Saturday, December 31, 2011

By The Grace of God

Well, once again I am sick.  Seems like I've been sick most of the past few months.  I was so blessed to have gone so many months without even getting a cold.  That hasn't been the case lately.  The Friday before Christmas we were having dinner with my in-laws and I noticed I felt like I had swallowed a hair ball.  It just went downhill from there.  I have been on antibiotics since Monday and by Wednesday I seemed to be heading in the right direction.  However, this morning I feel almost as bad as I did Monday.  My homehealth nurse said Thursday she heard crackles and fluid in my right lung.  Thankfully the antibiotic I am taking covers pneumonia.  I was told yesterday it may take 2 rounds to clear it up though.

In retrospect, I probably shouldn't have gotten out of the house yesterday, but I needed it.  My friend Deborah sent me a text asking if I was up for a Sonic run.  I had to double check with Darryl to make sure I wasn't contagious, and when I got the go ahead I felt like a kid at Christmas.  We picked up our Sonic drinks and some lunch, and I spent the next couple of hours on her couch.  I did not feel like going.  I felt terrible, but I figured I could feel terrible on her couch just as well as I could mine.  And maybe a change of scenery and a Sonic drink would make me feel better.  I have to say, it did help and I'm glad I went.

I had a friend as me last night, "How do you do it?  How do you keep going when you feel so bad so much of the time?"

It's simple.

By the grace of God.

It's not like I put my big girl panties on and decide I can do it.  I often sit in the shower and cry ... and there are days I don't even feel like getting a shower.  I have to beg the Lord for the grace and strength to be able to keep moving.  When I say I'm learning more and more what it means to be totally dependent on the Lord Jesus for every step I take, I mean just that.  I couldn't do it without Him.

Living with CIDP is hard.  There is never a time I'm not in pain.  Some days are just better than others.  I tire easily and I'm weak.  My feet are heavy, and it's hard to walk.  It's actually scary to walk a lot of times because I'm such a falls risk.  Dr. Gaw's warning that if I were to ever break a hip or leg I most likely would never walk again plays in my head often.  His warning is actually what causes me to swallow my pride and use the walker ... the one with the hand breaks, seat and that handy basket.  It makes me feel like a 90 year old woman in a nursing home.  It would just be so much easier to just sit on the couch all of the time and cry.


By the grace of God, I don't.

I don't always have the "want to".  Just getting a shower and getting dressed to go anywhere wears me out.  Often times the more I move, the more I hurt.  But I've learned that giving into the temptation to not move is worse than the effort it takes or the amount of pain it may cause.

So I pray.  I ask the Lord for grace and mercy.  I ask Him to give me the "want to" on the days it's not there.  On the days I have the "want to" but it doesn't seem physically possible, I ask Him to make a way. 

I am determined and stubborn, but there are days I feel sorry for myself also.  I can throw some of the biggest pity parties you've ever seen.  I never know when my next "attack" is going to happen.  I can get really wrapped up in the fear that it can happen at any moment.  But by the grace of God, I don't stay there.  He pulls me out of that.

You see, it's not me.  My determination that I'm going to keep going comes from the Lord.  Any "want to" I have comes from the Lord.

It's only by His grace I can take my next step.

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