Sunday, January 29, 2012

Lyme Disease Awareness Spot Running On Jumbotron At Super Bowl

Those of us who are living with (and have been for many years) Lyme Disease know first hand how devastating and debilitating it is. It is also very misunderstood. So I was elated to see that ILADS, the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society, will be running a public service campaign next Sunday at the Super Bowl on a Jumbotron outside Lucas Oil Stadium to bring greater and much needed awareness to the misdiagnosis of Lyme Disease.

Go to the following link to find out more about the campaign: International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society/Jumbo Tron Campaign
According to Dr. Leo J. Shea III, Ph.D., President of the non-profit ILADS, "Lyme Disease is a silent epidemic in America. We want to alert and educate consumers about this disease, which is often misdiagnosed. Left untreated, it will become chronic and debilitating. Tick-borne illnesses compromise your immune system and the diagnosis, which is largely based on symptoms, can be illusive unless a physician is Lyme-literate."

Another fantastic thing that ILADS is doing is the LymeWall. Check it out; these are the true faces of Lyme Disease. And sadly, some of these precious faces belong to children. If you're reading this and didn't know that children can get Lyme Disease too, I will tell you that it can and has been passed transplacentally during pregnancy to babies. I have a friend whose youngest child contracted Lyme from her during her pregnancy. She didn't know she had it at the time. He's been a sick little fella. If that isn't a stout eye-opener; I don't know what is.

It is my desire to help bring the much due and needed awareness to this disease. I was misdiagnosed for years with MS (Multiple Sclerosis), Transverse Myelitis (likely true secondary to Lyme and/or viruses), Post-viral Demyelinating Syndrome (also likely true), CFIDS (Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome) and Chronic Mono (which is true but isn't the root; its secondary) among a few others. We found out in 2010 that I really have Chronic Lyme Disease; the true root of this illness of 18 years.

I've written before that I have wondered many times what my life would be like had we found this out sooner. But, after much contemplation and prayer, I know it is a futile pursuit that I must, and do, yield to my faith in Christ. I still have hope for healing for all of us. I still have hope for a better future.

I plan on writing more this year to bring greater awareness and understanding to Chronic Lyme Disease and it's co-infections and how profoundly it affects ones life. It's time.

So what about it my Lyme friends? Should we add our pics to the mix on the LymeWall? Maybe some of you already have. I'm contemplating it. Nevertheless, I think it's great that ILADS, Open Eye Pictures and Burgess Communications are stepping up to the plate like they are. Kudos to them! And kudos to us who keep fighting this Lyme fight daily with integrity, perseverance and guts!

Love to you all.

Copyright © 2012 Michelle Holderman

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Weekly Proverb: Hope Fulfilled (Proverbs 13:12)

Hope put off makes you heartsick, 
but a longing that's fulfilled is a tree of life.
Proverbs 13:12

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Weekly Proverb: Trust (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Trust in the LORD with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek Him in all you do,
and He will show you which path to take.
(New Living Translation)

I'm starting a new series on my blog called Weekly Proverb. Each Saturday, I'll be posting a different biblical adage from the Book of Proverbs. I believe Proverbs contains much insight, wisdom, and truth for daily living. Hope this will be a blessing, friends. 

~ Michelle

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Give Us Rest Or (A Requiem Mass In C [The Happiest Of All Keys]) by David Crowder Band

David Crowder Band just released their latest and final album a few days ago. I've been listening ever since I downloaded it last night and all I can say is; it's an absolute musical experience!

With 34 songs (yes I said 34) ranging from classical to rock to electronic to pop rock to folk to country bluegrass to choral chants and instrumental interludes; it's beyond anything I've ever heard before. My ears were blown away. Even the art cover is stunningly beautiful and colorful. 

It is filled with many musical expressions. It tells a story. It's a rock album. It's a unique and innovative worship album. It is all of this and more. 

David Crowder Band has always been so fresh, unique and creative in their music and writing styles. I'd say this album is the epitome of their entire musical careers. If I had to sum up this final project, I would say it is a diverse nonstop musical masterpiece. And it's what's hot on my iPod right now. 

If you're a lover of DCB, if you're a lover of Jesus, or if you're a lover of unique musical experiences; this is a must have.

And while this might not be for everyone, I think there's something in it that's rather appealing to a lot of folks. You simply have to listen to this whole album for yourself to get what I'm saying.

DCB definitely goes out with a big bang, in my opinion. Thanks guys! We'll miss you. It's been a great ride. Many blessings to you and your families. 

P.S. If you ever ponder getting back together, we'll all be ready and waiting. Or least I will. 

~ Michelle

Copyright © 2012 Michelle Holderman

Monday, January 2, 2012

Love Through Suffering

Sometimes I wonder how any of us truly survive in this world.

Yes, I know. It is ultimately God. Still, there is such brokenness, such hardship, such tragedy, despair, violence, and deprivation in the world that I'm really awed at how resilient the human spirit is.

I truthfully wonder at times how it is I've endured all that I have in my own life. I think if you've suffered to a great degree, or perhaps to any degree, you'd ponder this yourself. And perhaps you do.

I understand.

Everyone has their own thoughts, beliefs, and explanations about such things. Everyone has their go-to responses. But how do you look someone in their weary, red, tear-stained eyes and so easily explain away their struggle or hardship?

How do you look into the wounded eyes of someone whose childhood was filled with abuse, betrayal, neglect, or rejection and assure them God cares? That He always has?

How do you move so quickly past the many long, difficult, exhaustion-filled years of ones debilitating illness to encourage belief for better days?

How do you genuinely touch a broken heart that's lost someone so precious and dear inside of twenty minutes?

How do you reach past the hurt, turmoil, brokenness, suffering, and injustice of a persons life to spark real enduring hope?

How do you? 

I understand that many issues can be involved but how is it that we can oftentimes be so causal and dismissive about the suffering of others? How is it we even do that with our own suffering?

Could you let down your hair
Be transparent for awhile, 
Just a little while, 
To see if you're human after all.

Honesty is a hard attribute to find, 
When we all want to seem like
We've got it all figured out.

Well let me be the first to say 
That I don't have a clue, 
Don't have all the answers,
And God knows I pretend like I do.

Just trying
To find my way
To find my way
The best that I know how.

[Trying by Lifehouse]

I think the words of this Lifehouse song best describe how we often feel around those who always seem to have "the answer." And let's be honest; we, as Christians, can come across this way at times. We can hide behind religious rhetoric and act like we've got it all together and know everything there is to know.

The truth is, there are many biblical references that exhort us to examine ourselves and stand in truth and transparency.

The truth is, we can't always make sense out of what happens; we don't have the answers to all of life's questions, and we don't always know how to make everything better. Sometimes things happen that can't be neatly explained. Sometimes the truth is extremely painful and the only way to deal with it is head on. And sometimes there are just no words to match the heartache.

Truth is, we can't fully know the depth of what another person has endured or gone through in their life without investing genuine time, compassion, and understanding. Even at that, only God really knows the extent of it.

And truth is, we have to come out of our personal comfort zones to support someone who is suffering. It can force us to examine our own hearts and perhaps even our long-held beliefs. And it can stir up unresolved issues we're still carrying around too.

Jesus cares deeply about all of our suffering, heartbreak, and pain. He not only cares, He wants to help us through it. He wants to hold us close during these times and love us with His everlasting love. And He doesn't dismiss or belittle our suffering. Rather He wants to love us all the more deeply through it; patiently, tenderly, completely. He really sees us and understands the truth of our struggle.

We're scared but His love is safe.

We doubt but His love is sure.

We hold back but He loves without reservation.

And guess what?

We're the ones He desires to love people through. Us. The question is, will we let Him?

Instead of telling people how much Jesus loves them how about we actually start showing them. How about we truly love them. That is being Jesus with skin on, so to speak.

In my opinion, the only real answer is to love; especially through suffering.

Love purely without trying to sugarcoat their circumstances. Love deeply without trying to give personal advice or quote Scripture. Love sincerely in the silences without trying to fill in the gaps. Love tenderly without opinion. Simply and genuinely love.

Now I'm not about escapism. I believe in facing reality and dealing with our stuff. I also believe we are each ultimately responsible for working through any healing processes that are needed. And I believe God can help us do that. However, in those times and in those moments when we're on the front line of peoples suffering, when they're really hurting and in need of comfort, when we're holding their hearts so to speak, lets not dish out pat answers or casual comments. Let's not throw platitudes around. Lets simply love them where they are.

That's what we all need.

~ Michelle

Michelle Holderman 
Copyright © 2012

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Blessings

Happy New Year, Friends! 

The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; The Lord lift His countenance upon you and give you peace (Numbers 6:24-26).

Looking forward to sharing more of the journey with you this year.