Tag: Lyme

Loveless in Lyme

I know what you must be thinking (I used to think it, too). “Oh, how sad to be single while sick!”

Lyme coupled with singleness certainly sounds like a recipe for lonely nights. I used to assume that to be in love while sick would somehow soften the blow of the illness. I reasoned that it would be better to be comforted in the arms of love than to cry alone. I thought the life of Lyme would be better endured in love.

I don’t believe that anymore because I have come to understand that singleness in illness is not a curse. It can actually be a blessing and here’s why…

1. Enduring illness alone creates resilience, perseverance and character. This is Romans 5:3-4 in action. Not only that, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Gathering the spiritual fruits offered on the road marked by suffering is a decision made individually. This is good news for the single! To gain perseverance, character and hope does not require a boyfriend or girlfriend or husband or wife. It requires walking the road of suffering with Christ!

2. Illness is stressful. Wait, maybe I put that too simply. Illness is gut-wrenching. It is heart-breaking. It will take you to the end of yourself and than take you even further. It will lead you to the edge of self-destruction. Sickness will cause you to think thoughts of death you never imagined your mind could produce. Now, try coupling that with a marriage or a relationship. Is it possible to have a lasting marriage or relationship in spite of chronic illness? Yes. Is it easy? Not a chance. For those of us who enter into illness as singles and find that we are lonely, remember that it would not necessarily be easier to be married. Being married and ill would be its own unique challenge.
3. Finally, being sick and ill is an opportunity to grow closer to God. There is more time to devote to studying His Word and more quiet time for prayer. By diving into God’s truth and His promises instead of pining for human contact and companionship the spirit is actually strengthened by the purest and only eternal love.

 

For those who find themselves chronically sick and chronically single I encourage you to rethink the state of your relationship status so that you can see the blessings to be had in your single Lyme life.

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*A tip for belt wearers

The first piece of our survival kit has been introduced. It is the belt of truth and it is the foundation on which the rest of our survival rests. It is truth, after all, that sets us free.

Since putting on my belt of truth I’ve been noticing some changes in my survival methods – changes you might be experiencing, too. With my belt of truth I’ve become less knocked down by bad days. I’m less prone to collapse in emotions of defeat. I’m experiencing more resiliency, optimism and hope.

Still I have days where I begin to waver, as if I had no belt at all. Even since purposely putting on my belt I’ve sunk into states of despair and depression. As you can imagine, I’ve questioned the effectiveness of my belt of truth but upon further inspection of my belt, I realized the problem. The belt was lose, not snug. I had to kept reaching down and pulling it up instead of standing tall and wearing it with confidence.`The trouble wasn’t the belt. It was how I was wearing it.

From my belt saga, I’ve learned a valuable lesson about the belt of truth. It was designed by God to fit securely so we can stand tall, filled with the strength to hold up the sword, wear the breastplate and trample our foe. The danger of a loose belt is standing on a constantly shifting, perpetually volatile foundation.

With the belt of truth snug and secure we can confidently face the battles of illness ahead, defeat the enemy and survive Lyme.

 

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Survival Kit: Scripture

To beat Lyme or any chronic illness it takes more than bandages, it takes armor. It takes more than first-aid kit, it takes a survival kit.

A Lyme Survival kit isn’t sold on any store shelves – at least not that I’ve seen – but it is offered freely in the Word of God. It is the armor of God offered in Ephesians 6 that is our means of surviving Lyme without succumbing to the physical and emotional destruction deadly disease seek to wage. The only way to escape the external and internal death of disease is to survive in the truth of Salvation.

“Truth” is one of the pieces of the armor that is essential for survival. Ephesians 6:12 associates our very ability to stand with buckling the belt of truth around our waist’s. We need truth when faced with disease that tells us lies, attacks our peace, joy and faith and taunts us with death. When we are up against disease, we need to take it on with truth that teaches us, reassures us and encourages us with abundant, eternal life.

So how should we use the survival kit’s belt of truth? The uses for this belt are endless but I have a go-to truth tip that I’ll share with you. My go-to use for the belt of truth: call on scripture.

With my belt of truth fashioned around my waist I can stand firm and find the strength in the core of my soul to open my Bible wide and proclaim boldly the truths of God. The Bible’s Scripture is so powerful because it speaks strength to weakness, light to darkness and life to death. Scripture tells the truth to the lies of the enemy. The Word of God speaks to all of our needs – physical, emotional, spiritual. Scripture helps us with our words when we don’t know what to pray or even ask how to use our survival kit.

There is not just one single scripture to keep in your belt of truth. The whole Word of God is necessary for survival so keep it in its entirety near by and, for good keeping, write a few on your heart. Here are a few I’ve written on mine:

Psalm 27:1…. Because my light is not in me so Lyme can’t take it. My light is in my salvation and no one (and no disease) can shake it.

Matthew 6:25-34…. Because there are no guarantees for tomorrow (for any of us) but there is today. So live for it fully.

Romans 5:3-4…. Because there is a purpose in my suffering and it is always for my ultimate good and God’s glory.

Isaiah 53:4-5…. Because the most brutal, painful, excruciating suffering was done by Jesus who willingly endured it all to save me.

2 Corinthians 12:8-9…. Because if God has made me weak it is only because He wants to be my strength.

 

Have you put your belt of truth in your survival kit yet? I hope so. But if you haven’t, you can grab hold of it right now and never face another day of Lyme without it!

Fashion on your belt…keep truth at the ready in your kit…tuck scriptures straight into your heart….Because Ian assure you, you’re going to need them to survive.

 

 

 

Do you have go-to survival scriptures? Share them below!

 

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Give to Survive

One of the most dangerous symptoms of being chronically ill is being chronically self-centered. It is a symptom that has devastating effects on the heart’s hope and joy.

Over the past seven years I have struggled with this symptom. On days when my pain is constant and acute I am tempted to see only my personal suffering. When I’m weak and fatigued I retreat into my own isolated, solitary existence. I use depression and disease as rationale for being all consumed with myself.

I’ve experimented with all sorts of remedies for this symptoms and I always come back to one tried and true cure: give.

Give a surprise gift.

Give a note of encouragement.

Give a loved one undivided attention.

Give the dog a little extra love.

Give a call to an old friend.

Give a stranger a sincere compliment.

Give a plate of cookies to a neighbor.

Give a thank you to your garbage man.

 

No matter how weak and tired you become I promise that you will always have a gift to give. In fact, I’ve discovered that the very best, most precious and treasured gifts, come from the most fragile givers.

As the late Jim Elliot, missionary and author, once said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” Giving is more than a remedy for a symptom. Giving is a sure cure for the heart and soul.

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Gettin’ Oily: Peppermint

Time to get oily… Essential oily.

Essential oils are precious liquid gems extracted from the bark, flower, fruit, leaf, seed or root of a plant, sent through a distillation process and bottled in dark glass. There are different “grades” of oils indicating their health benefits (the highest and best is therapeutic). When used topically (diluted in a carrier oil), inhaled, diffused and, in some cases, even ingested they have powerful healing effects on the body.

I love EOs. I truly believe they are God-given gifts. Over the years of my illness journey I have used EOs for muscle spasms, digestion, depression, pain and energy. That said, I’ve also had seasons of illness where the oils have been too aromatic and strong for my body to handle. Thankfully those seasons always pass and, when they do, I always come back for the healing and calming benefits of oils.

Because I love EOs and believe they can play an important and beneficial role in healing I will be sharing a series of posts to introduce my Lyme warrior friends to specific oils and share a bit about their ability to aid disease recovery.

Before we jump into the world of oils remember that if your body is rejecting a specific oil, or every oil in our apothecary, don’t force yourself to get oily. Step away from the oil! Come back another day. On the road to Lyme recovery, what works one day may be troublesome another. Just keep the faith that in time, as you regain your health, you will once again be able to tolerate and enjoy the healing benefits of each and every oil.

 

To begin this series I’d like to introduce you to my very favorite oil, Peppermint. The benefits of Peppermint are so immense I could write a thousand posts about how wonderful it is for the body. In my history with Peppermint I have used it diffused at meal time to aid digestion, diluted in castor oil for muscle spasms and inhaled for relaxation and headache relief. Peppermint not only does wonders for the body but it smells wonderful too! Even when my olfactory system has rejected nearly every other oil, I’ve always been able to rely on my trusty standby, Peppermint oil.

Beyond its beneficial properties for the physical body, Peppermint is also a powerful repellent for bugs and insects, making it a must-have for Lyme warriors. As the body recovers from the disease Peppermint oil helps to boost the immune system and protect against bacteria, fungus and microbes. See why I love Peppermint? It is seriously a super oil!

 

To learn more about this oily gem check out the links below for more healing benefits and ways to incorporate Peppermint into your Lyme warrior life!

Peppermint Oil by Dr. Mercola

13 Surprising Peppermint Oil Uses by Organic Lifestyle

Top 25 Essential Oil Uses and Benefits by Dr. Axe

43 Unbelievable Peppermint Oil Uses by Natural Living Ideas

 

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Coloring to Cope

I can’t think or focus.

I am at a loss for words.

I am at loss for feeling.

I want to cry but tears won’t come.

I want to scream but I’m stuck in silence.

I simple can’t cope.

 

But I can color.

 

When my brain isn’t firing on all cylinders, I can color.

When words fail me and my memory is fleeing, I can color.

When I can’t cry, I can color.

When I can’t scream, punch a pillow or vent my frustrations, I can still color.

With a blank page and a box full of markers I can take the emptiness that is plaguing my mind and memory and fill it with color.

With a box of markers and a seat on my couch, I can embrace the simplicity of a child, empty myself of all my cant’s, and just color.

 

When I can’t cope I will choose to simply color instead.

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Welcome

Welcome to Surviving Lyme!

Coming soon to this site will be stories of surviving chronic Lyme disease. More than stories of suffering, these posts will offer simple strategies for living fully in spite of illness. This isn’t a medical resource with supplement protocols and therapy reviews. It is a survival resource rooted in eternal hope.

What you are soon to discover by reading these posts is that you are not alone in your sickness. There are others out there who are struggling every day to make a life in spite of Lyme.

My hope is that here at Surviving Lyme you will find encouragement and hope for your journey.

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