Saturday, October 11, 2008

Migraines and Dark Nights

Well, I've been on top of pain for the last couple of days. However, last night I couldn't sleep until 3 a.m. At 4:30 a.m. I woke up with a terrible migraine headache (the thorn in my side of late). The pain level was a 10 (on a scale of 0-10 with 10 being worst) which is always too late to get on top of it quickly. So I spent the full day working on relenting the pain and getting some sleep. At 12 p.m. I conducted a surge of 3 different ways to attack that pain and it worked! I had relief until 4 pm and it was mild so I again was on top of it and had a great nap until 6:00 pm and have been pain-free ever since. Dealing with this pain was a full-time job today and I held my phone calls and didn't take any visitors. Sorry if you had tried to call or were planning on seeing me today! Try again tomorrow. Oh and good news! My hemoglobin was a robust 10.2 this morning, my platelets were 51k and my white blood cells were .6, so I started the Nupogen injections today which stimulates the bone marrow to build white blood cells faster. And I had a normal temp all day today, praise God!

I just wanted to address something tonight that may be on some of your hearts. I have not always had this incredible feeling of being close with the Lord. I did when I first became a Christian because God revealed Himself to me through some powerful events. But, that's not everybody's story. Some people live their whole lives trying to experience a deeper fellowship with God, their Savior, but feel sort of left out of the whole thing despite their desire, their belief, their commitment to reading, praying, etc. I cry when I think of how many have ended up giving up on God, feeling like all their dedication is not worth the pain, and not feeling comforted by their God in their difficult circumstances or heartaches.

You need to know that after I had that feeling of being on fire for the Lord, walking and talking with Jesus, looking to Heaven, expecting Him to return any minute that I spent many years experiencing various hardships. We all go through those, but some of them caused me to be unforgiving and distrustful of people. Those hurts really got in the way of my relationship with the Lord. I kept doing all the things a Christian does when they believe the Word of God, but something was missing now with my Lord. I couldn't feel my spirit growing anymore, or my "relationship" with Jesus was somehow blocked.

I believe that during those MANY years, He was growing me in my faith among people who didn't exhibit a friendship with God, yet called themselves Christian, doing everything "right". Perhaps they felt just like me, disconnected, but wanting more or maybe they were content with where they were at. It didn't matter to me because that is where God called me to be for a time. Sometimes that kind of fellowship can be discouraging and it certainly didn't encourage me to connect to the Holy Spirit. I would encourage you to find others who have that spark of life in their spirit, who exhibit a character of having a personal relationship with Jesus, maybe someone who is on fire for God, maybe someone who makes you feel uncomfortable :) and learn from them. Attend things they attend, have them over for dinner and games, get to know them and talk about the Lord with them. You are sure to be encouraged in your own walk with the Lord.

Sometimes God allows dark times to strengthen our faith through a growth process. We can't exercise faith when you see Him acting all the time. Hebrews 11:1 says, "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."

At other times it was my own disappointment with God that blocked my relationship to Him. When I got diagnosed with lupus in 2001, it caused a whole change in my life plans. Not only did I feel miserable with no hope for it to change as it is considered a chronic illness, but no longer could I spend time in the sun, go to the beach, go hiking, or even my plans to go to the mission field. What organization would accept someone with health issues such as I had? I felt angry and depressed and couldn't feel God's presence then or His comfort. I was just mad.

Following Him in a way that has some sin in it will not get you that intimate feeling. For example, not being willing to let go of your plans vs. His plans for your life like in my own example above. It doesn't mean you can't be angry. I like how David in the Psalms often spoke honestly to God about his anger saying things like "My eyes are tired of looking for you," but he always said it in the context of getting back to faith, praising God for what He knows to be true, giving evidence from the past, often speaking of hope for the future. Some people are not comfortable expressing their anger with God, and that's not truly being yourself with Him.

So there are a lot of issues that can cause this disconnect in our spirit. I have been there. I know from experience that it can be a dark night or many dark years. In my case there were 7 bad years, SEVEN! It wasn't until I was diagnosed with leukemia in 2005 that my heart got right with God in such a way that I experienced true fellowship with Him in a real, tangible way. It was a gift to have the chemo back then because it did something to my memory and all that ugly unforgiveness left me. I can't remember bad feelings I had about the past. It's a tremendous freedom. Perhaps it wasn't really the chemo, but the altered perspective He gave me when facing death and coming back to life. It reminds me of the astronauts who spoke in the wonderful documentary "In the Shadow of the Moon" -- these people went to the moon and came back with a totally different perspective on the problems we face on Earth. (This is a must-see movie you can get on Netflix.) Once you face a certain level of mortality, it's the same thing. I'm a different person post-leukemia, healthier in all aspects, body, soul, spirit, mind. I wish it didn't take hardship to come to that place. If you have had severe disappointment, and feel disconnected with the Lord, give me a call and let's cry together. It won't always feel so badly and I'd like to personally encourage you in that. Email me at or call 805-722-5556.

1 comment:

KBugg said...

Krista, Thank you for your words!!! My own health problems these past two years, although much different than yours, have left me at times struggling with God and my faith. I really needed to read today what you wrote in this post. Thank you for your heart, your writing, and your witness. God Bless! See you tomorrow. :-)