Faith and Multiple Sclerosis

 what i'm drinking tonight.

wow, y'all.
{we lived in Dallas for 3 years - 
I can still use that word, right?}.

even though I love to write,
i am struggling to find the adequate words tonight.

i have been humbled and just really touched by your love for me.
i've gotten so, so, so many sweet, touching, supportive emails, 
facebook messages,
over the past several days.

 there are just not words to express it adequately,
but I'll say it:

it's awesome to see the body of Christ at work -
this is what this life is all about, anyway, right?
bearing each other's burdens, 
sharpening each other,
lifting each other up to the throne of grace -
encouraging each other to walk in faith.

Thank-you for sharing the beginning of this 
{possible} multiple sclerosis journey with me.

thank-you for taking time to write me,
{which, if I haven't replied yet, i will.
kinda busy hosting my sweet Bible study girls for dinner,
and, ya know, playing with two little kids who are, well, time-consuming.}

but, truly, thank-you for praying.
We believe our God is the Great Physician,
and that the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

so, whatever lies before me,
multiple sclerosis or not,
something worse or not,
we will choose to say
Blessed be the Name of the Lord.

it's a bit therapeutic for me to write out how i'm feeling and what's going on in my life,
and if, somehow, in some way, part of my journey can encourage 
you to run to the cross, to Cling to the cross for your own life,
then i will keep writing. 

hebrews 11:8 says faith, Abraham, 
when called to go to a place, 
obeyed and went, 
even though he did not know where he was going...

The Lord may be calling me to go on a health journey 
that I will not know where it leads.

thank-you for joining me for the journey, 
whatever it may be.

may I have faith like Abraham.
May *you* have faith like Abraham

...through faith [they} were made strong out of weakness...
Hebrews 11:34

Faith and Multiple Sclerosis

continued from part 1


Dazed, we left the exam room,
made it through scheduling an urgent neurology appointment and walked to the vehicle. 

i cannot have multiple sclerosis. i have 2 little kids.
i cannot have MS. I cannot have MS.

we stared at each other in the truck.

i barely slept that night, waking earlier than my usual hour.
i sat down with my favorite mug of strong coffee filled with {more-than-a-dash of} half and half.
I started reading and reading and reading about MS.
I knew no one with it, I understood nothing about the disease.
and then,
I opened my vintage-floral, hard-cover, well-worn, much-loved,  and so-needed ESV Bible.
I searched for truth. for help.
{I searched for hope}.

I recently read this quote about preaching
{what my beloved husband does for a living}:

Preaching is something dangerously public that emerges from something intensely private.

I kinda feel that way about blogging, too.
I know sometimes I just write about the kids or food or every day fun stuff,
but often what I write about comes from a place deep inside me.
a place that stems from my early mornings with my coffee and my Bible.
my pen and a journal.
 most of what I write about our health situations
 {including this latest MS journey}
 stems from a place deep inside my heart.
so, thank-you for listening, for reading, for loving.
i am often boggled that people would ever even read what i write -
it never seems overly interesting to me -
but, thanks.
here's the rest of the story.

i've seen 2 different neurologists.
I've had a lot of testing done.
we've ruled out basically everything else my symptoms could possibly be -
from the simple stuff like vitamin deficiencies to the serious stuff like strokes.
what we do know is that it's not anything else.

at my last neurology appointment -
where, as we were walking into the building my entire left arm and leg went instantly weak
{kinda ironic?}
the neurologist, an MS specialist,
said that it does seem like MS.
the symptoms are presenting like MS symptoms.
my very first MRI was indicative of MS.

in her words,
Multiple Sclerosis is a real possibility.
there are likely no other possibilities.

my c-spine {neck} MRI came back clear.
 this does NOT mean that it's not MS
{as I've heard some people have thought}.

it DOES mean that if it indeed IS MS,
the disease is not advanced.
which, is good.
in a week we'll {hopefully} have some more solid answers.

as for me?
i'm doing okay.
a month ago i was on the verge of panic.
sheer and utter panic.

but now?
i'm okay. really.
almost weirdly okay.
i don't know if it's just the fact that it's been awhile since my last appointment,
or if the peace that passes all understanding is guarding my heart and mind.
probably both.

because, you know what?
this is what I wrote in an email to my sweet husband,
who's been ever-supportive,
at very early in the morning after we got the initial MRI results indicative of MS:

I've been telling myself all night (barely slept!) that what I believed about God yesterday is the same today.  He is ever-present in the time of trouble.  He has created good works for me to do, and his grace is so very sufficient.
that email?
it's so true today.
whatever news i get from the neurologist in a week
{be it an official diagnosis, an official non-diagnosis, or just a wait-and-see situation}
will not change what I believe about God.
{that He is all-powerful, all-Knowing, all-Sovereign}

for, His plans are to prosper, not to harm me, and to give me hope and a future.
may I love not my life, even unto death.
revelation 12:11

...And Nothing But the Truth

grant and grace. {5 and 3!}

Over the past couple of months
 I've written about my latest health situation.
I know I've been vague.
Partly out of privacy, 
and partly because it takes awhile
 to process the possibility of a degenerative neurological disease.

I've had lots of people asking recently,
and i know so many of my friends care so much.
with all of our families' health situations over the past couple of years sometimes I feel like we are going to wear our friends out with yet another health crises, 
so i have been so incredibly humbled and encouraged 
by all of my friends whom have sent flowers, cards, texts and Starbucks gift cards.
{coffee gift cards? these dear friends know me well}

lots of people have asked for an update, 
and i've realized that lots of people know just bits and pieces, 

here's {part 1} of the whole story.
the whole truth and nothing but the truth, okay?


Two months in a row I had some very weird "episode-like" symptoms
of left-sided tingling and weakness.

the first time it happened we thought it seemed like even perhaps a stroke,
but the symptoms disappeared and life went on...

...went on until about a month later the symptoms returned, 
and returned with a vengeance.

i had serious left-sided tingling, numbness, and intense weakness.
left-leg weakness to the point of feeling like i needed a cane.

so, we called the dr.

the results were not what we expected.


my favorite 5-year-old.

 {2 months ago}

The white paper crinkled beneath me as I sat high on the doctor's table.
The specialist walked in the room, smiled at me. we exchanged polite pleasantries. 

She sat down. She skipped over any questions about my symptoms - 
{one-sided weaknes and tingling}- and pulled out the MRI report.  

So, your MRI came back.  

my heart paused, waiting, ready.

She continued, speaking words that did not make sense. 

It shows a lesion, and says demyelinating plaque cannot be excluded.

I was confused.

 She contiued.  
It's indicative of multiple sclerosis.

In a life-changing instant never to be forgotten, I sharply sucked my breath in. my heart beat faster.  The doctor continued talking but I couldn't hear it.. 
I turned to my husband sitting int the chair next to me.  
My eyes wide, I mouthed  
multiple sclerosis?!?


to be continued.

my sweet, supportive husband

Happy Easter

We serve a Risen Savior.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.


Because He lives, All fear is gone!

Because I know He holds the future

And life is worth the living just because He lives!

 My life..
all my messy, complicated life -
it's worth the living
just because He lives.

I have hope for this life -
hope that even in the midst of uncertainty with health situations,
in the midst of ministry,
in the midst of parenting little kids -
hope for abundant joy,
unexplainable peace. 

Just because He lives.

Happy Resurrection Day, Indeed.