I’m sure you, like me, have gone through seasons where everything seems to go wrong. Literally, one thing after another happens! Those seasons can either break us or build us.
Sometimes, the pressure is too much, the severity of suffering is too deep, we break and it takes a long time to regain strength. It would be nice to believe that we will always hold our heads up high, walk tall, and smile through every unexpected thing life throws our way.
You and I both know that’s just not reality. Suffering hurts! It’s so hard. How can we handle the unexpected suffering that comes into our lives in a way that keeps us from falling apart?
You may know that I had major surgery in March. If not you can read about that here.
Currently, I’m waiting to get my colostomy reversal, hopefully before the end of summer. Well, here I am, adjusting to my life with a colostomy, working on getting strong, and preparing for my next surgery.
I was only one week away from my follow-up appointment with the surgeon and Bam! Out of nowhere, I broke out with shingles!
You read that right! Shingles! A huge, major setback! Totally unexpected! I mean seriously! This is not fair. I had to reschedule my follow up with the surgeon and she wasn’t available until the second week of July. This means my surgery will be delayed because I also need to get scheduled for a colonoscopy.
Since my colostomy, I’ve worked very hard to keep my spirits lifted, to keep trusting God, and to not complain about my circumstances. I’ve pressed into God’s word, and prayer and have remained connected to the Lord. But then, this! Shingles.
My Pity Party
Why shingles? Why now? Haven’t I already been through enough? I was recovering so well. I was feeling great, energetic, and healthy. Don’t get me wrong, I am so incredibly thankful that I’m alive and doing well! But this, this was hard!
It wasn’t about getting shingles, it was about one more thing going wrong! I’ve been anticipating having my reversal surgery so I can “get back to normal” but now I have to wait. Waiting is hard! What if something else happens while I’m waiting?
Will you think any less of me if I tell you I pouted? I cried and I got a bit angry. Frustration set in and I felt like crawling in bed and just staying there for the rest of the summer. I felt like quitting and even messaged my friends and accountability partners and told them I was going to shut down my blog! Life is too hard and I was feeling like I had nothing more to offer. I was done!
What Do You Do When The Unexpected Happens?
How do you respond when life comes at you like that? What do you do when the unexpected happens? Do you have a plan for how to stay on course even though you face situations that are out of your control?
You’ll be happy to know that I left my pity party. I picked myself up and decided to just keep doing what I was doing, except better! My wise friends counseled me to take some time off from everything and to rest but not to quit. They reminded me that I have been through a lot and it’s ok to rest. In fact, resting is necessary at times.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
The doctor at the urgent care clinic said that because I came in for the shingles past the 72-hour mark that the medication may not help me. She listed off the side effects: headache, diarrhea, nausea… I stopped listening.
Despite her lack of confidence in the medication doing anything, she wrote me a prescription. I’m confused! Why would I want a medication that most likely won’t help me and has all those side effects? I sat in the parking lot outside the doctor’s office and called my friend while holding back the tears. My friend used to be a physician’s assistant, she’s a mom, has personal experience with Lyme disease and is a health coach. She made a few recommendations. I researched her ideas further and chose to treat them naturally.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12
What Really Matters
Listen, here’s the thing that really matters! You and I have a choice for how we respond to the unexpected. I had a choice, I could have decided to hide out in my bed and give up. I could have chosen to allow my mind to take me into a depression, which I did at first.
When faced with the unexpected we can stay in our pity party and be miserable or we can choose to trust God and move on.
The alternative is so much better. I’ve found it’s more helpful and much more enjoyable to trust God, stay positive, and keep doing the next thing. It’s not the easiest way but it is the best!When faced with the unexpected we can stay in our pity party and be miserable or we can choose to trust God and move on. Click To Tweet
My Next Thing
I am not a positive person by nature but the more I practice being positive, the easier it is for me to be positive. I’m not naturally grateful but as I practice the habit of gratitude I become more grateful. Trusting God is hard but it gets easier the more I do it. I’m essentially building my spiritual muscles as I practice these important spiritual disciplines.
So, here’s the update on me. My shingles didn’t last nearly as long as it was supposed to. I had a very mild case and once I added in my natural protocol my healing progressed so quickly. I was amazed! Thankfully, I didn’t get intense nerve pain that I’ve heard and read about. The worst of it lasted less than a week. I continued to exercise every day, I rested when I felt tired and I ate nutritious, healthy food.
God is Always There
While I don’t know why this happened, God does and He always has my best interest in mind so I praised Him for this delay.
I know that sometimes the unexpected is much much worse than a case of the shingles. Some of you are suffering intense, prolonged pain. I’m fully aware of the depression and discouragement that accompanies that type of chronic illness and pain that lingers on for long periods of time. It’s discouraging and exhausting.
However, I’ve read enough biographies about believers who have also endured those types of life circumstances and much worse. I’ve even met real-life heroes of the faith. I found that it’s encouraging to learn of their faith, to see how deeply they trust in God, and of how they live out a life of perseverance and endurance.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galations 6:9
Don’t Give Up
If you’re going through a long period of illness or experiencing one unexpected trial after another, don’t give up dear friend. Keep fighting for joy and keep trusting the Lord. You are a daughter of the King and when faced with life’s setbacks and hardships, pick yourself up, put your crown back on, and hold your head up high!You are a daughter of the King and when faced with life's setbacks and hardships, pick yourself up, put your crown back on and hold your head up high! #faiththoughts #riseup Click To Tweet
Surround yourself with supportive and encouraging people. Pray hard, stay in God’s word, sing His praises and persevere! This life is not all there is, and one day you will have a perfect, heavenly body. You’ll never suffer pain again and you’ll never have to worry or be afraid.