Monday, September 23, 2013

Traversing Dark Valleys

A Psalm of David.

The LORD is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

I've been walking through a dark valley with MS for the past many weeks. 

I keep thinking that if I push myself hard enough, I'll push through it. This is a default of mine...I've been a fighter for as long as I can remember. By that I mean, I haven't been one to let tough things stop me.

And there's been a lot of tough in my life. If you've ever heard my testimony, you know I'm not exaggerating. 

As I read verses 2-3 above, I realize what an obstinate sheep I am. The Lord knows what I need at this season in my life. He knows how hard my body is battling. He knows my thoughts...the discouragement I've felt over not feeling good.

And He has provided me with the most precious husband in the world, along with a dear friend who is also my Naturopath....these two speak truth into my life.

Both of them have put me on bed rest. 
Yet, I fight them on it. The thought of days or weeks in bed is absolutely overwhelming to me.

I had no idea how hard it would be to be a willing patient!

See...I'm really just an obstinate sheep. 

When I read the verses above, I see the Psalmist following the Lord as He makes him lie down...and as He leads him beside quiet waters.

Peace in the midst of a dark valley.

So why is it so hard for me?
Why do I fight it so much?

A dear friend of mine also has MS. She's had it for 25 years and is in a wheelchair.
She loves me enough to say the hard things to me, like she did last week when she told me, "Jes! You can't PUSH THROUGH MS! Pushing with MS just makes things worse. You have to listen to your body and obey it."

She then went on to detail for me what I will lose if I don't slow down and take it easier on myself.

I can't begin to explain to you how hard these dark valleys of MS are. 

They are lonely. They are boring. They are times that the enemy of my soul loves to shoot his arrows of deceit into my mind, telling me what a burden I am to everyone in my life.

Yet, when I am obedient and I slow down...I see the peaceful fruit of righteousness. 

I see my children enjoying the time when mom is at a standstill. We crawl up onto my bed and spend time reading and learning new things.

Math, English, Spelling, Bible...we enjoy learning together.

Serving, Loving, Edifying,Talking...we enjoy living together.

Yes, it has felt like the valley of the shadow of death at times lately...and when the pain is so great, it can be exhausting...but through it all the Lord is with me, and my precious family and friends have been so supportive.

Goodness and lovingkindness really do follow me.

Discouraged, but not defeated.

Love to you today,

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