I started attending two bible studies a few weeks ago. In one of the studies we are going through James. As someone who has and is walking through trials I find the first chapter to be incredibly encouraging. I appreciate that James is very specific in verse 2 in using the word When. James 1:2-4 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James doesn’t say if, or maybe, or by chance. No he’s very specific and for good reason. There is no way around it, we all will endure trials of different variations. It will look differently for each of us but none the less we will experience hardship. It’s a fallen broken world we live in and one of the hardest lessons we christians have to learn is how to be joyful in the midst of pain and suffering. It’s not easy at times. If were honest it’s not easy most times. What does it mean when James says to “count it all joy”? In order to count it joy we have to first understand that it is for our good. It is growing our patience, and deepening our faith and dependence in Christ. Also in order to count it Joy we need to have hope for our future. In Romans 8:18 it says For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. This is how I find Joy. I trust that God is working out something far greater than my pain and suffering and I have the HOPE and assurance that it is nothing compared to what lies ahead for me.
This is exactly what I needed to be reminded of this month as I enter in to another hard step in my MD journey. Over the last three months I have hit a faster progression with my Muscular Dystrophy. I have felt it in my swallowing, my breathing, my digestion, and many other muscles. As a result of this we have had to make some hard decisions regarding next steps for me. The first issue we have had to address is how to get the best proper nutrition into my body. My swallowing muscles have become progressively weaker making it very difficult and dangerous for me to eat a lot of foods. If the foods are not smooth, soft, and wet I’am not able to get them down properly. For every bite it takes me six to seven swallows to remove my food from the esophagus. I have to make sure its clear before the next bite or the food will back up and block my airway. You can imagine how tiring and hard this makes eating. Because of this issue I’m not getting adequate nutrition and that creates a whole host of issues in my body. With the suggestion from my doctors we have decided it is best for me to have Surgery for a feeding G-tube. I will explain more about this in a later post. Basically my feedings will go straight in my stomach allowing me to get proper nutrition without working so hard and putting myself in danger. This will be in the next couple of weeks so I would appreciate your prayers. Normally they would do this surgery in a radiation lab but because of my respiratory weakness they will need to do it in the OR and intubate me during the procedure to take the load off of my lungs. For MD patients it is dangerous to go under anesthesia. From my understanding it is because it relaxes your muscles and our muscles are already weak so to relax them any more compromises them. This is increasingly dangerous for your main organs. The doctors will do a series of lung functioning tests in the next week to determine the progression of weakness. I will also have a full cardio work up and am currently wearing a heart monitor because of some arrhythmia issues.
Things I'm thankful for:
-A night away with my husband(given by the in-laws) to process, lament, and talk through all these hard things
- Sweet friends who live around the corner who come over and share what life with a G-tube is like
-Friends and family who take you to doctor apts.
-Sweet friends who pray with you and send you encouraging books
- foods that I can still enjoy
- Great insurance, doctors, and procedures that help your quality of life
- two bible studies a week that keep me in the word
Things to Pray for:
Would you pray that both Jason and I would be steadfast in our faith, and that we would cast our anxieties on him. That with this new step we would find Joy and comfort in knowing that he is making us complete, that he works all things together for good, and that he is the lifter of our head. I know He goes before us and that we can trust in his goodness for our life. Pray that as we explain this next step to our kids they would have great understanding, that we would be clear in our explanations, and that it would not bring about any fear. I pray that the Lord would already be working in their hearts an understanding of what James is saying in Chapter one. Please pray that the surgery would go smoothly and that there would be no complications or weakness from being put under.
Thankful for you all as always,