1,522 Days Later I’m Shocked

Today, has been a day of recognizing all God has done and still is doing. Praise God, it’s been awhile since I religiously kept track of every day of my misery. Earlier I decided to look back and see just how long I’ve been on this roller coaster journey of pain. Yep, 1522 days ago my body and life were flipped upside down. For the majority of this time I felt like I had been given a life sentence of total misery.

All I could do was meditate on God’s words of promise and choose to trust Him daily. While I kept my faith in Him I kept losing faith in myself. My exhaustion and depression were gradually taking me down. I knew I had many praying for me. But, often it felt like the prayers weren’t working. Daily I thought there was no chance at a quality life. I certainly didn’t believe I could continue pastoring a church.

Yes, I had seasons of great optimism. However, each of them were quickly followed by crash after crash. Honestly, I’m not totally sure how I made it through such a long period of absolute Hell. I tried to be as strong as I could on the outside. However, on the inside my heart was racing constantly full of anxiety. I just kept casting all my cares on the Lord.

Day by day God kept giving me breakthroughs and hope. Hope that things could get better and healing could take place. My faith kept rising with every sign of victory. I changed my entire lifestyle and approach to ministry. Slowly but surely it felt like the titanic was not going to sink after all.

I had to learn how to equip others for ministry instead of trying to do it all myself. I had to do everything from sun up to sun down to keep my nervous system from crashing. From walking, stretching, counseling, shots, and medication I did all I could do to stay on top of the pain. Even then it was like trying to hold down a wild beast.

Then, God intervened with one more major life change. Never could you have convinced me that I would need to change my entire way of eating. Here I am 19 days later still living without sugar, caffeine, dairy, gluten grains, processed foods, beef, pork, corn, soy, eggs, and shellfish. Here I am feeling better and clearer than ever before.

God is restoring order in my life in every way. He is anchoring me, my family, and my ministry. Here I am just in awe of what God is doing. No longer do I fear the next nerve crash. Instead, it’s simply a thorn in my flesh reflecting the glory of God. I could have never gotten myself out of such a deep, dark hole. Yet, God reached in and lifted me over the giant wall that was in front of me.

To say I’m in awe is an understatement. I’m more like shocked. Like is this a dream? Did I just have a really bad dream and I’m just finally waking up? Or was that me on the verge of falling totally apart and God put me back together? For the rest of my life no one will be able to convince me they are hopeless. They may feel like it, but with God in the mix everyone has hope. I will forever praise the one who pulled me out of the grave and resurrected my hope.

(Psalm 18) “I love you, Lord; you are my strength. 2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. 3 I called on the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and he saved me from my enemies.4 The ropes of death entangled me; floods of destruction swept over me. 5 The grave wrapped its ropes around me; death laid a trap in my path. 6 But in my distress I cried out to the Lord; yes, I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry to him reached his ears.

16 He reached down from heaven and rescued me; he drew me out of deep waters. 17 He rescued me from my powerful enemies, from those who hated me and were too strong for me.

18 They attacked me at a moment when I was in distress, but the Lord supported me. 19 He led me to a place of safety; he rescued me because he delights in me. 20 The Lord rewarded me for doing right; he restored me because of my innocence. 21 For I have kept the ways of the Lord; I have not turned from my God to follow evil. 22 I have followed all his regulations; I have never abandoned his decrees. 23 I am blameless before God; I have kept myself from sin. 24 The Lord rewarded me for doing right. He has seen my innocence. 25 To the faithful you show yourself faithful; to those with integrity you show integrity. 26 To the pure you show yourself pure, but to the crooked you show yourself shrewd. 27 You rescue the humble, but you humiliate the proud. 28 You light a lamp for me. The Lord, my God, lights up my darkness. 29 In your strength I can crush an army; with my God I can scale any wall. 30 God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection. 31 For who is God except the Lord? Who but our God is a solid rock?

32 God arms me with strength, and he makes my way perfect. 33 He makes me as surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights. 34 He trains my hands for battle; he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow. 35 You have given me your shield of victory. Your right hand supports me; your help has made me great. 36 You have made a wide path for my feet to keep them from slipping.

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