Never Ending Winter

 

This Winter season has been extra long for me this year.  As many of you know I had a weird illness since September that caused me to be dizzy and to have to stay home and not able to do much of anything. On top of the illness our winter in Missouri, this year was brutally cold with lots of snow, ice, and long dreary gray days.  Up until a couple of weeks ago, I was beginning to think I may never see warm sunny weather again!

To catch those up who don’t know about my life over the past year here is a quick run-down : In February 2017 my husband and I paid a large sum of money as a down payment to a roofing company to put a new roof on our home. The roof was supposed to be put on in March of that year.  March came and went but there was no roof put on and the company was ignoring our calls and if they did answer they would put us off.  In May I finally canceled the roof because I felt like they were scamming us and never going to put the roof on.  June, July, and August were spent trying to get our money back from the company and then paying ANOTHER roofing company in August to put on the roof.  The first company never gave us our money back and in August the new company installed our roof. Also in August – my husband filed in small claims court against the first roofing company to try to get our money back. September – my husband and I went to small claims court and were met at the judge by an attorney for the roofing company who asked to have the case moved to trial by jury and filed a third-party petition against me for slander against the roofing company because I had contacted the Better Business Bureau, the state Attorney General, and wrote review about them on Angie’s list in the attempt to get our money back.  The roofing company took our money, never gave us a roof, but now they were suing me for $25,000.00!  It was around that time that I one day while I was at work I was suddenly hit with dizziness that felt as if the whole room was spinning so bad I may fall off the Earth.  From that day on I was dizzy almost every day of my life and spent several months going to doctor after doctor trying to figure out what was wrong with me.  What had started as dizziness soon progressed to sound and light sensitivity, and I could not do anything with a screen such as computers or TV. I had memory issues, panic attacks, and soon even depression. If you can name it, I pretty much had it.  I ended up having to quit my job because I was too sick to do it plus my husband had to drive me everywhere, I went because I couldn’t drive because I was dizzy. If I had a good day and did go anywhere then I would get carsick or if not carsick I’d be worrying that I might become dizzy.  It got a point that I couldn’t even go to church on Sunday’s because the music and the stage lighting caused me to be dizzy.  I will stop here because it just suddenly dawned on me that my ‘brief rundown’ has turned into a full-blown story in itself.  If you’d like to read the much longer version, I did write a few blog posts about my illness this past winter which can be found hereVertigo, Panic, and Feelings of Insanity, When the Struggle is Real Keep Going Even if You Have to Do it with Your Eyes Closed, My Plans Aren’t Your Plans But Are Your Plans Mine Even Though They Don’t Make Sense?

Between the illness, being sued, and all the dull grey days of Winter this was probably one of the coldest, darkest, and longest seasons in my life I remember ever having.

Before all of this craziness happened, I led a pretty busy life and I always considered myself a pretty happy person but now looking back I can see that I was probably not as happy as I led myself to believe I was.  I was always rushing here and there and was always feeling overwhelmed with all the things I had to do but never doing much of the things I wanted to do.  I now can see that the things I wanted to do were things that I had been putting on the back burner that those things were truly important for my own well-being.  My job for instance – I was in the church building every day but I know now that I was actually pretty far away from the church on other aspects. Meaning my relationship with God. I know that sounds weird to say but now looking back I can see that needed to step back away from church in order to actually see just how far away from God I had moved.

Before I was ‘stuck’ at home I never had time to just calmly sit and read my Bible. My prayers were rushed more like a checklist and I barely journaled anymore because I just didn’t have the time. It was like my spiritual life only happened when I could fit it in.  Ya I know you can read my blog post where I always mention that but oddly even though I figured it out several times I never actually followed through with what I had learned until I was ‘forced’ into having the time to follow through. Bad… I know but now I do follow through … most of the time.

This past Fall and Winter has probably been one of the longest, coldest, darkest seasons I’ve been through physically and mentally in a very long time but all seasons do come to an end and even though I had small glimpses of sunshine here and there throughout the winter it wasn’t until about February that I started seeing the large rays beginning to shine through and this time they actually began staying.

My time stuck at home had given me a whole lot of time to begin connecting with God on a deeper level and also I was feeling a little better physically.  The dizzy spells were becoming less and less and I know my triggers that set off the dizziness now with stress being one of my big ones. Looking back, I can connect the whole roof scam and being sued by them as probably my breaking point and what set this whole illness off.  I have always been a stuffer of my feelings most of my life. Never telling people when I’m sad or upset and I usually just go about my days clinging to the good stuff and not paying much attention to the bad.  Now I can see that the bad I’d been stuffing finally caught up with me.  A person can’t stuff those feelings down inside without finally running out of room inside to stuff them and I think maybe I just broke because I was too full.  Through all of this, every doctor kept telling me I needed to get the stress out of my life but really how do you do that when it’s coming in from places you can’t stop??

I think it’s more in how you deal with stress is how you remove it from your life. Don’t stuff it inside where it can’t be dealt with or it will eventually end up eating you alive.

From where I sit now I can finally see that good stuff can be found even on a bad day but it is okay to acknowledge when things aren’t going so great. I realized now that it really is okay to be not okay.

During this season of my life, I have also learned to say no.  I have learned that if someone gets upset with me for saying no then that’s their problem, not mine. Also, now that I have said no a couple of times, I have realized nobody was upset with me anyway. HA 😊

I can see now that quitting my job was a good thing too.  I still love my church and of all the jobs I’ve had in my life being the church secretary was my all-time favorite.  So, when I say that quitting the job was a good thing, I know it probably makes no sense to anyone else except for me. But the best thing I have noticed is that now when I am at church, I am there for one thing only and that is God 😊

Also, I’ve realized that I’d been neglecting the things God called me to do.  Write my blog, finish the book I started and rekindle family and friend relationships that I’d let drift away because I didn’t have time.

Over the past month, my new neurologist has started weaning me off the medicine that another neurologist had given me for the brain stem migraine diagnosis. His plan was to start me on a different medication that has fewer side effects but as time has gone on, I’ve started feeling like my old self again so I haven’t had to take the new medication. I feel like I am finally waking up from this nightmare I’ve been stuck in and now that I am waking up when I look back and can see that October through January is one giant blur to me.  I never realized when I was traveling through it all just how dark my winter season really was and to be honest, I was worried that it was never going to end but the best thing in all of this was Jesus. He was always with me the whole time and no matter how bad I’d feel he kept pushing me forward. Making me get up out of bed in the morning when I didn’t want to get up. Sending close friends to check on me at just the right moments. He kept nudging me to read my Bible and he was the one with me on the nights I couldn’t sleep.  He pushed me forward toward springtime and on those days when I thought I couldn’t go on anymore he carried me.

Be still my heart… His love for his children is a love like nothing else. I was the one in one hundred and he came looking for me.

The roof stuff is still happening but, as far as my health goes I feel like I’m on the upside. I can feel the warmth of Springtime outside but most importantly I feel the warmth inside of me once again.   I know that this long dark Winter season is finally coming to an end and like the rays of sunshine in Springtime make the flowers bloom, I can feel God’s love for me cracking away at the icy chill of this long winter season so that I to can now bloom once again.

The Resting Place

This is where I found my cat sleeping this morning.

Lately, I can’t seem to keep him off of my Bible.  It seems to have become his favorite resting place.

When I saw him so peacefully resting in my Bible it made me think of how it makes me feel when I open this book each day and read the special messages God has tucked inside for me.

No, it doesn’t make me fall asleep like Bart, but instead, HIs words fill me with peace.

The Bible is the place where I know I will always find my Jesus and the peace that only comes when I rest in HIm.

Where will you find your rest today?

Passing through the Storm only to Find Another Cloud

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I’m not usually a quitter but by the end of the day yesterday that’s exactly where I was…ready to quit!

I woke up yesterday morning to the sound of my alarm at 6 am. I was exhausted from a long night of tossing and turning and my heart had been racing all night.

I have been having an irregular heartbeat on and off for a couple of weeks now and during these episodes my heart beats erratically and I get light headed.  Sometimes feel like I’m going to pass out. I really haven’t been feeling very well at all lately and the racing was really starting to frighten me a whole lot.  Last week I had lab testing done by my doctor and now I was going to see her for my lab results and so she could check me out some more.

Other than the crazy heartbeat it was a pretty routine morning of me getting ready to leave the house but then suddenly as I was walking down the hall  my knee just seemed to come out from under me sending me face first into the floor.

Ten minutes later I sat on my couch with ice bags on my face and both knees assessing the damage… I had a bloody nose, a small cut inside my top lip, a very swollen top lip and nose, a massive headache and both knees hurting and beginning to swell. Thankfully though I had no major injuries.

A couple of hours later I made it my doctor’s appointment where I received the news that my heart isn’t getting enough oxygen to my body and that I am diabetic and my blood pressure is high.

I left the doctor’s office as the owner of a new diet, a prescription for high blood pressure medicine, and an order to turn in for my very own heart monitor 😥

So like I said in the beginning of this post… I am not usually a quitter but by the end of the day yesterday that’s exactly where I was.

Ready to quit…

I felt like I needed a break from the day, or maybe it was the world.  Either way all I wanted to do was crawl in my bed, close my eyes, and hide under the covers forever. I seem to be having an overabundance of hard stuff anymore. I usually try my best to keep my head up and look to the good stuff, but today it was hard to see through the tears. I don’t mean to sound like I am complaining… seriously there is a whole lot that is good in my life…But…I do have to say though that in the middle of all that good stuff there also seems to be one hard thing right after another. When one thing stops it seems like something else always starts up. I’ve had one illness right after another for almost 5 years now. People around me are sick too and a whole lot of stuff is always happening in my family. If this is just a season it’s been way too long of a season and I’m ready to get on with a new one. I can’t begin to count how many times I’ve passed through the storm and came out on the other side only to see the sun quickly being covered by another cloud.

Last night I think I may have finally hit my breaking point, crawled under the covers put my headphones on and lay there listening to Pandora hoping to fall asleep.

I heard two songs, both had words that just seemed picked out perfectly for me.
Praise you in This Storm and Eye of the Storm

Coincidence?

I think not.

After hearing those songs I felt at peace and went right to sleep. I finally got some rest last night and I woke up today in a way better mood.

Life isn’t always easy; the truth is sometimes it’s just plain hard.

I still have the same problems this morning when I woke up that I went to sleep with.

But I am so glad I got up and faced the day today, because today things seemed to not be as bad as they felt when I went to sleep last night.

I felt at peace and now I can see all that is good again.

Actually today was a really good day.

Oh and by the way since the fall yesterday I have not had any irregular heartbeats. When the doctor was checking me out yesterday and I told her that since I had fallen it hadn’t happened anymore she said that it is actually possible that the adrenaline rush shocked my heart back into a regular rhythm… Sounds crazy but its been over 24 hours and so far so good! Thank you God!

Before you leave today check out this song by Ryan Stevenson – Eye of the Storm

Music Monday ~ What We All Need Most

music monday1

Jesus.

There is power in His name…

That song played for me last week just as I was about to have unscheduled exit from and MRI machine about 25 minutes too early.

I have walked huge flights of stairs to avoid elevators, sat on the isle on airplanes and sometimes I even leave rooms of people because I feel panicky like tight places. So when the technician put me in the MRI machine and my face was about 8 inches from the top along with the fact that the tube was so small my arms had to be squished above my head, I panicked and told her to let me out.

But….

Just as she was starting to pull me out of the machine that song came over the headphones they had placed on my ears before putting me in.

There is power 
In the name of Jesus
There is power
Power in His name

Determination suddenly filled me and the words “never mind I am good” came out of my mouth.

She said, “are you sure?”

“Yes I am!” I replied as I closed my eyes and began singing along…

There is power 
In the name of Jesus
There is power
Power in His name

No fear, no lie
Can stand against us now
He is here
The Word has come
To silence every doubt
He is here

One name, one name can save
One name breaks every chain
One name, always
One name, Jesus
One name, one name remains
One name, we will proclaim
One name, always
One name

There is power
In the name of Jesus
There is power
Power in His name (words by Lincoln Brewster)

Every song that played after that one was perfectly orchestrated by God. Even a message the radio announcer gave about worry was sent by Him too.

Seek the kingdom of God and he will give you everything you need’.

What I did need right then was peace and Jesus came along with me in the MRI and He gave me just what I needed to get through it… peace.

Have a wonderful day and a great week and don’t forget to add your link to your Music Monday post in the link-up below!

Terri Siebert

 

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A Time to Rest

A Tme to Rest

As she was blow drying her hair she happened to catch a glimpse of herself in the mirror.

Suddenly she stopped drying her hair and took a closer look.

She didn’t like what she saw in her reflection today.

Instead of the young joyful person she used to be, today her reflection showed a worn out and tired looking old woman.

She suddenly realized what she saw in her reflection was for real… this was really her and YES she was truly exhausted!

How did she get to this place? When did she become so exhausted? And why did she look so old and worn out?? Not to long ago she was doing great. She even had pictures of herself that proved it. Not too long ago her outside appearance had shown a reflection of the joy she had felt on the inside.  But now as she looked in the mirror today her outside reflection was showing a totally different person.

When had it happened? Could it really be possible that in such a short amount of time her life had changed so drastically? The answer to that question was yes.  In the blink of an eye the way she saw her world had changed.  She used to think she was ready for this sort of thing, but from the way she was feeling inside and now  in looking at her reflection in the mirror she didn’t like what she was seeing.

Looking at her reflection she realized her outward appearance reflected the downward spiral she was on. When had she given up? This wasn’t the sort of person she was. She had never been a quitter but today she realized that’s exactly what she had done.

She had quit.

Somewhere along the line she unconsciously had made the decision to give up, but today she knew it was time to stand back up.

It was time to make a change but to change she had a new choice to make…

She could continue to be a victim to her circumstances and continue on this downward spiral, or she could make the decision to grab on to the hand that had been reaching out to help her.

Today she decided it was time to stop fighting alone, because fighting alone wasn’t doing anything at all except exhausting her.

Today she realized it was time for her to rest in the arms of the one who would help her fight this fight or better yet fight this fight for her.

It was time to stop worrying about what may or may not happen and instead live in this moment right here right now.

This moment may still be hard and yes it may still be painful, but she didn’t have to live in it alone.

Today she was tired but she finally knew it was time…

Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.

Today it was time for her to REST in the arms of her Savior.

Are you going through a hard time right now? Is life making you tired? Or maybe you have already given up? You don’t have to go through any of this alone.  Jesus is waiting for you. You can take his hand or if you want to you can dive into His arms.  Both are open wide and He is ready to help you, all you have to do is come….  Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. – Matthew 11:28

Terri Siebert

Falling Off the Mountain and Landing at the Top

Sometimes life hurts

No matter how good things are going sometimes things just happen to ruin a good day.

Things are going great then out of nowhere something or someone blindsides you.

Today I was having a great day and then out of nowhere something happened that just blew me right off my mountaintop.

Within a matter of a few minutes it seemed as if everything around me was spinning out of control and it just kept getting worse and worse. I tried to make it stop but it was out of my hands. One minute I was flying high and the next I was tumbling down the side of the mountain as the valley below seemed to open up and suck me in until I couldn’t breathe.

I needed air.

I had to get away from the situation.

I ran out of my house and got in my car and just drove….

I had no where to go but just kept driving, trying to catch my breath and figure out what had just happened.  Every way I looked at the situation none of it made sense.

It just hurt.

I hurt so bad I wanted to just drive…

Drive away as far as I could go…

Drive and drive.

How could this happen?

I asked God why?

I told him I didn’t know what to do.

I asked him for help.

God I know you are here!  Please show me you are here, show me you have this under control!

And then I saw it

This….

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You know it was not that long ago I would not have seen this as clearly as I saw it today.  Less than a month ago God gave me a miracle, one that I will never forget.  He gave me the gift of my perfect eyesight.  Something I have not had for a long time. Something I would never have been thankful for until I lost part of it and received it back.  In the midst of the storm God reminded me of that.  He reminded me He is big and though things right now may seem out of control he still has everything under control.

As I write this I am back at home again.  After seeing the rainbow light in the clouds I pulled over for a while and hung out with God as the sun set.  I still feel sad about the bad stuff that happened today, but I do feel comforted by the fact that right in the middle of something so dark God’s light was still shining bright and I know that know matter how this all turns out I will be alright.

4 Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever.  ~ Psalm 23:4-6

 

God’s Got You


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