Friday, March 07, 2014


“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;”
Proverbs 3:5

*There were headaches. Migraines. Three in a row.

My migraine meds, priced as if made of pure gold, are in fact worth every penny but precious in their scarcity (I cannot buy the meds in Uganda.) I stopped with the migraine treatment after the third headache and worked with just Advil to stave off the worst of the pain.

The headaches dulled a bit but held. For several weeks.

*We were watching a movie with the kiddos and I could hardly stand to look at the TV. The light from the screen was piercing my eyes and made me feel disoriented.

I made a mental note of this and began to also measure how difficult it was to look at my phone. I dimmed the light on every screen I used, but realized I was avoiding screen time because of physical pain.

I prayed for the headaches to ease.

*The rash started nearly 6 weeks ago. On my right abdomen. It was small but itchy.

Over the weeks the rash spread slowly and became a constant irritation.

I treated it with hydrocortisone and tried to figure out what was causing my allergic reaction.

*Many times over the last weeks, I reached a point of the day and realized I couldn’t hold my head up. I was exhausted and couldn’t point to any difficult work that would leave me so worn. 

*Meanwhile, three of us cycled stomach illness. Jeff, Kinley and I have treated stomach ailments twice in the last two months, but despite the treatment, continue in the up and down cycle of illness and relief.


I could not piece them all together and solve the puzzle.

I simply dealt with the loudest one of the moment and carried on.

But I was getting worse.

And feeling deeply discouraged at my discomfort.

Sometimes, symptoms thunder in such a stampede that we can’t make good sense of them without help.

“…in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.”
Proverbs 3:6

A dearest friend and an objective, well-trained doctor diagnosed my sickness in the swift course of a few text messages two days ago.


Jeff had suggested that as an option several weeks ago, but we had dismissed it because I did not feel the extreme nerve pain in the area of the rash.

I did not associate the constant headache to the rash. But it was connected.

Once a doctor had seen the rash and diagnosed shingles we were immediately connecting every dot.

Of course.

I now have an effective course of treatment.


My meds are wearing me out further, making me feel dizzy. I sit and rest and wonder how long my family can manage this catch-as-catch-can existence.  I long to be back at full strength.

I’m learning.

“Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.
This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.” Proverbs 3:7

Sometimes we have every piece to the puzzle but for the life of us we cannot find the solution on our own.

It is okay to ask for help.

The care of others and a treatment plan renew hope and sustain.

It is okay to ask for help.

Sometimes, in our struggles and weakness, things get worse before they get better.
(Sometimes things just get worse.)

It is okay to ask for help.

The right medicines are not always readily accessible.

It is okay to ask for help.

The search for the correct medicine can weary further.

It is okay to ask for help.

Dosage and duration of treatment is very important and without proper information can be easily misdirected.

It is okay to ask for help.

Committing to treatment can be even more exhausting than the sickness itself.

It is okay to ask for help.

Healing takes investment and the hard disciplined work of sitting still and waiting.

It is okay to ask for help.

I do not automatically do what is best and wisest. I constantly have to choose how to direct my energy and where to fix my eyes.

It is okay to ask for help.

Treating the sickness feels hopeful, but when the healing effects are not quickly realized, discouragement can pour in louder than before.

It is okay to ask for help.

God is offering mercy into the scenario even we do not understand it yet ourselves.

It is okay to ask for help.

Sending a picture of a rash via text message feels…weird and vulnerable.

It is okay to ask for help.

Vulnerability is required for healing. (Dang. It.)

It is okay to ask for help.

I may not just be talking about Shingles.

It is okay to ask for help.

Healing IS Redemption IS God.

It is one of His Names.

A part of His Identity.

Yahweh Rophe.

“The LORD who heals.”

“But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings and you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall.”
Malachi 4:2

With Him, in Him, we are always getting better. Being made new. Being set free.

Pain. Discomfort. Exhaustion.

These are indicators.

These are signs.

They are pointing us to a thing that needs to be tended. Or treated. To a thing that may need to go.

Symptoms are, with increasing intensity, asking for our full attention.

So that we can be made well.

We need the symptoms.

We need the help.

He stands ready.

To do for us according to his Great Name.

“Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”
 Psalm 103:1-5

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