This month has had so many ups and downs and I haven't taken the time or energy to try to blog them. But now that the month is almost over (just a couple more hours!) I want to dump a few things and memories out of my mind so that I don't forget them. (Watch out.)
A week ago I had my first IV infusion of Remicade. It was very nerve-wracking waiting for the day to arrive, not knowing how my body would respond (some people have bad reactions, others are just fine). The prayer support I had covering that day was incredible. I absolutely cannot believe how many people are praying for me. ME! Little old me. It's so humbling. There is no way to express my gratitude for the prayer coverage. Absolutely none. God is so good.
The hours of the infusion itself went very well. The nurses and staff down in Madison were wonderful. The only reactions I had during the infusion were fatigue and aches from the Remicade being so cold. A couple heat packs helped a lot with the aches! After the infusion, I couldn't wait to get home and crawl in bed-I was so tired but that is definitely to be expected. The few days after the infusion were awful...pain, nausea, and just completely wiped out. The infusion has also seemed to re-aggravate my breathing and heart rate issues. Overall, I am very grateful I didn't have any kind of severe allergic reaction. However, I'm still very much not looking forward to the next infusion in a week. Thankful God has it all in His hands!
Yesterday I felt the best I'd felt since the infusion and was (incredibly) crazy all over again. It was so wonderful to be able to go outside and shoot trap with my siblings & a few friends, play ping pong, foosball, & dutch blitz, bake cookies, etc. It was one of those absolutely fun Sundays. The worship service that morning was wonderful as well...great truths about showing God's kindness to those around us. I appreciate our pastor so much! One of my friends' mom sang "Your Great Name" as well, which was just beautiful!
April held two birthdays (each with amazingly delicious meals!), the return of my sister who was out of state for a month, a trip down to Milwaukee with a big van full of friends to see October Baby, a visit from some wonderful (new-ish) friends, a big change in schedule at work, lazy weekends, card games, a beautiful wedding, visits with old friends, a big change in my diet, and a bunch more little things. The weekends were by far my favorite part of this month; well, they are of every month, but especially this one! They were filled to the brim with life, laziness, laughter, & love! Good books, music playing from Itunes, sweatpants, cooking/baking, movies, Bible study & prayer on the picnic table, walks on the bike trail with my dog, writing, smoothies, grilled chicken, leisurely breakfasts, long phone chats, cleaning/organizing/decluttering, family time, worship with fellow believers, goofy time with family, and more. God's continual love and blessing are so apparent, even during the most difficult times! I so wish I had more pictures of these things but I just have this one of the grill-full of chicken I grilled for my brother's birthday. Oh, and a picture from when my friends visited for a couple days and we went for a walk on the boardwalk in the Horicon Marsh.
God continues to work in me and teach me new (and old!) things continually. If there is one thing He's impressed on me most this month it would be loving Him with my WHOLE heart and having that show up in all my daily choices: whether it's time, finances, or whatever. I'm so far from "there" but I pray that each day I grow closer to loving Him perfectly and wholly. I'm reading Crazy Love by Francis Chan right now and it's an incredible read. So encouraging, so convicting. A quote from my Beth Moore study that I read recently is this: "If God's absolute priority for all followers of Christ is love--for Him first and others second--then the absence of such love is sin." Wow. Convicting.
Another quote I read in the study recently is a quote from Oswald Chambers: "In the Bible clouds are always connected with God. Clouds are those sorrows or sufferings or providences, within or without our personal lives, which seem to dispute the rule of God. It is by those very clouds that the Spirit of God is teaching us how to walk by faith. If there were no clouds, we should have no faith. 'The clouds are but the dust of our Father's feet' (Nahum 1:3). The clouds are a sign that He is there.... Through every cloud He brings, He wants us to unlearn something. His purpose in the cloud is to simplify our belief until our relationship to Him is exactly that of a child--God and my own soul, other people are shadows.... Unless we can look the darkest, blackest fact full in the face without damaging God's character, we do not yet know Him." All I can say is wow and amen!
Here's to May and all that it holds! So thankful I can trust the One who holds it all before it even arrives! He is worthy of all praise and love!