Yes, you read the title correctly. This walk is ugly, but it has beauty too. God is giving us more and more opportunities to share our faith with others and be a light to them.
Weekly I have two IV and oxygen treatments. These last around 6-8 hours these days as we add in more to my IV bags. It makes for a very long day. Each day that comes I hate it more and more that I have to leave our children for that length of time. They do have their Grandma staying with them during that time and of course, their older brothers, but still I am not there. 😦 I have told Steve that I think I’ll just take the treatments once a week or stop all together because I want to be home with our crew. His response to me? I can’t stop fighting this Lyme. He said I am a light to others and give them hope when I share my faith. He needs me to keep on fighting he said. I will admit that there are days that I just want to stop all of the treatments- herbs, supplements, IVs, oxygen, etc. Why can’t I live a normal life like other moms?
My normal these days? Swollen hands from IV needles, being stuck 5-6 times before they can finally get an IV started on me which takes about an hour of our time, an oxygen tank sitting next to me at home, bruises on my arms and hands from all the needle sticks making me cringe when our children grab my hand or arm to talk or walk with me, two days a week spent with the clinic and all the people who work there, days of extreme fatigue spent on the couch unable to function very well, times of Bell’s Palsy, days of headache after headache, days of tears over what we are dealing with, and so much more.
The perks in my new normal days? I have some good days where I am thrilled to be able to do 2 loads of laundry and hang it out to dry all by myself! I have days of being up and about the house interspersed between several rough days of thinking I may not make it through this disease. I have been given opportunity after opportunity to share my faith with others and give them hope. I have been able to go to church after MIA for over a month. All of these are signs that yes, I am getting better. Will I be all better in a few more short weeks? No such luck. It is estimated that I am looking at 3 years of battling this. Our sons are doing really well with only Prince 4 showing any symptoms which are very mild overall. So, seeing our sons doing so well is a definite perk in my day!
I was told at the clinic the other day that I have an infectious smile and a glow about me. I told the man my secret was Jesus. I asked if he knew Jesus. He said, yes, he was his friend. I responded that He is my Lord and Savior and that I could share many, many God stories with him of our walking in faith.
I have been given opportunities to pray for each individual clinic worker. They have shared with me their prayer requests.
One day I sat in the lobby waiting for my turn to be stuck. I started asking God who I should pray for. He kept directing me to one of the people who works at the clinic. Finally, when she looked up, I said to her, “You need prayer. What can I pray for for you today?” Her eyes filled with tears and she said, “Michelle, how did you know? There is SO much, just SO much” I was able to talk with her later and share my faith. She hugged me and told me that God had just shown her that He is always there by me knowing I needed to pray for her.
This week, it took 6 sticks before they could get an IV started on me. It also took 3 people to do it! 🙂 So, guess what I did? They had to put me on oxygen because I was passing out, so, while they had me hooked up to the oxygen I asked what they each needed prayer for. They each shared a prayer need and then I proceeded to start praying for each of them and the other patient in the room, while they worked on finding another vein in my arm to use.
God has made this ugly walk beautiful. It’s not beautiful every day, but wow, I have been so blessed to have the privilege to pray for others and share my faith with them. I was introduced the other day to one of their new patients. She and I talked for awhile. She is very sick and is in a season of life of needing encouragement and just some improvement in her health. We ended our talk with me sharing, “I don’t know if you have faith, but if you do, you need to cling to God because He is the only one that can get you through this” and then I was called back for my IV. Before she left the building she stopped and said, “bye” to me.
When was the last time I shared my faith this much in a day’s time? Ages! When was the last time that I prayed for so many “strangers”? A long time. God is working through our lives as we battle Lyme. We always ask that others pray for God to use our family for His glory in all that we do. I think He’s doing this. 🙂
We have been selling off worldly possessions to pay for these “fun” treatments that I do weekly. One night Steve sold one of his tools to a man of another faith. Interestingly, the man brought up faith and politics. They both hit it off instantly and spent over an hour talking with each other. Steve was able to share our faith which in turn left the man saying, ” I want to talk with you more! I have a lot to think about. I am going to keep your number and give you a call sometime.”
When I mention that we are selling our stuff to pay for treatments, people often look sad when they hear this. I tell them not to feel bad for us, because these things are just worldly possessions. We don’t need them. We need Jesus. God is providing for us in this walk in so many ways.
Lyme has brought beauty to my life in many ways. Yes, I still want to emphasize there is a lot of ugly, but God brings the beauty.
So, here is my challenge to you today. Go out and share Jesus with others for a full 8 hours. See how much joy it brings you and see how many lives you can give encouragement to. Just give it an 8 hour try. During that 8 hours, remind yourself that Michelle sits there with an IV line and oxygen going while doing this away from her family while fighting Lyme an ugly, deadly disease. 🙂 You can do it! I love you all! Go! Go share Jesus!
This is the beautiful, ugly walk of Lyme.