Monday, June 25, 2012

The Journey: Right On Time

"Your journey has molded you for your greater good, and it was exactly what it needed to be. Don't think that you've lost time. It took each an every situation you have encountered to bring you to the now. And now is right on time." 
~ Asha Tyson 

I saw this quote recently and it really caught my attention; especially right now. And it really reflects how I feel.

Sometimes our lives can be so difficult and challenging, it often leaves us wondering if we're on the right path or not. It's filled with terrific highs and lows; ups and downs; twists and turns; valleys and mountains; tragedies and triumphs. And sometimes it seems our dreams get smashed under the weight of life itself. But the longer I journey through life, the more I see it is just that ~ a journey. 

Sometimes the journey is beautiful, sometimes it's messy, and sometimes its a beautiful mess.

Yet as a believer, as a disciple of Jesus, I know life is not merely happenstance. We've been given the gift of choice. We choose how to live our lives. We make decisions everyday. Still, at the end of the day, I believe there is a God in Heaven who is ultimately in charge; who leads and orchestrates the plans He has for our lives. 

I believe all those moments in life that seem coincidental really aren't; they're pointing us in a certain direction.

I believe we each were created for a specific reason; that we have a unique God-given purpose and destiny to fulfill. 

I believe He weaves it all together through Christ and His order. 

And I believe there are those wonderful times that we get a glimpse of it all. 

Now I don't know about you, but those sweet little glimpses help me keep going! 

I once heard it said that the two most important days in our lives are the day we were born and the day we find out what we were born for. There is so much truth to that statement! Yet oftentimes getting there is a long, challenging process and our life experiences can shape the process itself (I personally believe the best way to come into that understanding is to come into relationship with the One who created us). 

But no matter what, I believe our experiences in life are never wasted. And I'm not just giving lip service to this. I really do believe that for myself as well. Whether they be good or bad, fair or unfair, expected or unexpected, I believe our experiences can ultimately help us become who we were created to be and point us in the direction we need to go. If we let them.

And I also believe as we seek Him along the way, the Lord will give us direction and assurance through the Holy Spirit. However, I've learned that doesn't automatically mean it will be easy or simple. In fact, it usually isn't. The powers that be always try to fight what God is doing. 

But regardless of the setbacks, oppositions, or hardships we might encounter, we can know, just as David penned in Psalm 23, that "He leads me beside still waters" (waters of peace and rest) and "He guides me in paths of righteousness for His names sake" (the right paths that honor who He is). 

In the end, you can trust that He will lead you right where you need to be. And that means you can trust you'll also be right on time. 

He's got you.

~ Michelle 

Copyright © 2012 Michelle Holderman

Friday, June 22, 2012

I Will Be Still By Young Oceans

I absolutely love this new modern worship album by Young Oceans. It's beautiful, reflective, meditative lyrics and music are spot on and it's what's hot on my iPod. I truly believe God is transcending worship to a whole new level in His people. Freely download the album here (look under Loaves & Fishes). Or check it out on Amazon or iTunes. 

Peace to you. 

~ Michelle

I Will Be Still

Though the earth give way
Though the mountains fall to the sea
Though its waters roar
I will cling to Thee

Though the nations rage
And creation yearns for the Lord
Though the earth may melt
I'm forever Yours

There is no fear
As I look upon You

I will be still
I will be still
And know
And know You are God

Forever my Refuge
Forever my Strength
Forever my Helper
Forever my Friend

I will be still
I will be still 
And know
And know You are God

By Young Oceans

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Lord's Prayer

Pray like this:

Our Father in Heaven,
holy is your name.
Your Kingdom come,
your will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven.
Give us this day the bread we need,
and forgive us our sins,
 as we forgive those who sin against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.

Matthew 6:9-13

Monday, June 4, 2012

Update, Thoughts And Transparency

*Hi friends. I've been working on this post off and on for awhile now. The first several paragraphs reflect how I was feeling a few weeks ago and while I'm feeling better; I am still recovering. That means I still have days I don't feel well as a result of this and am dealing with the effects of what happened. And we are still working and digging to investigate a few things we've found out through this setback I've had. That's the only good thing I can say about it. Having said that, and just so you know, let me also say that the beginning of this post is filled with some frustration and agitation. I considered rewriting most of it and while I did take out a few sentences, I decided to leave the rest as isAuthenticity in the good and the bad. The latter half of this blog was written recently. As always, thanks for reading.*                                              

In all honesty, I've been dreading writing this update. Not because I don't have something to say but more so because it takes such energy to put it all in context and present a readable post. And truly, I've just not felt well enough to do that for quite awhile. And I guess I really haven't been able to find the words either.

I've had several people writing and asking me how I am, what's going on, what caused my setback, etc, etc, so I'm trying to put something together here to give those who are interested an update. And for my Chronic Lyme friends who understand the kinds of setbacks that can happen, you know how very frustrating it is when you're feeling some better but still recovering and try explaining that to others (in as few words as possible) and yet it still never fails; somebody always interprets it in a totally different way. Mostly because they do not know because they don't have to live with it. I also think people do not realize the magnitude of it. And I get that. How can you really understand what you've never experienced before?

So one tries not to come across as being defensive or aggravated but in truth, to some degree, you are because you're still dealing with the physical and emotional affects of the setback and it is annoying and disheartening when others can't hear you or deal with what you're going through. Even after all these years, it is still frustrating at certain times to me; more so when I'm feeling like crap. That's one reason I reel it all in during these times. So if you're reading this and don't understand what I'm trying to say, please don't take it personal. I'm only expressing what so many of us who live with debilitating, chronic illnesses go through.

Okay, now I'll get to what's been going on.

I have to say this setback was very unexpected and very different. And it has left me feeling differently. So it's not business as usual for me. But then again; it never was. I'm not up for chitchat or small talk. And it's not because I'm aloof. It's because I'm working to recover from this and it's exhausting; arduous. And there are times it is also deeply discouraging and flat out frustrating, particularly after so many years. I do know the wearying, roller coaster nature of chronic illness, as does anyone who lives with it. I'm familiar with the ups and downs; the highs and lows; the dips and drops; the unexpected detours and the sudden stops. But it's still no fun whatsoever when such things occur.

So here's what happened...

I got a bad cold this past February/March, which went into a lingering respiratory infection that I had major trouble getting over. Of course that suppressed my immune system more and, in turn, allowed the Borrelia (Lyme bacteria) and who knows what else to become more active. In fact, it stirred up some things I've not had to deal with since before starting on my Lyme treatment.

Before February, before that darn respiratory infection, I was actually feeling some better overall. My doctor and I both felt like I was holding my own with the Lyme. I was able to be up longer throughout the day. I was having some better energy and not running fevers as often. My stamina was better. I was standing thirty minutes almost everyday.

Not now.

I should interject here that I've been breaking from the Lyme treatment protocol since last fall. My body wanted and needed a break. However, because of what happened during this setback, I'm now back on part of the protocol. And it is helping.

It's a long story.

I know that usually causes others to pause upon hearing or reading those wordsit's a long story because what does that mean really?  It's a long story because it really is a long story or because you don't want to go into it or because you don't physically feel like going into it?

For me, it's all the above.

So while this is an update, I'm not going into a lot of detail. I am feeling better than I was during the height of this but just as the word implies; I have been set-back. And I'm still dealing with the effects of it. We have also found out some things we didn't know before through this and that is one of the things we are pursuing right now. And I am thankful to have such a caring doctor who works with me.

I want to end by saying I understand how brokenhearted, lost, discouraged, perplexed, dejected, and hopeless life circumstances can leave us feeling; be it by illness, injury, the death of a loved one, abuse, betrayal or any other number of things people go through.

I have learned only Jesus can walk with us through such feelings and circumstances. Only He can take us through those places we must go. Only He can journey the roughest, most painful terrain with us.

Yes, we have family and friends who walk with us and support us too. And we need them. Absolutely. But they can only go so far with us. There comes a time when we realize only God can accompany us to the deepest depths of those places. Only He can take us through the valley.

Jesus truly is the friend that sticks closer than anybody else can.

I have spent many days and weeks at a time in the bed because I've been so sick and deeply exhausted, not only during this most recent setback but also throughout these many years of illness as well. And during many of these times, I've literally wept my heart out. I have cried out to the Lord to help me; to change what was happening to me because I couldn't take anymore. Or at least I thought I couldn't. But I'm still here.

I've asked my fair share of jaw-dropping questions, too. And I've expressed my doubts, anger and frustrations with Him. I don't care what anybody else tells you; transparency is the way to go with God. I've come to know Him much more intimately through my honesty and transparency with Him. And my faith is stronger as a result. I can assure you; He won't be shocked or undone by anything. He'll be the One still standing with you. And He'll be the One to carry you when you can't go on anymore.

~ Michelle

Copyright © 2012 Michelle Holderman