“Praise be to the Lord my Rock,
who trains my hands for war,
my fingers for battle.” Psalm 144:1
On January 17th I woke up as though it was any other day.
I rarely experience a normal, predictable day because I am at the mercy of a broken body. Upon waking, I assessed myself as I do every morning…
Am I in pain? Do I have a fever? Am I nauseous, dizzy, tachycardic?
“Is today the day I will go back to the hospital?”
I despise that internal question!
That day I woke up feeling better than usual. Feeling well enough to take a shower without worry, I readied myself for a doctor’s appointment.
I was getting my IVIG treatment that day.
Every four weeks since 1987 this has been common practice. I arrive at the neurologist office and receive an infusion over several hours.
Beginning this treatment over 30 years ago, I never imagined it would be a lifelong experience. My doctors presented it as a treatment that would put my autoimmune disease, polymyositis, into remission.
That never happened.
As part of my normal routine I thought I would get my treatment that day and feel a little better…and worse at the same time.
Strangely, the treatment that helps keep my illnesses at bay makes me feel sick. Achy, tired,and restless, I experience flu-like symptoms after my infusion.
Sometimes the thing we need most creates temporary suffering.
I remember very clearly that day, I was fine one moment but not the next. While packing up kids lunches I was suddenly too weak to stand.
Quickly, everything had changed. I knew I was gravely ill.
I could barely move because I thought I would start vomiting. As the pain became excruciating, a fever set in.
In those moments, and there’s been more than I can count, all I can think about is getting to the hospital. In my weakness, I question how I will make it to the car.
When walking is impossible, who will carry me?
By the time I arrived at the hospital my blood pressure was 66/46. I had another infection in my blood. The third in 8 months.
Becoming septic changes your body. The immune system whose purpose is to protect is rendered ineffective. Imagine what this means for someone who has a faulty immune system to begin with.
If that which I depend on for protection becomes useless, how will I sustain the battlefield?
The truth is that my sickness has become a stumbling block.
The very circumstances that God has perfectly planned for my life in order to bring Him glory have spiritually disabled me.
Although my current spiritual state saddens me, it allows for a fresh start. I often find myself overwhelmed in a physical fight for better health and quality of life.
I fight against appearing sick or disabled while there are tools I can use to assist me, and I needn’t be ashamed. Maybe then I can use what abilities God has given me to do the works He has planned.
Fighting a debilitating physical battle is hopeless when you haven’t trained for the spiritual war!
I want to be a warrior, a spiritual warrior!
How do you train for war?