My Battle ~vs~ My War

I was editing my next article when suddenly, some new thoughts emerged.  I felt a nudge to change course and write this one instead.

I know many people are dealing with their own personal battles.  There is no one, including loved ones, friends, acquaintances, and even the strangers we pass by on a daily basis, that has a fairy tale life.

Sometimes our battles are short-lived and won very quickly.  Other times, they are very long and arduous.  For me, I would personally be in it for the long haul!

At one end of the spectrum, there are financial troubles, marriage problems, wayward children, drugs, alcohol addictions, etc.

On the other end of the spectrum is cancer, chronic illnesses, physical or mental pain, caring for elderly parents, loss of a loved one, etc.  Feel free to insert your particular situation here.

I was chosen to fight a battle and a war simultaneously.  My battle was with physical pain.  My war, on the other hand, was entirely being fought in my mind.

I was engaging the same enemy, but on different levels. I did not realize it at the time, but my opponent was rheumatoid arthritis.  This vicious, autoimmune, alien beast would quickly take its toll.  It physically and mentally maintained the upper hand much longer than I had anticipated.

My happy, easy-going, fairy tale life would have to be uprooted and thrust into my alternate universe.  My routine, and everyone I love dearly, would methodically fade away in a mysterious blur.  This tends to happen when you’re catapulted into an alternate space at warp speed.

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I didn’t even have a familiar “vehicle” in which to travel.  The one thing I knew best, my own body, would soon be a stranger to me.  I would be all alone…only in my mind…which is a dangerous place to be.  This weird space that I would soon occupy would certainly feel far from God, but looking back now…He was always there.

Strategy would be the key, but I really didn’t have one until my sister-in-law stepped in on my behalf.  God certainly put her in the right place, at the right time. She would metaphorically hold my hand and would be the flicker of light at the other end of my darkness.

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When my battle was in full force, the Lord in front of me and she was beside me.  Of course, I didn’t see any of this at the time.

She never diagnosed anything; as she is a nurse, not a doctor.  RA symptoms mimic so many other different illnesses.  She would focus my attention on the issues at hand.  She pointed me in the direction I needed to go in order to obtain answers from the many doctors I saw.  She centered me…if that makes any sense.

God, on the other hand, gave me courage, strength, and peace when I so desperately needed it.  He knew when I was at my lowest.  It was certainly too many times to count.

Only when I look back, would I see the path that was specifically made for me. It’s not a blur anymore, and God’s fingerprints were all over it!

“Many times, we get so focused on our future, we often fail to see God moving in our lives. It is much easier to see more clearly when we stop, turn around, and listen for that still, small voice.  It is then…and only then, as you look over the past, that all of the moments God has thread together to make up your life’s journey, will begin to come into focus.”

These precious words have been spoken by my brother many times.  It always gives me chills when I hear them uttered out of his mouth.  I asked him to write them down for me so I could quote the words correctly. Thank you my sweet “brudda” for wonderful words of wisdom and inspiration.

I could not see all of the important people that surrounded me because they were all “circling my wagon” on the other side of my perplexing blur.

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I’m sure all of these valued people will  be mentioned in future posts.  They are the reason I can say today, “I’M GOOD, I’M GOOD!”  It is indeed possible to carry on, and smile along the way.

Hebrews 13:5  “…for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”

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