my doctors). We talked (and talked and talked), watched movies, played with her little girl, held her little guy, ate yummy food, went to the park, got ice cream at the coolest ice cream place, and just had fun hanging out. Definitely a highlight of an otherwise difficult year so far! Emmy, thanks for being an amazing friend, especially the past few months!
LOVE this mother daughter photo <3
Having a whole weekend to hold this little guy was so much fun
Absolutely adore the face he's making in this pic!
I got home late Sunday night and had an appointment with the specialist in Madison on Monday after work. Without going into detail, it was an appointment I was quite apprehensive about due to communication issues. Thankfully, those got cleared up within the first five minutes. The remainder of our hour was spent going over the ups and downs of the treatments, test results, long term concerns, etc. I leave the appointments ready to cry, yet grateful to have a specialist who works so well with me. The bottom line is that my Crohn's is so advanced and severe that my only options are these nasty, "big gun" drugs, as she calls them. So, I started on the oral medications today and we are praying and waiting for insurance to clear the IV infusion drugs. I've been so sick this week, which has been awful, but also reconfirmed my decision about the treatment.
For my praying friends, I do have a few specific requests that I'd be so grateful to you if you prayed about them. Thank you so much, guys. You all mean the world to me!
- That insurance will approve the IV infusions. They are incredibly expensive.
- Protection from the rare serious side effects from the drugs (leukemia, lymphoma, etc.) and also the less severe side effects like nausea, baldness, etc.
- Peace and faith vs. fear and anxiety. There's a war going on in me.
I've been doing a Beth Moore study with my cousin that's called Beloved Disciple: The Life and Ministry of John. It's been incredible so far!! It amazes me how God has me read the right things at the right times. Here a few of the many excerpts I've highlighted so far.
"I love Matthew Henry's words of commentary on the scene at the door: 'How powerful the Physician was; He healed all that were brought to Him, though ever so many. Nor was it some one particular disease, that Christ set up the cure of, but He healed those that were sick of divers [various, diverse) diseases, for His word was a panpharmacon--a salve for every sore.' Jesus' Word was a panpharmacon--a salve for every sore. Ah, yes. I have yet to have an ailment that God had no salve to soothe. But what may be even more peculiar is that I have yet to have an ailment of soul that God's Word was not the first to point out, diagnose, then heal. His Word is far more glorious, powerful, and fully applicable than we have any idea of.
You very likely did not pick up this particular Bible study because you sought healing. You would surely have picked other titles. But based on my own experience and many references in Scripture, you will undoubtedly receive some fresh diagnoses and, if you cooperate, a new measure of healing. As will I. I'm counting on it.
That's the nature of His Word. As Psalm 107:20 says, 'He sent forth his word and healed them." How often God had to send forth His Word and begin the healing to get me healthy enough to even face the diagnosis! I want you to revel in something wonderful. Every time God has prepared us with His Word and gotten us to a point that we can receive a hard pill to swallow from Him, healing has already begun. Once He confronts us, we never need to be overwhelmed by how far we have to go. If we've heard Him through His Word, healing as already begun. Take heart. He is the Panpharmacon." (Week 1, day 5, page 28)
"God's will is His divine intention. Just as Jesus was intentional toward experiences and exposures of the three, He is intentional toward us. Christ never bosses us or appoints us to something only to presume authority. His will always has purpose. Sometimes we go our own ways, and God has mercy on us and shows us something there. Other times we beg Him to allow us to go a certain place and He consents. Still other times God takes us places we never intended to go and reveals Himself to us in ways we didn't even know He existed." (Week 2, day 2, page 36, emphasis added)
"Solitude is not so much the place we find answers as the place we decide if we're going on, possibly alone--without them. Many of us will. Why? Because the privilege of wrestling with such a holy and mysterious God still beats the numbness and pitiful mediocrity of life otherwise. Sometimes we don't realize how real He is until we've experienced the awesomeness of His answerless presence. He knows that what we crave far more than explanations is the unshakeable conviction that He is utterly, supremely God." (Week 4, day 2, page 80)