Sunday, May 23, 2010

Nightmares & A Lesson Learned

They say God works in mysterious ways. No doubt about it. They say you can hear God's voice speaking to your heart at any point in time. No doubt about it. I've been praying for His voice to be louder and my heart to be more open to hearing it. Well, I heard from Him last night and it wasn't at a time I was expecting and not quite what I was expecting to hear.

I've battled lupus for about 12 years now. The first two or so years were extremely hard. A dear mentor (my college advisor, professor who taught 85% of my social work classes, and a dear precious lady that helped me work through some VERY painful situations of the past), died of complications from the disease. I spent the first 5-6 years on medication to control it, but since I felt the medications controlled me instead, I stopped. I could no longer stand the side effects, the way it altered my brain and my reliance on it. Since then I have had more luck by doing my best to avoid triggers and in general take care of myself and listen to my body. The flare ups have come less frequently and have been MUCH milder. The only time I've used medication since then was during pregnancy and post-partum. I even managed to avoid it during pregnancy with Bradlee because I was DETERMINED to be given the chance to nurse. WE made it....but it resulted largely in the need of spending 4.5 months on bedrest. I just have a REAL aversion to medication that alters my brain! I'm not one of "those" people that thinks medicine is bad or refuses anything not "natural".....I just really couldn't stand the side effects from prednisone, colchicine, mega ibuprofen, methylprednisolone and darvocet any longer.

This weekend I had to resort to taking meds for pain. As Kevin will attest, it takes A LOT for me to consent to that. Even then I fought him until he didn't give me much choice. So, I've spent the weekend in and out of la-la land since anything that has a label that says MIGHT cause drowsiness....will knock me on my tail for days! I found myself in that "brain phase" I hate. I describe it as an out of body experience. My body feels dead, doesn't respond to what I want it to do, but my brain goes on overdrive. I alternate between that phase and the one of knowing I still feel the pain, but my brain doesn't respond to it. I HATE that psycho feeling. I'm a control freak & to be out of control of either my brain or my body drives me insane.

About 1 AM this morning, my brain went psycho and I had the most unsettling dreams I've had in a long time. It was like my life flashed before me on super speed. Unfortunately, it was only the bad things. Things I wanted burried, things I felt God had pulled me through years ago and that were completely "dealt" with, situations long forgiven and current ones that we are dealing with felt VERY seemed to last forever, but I know it was just a few short moments. When I woke up, I was full of rage, terror, and every negative emotion I can think of. Hatred. Darkness.

My response was to immediately tuck myself back under Kevin's arm. I knew being in his arms would bring me back to reality and it would calm my rage. I just wanted to be wrapped in safety, love, and all things good. As is usually typical, he was OUT cold. IT WAS THEN that I heard God speak. "Why him?" Why him? I immediately knew my mistake. My first thought should have been to find solace in God FIRST, not second. Granted, knowing that my husband is who I sought is not a bad thing. That's a good sign of a GREAT marriage (especially when it hasn't always been that way!). But what he wanted me to realize was that in EVERY situation, HE needs to be my first thought, my first breath, my first heartbeat. HE desires me to be fully connected in EVERY single way to my husband, but first and foremost HE must be my FIRST in everything. Plus, the closer we each are individually to God, the closer we will be to each other. THAT is the way God designed us and he ordained marriage. A REAL Christian marriage.

I learned a powerful lesson. God can USE each and every situation we ever face to speak to us. Our hearts just have to listen. I learned that HE has to be MY first EVERYTHING. Relationships are WONDERFUL and can always point us in the right direction, but they are even stronger when God is FIRST.

I also learned something else this morning. When I began to think back to last night's events and the nightmare, I realized THAT is what HELL is going to be like. However, there will be NO waking up and realizing it was a dream. There will be NO safety and comfort in ANYONE'S arms. There will be no more chances for God's comfort. It will be NEVER ending. How very thankful and grateful beyond words to know that I've been saved from that. How humbled I am to know that God took a screw-up like me in HIS arms & said I am saving you from that eternity. My heart continues to break even more for those people that don't have that assurance. It breaks for those that are sitting on the fence and can't make a decision as to which direction they need to go. Indecision is still decision. It still separates you from God. My heart breaks for those that have walked away from God and think it's too late to crawl back. Don't wait any longer. He's waiting to welcome you back with open arms full of love & forgiveness!