Wings As Eagles

Jimmy and I were on our way to yet another doctor’s appointment, and we were driving down the highway. It was a very windy day and I looked out ahead of us, and there was this big hawk soaring on the wind. He would take one big flap and then just soar for a very long time. Then he would flap again and soar a long time more. I sat there, watching him out the window thinking how he looked like he was enjoying his flight. The verse immediately popped in my mind, Ps. 55:6 “And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest.” As soon as I thought that, it sounded like a great introduction to a pity party so I then redirected my mind to Isa 40:31 “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” My thoughts then ran to how that bird used the wind to his advantage. Instead of fighting against it, getting nowhere, and wearing himself out, he let it get under him and soar him to greater heights without any effort.
Then, I began to wonder why would God (the Creator and Master of the wind)allow the wind to come into our lives? I went home and studied my Bible and looked where the word “wind” was used.
Here is a few things I came up with:
~ To show His power – Mark 4:37-41 – this is the story of Jesus calming the storm for the disciple on the boat when they were so afraid. He proved He was God.
~ To get our attention when we are running away from God – Jonah 1:1-4 – the Lord sent a great wind so they would throw Jonah overboard.
~ To fix our stinking attitudes and correct our perspective – Jonah 3:10-4:11 – this is where Jonah was pouting because God had not destroyed Ninevah and the gourd had grown over Jonah’s head to give him shade and God sent a vehement east wind to kill the gourd and get Jonah to see that he was more upset over the life of the gourd then the lives of the Ninevites.
~ To help us see that He is the only way of deliverance – Matthew 14:22-32 – this is the story of Peter walking out to Christ on the water and he became afraid. The Bible says that he became afraid when he saw that the wind was boistrous – not the sea. I am glad that Peter did not try to swim or ask his buddies to throw him a rope. He knew who his Deliverer was and immediately called for help.
~ To cleanse so the light of God may shine more brightly. Job 37:21 “And now men see not the bright light which is in the clouds: but the wind passeth, and cleanseth them.” I think this is a beautiful verse. When you are in a plane and you are high above the clouds, the sun is shining beautifully and the skies are a brilliant blue. You look down and you can see the clouds below you. When you are on the ground, you cannot see the sunshine and the beautiful sky. You only see the clouds. God uses the wind to move our weather patterns. We watch the clouds move quickly across the sky when a storm is blowing in, and the same wind will move those clouds away to give us a beautiful day.
It can be the wind that removes the “clouds” out of our lives so that others can more clearly see the brightness of the Light of the world shining in our lives.
You know, a dove is known for its speed. An eagle is known for its strength. It is much better for us not to pray for a speedy deliverance, but for the strength to wait on the Lord. If we have only enough strength to look up (like the children of Israel in the wilderness when they were bit by the serpent, and only had to look up at the brazen serpent to be saved), then we are waiting on the Lord and HE will renew our strength. We have to desire His help though.
Every time I look at birds flying now, especially as spring is just around the corner and they are more active, I am reminded to wait on my precious Savior. Not on my time table, but on what He knows will be fulfilled in my life. Not according to my demands, but according to His desires for my life. Not a bargaining chip, but a “though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” This is the wait. This is where true strength for this journey lies. Not in the human body, but in the heart of a believer.

When the race still lies before me,
And the wind is blowing strong;
When the witnesses surround me,
And my strength is almost gone.
When the valley plunges deeper,
And life shatters all my dreams,
Then I lift my voice to Jesus,
And He gives my spirit wings.

God give wings, God gives wings as eagles.
God gives wings to fly and strength
to rise above.
God gives wings, God gives wings as eagles.
When my feet begin to stumble,
And my dreams begin to crumble,
I mount up on eagle’s wings.

Let us run the race with patience;
Let us lay each weight aside;
Looking only unto Jesus,
He shall be our faithful guide.
He has run the race before us,
He has won the victor’s crown.
And He calls to every Christian,
“Follow me to higher ground.”

God gives wings, God gives wings as eagles.
God gives wings to fly and strength to rise above.
God gives wings, God gives wings as eagles.
When my feet begin to stumble,
And my dreams begin to crumble,
I mount up on eagles wings.
I mount up on eagle’s wings!
~ Ron Hamilton

Jesus Is All the World To Me

I am the kind of person who likes to know what I am dealing with. I ask a lot of questions and I read what I can about it.

One time, our van needed the spark plugs changed. My Jimmy is a wonderful husband and talented in many ways, but working on cars is not his thing. Well, we didn’t have the money to take it to a shop, and I have always like to work on cars and have helped my dad and brothers before, so I decided that this was one job that I could handle. I got the Ford manual book out of the library, studied how to do it, and went and bought the parts. I was very confident and excited as I opened the hood. There was only one small problem, I could only find 3 of the spark plugs. I had no clue where the other ones had gone too! Thankfully, our deacon came to my rescue and helped me finish the job (and find the spark plugs!)

After they told me that I needed to research the medications for MS, then I decided that if I was going to research MS, I was going to know everything about it. I have exhausted the Cincinnati library system of all of their MS books, have read everything online that I can find about it from physicians manuals, to scientific journals, to forums of people that live with MS every day. The forums have been a real eye opener because it is real people that talk about real problems that we all understand because we too live with it. Doctor’s can only go by what you tell them and what the textbooks tell them. People that have MS, live in their bodies every day and I assure you they can tell you a lot more than the doctors can.

However, one thing that has saddened me is the depths of despair that some people are living in. Statistics show that suicide is the #1 cause of death in MS. People talk about the horror of the unknown future, the frustration of their daily lives and how they are tired of living it, the many avenues they have gone down looking for a cure and their despair at not having found it, and the overall feeling that they are licked. In fairness, there are those out there who are positive and you can tell are trying to keep their chins up, but overall the attitude is very sad.
As I read about these people’s lives, I am constantly reminded of how thankful I am that I am a Christian. Not only because that secures my future, but because it has provided me such a constant comfort, knowing that I can turn to my Heavenly Father and leave my burdens and fears with Him. Such sweet peace comes from simply trusting it all to Him. I cannot imagine going through life in the good times without the Lord and I especially cannot imagine going through the valleys without Him. As my friend in England says, “No disease can take God’s grace from you.” How true that is. It can’t take my joy, my peace, my security, my hope – because HE is all those things to me and as long as I have Him, I am whole. I am so thankful that Jesus truly is all the world to me!

Jesus is all the world to me, my life, my joy, my all;
He is my strength from day to day, without Him I would fall.
When I am sad, to Him I go, no other one can cheer me so;
When I am sad, He makes me glad, He’s my Friend.

Jesus is all the world to me, my Friend in trials sore;
I go to Him for blessings, and He gives them over and o’er.
He sends the sunshine and the rain, He sends the harvest’s golden grain;
Sunshine and rain, harvest of grain, He’s my Friend.

Jesus is all the world to me, and true to Him I’ll be;
O how could I this Friend deny, when He’s so true to me?
Following Him I know I’m right, He watches o’er me day and night;
Following Him by day and night, He’s my Friend.

Jesus is all the world to me, I want no better Friend;
I trust Him now, I’ll trust Him when life’s fleeting days shall end.
Beautiful life with such a Friend, beautiful life that has no end;
Eternal life, eternal joy, He’s my Friend.
~ Will L. Thompson

The Story of My Particular Journey

It started in 1997 while I was in Bible college. My left eyelid started twitching like crazy, nonstop, and my left eye went blurry. This lasted a couple of weeks, and so I went to the eye doctor. He told me it was stress and to go home. I believed him because in college you always have stress.
In 2000, my left pinkie finger went numb and then it spread to my hand and up my left arm. I was extremely tired and had a lot of pain – like shocks of electricity running though my body. I saw a doctor. He ran blood work, and eventually (after a couple of months) ordered an MRI. He said it was “relatively normal” and then asked me if I knew I was pregnant. I did not! He told me that my body must be making too much fluid and it was pressing on my nerves. When I was about 4 months along, I felt back to myself.
Throughout the next years, I can see small episodes that occured although I would have never put them all together. Hindsight is always 20/20 you know!
In June of 2007, I had my 5th child. Ever since she was born, I could not get any energy back. I was always so tired! At firt, I thought that was because I was a busy momma and she was a nursing baby. She cried for the first 6 weeks so that will certainly make you tired. Every day, my husband would let me sleep in, I would take a 2 hour nap in the afternoon and be falling asleep in the evenings until I would go to bed early. By the time she was 7 or 8 months along, and sleeping peacefully through the night, I begin to wonder what was up with this awful fatigue. In May, I begin to experience that awful pain again. It is hard to explain but once you feel it, you will never forget it. I immediately recognized this pain as the pain I had in 2000. So, I therefore assumed that I was pregnant. After 2-3 different months of pregnancy tests (that were all negative), I decided that I had better see a doctor. I figured that my system was out of balance after having babies and I probably just needed some good vitamins to boost me back up again. By this time, I was also experiencing numbness again, this time in my right arm and toes. I was also having touble with keeping my balance. I was not dizzy, I just couldn’t seem to stand up straight without feeling like I was tipping over.
On my first visit to the doctor, he asked me if I had ever heard of Multiple Sclerosis. I told that yes I had and was tested years before but I was only pregnant. He then asked for that story and said that he didn’t want to scare me, but that we were going to have to check into this. He wanted to run blood tests first and rule out some simple things like thyroid and Vitamin D and B-12. After seeing the doctor several more times, he became convinced that we were dealing with MS and wanted me to see a neurologist.
Off to the neurologist I went with more blood work to rule out other disease that mimic MS, and neurological examinations and lots of questions. By the second visit, they told me that they were 99.9% sure that I had MS. There is no single test that is available to diagnose so different neuro’s diagnose different ways. Most have to follow what is called the McDonald criteria which has several different things that they look for. They told me that I met all of the criteria except one – finding lesions (scars) on my MRI’s. They also told me that some people don’t show these scars for awhile and some people never show them at all. Since they are a MS Center, they said that their job is to get people on the shots, have them come back every 6 months or so for more MRI’s to see if your progressing and then tell you if they think you are or not and if the medicine is working or not.
I had already decided, after researching the medicines available and the statistics that go with it, that at this point I will not take the meds. I know they have helped a lot of people, but there are also a lot of people who have not been helped at all. Since MS is such an individual disease and hits every single person differently, then they are not 100% sure if the meds helped or if that was just their version of the disease. The risks and side-effects sounded a little more deadly to me then MS, so for now I am steering clear of them. I am seeing my regular doctor, who I have 100% confidence in, to manage my symptoms. I figure I know my own body better than a doctor will in terms of me progressing or not. I reckon I won’t need an MRI to tell me if I am worse. I am pretty sure I will know.:) This is all a very personal decision and I would never tell someone else what they should do in the same circumstances. I just know this is the way I am going to go. Since there is no cure for MS, all they can really do is to monitor you. So, I will be a student and learn all I can about it and listen to my own body. The rest is in the Lord’s hands.
As far as where I am now…there are so many things that are not the same since May. I have a friend in England who has MS and we have decided that it is like going through an identity crisis. “Who belongs to this body that I now have? It certainly isn’t me because it is nothing like I was!” The Lord helps you adjust though. Though I might add, I am afraid that at times I do not adjust very gracefully! I believe this is my “new” normal. Even in this new normal, there are days when I am better and days when I am worse. I have the most fits with my legs. They are weak and wobbly feeling all of the time. I just can’t be on them for a long time or they just start giving out on me. Next would be my balance, and then the tremors and spasms I get in my arms and legs. I do have areas that are numb but that is more of a nuisance than a true problem. I am in pain probably about 90% of the time but mostly I try to keep my mind busy and not think about it. Night’s are worse because you are trying to go to sleep, not keep your mind busy! Thankfully, I have been able to stay medicine free so far. Although, I will admit that many times had it been in the house….but you always hope tomorrow will be a better day and you get through it.
There are so many other crazy things that happen on and off that you just grin about it and nobody would have a clue what you were talking about unless they had MS and know that it does whacky things to you!:)
So, this is the story of my journey so far. A trio that I used to sing in sang a song called “My Life Lord Is Your To Control”. The chorus says:
My life, Lord, is Yours to control,
I give You my heart and my soul,
I’ll seek Your will, never mine,
Rich treasures to find.
Give wisdom to choices I make,
Along every path that I take,
So when I complete life’s race,
“Well done”, You will say.

This path has already handed me treasures, things I have learned, going through all of this. I hope to be able to share the things I have learned and what I will still learn. My life is truly in His hands.

Edited Update:

On March 12, 2009, after having pink eye for a couple days, I woke up completely paralyzed. I was eventually diagnosed with Idiopathic Transverse Myelitis which damaged my spinal cord at the C5-C7 level and rendered me a incomplete quadriplegic. However, my functional level is more of a thoracic level paraplegic. It never was MS and that is why they didn’t find the lesions on my brain. My body was attacking my spinal cord – not my brain. They never checked my spinal cord. The pink eye was the final straw.