As some of you may already know, I've been having a bit of a relapse of ME recently, which has been steadily getting worse over the last month. Interestingly, if this had happened a year ago I think I would have worked myself into a terrified frenzy, panicing that I wouldn't be able to look after my family, would I be like this forever? etc...
But this time, I feel prepared.
In several ways I have had things falling into place, preparing me for this time, so that it's not nearly as difficult as it could have been. Because God wasn't surprised when I relapsed, He's known this was going to happen all my life, and before, so He's been quietly preparing me. The first happened a while back, nearly 8 months ago. We were buying a fridge from a couple in church. It was nearly new, but they insisted £50 was the maximum they would take for it. Not only that, but they gave us their freezer (again nearly new) despite the fact that we already had one. I tried to say we didn't need it, but they were so keen for us to take it that we did.
A good thing too, because we had a small chest freezer, this is a full size upright freezer with drawers. Sounds like a small thing? Not to me. See right now, if we still had that chest freezer a) I wouldn't have been able to lift the lid and hold it whilst I got food out and b) I wouldn't have been able to get to most of the food, because I can't dig around when my muscles are this fatigued. As it is I have a tall freezer, with a door that even Will can open, and drawers that make everything accessible to me.
Around two months ago, I suddenly had the urge to get more organised in the kitchen. I spent a few weeks building up our freezer with home cooked meals, casseroles, curries, soups and risottos, which can be defrosted and microwaved or baked for instant homecooked meals, without any energy for chopping, slicing and stirring required. In fact, we have built up so much in there that I don't think I've cooked a meal from scratch in weeks, we still have plenty left and my family aren't being subjected to pizza and takeaway every night when exhaustion hits.
We decided to go ahead with Elisha's dedication, as we never know how long a relapse will last, and we were completely blessed by friends and family, who not only brought ridiculous amounts of food, but helped with cleaning and tidying afterwards, and left at a reasonable hour so that we could have an hour of quality time with the kids and be in bed shortly after them at 7pm!
So I woke up this morning, with Matt having changed all the bed linens, the house clean and tidy, and laundry running. What a blessed girl I am! God has surrounded me with such wonderful people!
But finally, and maybe most importantly, for the last couple of years I have been following the Village church in Texas via podcast. I've been realy challenged by sound biblical teaching, and hearing about the life of one man in particular - Matt Chandler. Matt is the lead pastor at the village, who was diagnosed with a really bad kind of brain cancer that I can't even pronounce, let alone spell, last year. Hearing how he and his family are trusting God, and believing that he knows what is best for them has been an amazing example to me. He preaches regularly on the idea that we can rejoice in our suffering, knowing that it is refining our character and making us more Christ like. God can heal anything, but whether He does or not is up to Him. Instead of being eaten up with angst over whether or not I will be healed, I can rest in the knowledge that I will glorfify God with me healing, or with how I conduct myself during my suffering. Whatever happens, I am part of God's plan for displaying His glory on this earth! Incredible!
I may not blog as much over the next few weeks, mainly because it's getting harder to type, but I will be thinking and praying, and updating when I can.
Love you all