Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Standing in the Fire

We all go through trials and tribulations in our lives. It is how we react or respond in these times that forms who we are. I know that I have had my fair share of trials in my life. Some have been worse than others. Some I have let affect me in a bad way and some I have not let bother me at all. In the end I always come out stronger than before.
My first trial was my birth. When I began to walk my parents noticed that I walked on my toes on my right foot. The doctor confirmed that I had slight Cerebral Palsy. This condition is caused from lack of oxygen at birth. Basically I wasn't breathing when I was born. Its really a scary thought. I wasn't born in a hospital or even under the care of a physician. I can only imagine how scared my mother was when I wasn't breathing. I thank God daily for saving me at my birth. Even though my CP is slight, it is still something that affects me daily. CP is a condition that affects your brain. It effects the right side of my body. My brain sends a signal to my right Achilles tendon and it constantly spasms. I don't feel it but its happening. That is why I walked on my toes. I had a surgery when I was 2 years old and another when I was 3. After that I wore an embarrassing brace on my shoes. As I got older I learned exercises that would stretch the tendon so I didn't limp as bad. When I was 16 years old I had my final surgery. The doctors cut my tendon completely from the bone and reattached it in a different location so that when it spasmed it wouldn't pull up on my heel. Surgery was a success. Side effects where arthritis in my knee and back. The cold weather really hurts my back. Some days I still limp but I don't even notice until other people point it out. Most people don't even know I have CP. It is very slight and I am very blessed for that. I never let it hold me back. I don't look at myself as having a disability, its just an obstacle that I have overcame.
The next huge obstacle was that I couldn't see. My adopted family noticed I sat way to close to the television as a very young child. After a visit to the optometrist I was diagnosed legally blind. I wore thick glasses until I was 13 years old. At 13 I got contacts. Not the nice soft ones like my children wear, but the hard gas permeable ones. Even with corrective lenses my eye sight could never be 20/20. I always hated waking up in the middle of the night because in the dark I couldn't see anything. I always slept with the tv on or some kind of light. When I was in my 20's I was blessed to have lasik surgery. At that time my vision 20/2200. The doctors weren't even sure if they could get me to 20/20. After 2 lasik procedures I have been seeing 20/20 for over 10 years. My vision is perfect now. Waking up in the middle of the night for the first time after lasik was incredible. I just laid there and looked around the room in amazement. I could see in the dark for the first time. The first few months I was like a little kid looking at everything in a whole new way. I never take for granted my eyesight. It is a huge blessing from God.
At 7 years old I was diagnosed with severe migraine headaches. I would get 2 or more a week. I'll be real honest here I laugh inside at people that say they have a migraine and they are up functioning as normal. My migraines aren't like that at all. First it affects my vision. I see spots and only half of images. Things get blurry and I cant focus. Saying I have a sensitivity to light and sound is an understatement. The dimmest light is so blinding. A whisper sounds like screaming. I remember sitting at school waiting for my parents to pick me up and the tick of the clock was like someone was stabbing me in the head. I cant hold my head up. It feels like it weighs 500 pounds. I get sick to my stomach. It is the worst pain imaginable. I was put on medicine for it. It never stopped the headaches but I didn't get as many. I eventually built up an immunity to the medication. I have tried several types and nothing really stops them. About 3 years ago I had a really strange migraine. It is called Aurora only Migraine. They thought I had a stroke. I couldn't speak and when I finally could I slurred really bad. It felt like something shifted in my head. I was getting my kids ready for school and I tried to play it off, but they knew something wasn't right. I ended up in the ER that day. They ran so many tests on me. They sent me to a Migraine specialist who put me on meds that didn't work. Today I just have to watch my body for symptoms. I try not to take Tylenol, advil or anything like that. I need it for migraines. If I catch the symptoms early enough, example I notice my vision messing up I will take an over the counter Migraine medicine. Sometimes it will work and make the symptoms not as bad and sometimes it doesn't work at all. The only real cure is for me to sleep it off. The next day after a migraine is almost as bad. I feel like I got ran over. My head will be so sore and heavy. Unfortunately this is something I still battle with. My oldest daughter has had a few migraines and my middle daughter has had one. It saddens me that I have past this onto them. Theirs are not as bad as mine and I pray they will never be.
I could go on and on about the obstacles I have been faced with. I have had some other medical issues and so many personal issues. There have been things in my life that I could have let destroy me. Something inside of me wont ever let me. Whenever I feel like giving up, I can't. I am a fighter, a survivor, and an overcomer, My life has taught me that we have choices when we go through things. We can stand in the fire or we can walk through it.  I think about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego when King Nebuchnezzar threw them into the fiery furnace. He ordered it 7 times hotter than normal. The flames were so hot that it killed the soldiers that put these boys in the furnace. When the King looked in the furnace he saw 4 men not 3. Even though they were bound and gagged when they were thrown in, he saw them up and walking in the fire. He didn't see 3 people though, he saw 4. God was with them. He ordered them to come out. The same flames that killed the soldiers didn't even singe these men's hair. They were completely unharmed by the fire. Another key point I notice is that they didn't stay there bound and gagged. They got up and WALKED!! If we have God in our lives and we sit in the fire he will be there with us to protect us. But if we get up and walk through the fire with God, we will come out on the other side!! After these men went into the furnace and came out unharmed they were treated differently. A new respect was on them. They made it through.
Just recently I have went through another major fire. For a while I sat. I know God was with me. I didn't think I would have the energy to get up and walk through. I thought the only way I would get out is for God to carry me out. I remembered what God said to David when he had lost everything and couldn't stop weeping. He told David to GET UP!!! So I finally did. I walked through the fire to the other side. Standing in the middle of your trials is never the answer. Keep walking, go through them. When you come out on the other side you will be changed. Even a diamond has to go through a burning process to become the sparkling jewel we all love.
CP, blindness, migraines, and some other medical issues could all be related to my birth. Prenatal care is so important. But I don't let these issues affect me in a negative way. Its the opposite. They have made me strong. They have made my relationship with God stronger. My compassion for people strong. 2 Corinthians 12:10 says for when I am weak, then I am strong. Trials only strengthen me, although at the time I may not see it. Being abandoned has made me strong. This search for my family is making me stronger. I am not perfect and never will be, but if I can just keep walking through the fire I believe when I come out the other side I will be reunited with my family.

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