Rhythm of My Heart

 

28167194_1096435737165994_841401734140422186_n      This picture, not the property of Writing for Joy.

 

I would lay in bed and hear the sound of my heartbeat. The rhythm was off. With every early beat, the heart would have to pump fast and hard to catch up. I feel like I have a constant lump in my chest. This usually would pass after a few weeks. But this last time has lasted long enough to affect my every day. For over 6 months my body has had to work harder to function, often leaving me fatigued and constantly dizzy.

When the heart is out of rhythm it has to work harder. This has me thinking of the spiritual life, not just the physical.  When our spiritual heart gets out of the rhythm of Gods word, the very heart of God,  we cannot accomplish all the tasks he has before us with ease.
Disobedience to God’s word leads our hearts to be out of Rhythm from what the Lord has for us.

Psalm 119:11
I have stored up your word in my heart,

    that I might not sin against you

When our spiritual heart rhythm is not in sink with our God, we have all kinds of spiritual symptoms and some of those even cross over into the physical.
Spiritually, we may not hear His voice with the same clarity.
We may not have the same spiritual discernment and direction.
Because of this, our physical life can be impacted. We may get depressed, we may see our ministries dwindling, we may see our relationships suffer and many other signs that our spiritual heartbeat is not in Rhythm.
Just like my physical heart now needs medication, my spiritual heart needs the medication of the word of God.  With that word of God, I must hide it in my heart and walk in obedience to it. My heart beats with my father. He is The  Rhythm of My Heart and I pray that I stay in sync with Him and all His great works for me.

 

 

A cancer of another kind

I was expecting the words, I was actually waiting to hear, “You have cancer.”
Yet, these words never came and as crazy as it seems, I was actually disappointed.

I know wanting cancer is beyond any normal rational, yet I was hoping thyroid cancer would be the diagnoses to begin to set me free.

I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia almost 11 years ago. I have been on the roller coaster of flare days and a few good days. I have tried many medicine cocktails to eventually give up every time, as the side effects would take over any benefit. I remember falling asleep behind the wheel once while taking a new medicine. The doctors response was, “if you are so tired still, you probably won’t get over it, time to try a new one.”

Try a new one, and try I have, new diets and fads, new supplements, new oils,
new searches and new medicines.
I woke up one morning so dizzy I could not walk across the room. The dizziness had not improved so I decided to go off of all medications to make sure that they were not the culprit. Three weeks later still dizzy. This on top of leg and muscle fatigue for over two years I decided to visit the doctor, again.  Thus began the MRI’s, more blood work and ultrasounds all leading to the biopsy. 7 nodules in my thyroid, 2 were suspicious. I have seen a hematologist for blood issues, neurologist for the dizziness and muscle weakness, and now I need to see the endocrinologist and ENT specialist at the end of the summer, each answer has led to more questions.

I wanted to have the answer so bad, I didn’t care what the answer was. I wanted to have something with a hope of treating. Now I just have more questions. Thankfully none of my symptoms seem to be related but rather 5 different sources all messing with me at once. I am truly thankful nothing detrimental! However, I am still left with Fibromyalgia and symptoms unrelated and we are searching. Oh, how I was hoping for a misdiagnosis.

It is through this journey I realized I DID have cancer. I had a small depressive thought that this was my life now. This thought had grown and grown, until I had come to the point it was all I saw. This is how depression works. Just a moment, and we let it fester and fester and grow and grow just like a cancer of the body, it becomes a cancer of our mind.

I had let go of the very thing Writing For Joy became in my life. A place to focus on God’s truth and to have JOY despite my circumstances. I allowed that cancer of depression to rob me of my truths. I had been robbed of my peace, of my smile, of my hope and strength, it was slowly robbing my life.
I had allowed the infectious depression to grow rampit and it happened so strategically, just as the enemy had planned.

God’s word says that the enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy. So swiftly  had let my physical body become the destruction to take my eyes off of the Lord’s truth to my heart situation. I am His daughter that HAS HOPE IN HIM. My situations do not dictate my joy meter. JOY despite my pain is not denial but a necessity, my necessity!

So in the Name of my MIGHTY Jesus I speak for the cancer of depression to be gone. I pray for His truths to rise in my spirit and in the spirit of others that battle. We will have peace  in the morning, His peace that surpasses all understanding to cover the depression in all trials and all circumstances. Infectious depression be gone and it its place the JOY OF THE LORD. For His JOY is our strength.

I will find my answers, I will have full healing, but in the meantime, I will walk with Him side by side as He takes me deeper into His truths. I have nothing to fear, I have no reason to slumber, He is calling me to new heights. Time to get ready.

 

Lord be the calm in this storm

 Psalm 107:29 –

He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed.

 

My body has taken a turn lately. While I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia for over ten years, the last two years something has been going on that I thought was related, only to find out that it is not. I cry out, Lord be the calm in this storm.

For two years I have allowed a doctor to shrug away many symptoms, only to find out I shouldn’t have. Lord be the calm in this storm.

While these new symptoms may be nothing too concerning, I am tired. I am tired and frustrated with the set back. I have had to cut out most activities and leave my jobs. Lord be the cam in this storm.

I physically am exhausted. But one thing that I am finding, that when I press in to praise and worship, for those moments with my eyes set on Jesus, all falls away. My symptoms fall away. My heartache falls away. My depression falls away. My eyes are the one whom created me and in Him I find my strength. Lord you are the calm in this storm.

Yesterday I could hardly move when I woke up. Every part of my body was stiff and hurting. As I got up to get ready for Easter service, the dizziness was increased and the muscle weakness discouraging. I had to use my cane and I did not want to give in to that need. I walked into church with my cane. I stood worshiping holding on to my cane. As the worship continued I grew stronger and stronger. I started worshiping without my hand on the cane for balance. By the last song I was able to put the microphone down, and dance. Now my dance was limited in comparison to a time before all this, but the dance was there nevertheless. He was faithful to give me that gift in that moment. An encouragement that He still is my strength. He never fails. Lord you are the calm in this storm.

I find each day in this trial that the Lord takes me deeper and brings me farther than I could ever imagined. He speaks into my inner being in a way that only my weakness would allow. I have developed such a compassion for others in similar struggles. I am learning how to step back and hear what they are going through. I am learning to use my time resting to still develop my giftings He has placed in me. Lord you are the calm in this storm.

I will find beauty in this season. I will rest in Him and know that He already knows my every day and I can have peace in that.  Lord you are the calm in this storm.

Lord be the calm in this storm, as you faithfully always have been.

My song for this season that stirs my hope….may it bless you as well.
Do it again

 

 

Awaken

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Revelation 3:2

‘Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God.

 

Awake Awake Awake me O’ Lord 
From my slumber that brings death
Awaken my dreams

Awaken my passions
Awaken my gifts
Awaken my steps
Awaken my heart to hear your call  

Awake Awake Awake me O’ Lord
Awaken my soul so that I may praise you with the things that remain

 

Awaken: To rouse from sleep; cause to stop sleeping.


God  has placed dreams and passions in my own heart, some that I do not even know of yet. I have let my physical limits to allow me to slumber. The work God has for me to do has been limited. I am called to WAKE UP.  

Today I call out to the Father; “Where I am weak, make me strong and where I am lacking show your abundant supply. Wake me up Lord and bring the dreams to completion.” 

How many dreams have you let sit on the back of your mind, not giving them the time and attention that they deserve? Do you realize that our dreams can DIE.
There are dreams and passions that are planted in our hearts and we are called to strengthen them! I dare you, ask the Lord to revive your dreams. Ask the Lord to awaken things that are about to die. I pray your passion is renewed and you are AWAKEN.

 

 

Surrender

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I surrender my broken heart

I surrender my shame

I surrender my stubborn will

I surrender my pain

I surrender it all

my surrender is my gain

 

Mark 8:35 “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.

Surrender according to Strong’s concordance: Given over or delivered up.

 

 

FLY~

 

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I have broken free of the demons that held me down

Depression, lies of self-hatred, shame, abandonment

the list goes on and on

They do not own me

They do not hold me another day

I break free and I FLY

 

The root of it

27336724_1206660129463955_8519418404983698192_n not my photo

 

Let me start with saying… read this through if you are dealing with a spiritual battle of doubt. While there are definitaly physical battles, there are spiritual and this tackles both directions that I have faced this winter and actually over the last 11 years.

I know I may lose friends with this one, I may lose followers, readers, support, but I have to say at this point and time I WILL NOT FEAR.

Here we go: This is a LONG one- Sorry…. not sorry

This season with Fibromyalgia has been ROUGH. I mean for a bleep there I thought I lost my joy all over again. I spent years walking in the fullness of God’s Joy and then in a moment (it felt like anyway) that joy was gone. I realized how simple all of my writings had made seeking Joy to the full seem. It was not a simple journey. Very contrary, it was a constant examining of my self and my weaknesses.  And I thought once I had the fullness of Joy, I would be able to maintain it without fear of losing it.

BUT….

Think of a beautiful plant with wonderful plumage with a root system growing nice and strong, but nearby there is that pesky weed with even stronger roots. They come in and start taking over until the sophicate the plants healthy root system.  I had been plucking and plucking weeds, but the roots were remaining to keep festering. I had dealt with the cause one by one, but the pesky little root system was hiding underneath the surface and infecting the beautiful plants roots. Leaving healthy roots to began dying off one by one with lack of proper care.

I let my guard down this year and the funny thing is, the darkness came in fast. BUT it was dealt with fast as well, now that I have the past experience of knowing how to identify it.

Thankfully as I cried out to God, He pointed out to me, why this season has been SO hard with fibromyalgia and the darkness swarming in, is a reminder that there are triggers and they must be dealt with swiftly. triggers to me = Weed roots. I am listing my triggers that have FLARED fibromyalgia this year.
Maybe identifying them can help another fibromyalgia sufferrer identify them for themselves as well. Everyone is different and each story is different, but one thing remains the same, our level of pain and symptoms are exasperated by our triggers.

Trigger one: Grief

This year I lost my father and that was a big trigger. Grief is a trigger. But I kept burying the fact that I was grieving. I even buried the fact that He indeed had passed and my body was not taking kindly to me stuffing my emotions, which led to trigger two.

              Trigger two: Emotional eating

To deal with my emotions I began eating everything and anything I wanted. Which lead to me feeling like garbage, which then led to me hitting fast food and packaged food as I didn’t feel well enough to cook. Which of course led to feeling even worse. A vicious, vicious cycle when dealing with food sensitivities. (Most chronic illnesses are triggered with food sensitivities of some kind in my opinion)

                    Trigger three: The dark season of winter

It is no surprise winter is difficult for fibromyalgia sufferers. There must be a plan to take care of yourself in rough seasons and I had absolutely none this year. Just surviving the grief was my only plan.                                                                                                                           I  know winters are hard and usually I take steps to combat that;  more vitamin D supplements, light therapy, self-care of all kinds and this year I gave up my passion as a full-time preschool teacher and didn’t self care at all. I just sat in the house on those days not working with my preschool kids in the guise of ‘recovery’. I have had WAY fewer viruses this year but the fibromyalgia has run rampant… self care is a must.

Trigger four: Hormones

I am in the process of naturally balancing my hormones. Being over 40 has my body in great confusion, enough said on that topic lol.

Trigger five: Midlife hiccups

My hubby and I are in the stage of empty nesting. Or we where until all the birdies flew home again. We were enjoying our quiet little nest and now it is quite busy. We are in the process of best helping the boys seek their futures while at the same time thinking on ours. We want something new and we are ready…but in the waiting. My mind thinks on these things far too much.

I could go on and on about our triggers but these are the five that stood out to me as I sought the Lord on what was going on.

Here is the other side of the coin. WHY am I dealing with Fibromyalgia? This is a spiritual aspect and my not make sense to many and that is ok. You can all think I am wacky I still love ya!!!

There is one BIG root of why I believe that I personally deal with fibromyalgia all together.

11 years ago before I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I lived a different life. I would turn on my worship in the morning, dance and sing every single day, homeschool my kids and walk in the Spirit of God. His spirit was evident, His spirit was tangible.  Through a string of events, I won’t list here, I let go of some very foundational things for me of how God created me. From the time I can remember God would visit me in dreams, He would speak to me in songs, and visions and prophetically speak to me of situations. “I could lay out someones laundry piece by piece and they would look at me and say how did you know?”  I would reply,  “I didn’t God did.”

I let go of HOW God worked in me. I walked away from the ‘soaking’ going ‘deeper’, operating in the ‘prophetic’ every single day, to just letting Him move that way once in awhile when I just could not ignore.

Why did I walk away from moving in the way God created me to move?

I walked away, because I was afraid that it was wrong. There are a few reasons but for one, this was a season when mystical stuff began coming into the church (or at least I learned of it), and fingers started pointing saying it was ALL wrong, basically I threw the baby out with the bathwater. Name it and claim it was wrong, prophetic movement was wrong, this pastor and that pastor (all who were fundamental in tremendous growth in my life) were wrong. I began to doubt. I began to doubt the prophetic in me, I began to doubt everything I was taught, I began to doubt the truths ever spoken to me, I began to doubt absolutely anything written in the bible that were not Jesus words themselves. I began to doubt even the Spirit of God that I once was in tune with and knew so so very well. That little seed of doubt grew and grew to the point that I can honestly say, now after identifying it, that I began to doubt a God at all.

Let me be clear, the Spirit was still there. I knew the truth and it would rise up louder than those doubts. But those doubts still had a voice in my head. I still stopped soaking and going deeper and deeper to where God wanted to take me. To put it simply I walked the last 11 years in disobedience out of fear and had NO IDEA I was doing it. I was erring on the side of not wanting to cross God, and wasn’t listening to Him. I got ill. Very very very ill.

The root system in this wall has grown stronger and stronger and stronger on the beautiful plant side BUT the root of doubt was still hovering beneath the surface on the root side. I kept losing my ground because I kept doubting. I would advance and then pull back, afraid that I was tapping into the wrong thing. Even though I am meant to work that way. That is a GIFT the LORD has placed in side of me and I do not need to fear it. I know GODS voice.

We are all different, these words may make no sense to many of you and that is ok. But I do ask you to look at yourself and see where you lost the YOU inside of Fibromyalgia. Where did you lose your identity that you were created to be? It is time to take it back. It is time to kill those roots that are stifling the life out of YOU.

One day at a time, one step at a time. I will regain my life back!

 

 

 

I have lost my self

IMG_0509I wonder if the butterfly misses her many legs and tough skin as a caterpillar or if she misses the covering living amongst the leaves granted her.  She didn’t have to venture to far to survive. While we see the ability to fly and experience life in new ways, maybe she misses her old self. Flying is hard work and she needs to go from flower to flower for each drink, expelling all that energy.

I have maintained the fullness of God’s joy in this walk with fibromyalgia. I am so incredibly blessed God has taught me how to do that, because that is the one gift this illness has given me. I also have learned to have grace and patience in new ways, as it is quite humbling to have such limits physically. But in so many ways I have lost my old self.

With fibromyalgia; I have lost my energy, I have lost my strength and impetuousness. These days I have to evaluate the consequences of being spontaneous. I have all the excitement, thoughts and ideas but the second I stop and think of the outcome of expelling the energy, my bubble is burst and I rest. There are days I wake up ready to face the day, excited with all I will do, and by time I step out of the shower, I need a nap. I again remember that I have lost my old self.

I miss her.  I miss the bubbly, happy, full of life able to take on the world self before fibromyalgia and I am sure my husband really misses her as well.

But these past few months God has awakened in me in new ways. He is showing me all that He has done by losing my old self and I am in the beginning stages of liking the new me. The me that has slowed down and takes the time to evaluate the world around me. The new me that has the wisdom and grace that only suffering and heartache can chisel into the hardened heart that once belonged to me. I see with fresh eyes, the hurting and the lost. I am taking time to paint, write and dabble into gifts that the busy woman of yesteryear didn’t take time for. I appreciate the good moments far more and take don’t take them for granted.

Romans 12:2- Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

I lost the self-seeking me (mostly) and became the God seeking me. He has brought me to my knees in my physical brokenness. Doing a new thing, chiseling away again and again the hardened heart that once was. In my brokenness He has showered a love and presence so amazing and intimate. It is much more taxing these days to do His work, it is so hard to dance and sing, because I grow weary, but then I am spending much more time in the quiet and stillness. Yes, I have lost my old self, but I must remember that is not all a bad thing. I will learn how to fly with these new wings.

 

 

The Lion within

25399027_10214870973832875_8040969796702007604_n                                                           Proverbs 28:1 The wicked run away when no one is chasing them, but the godly are as bold as lions.

There are so many battles we face moment by moment and day by day. I have had seasons where I just wanted to throw my hands up and take my place under the covers. But God said NO MORE. He has called me to fight my battles ahead and when I am weary He says, “discover your lion within and let out your war cry!”

“But God,” I say, “there is no strength in me, I see no lion but rather a kitten wanting to nap the days away.” To which He replies, ” NO MORE, I am in you, that is a lie, let out your war cry!”

I see a picture in my mind of Aslan. A soft and gentle lion. Loving to the children visiting Narnia, but the moment He is ready for battle he let’s out his powerful mighty roar.

There is a shifting in the atmosphere with that strength. That roar changes things!

I have begun to exercise my faith and let out my war cry. I am beginning to say “no more will I listen to lies. No more will I sit quietly while the enemy tries to steal my peace.”

I have a choice on where my mind focuses, I have a choice on letting my roars overtake the whispers of the enemy. I am bold, I am courageous, I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength.

Challenge this day my friends, will you let out your war cry? Will you take your stand in the battle and win your ground over your spiritual enemies.?

The Lord is mighty,  the Lion within.

 

 

Full Circle: The river is here

Many many years ago before my fibromyalgia diagnosis, during the season of being sick but not knowing what it was, I had a very detailed dream. I had dreamt that I was in the midst of a storm blazing all around me and in front of me there was a river with someone in it. The person said ” You have to go through the storm in order to get to the river.” Then I woke up. Well I knew I was in the midst of the storm.

Then the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia came and along with it depression. ‘This just was how it was going to be.” (doctor’s words not mine). I began to be so severely depressed that I asked God where my joy was and He said, “you have it you just need to find it.”

In that season I had a great friend teaching me about the praises out of our mouths and our healing. SO I began to praise in the storm, rejoice and look for my joy in all circumstances. I painted this picture representing myself praising the Lord in the storm.

 

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It has been a very long journey and I can say despite my circumstances I have Joy to the full.  Praise Jesus!!! But I never understood the river part. What was the river? I put this dream on the back file in my brain for YEARS.

This weekend we were having a prayer and worship weekend with a church that we have been attending for the last three years. God has done some growing in me over this season. Learning to talk out my feelings rather than burying them, stepping out in gifting rather than hiding them and excepting my differences for strengths rather than weaknesses. The understanding that I am ME and that is who I am meant to be. Understanding God’s grace, peace, strength and gentleness in new deeper ways.

Well I tell you during this weekends worship, I was dancing and praising, while sick mind you, and the Lord just filled me with a newness I could not quite yet identify. I knew my healing had come full circle. I knew in an instant that I had the choice to not pick the illness back up. No longer was Fibromyalgia my identifier!!

As I worshipped I saw this picture so clearly and as my husband lead a prophetic drum workshop I opened the floor to prophetic painting as well. I put paint to canvas as I danced to his drums and while I knew the picture represented a new day and a new beginning and that the person was dancing in the river, it hadn’t dawned on me that I WAS THE PERSON. I had come to the river and was submerged. God kept bubbling song and image in my heart for two days.

Sitting in my living room I was looking at the old picture of me praising in the storm and I just got teary eyed. That was the dream, going through the storm and then I completed the picture with dancing in the river. I had no idea the dancing in the river picture was for me until that moment. I then relaized, it had come full circle, I am dancing in the river of God!

John 7:38

“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'”

 

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There is a song I sang as a child. I am posting the lyrics below. This song fits my heart this new day it is so real and so tangible and I am ready for what HE has next!!!

Down the mountain the river flows
And it brings refreshing wherever it goes
Through the valleys and over the fields
The river is rushing and the river is here

[Chorus]
The river of God sets our feet a-dancing
The river of God fills our hearts with cheer
The river of God fills our mouths with laughter
And we rejoice, for the river is here

[Verse 2]
The river of God is teeming with life
And all who touch it can be revived
And those who linger on this river’s shore
Will come back thirsting for more of the Lord

[Chorus]

[Verse 3]
Up to the mountain, we love to go
To find the presence of the Lord
Along the banks of the river we run
We dance with laughter, giving praise to the Son