Thursday, October 15, 2009

Be still.

"Be still and know that I am God."

-Psalm 46:10

After being sick for several years, my illness may not be predictable but my pattern of grief is. I am very fortunate that my parents were wise enough to know that I needed to learn to deal with being sick, early on. I have been seeing the most wonderful and compassionate Christian counselor, Kelly for over 10 years now. I don't have to go to her on a continuous basis. In fact, sometimes, it may be a couple of years and I don't go at all but there are other times when I go for long periods of time and I need her to listen and encourage. She is a huge reason for my choosing to become a Licensed Professional Counselor.

Everyone grieves differently. Every one's grief has a different time line. As I said, with the help of my wonderful family and Kelly, my grief pattern is very predictable. Because being sick is such a roller coaster and I may go months and be relatively symptom free and live "part-time" as I like to call it, when my Dysautonomia begins to take over my life again, it is almost a shock. The entire time I was doing my "part-time living", I never think about when this will all come storming back into my life and when it does, I go into shut down mode, both physically and mentally. Part of that is because I am sick and part of that is because my mind cannot take the overwhelming task of processing the loss and the difficult road that is ahead.

Once I come out of the numb state I enter my present state, depression. I am so blessed because I don't stay here long. But I do my fair share of crying, asking why and feeling alone. After a few weeks of depression, I enter a state of anger. I am angry at everyone. I am angry at God because He did this. I am angry at my parents because I have to depend on them to take care of the most personal of needs. I am angry at my sister because she works and has a boyfriend. I am angry at the world!

And then one day, I wake up and it is a new day and God says, "Hello, Heather, welcome back!" And I think, "I can do this, can't I God? You will help me." That is hope talking.

So my pattern of grief is like a triangle. With depression and anger at the bottom, feeding one another and hope being at the top and always being the end product. {Thank you Lord.}

So, I wrote all of that to say that Kelly pointed that God can use my depression and speak to me in the depths as well. When I am depressed, I push family and friends away. I build a high, protective wall and curl up safely behind it. I take myself out of the world that I can no longer participate in. It hurts less when I don't know what I am missing. Kelly said to me last week while we were discussing this bad coping mechanism that I have developed over the years, "Heather, you have to ask God what He is trying to tell you during the silence. Why does He want things quiet?" Her statement just keeps replaying in my head over and over again, like a broken tape. Then, I read the verse Psalm 46:10. "Be still and know that I AM GOD."

Maybe God is using my bad coping mechanism of pushing people and the world away by stepping in the place of those things and forcing me to realize that He and He alone is in charge of my life and destiny.

{I love my sweet Father. Even though, I don't understand what He is doing most of the time.}
{Photo from here.}


Fiona said...

Dear Heather

Thank you for stopping by my blog and thus i found you. I am feeling very overwhelmed reading this entry of yours. I tried to understand that pattern of grief which you described that is like a triangle and i guess it must be tough to deal with, with heavy bottoms. But i am very glad to know you keep hope at the top. Life indeed is full of surprises and hopes. I sincerely hope through each day of life and experience, you gain more strength and hope to fight away the depression and anger and all things negative.

Keep faithful and hopeful as that is the ultimate end product, right?


alli michelle said...

Heather, I agree with Fiona, it's so good to see that you keep hope at the top! It can be really difficult to keep a positive attitude when things go wrong. You inspire me to look for more of the good in life, because sometimes it's SO easy to overlook our blessings.

Anonymous said...

Dear Heather~
This arrived in my inbox today (from Rest Ministries). I recommend their devotionals highly.
grateful for His gifts, HveHope

Chronic Illness Pain Daily Devotionals

My Prayer For You

Posted: 21 Oct 2009 06:09 AM PDT

“For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.” (Colossians 1: 9-12 NIV)

In Paul’s prayer for the Colossians he prayed something rather unexpected. He did not pray for happiness for them. Nor wealth or freedom from trials and tribulations. He prayed for their strength, their endurance, their patience, and their joyful thankfulness.

For a long time I thought that knowing God was some kind of a protective shield: something that would keep harm at bay. While I clung on to that supposed “truth”, I started to grow angry and bitter towards God, sometimes even doubting His very existence.

Then, slowly – oh, so slowly, I began to understand. I began to look at my life and the lives of others who I encountered. Do you know what I saw? People growing. I saw lives thriving in spite of their brokenness. I saw a quiet beauty, a sense of peace, hearts wanting to give to others. I saw hurting people helping other hurting people.

I began to see God.

Does it make sense? To the world – no. But to those who have committed themselves to God, it makes all the sense in the world.

There can be joy in the midst of pain. There can be strength in the midst of weakness. There can be fruit, in the midst of barrenness.

I can do nothing better today, beloved readers than to pray Paul’s prayer for each of You: Asking that God fill each and every one of You with the knowledge of Himself and His goodness.

Prayer: Father God, there are many needs amongst those who read these devotionals. There is much pain, suffering, and anguish. It is hard to understand. And yet, in the midst of all of this – you stand wanting us to know more of you – to be more like you – to understand that there is still a purpose of each one of us, even if that purpose is to pray that others come to know You are you as “growing us up.” Amen

deni believes that the only true way to deal with chronic pain and chronic illness is to bring them to the feet of her Lord and Savior. Her multiple illnesses (Celiac Sprue, Atrial Fibrillation, Ankylosing Spondylitis, to name a few) have taught her many things about herself and her Christian walk. It is her fondest prayer that some of her lessons might be helpful to others as they walk the path of chronic illness. deni can be reached at Her website is

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