I’m thinking it’s time for an update! Since I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I’ve been dealing with some illness I wanted to take a few minutes to share on that level.
It’s difficult to explain something you don’t understand, so I have not given many specific details about my health journey. One measurable issue however has been a consistent fever basically every day of the past six months, until last week! Yes, my fever has broken and not returned for over a week now. I am profoundly thankful!
I’d begun to sleep most of my days away by the end of November last year.
By late December most of the photos I took were from from this point of view, blurry and from bed:
Such a strange change of pace for me. Confusing too, I wondered if I was I running a fever because there was infection in my body or was I running a fever because I seemed to catch every virus that came within 10 feet of me?? And why was that happening again??
All I really knew is that I was ready to go back to sleep. I knew days and special moments were passing me by, but it was out of my control. This has most definitely been a time of letting go.
There has been much prayer, many doctor visits, major lifestyle changes and waiting. and waiting. One day, I hope I’ll write more about the journey, but for now I wanted to reflect just a little and especially tell you what is, for me, some very happy news…I am well, I really believe I am.
Through all this, I feel invited into a continued journey of over-all healing and learning, spirit, soul and body. I believe we all are actually. Sometimes it seems it takes a little or a lot of suffering to hear what’s always been true. This too is mercy!
Healing has been the emphasis to me in this time, more than illness. It’s been a slow and steady process. I am so thankful to say however, that I have strength and clarity for the first time in a long time, it’s really like a heavy cloud has lifted. The crisis has passed and I truly believe the issue causing my body to fight in the form of a fever has been healed.
I’m a long way from bed and enjoying it very much. Here’s a recent pic of Jay and I that our daughter snapped.
Thank you so very much to those of you who have been praying for me and my family during this time, it means more than I can tell you. I believe this process would have been much worse and much longer without the prayers and love I have received. I am a very grateful recipient!
My heart burns with these words, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Messiah Yeshua (Jesus), the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our afflictions, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort which we have received by God.”
I want to tell you all so many things, so much goodness “while I have been sleeping”. But for now, this—one of my biggest comforts these past months, encased in these simple words from Abraham Joshua Heschel,
“Just to be is a blessing. Just to live is holy.”
That simple and that wonder-full. I hope it comforts someone else out there as it has me these past six months. For me, this is a truth that is unfolding a little at a time, and always surprising me the way it transforms everything it touches.
In my last post I wrote, “I sure didn’t always understand how thriving would look like fighting. And as soon as I thought I understood fighting often looks like sitting down and shutting up—the learning began all over again and again and again.” I bet you can relate.
I’ve decided this is not only an alright thing, it’s pretty great. Maybe we are “repeating” lessons, but that’s ok, we’re growing!
A treasured mentor of mine sent me a note last month in response to me telling her that I was repeating the lessons of rest and resting like Jesus that she had invested in my mind and heart. She wrote back that she too has to repeat those lessons. It felt like a hug. Kinda non-sensical how easily we can operate on the premise that other people have “arrived” and don’t have to repeat, renew, or redo, isn’t it? So here’s a reminder from me today: We all need rebirthing, regularly.
In recent months choosing to believe that, “Just to be is a blessing. Just to live is holy”, has looked like more time spent in our back woods, more time taking baths, more effort given to breathing from my belly like a baby (because babies know much more about breathing than we do), and more sleep/rest in general. My (not-so-long-ago) old thinking would have had me convinced I was wasting time…but the sacred text says my body is a temple of the Spirit called holy. Only one of these things can be true.
It has also very often not looked like time in the woods, but rather painful indoor silence, stillness and surrendering. Life has felt covered with a heavy cloud…it anchored me to remember “heavy cloud” is one way to translate the word “glory” in the Hebrew.
Many of you know much more than I do about the frustration, confusion, and pain of a chronic illness. May you also know more of the glory of the Father of mercies and God of all comfort in your own heavy clouds.
Breathe, be still and know, return and rest, ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; walk in it, and find rest for your souls…Attaching a slideshow of photos below that meant these things for me, prayed this for me, memorialized, made a marker in time to remember, “He gives His beloved sleep.”
I’m praying to remember and I’m trusting Mercy will lead when I don’t.
A few more snapshots of life these past months, our family growing, searching hard to let Mercy lead, free-falling…
Two more updates close to my heart: I pushed the publish button on the black & white version of Pray, Like a Woman in Labor ! That means the cover is still full color but the inside images will all be in black and white and that means not-as-expensive! I’m eager and excited to get this into the hands of more mommas ready for a traveling companion toward courage and rest, and I would love your help. Can’t wait to give you guys a sneak peak once the first proof copy arrives!
Lastly, I’ve been invited to speak at a conference in Miami County, Kansas this coming August. This was a gift that came right in the midst of some of my hardest and most mysterious days this past winter.
My internal priorities were being refined/redefined in how I take care of myself and the gentle way I needed to move forward. Then this invitation came to speak on that very subject of “self” and having our mind renewed and aligned with God’s view of us. This was like receiving a love note to humbly remember, not only was a diagnosis unknown to me, so was much goodness, meaningfulness, eternal ripples, beyond my own mind’s eye. Here at home most of all.
“When we find a redemptive perspective on our suffering it ceases to be suffering.”-Victor Frankl
I hope you enjoy this walk (and prayer) through the the woods wherever you are today: (Accompanying Celtic Guitar by Jim Tozier)
Journeying on with you in being, living, and breathing, today. It’s enough, it’s holy.
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Whether you are a physical or spiritual parent, or simply soul hungry to let Mercy lead, I’m with you. I’ve written a book of honest prayers I’d love to put into your hands. We need each other. We need to be honest, pray and strengthen each other. My book is based on the prayer Jesus gave his disciples, with space for journaling as well as prompts to dig deeper in faith, not fear—Buy It Here.