Have you noticed recently that my new poem and thoughts are being posted later and later in the month? There is a reason.
First, Iíve been having a real struggle with illness that has slowed me down for many years. Instead of writing something new this month, Iíll post a poem I wrote when I was in my early thirties.
Itís one of those confessions, telling how I felt about a diagnosis of probable, mild, benign multiple sclerosis. When I was a student nurse on public health rotation, I cared for a young woman who was severely disabled. When I saw a picture of how beautiful she had been a few years earlier, I hardly could believe it was her portrait.
She had to cling to the arms of her wheelchair to keep her arms from shaking constantly and flailing about. I remember her young son when he came home from school. His demeanor reminded me of a frightened baby rabbit. Then there was the blonde, outgoing friend who came to help. It bothered me when my patientís handsome, virile husband would drive her home. They seemed exceedingly friendly. I must say, that some of the symptoms of MS now are better controlled. But as a young person, I was deeply impressed, and horrified when I thought I could end up the same way.
I have done so well, to outward appearances, that doctors hardly believe my diagnosis is correct. Only I know about the things they cannot see. Iím grateful that Iím still functioning. Several times Iíve been prayed for and anointed with oil. Total healing hasnít been forthcoming, but I know that daily prayers of many faithful friends and family members deserve credit for keeping me going.
For the past two years, Iíve spent most of my time on the couch because of ever increasing pain, partly from fibromyalgia. Iím on new medication for the muscle tightness that causes almost constant pain now. The pills help, but I get very weak and groggy. So, most days I rest, and work at night, when I typically, feel better.
In the past month, Iíve been fortunate to be selected from writers, at FaithWriters.com, to be assigned to write two poems for a booklet on hope. This is with a startup company, Innate Perceptions. I am very pleased with their vision of placing booklets where greeting cards are sold. They are aimed at people who may not be believers or be acquainted with scripture and doctrine. Therefore, the writing must be done at a level Iím not accustomed to. Itís been very encouraging to read works from the other twenty-three selected writers, who share their writing as it is produced and edited.
This trial run booklet should be available by Christmas time. So, that is one thing Iíve been working on diligently before the finishing date of next week. There have been other benefits. Iíve been praying about doing whatever I can to earn some money before my funds are depleted. The projectís manager offered me a possible freelance copy editing job. Weíll see if that works out.
Being in an assisted living facility is not inexpensive. Iíve been very grateful to be here for the past three-and-a-half years. The warmth and Christian atmosphere are wonderful. The Inn at Chappel Creek is affiliated with Christian and Missionary Alliance. We are directly across the road from Beulah Beach Conference Center on Lake Erie. Many wonderful retired pastors and missionaries live there. The couple who take me to church were missionaries in Cambodia. Iím amazed when Bliss, who is eighty years old, hoists my wheelchair into the trunk of his car. Virginia, his wife says, ďDonít worry about him. He grew up on a farm and is used to lifting grain sacks.Ē
So, I hope no one is offended with what I say in my poem about healing, or the lack thereof. I was unfortunate enough to have a certain commentary Bible recommended to me when it became apparent what might be wrong with me. This extensive work stated that a Christian should never be sick. Christians should be like sound, ripe apples when they fall from the tree. I knew that was a serious misstatement, but it haunted me for almost a year. Satan used it well to his advantage.
As you may know, one of the foundational tenets of the Christian Missionary Alliance is their strong belief in healing. Anointing with oil and prayer is offered at church services. The same is true of Youth With A Mission (YWAM) where I was a staff worker when I was in my late fifties. Earnest prayers of faithful people were offered. Also, I had faith in the prayers of my children when they were little. I know God listens well to them. However, being accused of not having enough faith can be a crippling experience.
As I meet new health challenges, Iím striving to do what I can, while I can. I used to try to go to a writersí conference each year. By going to Billy Grahamís School of Christian Writing, and to Moody Bible Instituteís Write to Publish Workshop, years ago, contacts were made that led to writing and publication of both my books.
Recently, seeing low plane fares to Baltimore, I began to wish I could attend Sandy Cove Writersí Conference in New Jersey. My daughter encouraged me to try to go. So I put my money on the line. Many friends and family are praying that I will be able to make the trip and be in reasonable health for the sessions. Now, if I can just stay awake so I get off the plane where Iím supposed to....
For the past few weeks, Iíve been thinking hard about material Iíd like to put into a book proposal. Three nights ago, that came together easily, to my amazement. Thus I met the deadline to send it to the manuscript coordinator before September 15. I am so thankful! I donít want to go empty-handed and miss opportunities.
So, what has been neglected in the meantime? You guessed it. Writing for GodThoughts. I hope no one takes offense at the poem Iím posting.
I know that God is our help and our sustainer. I also know that He is our healer. For years, Iíve been afraid to expose this poem to public reading. For one thing, it goes on for quite a length, and says disturbing things. Itís not very well written. But take a look at the last stanza. There is where the strength lies.
Iím glad for those of you who do come back to GodThoughts often. I pray you find ideas here that bless you.
He Will Give You Rest Ministries - Very helpful resource for those who have chronic pain or illness, and for those who love them.
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