Sunday, July 26, 2015

Leap of Faith- Part 1

In the spring, I read a book called Freefall to Fly by Rebekah Lyons.  For reasons I could not articulate, I cried through much of the book.  I didn't expect too.  I couldn't even decipher why?  She talks about fear and surrendering to God's call for your life.   I really felt like God was preparing me for something but I had no idea what it could be.  I ordered the journal and began a somewhat frustrating few months of trying to decipher what I was missing.

In the book and journal, she takes you through identifying neglected dreams.  I couldn't find any.  I tried.  I literally asked myself everything I could think of: "Do I wish I'd pursued music?", "Do I want to go back to work?", "Should I pursue a job dealing with adoption or Haiti? (passions of mine)"  Nothing resonated.  Nothing felt right or nothing felt like a dream neglected.  I certainly didn't have obvious discontent with my life or feel like I'd neglected something God wrote up on my heart.  Still the nagging nudge that God was preparing me for change continued.

I was uncomfortable with the nudge.  instead of dreams surfacing, fears began to run rampant.  I had to confront fear about moving again (I think I am still having some PTSD from moving two years ago and then the immediate transition to child number four!).  I began to worry He'd  ask us to have more children and I am barely hanging on with the four I have;)  Why is it that we always assume God is going to make us live our nightmare?  I started out exploring if I had neglected dreams and ended up assuming God was going to push me into the worse things I could imagine.   The unknown, unsettled feeling was a bit overwhelming.  Looking back now, I can see I felt so overwhelmed by it, I just shut off.

I found myself reading ALL the time.  That seems like a healthy hobby.  It's a socially acceptable form of escape and yet I knew I was escaping ALL the time.  Nothing in my reality is inherently bad, I just felt overwhelmed.  I was shutting off to God and truly to my kids, if I am honest.  They were stressful so I was pulling back emotionally.  Funny, how we've never talked about it, but they knew.  They were acting out, desperate for my attention.  We'd have good days.  Days I felt alive again and then I'd feel that nudge in my quiet time with God and I'd find myself retreating to the safety of fiction book in my kindle, to fictional worlds with predictable, always happy endings.

I knew something was off and the Holy Spirit was nudging me, drawing me gently, reminding me that God is a God of love and grace.  I knew I was letting the enemy deter me from whatever God's plans were and I know his plans are for my benefit.

Simultaneously, this has all be complicated by my struggle with Hashimoto's disease.  I was diagnosed last Sept. and I have had some times I have felt good, but it's been a struggle.  I knew what I was feeling was not all just emotional and spiritual.  This is an autoimmune disease that attacks the thyroid.  I gained 8 lbs in 5 weeks between April and May.  Sure, I was eating a bit of sugar but nothing crazy, this was obviously physical proof the thyroid isn't functioning, that my meds weren't right.  It can feel almost like a depression and the exhaustion is something I can hardly find words to describe.  When it's bad, I feel like I can barely lift my arms and legs.  I knew I had to return to the doctor.  Four kids really ARE too much when you can't find the energy to get downstairs;) 

I just felt God call me to pursue him despite my fear and to take care of myself so whenever he revealed whatever this unknown was, I would be ready.  I joined weight watchers to help lose the weight cuz it's hard without a normal thyroid and I know progress will be slow, so I knew I needed support.  That step was life changing for me.  I cried going in and leaving.  It was so humbling.  I realized how terrible I am at admitting I need help.  T.E.R.R.I.B.L.E.  Let me just tell you, now its the highlight of my week.  It's fun, the ladies are awesome and I feel encouraged every week in just taking steps to take care of me.

I started purging and organizing the house using the Konmari method.  Again, just life changing to get rid of anything that doesn't add joy to our lives.  Simplicty, freedom from clutter.  I felt like I was getting rid of physical, emotional, and spiritual clutter all at the same time.  My heart felt decluttered, as did my mind.  I found myself able to enjoy stillness and trust God with the discomfort.

I found a new doctor.  I'd started having migraines that were unspeakable painful and that affected by vision (temporarily when having them, nothing permanent).  The underlying disease process has worsened over the year (the antibodies attacking my thyroid have increased 200%)  She increased my medicine and has made me go gluten free.  Again, tears.  Who knew giving up Dunkin Donuts and Panera triple berry scones was so emotional;)  I prayed.  God is good.  It's been four weeks and barely a struggle.  I never had digestive issues, so I don't feel any differently so I'm so grateful it's not been a struggle.  She said it's worth a try; it sure is.  I have four kids- that's my incentive. 

She also said to manage stress.

That visit began our journey of how we can more effectively manage stress and it's been the journey that showed the elusive unknown.  It's been a journey of confronting fears and we finally decided to jump.  This is my free fall....

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