Saturday, February 28, 2009

*When The Pain Is Overwhelming & You Feel Like Giving Up*

Hello Everyone,

Hang with me to the end of this post. It's a little long but there is a method to my madness.

I had to write and tell you about what happened last weekend. It was very profound and for those of you who are Christians, the message will carry even more weight.

As many of you know, my younger brother Neal was killed last February 23rd in a motorcycle accident. This month was the one year anniversary of the day he went home to The Lord. Well my husband decided to get me out of town for the weekend of the 20th so that I wasn't in the same environment and to help me deal with my emotions. He took me to Las Vegas since it is close by and we had free accommodations for the weekend. (More about that little blessing later).

The 3 days before our mini vacation, I was so sick! My body pain and symptoms were sky high and I was even afraid I wouldn't be able to go away for the weekend. I believe that my emotions over my brother were most likely a huge part of this particular flair..... However I was to find out later on that there was even more to it than that.

Thankfully, the day we were leaving, I was ok enough to make the 5 hour trip with him and get going. I was slow, but I made it! Yay! Needless to say, by the time we got there, I was really fatigued and "squirmy" because I was hurting. I was also freezing cold... I couldn't get warm to save my life! I felt so weird... I'd be freezing cold one moment, and then boom! I'd get so hot I would start sweating and feeling nauseous, then right back to freezing cold again. I was absolutely exhausted from fighting the pain and flu-type symptoms....it was horrible! My husband was SUCH a trooper though...OMGosh... he was very patient and comforting. I was so thankful that he didn't get bitter or upset that my body was interfering with our plans for the evening. He was AWESOME!! (Thank you hubby!! XXOO)

OK, so the first night, we got some dinner and then went back to our room to just relax and try to get my symptoms under control. Then....yay.... kids on the rampage in the room above ours...oh yeah, you guessed it. BANG!BOOM! CRASH! For hours and hours it went on..... I was sooooo angry and frustrated with their parents! I just wanted to turn my head off and "check out" of reality!

The next morning at 1130 we were scheduled to go to an appointment at Tahiti Village to discuss a time-share. I woke up in AGONY....absolute agony. I was balling my eyes out thinking "Lord HOW am I going to make it through THIS???" I prayed, my husband prayed over me, I cried, we waited, I writhed back and forth in pain, took my medication to no avail, cried some more, .... man it was horrible! We were obligated to the appointment, plus we had plans to spend time with my husband's uncle who we hadn't seen in 7 years...so it was an important day. I needed help BIG TIME.

So I'm laying there begging The Lord for help and wrestling with the temptation to ask my husband to just go himself for the whole day. (Yeah...I'm in Vegas alone with my man...and I'm not even able to participate..... it sucked.) However..... deep down in my spirit I felt so strongly that I was supposed to go to this appointment. I knew The Lord was asking me to trust Him with my physical symptoms and to get me where I needed to be. I was able to get up 20 minutes before we had to leave and run a brush through my hair, get it in a ponytail, wash my face and put a coat of mascara on over my red and blurry eyes, and throw on some jeans. I looked awful and pale. I felt awful and sore. Thankfully I had my ThermaCare heat wraps and I at least had some continuous warm heat on part of me that was hurting.

The Lord is SOOOO GOOD. Without going into all of the details.... I found out quickly why The Lord was asking me to go to the appointment regardless of how I felt. The gentleman we met with started asking us questions about The Lord and how we became Christians, how we met Him and what we believe. He was genuinely searching and we ended up ministering to him for over 5 hours while at the same time, being blessed with an opportunity to do something great for our family and friends. It was a HUGE day spiritually. My husband and I marveled at the entire situation and how God had appointed us to be there to meet this particular man at that particular time, on that particular day. *It was the gentleman's day off and he got called in last minute!!* Talk about The Lord positioning things..... man it was incredible!

Later, on the way back to our room, The Holy Spirit gently told me that the enemy was manipulating my Fibromyalgia and Allodynia to keep me away from the meeting on purpose.

Now.....remember how I said we were also supposed to meet with our uncle that night too? Well, 30 minutes before we were supposed to leave WHAM! I was down again! I was even sicker than I had been that morning. I just grabbed onto my husband and had to pant/breathe (honest to goodness...almost like labor breathing) and I was having those freezing/hot spells, sweating, nauseous, week in the legs like rubber, my lower back felt like my bones were on fire and had localized flu virus penetrating them...that's the only way I can describe it. My legs ached from the thighs all the way down. I was in trouble.

Again, I felt The Lord saying..."You gotta go daughter". I begged Him for help to go. I still looked awful and I was really embarrassed for my husband. Poor guy is in Vegas with his woman and she looks like a dishrag while all of these other women are dressed to kill. Still, he told me it didn't matter to him and how much he appreciated me trying so hard to keep going. He prayed over me and we got in the car to meet our uncle down town.

He invited us to meet him for dinner at the Voodoo Lounge. Yep.... and you guessed it, he's not into "Religion" lol! (I'm not into "religion" either. It's so horrible how people who haven't met The Lord have been duped into thinking He's about religion instead of finding out that He's a person they can have a real relationship with. Church, we HAVE to try and show people the difference between false and authentic Christianity! Keep your eyes and ears open for The Lord to lead you into telling others about Him) So we get to the lounge and the entire place is covered, and I mean COVERED from ceiling to floor in voodoo symbology and art. Even the ceilings were painted with scrawling voodoo symbols. I just laughed inside and I was thankful to be covered by The Lord against any open doors to the enemy through whatever those symbols meant.

Now before I go further I have to explain that before my mother gave her life to Christ, both her and my birth father had been into psychics and making Ouija boards and having séances. I have been extra sensitive to enemy spirits my whole life and The Lord frequently uses that sensitivity to alert me to those around me who may be trying to "cast" at me or to spirits who are trying to manipulate against me. It may sound weird, but it's true my case. The Lord has turned that into a tool He uses to guide me into deep intercessory prayer for other people or for circumstances where the enemy is working. That's why as we walked into this lounge, I was immediately aware that this was no "ordinary" situation we were involved in. Normally, it would just be no big deal and the symbology would mean nothing and have no effect, but this night it had EVERYTHING to do with the situation.

So we sit down for dinner and our uncle has already had a "few". He is a very sweet man though and it was an amazing dinner and time with him. So my body is complaining and I'm doing my best to hang in there. I got a small reprieve from the pain for about an hour as we talked about this and that. Then all of a sudden WHAM! again. I got a flash of heat all over my body and started sweating profusely and the nausea was swimming. I took off as much as I could down to my t-shirt and I was immediately scoping out the fastest exit to the ladies room. My husband looked over at me and took my hand. He asked if I was ok. Not wanting to ruin our evening I said I was alright and could manage. As I was getting ready to make my mad dash to the restroom, I felt the Lord prompting me to hang in there and talk to Him. So I silently began praying for help to feel better. My body fought me every which way but Sunday for about 15 minutes. The waves of nausea where horrid and I was in so much pain. I felt like I was going to faint right there at the table.... I looked around at the symbols and honestly I felt like the enemy was just laughing his head off at me. I quickly scanned the room to see if he had placed any people around us who were "casting" at me. (*This has happened to me before, so I am acutely aware of this tactic and make it a habit to be on guard at all times) I didn't see anyone and The Lord confirmed it was the symbols and not a specific person. Right above our table there was a drawing of a voodoo devil with horns and a tail and there were all types of symbols on the wall behind our uncle. I sat there and prayed and prayed silently as my husband and our uncle continued talking. They were deep in conversation thankfully, so our uncle was oblivious to my plight.

I'm not kidding.... within 30 seconds of the worst of it, our uncle began to share with us about things he had been through as a kid that he has NEVER shared with ANYONE except one of his brothers. EVER. He poured out his heart as my husband and I listened and then the questions started coming about The Lord, what we believed, why we believed, and the pain our uncle felt inside. He kept remarking several times how he'd NEVER shared these things with anyone and couldn't believe how comfortable he felt to share them with us at that moment. He had tears in his eyes and we could see his body language just take on a whole new effect. The tension just released and he talked and talked. We spent 4 hours with him! Within the first 2 minutes that this part of our evening started, the pain and nausea subsided and I knew The Lord had fought for me on my behalf so that I could stay and minister to our uncle. We had similar experiences that he didn't know about and what I had to share with him opened the door for him to let go and pour out his heart. My husband and I were so blessed to be able to just be there for him and listen. We didn't preach at him or bombard him with "God talk".... we just listened and shared and then gently talked with him about how God has worked in our lives and why we chose to give our lives to Him and serve Him. Our uncle listened intently and it was a VERY blessed time for all of us.

What the enemy sought to prevent by using my symptoms to manipulate me, God ultimately had the victory over and the message He wanted our uncle to hear got through. The Lord is so powerful and He is my ultimate hero! I tell you I felt Him working the situation for me on both occasions, both at our appointment and then later with our uncle.

Now it would have been easy to just stay in the room and agonize the whole day and night all by myself. It would have been SOOOO easy to give up and let my body have control.

But I want to encourage you, especially you that are Christians, that there are times when giving up can be detrimental to a greater plan for you and maybe even someone else. There are times when you HAVE to fight through, because there is an appointed time and place and person who needs you or a situation that is so important that if you miss it, could alter your life or someone else’s life in a crucial way.

If you are a Christian already, I want to especially encourage you to consciously become aware of times when the enemy could be manipulating your body pain against you more acutely than usual because he's trying to stop you from being an ambassador with the message of Christ to deliver to someone or prevent you from a situation where The Lord is meaning to bless you in a profound way. He will do anything and everything to keep you away from what The Lord has planned for you. It could be a relationship, a marriage, a promotion, money, a person who is ready to hear about Christ, or any one of a number of other things The Lord has in store for you.

Remember this at ALL TIMES ---> Satan can do NOTHING to you without The Lord's permission. (*Read Job) Check out The Word and find the places where Satan answered directly to God about what he was doing and then ASKING God to allow him to move over someone. Remember when Jesus said to Peter in Luke 22:31 "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat."? Now.... when this is the case there are only 2 reasons why The Lord would give a "yes" to Satan's request. 1) The Lord has already provided your escape and is maturing you and teaching you how to overcome OR 2) There is a sin that is unconfessed and Satan has the legal right to use that open door in your life to mess with you.

Look at this passage from the book of Job. (*I'm using The Message translation, not my favorite, but it is in modern English and this passage is pretty cleanly translated)

Job 2The Second Test: Health

1-3 One day when the angels came to report to God, Satan also showed up. God singled out Satan, saying, "And what have you been up to?" Satan answered God, "Oh, going here and there, checking things out." Then God said to Satan, "Have you noticed my friend Job? There's no one quite like him, is there—honest and true to his word, totally devoted to God and hating evil? He still has a firm grip on his integrity! You tried to trick me into destroying him, but it didn't work."
4-5 Satan answered, "A human would do anything to save his life. But what do you think would happen if you reached down and took away his health? He'd curse you to your face, that's what." 6 God said, "All right. Go ahead—you can do what you like with him. But mind you, don't kill him."
7-8 Satan left God and struck Job with terrible sores. Job was ulcers and scabs from head to foot. They itched and oozed so badly that he took a piece of broken pottery to scrape himself, then went and sat on a trash heap, among the ashes.
9 His wife said, "Still holding on to your precious integrity, are you? Curse God and be done with it!"
10 He told her, "You're talking like an empty-headed fool. We take the good days from God—why not also the bad days?"
Not once through all this did Job sin. He said nothing against God. "

Okay, I want you to notice 3 things here: 1) God was on Job's side from the very start and had confidence in Job's love for Him, so much so that he allowed Satan to "do his best" to get Job to curse God. 2) God ALLOWED Satan to afflict Job. Satan HAD to have permission. 3) Job did NOTHING to curse God or speak against Him although he could have, and his wife nagged him and made fun of him for it.

Listen Christians... Fibromyalgia CAN be a tool that can open doors to ministry to others. In fact ANY illness can be used by God for GOOD. If we consciously (like Job) yield our will and our devotion to God regardless of our circumstances, IT DOES NOT GO UNNOTICED by God. Read the rest of Job to find out what God did to bless him in the end. He got everything back that he lost.... DOUBLED.

I want to encourage you to take a whole new look at this pain and fatigue and frustration and horror and assess how to use it for good things rather than letting it use YOU. It takes faith, it takes surrendered willpower, and it takes completely relying on God regardless of how you feel. I can testify first hand that He WILL give you the strength to get through it so you can be at your appointed destination. These two examples I've written about today are living proof. (There is a 3rd time this happened to me too, but I didn't write it down here. It resulted in a young man choosing to give his life to Christ within 1 week after the time I met with him.)

For those who are not Christians or who choose not to believe in Him, I want to also encourage YOU. Person to person, I KNOW firsthand what it is like to completely and utterly crave to give up and just stop...... I know how that feels and it is such a dark, lonely, cold, and gripping situation that you feel you may even lose your mind in the process. Believe me, I know...and I'm here to tell you that YOU ARE NOT ALONE in this. If The Lord Jesus Christ is not a part of your life, I want to encourage you to at LEAST find a support group, or an online forum, or a very good friend or person who will be there for you to help you through those most desperate times. Don't try and handle it alone, because the temptation to do harm to yourself is very real at those times and you need to FIGHT for your life! You need someone who will make sure you don't over medicate, drink, harm yourself, fall into deep depression, or other things that can harm you even more. There are so many of us out there who understand 100% what it is you are facing and there is no reason not to take advantage of partnering up with another Fibro fighter and be accountable to each other.

Friends, fight for your quality of life!!! When you feel like giving up and surrendering to the devastation of Fibromyalgia, Allodynia, or both, (or ANY chronic pain situation) PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, don't go it alone. You Christians call out to God and watch what He will do. Be OPEN to His voice and follow His instructions to the "t" whether you understand "why" or not. Just follow His instructions and allow Him control. For non-Christians, REACH OUT and find a person to hang on to. Make that call! Post that message!, Send that email! The point is doing something, anything, to get you through that pain. Flares don't last forever, and when it's over you will be able to go on again. When you KNOW that you know that you know, you are supposed to be somewhere or meet with someone, and you are having a severe flare, keep fighting through it even if you have to be a mess or just barely make it. Listen, we are all human...if the other person can't give you the grace to accept you at less than "perfect" at that moment, then God will or your support person will. Just keep going.

Now I'm not talking about times where you don't have a situation where there is something significant going on. At those times you handle a flare completely differently. No, this post is about those times that there is a SIGNIFICANT person, place, or thing that you are appointed for.

I'm here friends.....I'm right here. I'm lifting you up in prayer (whether you like it or not! LOL!) And I really hope that my messages are getting across to you.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

Here's to your success!

P.S. (Check out my post below for the Fibromyalgia Pain Management & Symptom Tracker. These are GREAT tools!)

Friday, February 27, 2009

*Someone Needs This Love Message Today*

If you can't see the words and picture clearly, click on it to enlarge. I felt The Lord's love so strongly when I was creating this this morning. Someone needs this message as much as I did.

In His Love,
Sherri

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

**FREE 3 Week Online Course "Work At Home 101"

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Link-> http://cwahm.com/wordpress/work-at-home/work-home-101/

** To supliment your ideas on working from home check out my book "How To Use What You Already Have, What You Already Know, & What You Already Love To Create Income"

It's available either here on the Blog or at eBay here -> http://shop.ebay.com/merchant/sherridoncottage **

Here's to your success!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

*Blessing I Have To Share*

Hi Everyone,

I just had to share this real quick. I received the most amazing letter in my email today from the gentleman who runs the Men With Fibromyalgia website. He found the link I had for his website here on the blog and wrote me last night.

Let me share that his email was one of those "HUGS" from God that we so often get when we need it most. BOB HALL, THANK YOU, THANK YOU Brother!!

If you are a gentleman living with Fibro please go and check out Bob's fantastic site just for guys. He has a LOT of information and help there for you. Ladies, it's worth going over there to look too because he has information from the latest news and so forth that pertains to all of us.

**If you get a chance, drop Bob an email using the blinking red light at the top of his website and tell him how much you appreciate what he is doing to reach out to men who so often try to "deal" with the very real issues of Fibro in silence. If you have information to share I know he'd love to hear from you too.**

Here's to your success!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Update on Previous Post - "Why I Support C28"

I found out that our dear sister Carissa went home to her Lord in December. \O/

To see a wonderful message/testimony and more information please visit C28's blog at http://c28blog.blogspot.com/2008/12/remembering-carissa.html