Take It Off


"Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in your hearts, and you will find rest for your souls."
Matt. 11:28-30

"Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God."
Matt. 4:4

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Struggling is one of my least favorite things in the world. It's a daily thing that is reflected in my mood and my posts for sure.
 But it's hard to think straight when your brain is quite literally trying to tell you to remove your legs from your body because it doesn't realize that they're your legs. It's hard feeling to describe and I've spent the past two years of my life trying to concoct the perfect description for doctors and friends. It's something along the lines of a hot, tingly, melting feeling accompanied by occasional temporary partial paralysis and intense muscle spasms. And that's just my legs, I'm not even going to try and list all the other symptoms that have come along with this weird disease. This pain makes me very (and understandably) irritable and angry. It's very easy for me to explode over little things or fall onto the kitchen floor and cry for an hour because I spilled my smoothie.

I saw a video on my Time Hop recently of me hitting a dead-lift personal best of over 200lbs- the peak of my athleticism- and I wanted to smash my computer. (Sadly, I'm an all online students so that wasn't exactly a practical action to take). I hated seeing my past self. In that moment when I dropped the weight and jumped with joy and my own physical strength I had no idea that in less than a year I would be able to lift my own leg after 5 minutes of physical therapy.

As weird as it is to say, there are some benefits I've received from this disease. Now, I don;t mean like free stuff or discounts at Walmart. I have connected with people all over the world and been able to share support. By lifting others up, I have been lifted up as well and reminded of God's grace. I have been featured on websites and interviews for online magazines. I've had a lot of free time to spend in the Word that I would most likely not be doing because I'd have some sort of social commitment as an excuse. The Word of God is my favorite way to pass the time. I've never been much of a daily devotional, buy this book, do it at the same time every day, kind of gal and here's why.
I talk to God constantly. Our conversation is similar to a phone call, we're not always talking but I know He's always on the other line and I can just start saying something when I need to. It's not a casual phone call like I would have with my sister or my best friend, but like one I would have with  parent. There is a level of comfort and safety I feel when speaking with Him, but also respect.
Those conversations have been such a crucial thing for me because as soon as I stopped seeing my time with God as a business meeting with to-do lists and started seeing it as a relationship between a father and a daughter my whole perspective changed.

The book of Matthew tells us to rest in Him. Now, I know what some of you are thinking, "it's kind of hard to lean on something when He's not physically there to lean on." I got it, trust me. Whenever I fall, or have a flare up or a paresis episode I imagine Him wrapping me up in the cozy warmth of Hi arms. I take some shaky deep breaths and talk through it. Like when you stub your toe really hard and you hop around going, "ow ow ow okay wow that hurt yike wowza ow." Sometimes you can brush it off and laugh but other times it's the breaking point and you're screaming and angry even though it't just a stubbed toe. Sometimes I yell at God, other times I talk, and even others it's just tears.
But that's what that second part of the verse is for.




"take the yoke upon you and learn from me"

You'd think I would have run out of lessons to learn after two years of this pain and disease, but God's still got things to teach me. I recently got my disabled car placard and it's one of the weirdest things I've ever been happy about along with my wheelchair I just ordered. I'm not glad I need either of those things at all, but God has taught me to be happy that I have them. Because of the placard I was able to go to church with my family because I knew I wouldn't be as exhausted or in pain since we didn't have to walk as far. This wheelchair will allow me to actually leave the house and do things with friends as well as allow me to push myself further in my physical therapy so that I can gain back some of the muscle I've lost. All this heartache, pain, and struggles were given to us by God.
He gives them to us but He also reminds us that they are not ours to go through alone.
This isn't my fight. This is our fight.

God isn't telling us that we won't have struggles to deal with. He's reminding us of our brokenness through the struggles, and telling us that in Him our broken pieces are put together.
Right now there is no cure, no treatment, no plan of action, and even when I make it to remission one day a bad fall could send me right back to relapse.
But I know that every day when I'm talking to God that I am not sick or broken in His eyes. I am learning and growing. He is making my spirit stronger while my body weakens so that every day I can remember who I am as Hid daughter.

So, take your pain, your worry, your anger, your fear, your sadness and learn from it. Then, give it to God. Do not let it continue to weigh you down after He has lifted it from your shoulders. Once He takes it from you, He finishes the fight. He will fight for you because you are worth fighting for.

Truly,
Abby

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