Sunday, July 24, 2011

Anyway

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.
Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.
Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten.
Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.
Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God.

It was never between you and them anyway.

~ Mother Teresa

Photo By: Aimeric

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: My Summer Health Update

I think Clint Eastwood would be fond of my title. *Smiling* Or perhaps I should have entitled it, "Go ahead you punk, Lyme; make my day."  *Eyes squinting*

Nevertheless, here's the lowdown. And it is a combination of good, bad and ugly parts so the title is quite fitting. I am into my eleventh month on the Chronic Lyme protocol and things are definitely in motion. Truly, this process is akin to peeling an onion. The more layers we peel back; the more we find to deal with. But so it's been through the years. It can be a greatly discouraging process. However, I've been in this for so long now that I've learned how to cope, adjust and pace myself; and my expectations. That isn't to say I'm not hopeful. I am very much and more so because of my faith. It's walking through the process of healing after being sick and debilitated for so many years that's difficult. Believe me when I say you cannot understand unless you've been here. I sincerely pray you never are.

Right now, viral co-infections are surfacing again. I say again because I've dealt with many of these for years, not knowing that Chronic Lyme Disease was underlying all the while (Lyme actually suppresses immune function and opens the door to other infections). Seems this all came in reverse order for me. Regardless, Borrelia (Lyme bacteria), Cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein-Barr (EBV) and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (A tick bourne bacteria and Lyme co-infection) are the most problematic for me at this point and in that order. I believe the fact that old viral infections are resurfacing is actually a sign that the Lyme treatment is working and very deeply. This physically translates into me not feeling well at all on many days, and some days are just downright bad, but at least it's for the sake of healing. I do feel a deep sense of gratitude to my body for ever working so hard our behalf.

As for the viruses, we're treating them with homeopathy, which is one core part of my treatment protocol. Homeopathic Medicine is potent, safe and very effective. And I've found it's the best way to go for me. I say this after having spent several years on multiple drugs with little to no improvement or change except for a nice dose of side effects. Wait. Was that sarcasm coming out of me? I am clearly detoxing. But it's true.

In no way am I trying to imply this treatment is a breeze or that I don't have down days. Are you kidding me?!? Despite what some might say, healing from Chronic Lyme Disease and the co-infections is not easy and it certainly doesn't happen overnight. There really are no words to convey how sick I've been throughout all these years and how it has impacted every facet of my life. Or how trying the many long days, weeks, months and years have been as well. I have often felt Jobesque.

Yet, God has been doing something during all this time. Something within me. He still is. Training time in the wilderness on the back side of the mountain. Maybe you're there too. And even though this road is very long and difficult, even though I long for better days, even though I don't always understand, I do have many things to be thankful for. It's bittersweet to say that but true nonetheless. I know whose kept me through it all and He's the source of my hope and perseverance.

So I still remain in the throes of healing and recovery but there is some improvement happening overall, albeit slowly but surely. I have had a few better days scattered here and there but none like I did back in the Spring when I had a ten day period that I felt better than I have in a very long time. I'm just now writing about this because in all honesty; I wanted to keep it and savor it for myself. But then I realized I needed to share it to perhaps encourage other Lymies (term of endearment for someone with Lyme Disease) and to say that I believe this speaks of the fact that a transformation of true healing is taking place in my body and better days are to come. Still, this is a much harder place to be than I can tell anyone. It is a fight; a fight to live and reclaim life. A fight to step out of what has tried to destroy me and into that which awaits me; my God-appointed destiny. But isn't this the place where the greatest transformations take place? Where tragedy is turned into triumph? Where heroes emerge?

As I end, let me say that I have learned true healing encompasses body, soul and spirit. We cannot be fully well physically or spiritually if we still have unresolved emotions or grief. Conversely, whatever happens to us physically certainly flows over and affects us emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Therefore, proper physical diagnosis, treatment and care is necessary to help the whole body heal and recover. And when we are not spiritually connected to our Creator, we aren't fully living. I think Acts 17:28 captures it best, "For in Him we live and move and have our being." And we are triad beings - body, soul and spirit - made in the image of our triune God - God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. I believe complete health and wellness comes about when we are well on all three of those levels.

Copyright © 2011 Michelle Holderman

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Power of the Eternal Now - A Book Review


Jeremy Lopez opens a unique albeit challenging door to many in his newest book, The Power of the Eternal Now.

Having already been familiar with the writer and his ministry, I knew this would not be a hum-drum religious read. Rather it is a book that certainly challenges traditional Christian thinking with concepts that some might think to be a bit New Agey. Yet it is laced with solid Scripture throughout.

A core Scripture he references is Ephesians 2:6, "God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus."

Lopez challenges us to come out of our complacent mindsets regarding the past and the future and appeals to us to live fully in the present, in the Eternal now of God or the realm of I Am; just as the Father desires and has provided believers access to do through Christ.

I was personally challenged by some parts of this book but found it to be an invitation to allow the Holy Spirit to take any wrong mindsets I might have out of the proverbial box. I honestly found the book to be quite refreshing and thought provoking. It really made me stop and look at certain biblical passages in a whole different light. And it made me think about where I focus my thoughts and energy most - in the past, the present or the future. Perhaps this is some of what God had in mind when He prompted me to read this book. It was also very timely for me and where I am in my life right now. And that's the central theme - living in the now of Christ.

We've all been constrained in some way by the past or by waiting on something to unfold in the future. I know I have. Meanwhile, the present passes us by and after reading this book I have to wonder, What are we missing? Yes, there are times that we must wait on the Lord but equally; what do we do while we're waiting? I think that's another topic for another day.

This book is nine chapters long and each chapter ends with Questions to Ponder and Spiritual Exercises to help aid the reader in becoming more aware of the present. I think that's something we can all benefit from.

The thing I like about Jeremy Lopez is that he expounds on the wisdom of people from all walks of life while never compromising or substituting the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Ultimately, I believe The Power of the Eternal Now stretches our faith in a good and needed way and challenges us to live more fully in the present moment of God. After all, now is all we really have.

~ Michelle

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

You Are More

Do you ever have days that you feel inadequate no matter what you do? You ever feel unworthy because of something that happened in your past or because of mistakes you made? Do you feel like God's grace is for everybody but you?

Perhaps you've been told that you are nothing. Or that you don't matter. Maybe you were made to feel this way by the actions of other people.

Well no matter what you've done; no matter what you've been told; no matter what you think or believe about yourself - God loves you unconditionally and He has an incredible purpose for your life!

Even as followers of Christ we sometimes feel we have to earn His love or prove we are deserving of His grace. If that were true, it would make what He did incomplete or lacking in some way.

Here's the truth: God's grace is for you. Regardless. Jesus' sacrifice is enough. Period.

I'm telling you that you are loved with an everlasting love and you can't escape it. I'm telling you that you are more than what's happened to you or what's been taken from you. I'm telling you that you were made for greatness and you can discover it through Christ.

Tenth Avenue North says it best:

You are more than the choices that you've made. You are more than the sum of your past mistakes. You are more than the problems you create. 
You've been remade.

Because this is not about what you've done but what's been done for you.
This is not about where you've been but where your brokenness brings you to.

This is not about what you feel 
But what He felt to forgive you
And what He felt to make you loved.