Wednesday, May 29, 2013

God's Veterans

There's nothing quite like reading a book, listening to a song, or talking with someone who can help express exactly how we feel; especially when we can't. Amazingly, they put our emotions into words and it's usually because that person is writing or speaking from their own life story; their past or present pain, grief, heartache, struggle, or adversity; what they've endured and/or overcome.

Shared common life experiences can speak to us and move us in a way that nothing else can.

If we're called to help others heal physically, emotionally and/or spiritually, how much more effective and understanding will we be if we've gone through similar experiences ourselves?

It's not a prerequisite. However, helping others with the very things we've gone through or struggled with certainly makes a difference in how we recognize and empathize with their pain. After all, no one can fully understand that which they've never actually experienced themselves.

And God knows it.

He is raising up veterans in the Body of Christ who have "been there and done that" so real, genuine, heart-filled ministry can flow out from them and into the lives of others who are needing the wisdom, understanding, and compassion that living it can only bring.

These "veterans" won't necessarily be defined by their age but by their wide-ranging personal life experiences.

They will minister through their own Broken Hallelujahs.

They will function in truth, grace, purpose, faith, courage, and humility.

They will have the pure love of the Father's heart.

They will walk in true servanthood, compassion, and authority as Jesus did.

They will be led and anointed by the Holy Spirit.

Their battle scars will speak for themselves, and their words will carry the weight and depth of knowledge and credibility that personal experience uniquely gleans.

In other words, they will be needed for appointed times because they carry pearls of wisdom, revelation, and insight that no one else does.

God often takes others out ahead for the sake and benefit of those coming after them at a subsequent point; sometimes years or decades later. Call them forerunners, pioneers, or trailblazers but nevertheless; this process of being taken out ahead is necessary.

Experience and seasoning are imperative.

It doesn't always make sense while its happening but the Lord will use our hardships, trials, struggles, and battles to transform us and forge something fruitful and meaningful - if we let Him.

He will take what the enemy meant for our harm and use it for our good and His glory. He will also use it for the good and well-being of other people and His Kingdom.

Only God can birth something beautiful and valuable from something painful and ugly. 

Perhaps the reason your circumstances have yet to change, even though you've been doing everything right, is because the Lord is preparing and equipping you now in order to help others down the road, or even along the way, who'll be going through something similar and will need a seasoned, helping hand to guide and encourage them. 

Perhaps you are where you are because He is going to use you to bring about the change that you and so many others are praying for. 

Perhaps God has concealed the answer, the discovery, the move, the revelation, the cure, the breakthrough inside of you.

And perhaps the time for your coming forth is nearing.

Take heart, dear friends. And keep pressing on. Keep trusting in the One who loves you more than anything.

You may just be one of those veterans He's in the process of raising up. 

~ Michelle

Michelle Holderman 
Copyright © 2013 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Lyme Disease Awareness Month

It's May and that means Lyme disease awareness month. Lyme is caused by the spirochetal bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb) that is transmitted through the bite of an infected tick. Therefore Lyme is primarily a tick-borne infection. And ticks can potentially affect anyone. However, it can possibly be transmitted through infected mosquitoes, fleas and other insects as well. 

Lyme disease is not to be taken lightly. If left untreated or not treated sufficiently, Borrelia can disseminate throughout the body damaging cells, organs and tissues. It is a multi-system disease, meaning it affects many systems in the body. Late stage Lyme can greatly affect the heart, joints and muscles, as well as the nervous (central and peripheral) and immune systems. It has been documented that the Bb bacteria can invade the brain within the first 48-72 hours of infection. Lyme disease is also known as "the great imitator" because it can mimic so many other diseases and illnesses. So accurate diagnosis is paramount. 

Remember ticks also often carry other serious pathogens such as Bartonella (Cat Scratch Fever), Babesia, Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Relapsing Fever, Q Fever, Tularemia and Powassan virus. This speaks of the more common picture of Lyme disease today, which is chronic relasping and includes multiple co-infections, such as those listed above, as well as viruses, parasites and fungals. This is more appropriately termed the Lyme disease complex. I'll be writing more about this throughout the month, as well as the life stages of ticks and how to recognize and remove them properly. 

We are now entering the season that ticks are most active (mid-Spring to Fall). So please be mindful to check yourself, your kids and your pets for ticks after being outdoors. And don't forget to check those inconspicuous places like belly buttons, underarms, in and behind ears, back of knees, between toes, and groan areas. 

Educate yourself. The following links will take you to my Lyme blog, My Lyme Symphony. Please see What Is Lyme Disease? for more detailed information about risk factors, safety precautions and the symptoms and stages of Lyme. Please see Resources for a list of helpful websites, blogs and books related to Lyme, co-infections and other relevant health issues.  You might also want to consider reading The Complexities of Lyme Disease series by Thomas Grier, M.S. Part 1 can be found here or the entire series is listed in My Lyme Symphony blog archive (March and April 2013).

Blessings Friends.

~ Michelle