When God Didn’t Meet my Expectations

I showed up for my MRI at the time and place I was told to be. I hadn’t gotten an MRI at this hospital before, but I made sure to check and double check with my neurologist’s staff that this was right. I showed up and…. I’m not even on the schedule. The gal I needed to talk with at my neurologist’s office was on lunch, and I had traveled a good 40 minutes to get where I was told to be. I started getting angry. So, Karen (nanny), Lydia, and I went out to the car and I made some phone calls. I passed the office number to Doug. I shared with my mother my frustrations. Karen was also a little agitated, I think. So, Karen goes back into the building to talk with the staff. “Don’t worry,” she told me. “I’ll get it straightened out.” I smiled, because I’ve heard this southern woman straightening things out before. When she comes back to the car, she gets my walker back out and tells me that they’re gonna squeeze me in. Doug calls me around the same time and tells me that the neurologist’s office is re-sending the orders and I’d get my MRI today. (Yay!)

So, right after the MRI was done, Doug and I got to look at it with a radiologist. You know how I’d declared in the name of Jesus there would be no more MS there? Well, there was. The MS was still apparent in my brain. Nothing was active, but you could definitely see it there. I was so disappointed. The next day, I recorded this conversation I had with God:

Even if the scan shows there is MS in your brain, do you still believe you are healed? Yes, of course. I cannot deny what I have seen and experienced. Do you believe you are healed, even if it will take a lot of work on your part to show everyone? …yes. I must proclaim the wonders I know you have done. But will I still need to take medicine for the MS? I’m not going to tell you that now. Just trust me, okay? I will trust you. I know and believe with my heart that I am healed, no matter what the scans say. Lord, I pray you’ll keep me strong. I pray on the armor of God to protect my thoughts and my emotions. I am in your hands, God! Thank you for your faith in me. Now go, and sin no more.

I’m just bummed, I guess. When I declared that there would be no evidence in my MRI of MS, I guess that was me hoping more than God telling me it would be so. Probably. I mean, I know he can do it. I had it all figured out, how I’d be able to prove to everyone by showing them my MS-free scan that I’ve been healed. But maybe that’s just it. Maybe I’m not supposed to have it all figured out. I still am healed. I’ve been sick this week, which has made my body feel like it did when the MS was still there, but I know it’s not. God’s got my back. This is my miracle, and I’m going to run with it.

Jesus didn’t meet anyone’s expectations. His disciples expected him to reign king and overthrow Rome. But…he died. What did they feel that Good Friday night? And then, Jesus shattered expectations by defeating death and rising again. He paid the price for you and for me, so that we could live in paradise with him forever. But he didn’t meet his disciples’ expectations. He blew them out of the water! God didn’t meet my expectations, either, but I’m expecting bigger things than what my little human brain can come up with. God will follow through, too, because he ALWAYS does. Just…according to his plan, not ours.

 

In church on Sunday morning, I was so encouraged by my family there. They believe I am healed, too. One sister told me, “Miracles are instant, but healing can take time.” She laughed. “How else would you have been able to jump like you did last week?”

I cannot deny, nor will I ever, the miracle that God has done in me. May it glorify His name forever and ever! Amen.

Anna E. Meyer

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Miracle on Hambley

This last weekend was amazing. I attended the “Awake and Arise” Conference on Friday and Saturday, where Buddy and Veronica McGlothlin ministered to us. We met in a storefront building on Hambley Boulevard in Pikeville, KY. I didn’t go expecting to be healed, but I knew God had used Veronica to do so many times in the past. I didn’t expect it, even though friends of mine were excited I could go because it was possible. I’ve been disappointed too many times in the past when expectations did not meet reality. But when Veronica came to minister healing to me, she asked me if I believed God could do anything. “Absolutely,” I responded. Buddy, Veronica, their daughter, Elissa, and others were praying for me. And I believed. I received it, and I thanked God for healing me. But as soon as I returned to my seat, I had doubts. The evening continued, where it was talked and sung about the fact that God can do anything. Ephesians 3:20 says, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,” and verse 21 finishes the sentence, “to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations.”

I wrote in my journal, “I declare in the name of Jesus that my MRI will show NO lesions, not a trace. I BELIEVE with my heart, Lord!”

We talked about Joshua and Caleb. They believed God when the rest of Israel did not. We are a Joshua generation! God says to arise and take your mountain! I wrote in my journal, “God has given me health, and I am reclaiming it!”

While we all came to the front and Veronica was ministering to us again, Doug came up and told me, “Jump!” I was like, “What?” He said, “God told me to tell you to jump!” And so I slowly bent my knees and JUMPED! Both of my feet got some air! I jumped and landed without losing my balance. I could. Not. Jump. At all. Before. Especially while keeping my balance. I kept battling doubts in my mind, but I was successfully trampling them down.

When we fellowshipped after, I told some others about the MRI that would be clear on the following Friday, and they all got excited and agreed with me completely. Buddy commented that he could see my faith, and it was exciting. On our way home, Doug and I listened to the song “Hey Devil” by TobyMac. We sang very loud to the chorus: “Hey, Devil, go on, get your junk out of here, I don’t need you, I don’t need you! Hey, Devil, go on, get your junk out of here, I don’t need you, so move on!”

Saturday afternoon was the last part of the conference. I spoke with Veronica and Elissa before the session began, and told them how Doug had told me to jump, and I did. I even jumped again for them.

As we were singing, Veronica left from ministering to one individual to come to me. She touched me and said in my ear, “God hears you. You’ve been waiting, and he’s heard you.” Or something like that. Honestly, after she had ministered to me Friday night, I thought I wasn’t worthy enough of her prophesying or being specific to me. But she was then. As the singing continued. Doug leaned over to tell me, “I have to go to the bathroom, but take your brace off.” So I did! Now, that shoe did not have an insert along. And it turns out that my muscles don’t remember how exactly to work properly. But I could raise my left foot! That was my second MS symptom, I think, back in 2004. I showed Doug as soon as he got back. In his journal, he wrote, “9/30 is the new 10/13”. Instead of remembering the date I was diagnosed with a celebration of life, we will remember the day I was healed!

It was a different feel on Saturday, but I loved it. Veronica spoke over everyone, and while doing so, she pointed toward me and said that God has broken off the generational curse of MS in my family. She said some other things that pertained to me, as well, but the whole time she was speaking, I could just sense Jesus hugging me and smiling down at me. I told him in my heart “Forever you will receive glory for this!”

On Saturday night, Doug, my husband and student osteopathic doctor, was feeling and testing muscles that would always have trouble firing before. Those muscles, though weak, are activating again! I can feel everything with my fingers (that was the first MS symptom back in 2004), and my leg has all the sensation back! Stretching my left hamstring was like stretching a normal hamstring, not the feisty and resistant left leg he’d always stretched before. My muscles get fatigued easily, because it has been almost 13 years of incorrectly using them. But I’m using them! I wore my brace to church the following Sunday, for stability reasons, as my muscles are still weak. But, after some PT and time using everything again, I’m positive my body will function as it’s supposed to once again. As I was 13 when I was diagnosed, I don’t even really remember what a normal functioning body is supposed to feel like. But hey, I’m going to get to find out!

I had stopped taking my MS medicine in July, as we wanted to get pregnant again. I’d have to be off my medicine for four months before even trying to get pregnant. We had decided earlier in September to adopt instead, but I hadn’t let my neurologist know yet. On Sunday, a gal at church told Doug that for the last month or so, I’d been looking worse and worse when she saw me at church each week. But THAT DAY. I looked so much better! Had I been there, I would have added that not even a dose of my medicine could make me that much better that fast!

I found out on Tuesday that I have strep throat. I’m feeling tired, but I’m still able to walk and function! Whenever I had been getting sick in the last few years, it meant a worsening of my left sided weakness, and sometimes even paralysis. But I’m up and walking. My body feels tired like it did every day with the MS. I asked the question “Why?” but then God gives me this look. “It’s quite humanly normal to be tired when you’re sick, Anna.” Man, once I’m recovered and do some PT? I’m so excited to tell everybody and show off my clean MRI, as compared to the last one. God will continue to prove himself in wondrous ways!

To God be the glory, FOREVER AND EVER!

Anna

MS: The Importance of Relationships

I have recently been hearing of dating woes of young adults with MS. This applies to anyone with MS, but as I am getting married in less than two months, I’m thinking back to the last couple years.

In 2011, when I was at Summer Project, I had a discipler who told me when I was sharing my MS-woes, “If a guy won’t date you because you have MS, then he’s not even worth your time.” This troubled me because unlike all these other girls in college who had had so many boyfriends, I did not. I was…me. I had a limp, and there was no interest. Anyway, I started writing letters to friends, one of them being my now-fiance, Dr. Wile E. Coyote. In writing letters, we got to know each others’ hearts and our spirits. He couldn’t focus on things it appears I may not be able to do, because he couldn’t see it. We were hours away from each other, and pretty much only wrote letters. Yes, there are things I can’t do. But there are so many more that I can.

What bothers me is when people can’t see past a limp; a disease; a label. “She has MS, so she’ll never be able to have a good job and earn enough money, so she shouldn’t even be in a relationship with my boy.” There is discrimination against people who have a disease such as MS not only in the workplace, but in uneducated opinions of the general public. Diseases like MS aren’t a death sentence. I was diagnosed 10 years ago, and even though some of my visible symptoms seem to be getting worse, I am just fine. I’ve had to learn some hard lessons over the years. What friendships are worth pouring myself into? What is worth my time doing that won’t wipe me out or leave me feeling unworthy?

Because I had just begun puberty when I was diagnosed, I have learned about myself while learning about how to handle the MS. I know my limits and what I can do, as well as who I am and what I’m passionate about. The more comfortable I became being myself, the easier the MS was to handle and deal with. It is a part of me, but it does not define me. You don’t want to be my friend because I have MS? That’s okay, you would be a terrible friend, anyway.

It is because of the MS that I have matured and become the person that I am. Those who stop being my friend because of my disease may not be able to handle health issues in themselves or their families later. Having MS has taught me to be empathetic to others who are different, and I can relate to many more people than I would otherwise be able to.

I am so blessed to be where I am at now. About to marry my best friend, who looks at me and sees me? Sure, the MS is there, but it doesn’t define me. I have had some great support over the years, and I love being a support to others who have MS; those who have had it longer than I have, as well as those recently diagnosed. If you’re the friend or family member of someone with MS, one of the best things you can do is be there. You won’t be able to understand completely, and that’s okay. A lot of times, we just want to be treated normally! Most of all, thank you for sticking with us.

Anna

SmilesSquared Anna and Doug

Nurse Appreciation! And my interactions with nurses. Thanks!

Having a roommate that’s a nurse certainly changes my perspectives of the nurses that give me IVs every month for my MS medicine, Tysabri. My roommate, Lindsey J, has good days and bad days. Lately, it’s been mostly bad days. She tells me about the troubles she’s had with patients or how busy a day was. Apparently, today is super busy (I’m typing as I get my infusion), and somebody forgot to write me on the schedule. I can imagine the day told by Linds, who usually has no time for lunch or supper, even. Yesterday was nurse appreciation day, and I TOTALLY appreciate the nurses I’ve had over the years who have administered my meds. I myself can tell if they have hit or missed my vein, and digging around usually proves unproductive, but I’ll let them try. I have many friends who are nurses, as Augie has a big nursing program, as does the University of Sioux Falls and South Dakota State University, which are both nearby. The University of South Dakota has a med school attached to it, even. Anyway, nurses. I know a lot of them. I was discipled for a few years by a practicing nurse, Christine; my other discipler went to school to be a nurse, but Annalisa has joined staff (Cru) since then. All of my roommates went to school for healthcare. Sometimes I forget that when I say something totally false but believable by non-healthcare professionals to them until they’re all like, “Wait….” Kate is a dental hygienist, but has decided to join Cru staff.  Lindsey J is the actual practicing nurse with fun stories to tell. A ton of the classmates in school that I was good friends with are nurses or going to med school or pharmacy school. And I’m marrying a med student. What was the point of this post, again? That just in case I wasn’t aware of all the medical information regarding my MS, that there are tons who understand all the logistics and can help me out? That God knows what I need more than I do? That nurses are awesome? Yes, yes. All of the above. When any of us are feeling sick in thee 101 (the name of our apartment), LJ evaluates us. It’s great. Just imagine when I’m married to a DOCTOR. “Honey, is it bad that it hurts to swallow? Could you take a look/listen?” Haha.

Anyway, here is my day-late shout out to all the nurses who have dealt with me, in Marshall, Wilmar, Rochester, Sioux Falls professionally, and all my friends who are nurses, as well. You are appreciated! Thank you for putting in all those IVs and taking my blood pressure, and just being another smiling face with some light chatter to make my day as you do your nursely duties. Do you deal with a lot of nurses? I mean, a chronic illness (i.e. Multiple Sclerosis) causes extra nurse interactions, but do you know nurses outside of the doctor’s offices?

Thank you, patient nurses!

Anna

My MS and the Thinkings It Has Brought Lately

So, Dr. Wile E. Coyote has been talking with a few people he has met that have MS, as well. I love hearing their stories told second-hand by the Pre-Doc. He has even been giving my blog address to a few of them! I have been realizing a few things. 1) I have a hard time accepting the MS that has helped to make me who I am. In two years, I will have had MS for half my life. I was diagnosed when I was going through puberty, so it became who I was, whether I wanted it to or not. 2) I’m kind of prideful about it. I feel like having MS makes me different from a lot of people—they don’t know what’s going on in me, how it affects things from a feeling perspective. But then I meet someone who can, and it’s weird. When I especially wanted to meet people who could relate when I was first diagnosed, there was no one my age to be found. Everyone was a whole lot older than I was, and I didn’t feel like I could relate with anyone. 3) Technology and medicine have come a LOOOOONG ways, and I am so thankful. Dr. Coyote was telling me the story of someone he met that was diagnosed at age 18 in the ‘60s. I can’t even imagine. Even when I was diagnosed a decade ago, there were misdiagnoses happening to many children. Everyone (including myself) was shocked that I was diagnosed with MS so quickly. I am also so thankful that everything else had ruled itself out so fast. Two separate incidences of MS within a few months? And the fact that I’m a third-generation MSer. Which leads me to 4) My family is awesome. Both of my grandmas had MS, though only one knew of it when she was living. Then I was diagnosed. Then they found that my dad and his sister had shown signs of MS when they were in high school, as it turned out. And then on the other side of the family, a cousin was diagnosed. But God chose each of us because he knew we would change our world. I’ve mentioned it before, but so many people looked up to my grandma Lois and her positive attitude, though the disease weakened her and she passed sooner than she would have without it. But it’s okay. It has been 5-ish years since she was “promoted to heaven” (Jason’s term). My dad and his sister (who is working halfway around the world in Mongolia!) don’t speak of it much—at least not in my earshot. I get the feeling that they feel the same way I do about wasting energy complaining. It’s really easy to do, but it gets exhausting. They, luckily, had already learned that, though, and I had to learn by doing. (That’s how I learn best, though, and why I’m good at what I do.) And my cousin Jenni will ask questions sometimes about my experiences with MS (and I’m so glad when I can help her out!), but I don’t hear much from her, either. I think that sometimes she does what I used to do and forget about the MS, that it’s even there. Those were the days. Now I CAN’T forget it’s there. Ah, well, God is teaching me much through it. It’s all for his purpose and glory. 5) God is teaching me through this MS a whole lot of things. I’m seeing how important it is to REST sometimes, even though I like being busy all the time (according to Dr. Wile E, I’m like my father that way…and that may be true). I have learned how to ADVOCATE for myself over the years (thanks, Mom…that’s super important, and making me talk to doctors and not talking for me was good). I’ve learned that in my weakness, God is STRONG (and I’ve been seeing it PHYSICALLY, as well as in other ways, which is pretty cool). I’ve been seeing how much others care for me, as well. I hate when I get lectured at or told to stretch more. But I always melt a little when Dr. Wile E. Coyote adds that he tells me these things because he loves me and doesn’t want to see me get worse if I can help it. And I have seen the benefits of stretching in my own life, as well as my grandma Lois’s—she had a caregiver before she moved to the nursing home that stretched her muscles every day (and it helped!).

I have a lot to be thankful for, including the MS itself. As I’ve referenced it before, it’s the “thorn in my flesh” that the Lord is using in my life. I just like writing out these things at times when I’m thinking. It makes it more revelationized in that fabulous brain of mine (and it is fabulous—I have pictures of it. Do you have proof of your brain?).

Peace,

Anna

My Lent 2013 Update

I gave up coffee for lent.  It was a big deal and difficult at first but I have learned a few things.

First of all, when I gave up coffee, I set about to live a more healthy lifestyle.  I have snacked on fruits and vegetables as well as been more active.  I had depended on coffee for energy, but I have proven to myself that energy can come from other places I hadn’t explored in the past, for my mind was too set on coffee.

Next, that coffee really didn’t have as much of a hold on me as I thought it did.  It actually wasn’t that difficult to give it up.  Once my body adapted to not having caffeine every day, I have been just fine.  This has been going easier than I thought it would.  I just needed the drive and determination to step away.

I haven’t actually been thinking of coffee much.  The looks of empathy and horror when I announce that I gave up coffee for lent are amusing.  God has been doing so much more in my life lately.  I have been looking deeper inside myself than I knew I could, and God has been revealing to me brokenness and scars in my life.  It’s great, because in seeing these wounds, I can go through the mess and pray (not worry).

I AM looking forward to coffee again, but coffee is further proof that God loves us and wants us to enjoy his creation.  Everything points back to him (BOOM).

Anna

What did you give up for lent this year, if anything?  Has it been difficult?  Has God been teaching you through it? 

A Post with a Request

To me, MS= a way for God to show his glory through my physical struggles

Today, I read this blog post that my aunt posted.  She works at the Multiple Sclerosis society in Kansas, where she and her family live.  It makes me full of hope at the compassion people like her have and how couples are dealing with the unpredictable disease together.  I was then thinking about the MS chapter where I live.  At this time in my life, I feel alone with it.  My cousin was diagnosed years after me, but I feel like my struggles and my age kind of isolate me.  I don’t know other people like me.  I have been online to a few places where I can meet others with MS, but they are depressed and speak in a depressing way.  I have talked to still more who seem to glorify themselves by being over-involved in everything they can be to raise money and awareness of the disease.  Is there anyone like me?  There’s gotta be.  Younger women who love Jesus and are dealing with MS by His power?  I would love to start a Facebook group or something for others like me, but I can’t find them.  This post is a little bit different than ones I normally post.  I was talking to my mom about this and tears came to my eyes.  I have been praying that the Lord break my heart for a people group and to lead me to a ministry, but I can’t do so by myself.  The need for the strength and saving grace of the Lord is apparent in the community of many who are stuck in their struggles.  I know there are people who are living normally with the disease who love Jesus.  Do they struggle within themselves?  I would love to round up enough people, wherever they’re at, for an online community of support and faith.  Could you help me?

 

Anna =)^2

Letting You in My Walls…

I was diagnosed with MS when I was thirteen years old.  It will NEVER define me.  People who know me don’t see my limp anymore, unless it’s worse than usual.  People who know I have MS forget because I don’t let it get me down and I am positive a lot of the time.  I don’t let people see in on the secret that every single day has its own struggle.  I cover up the knowledge that I’m getting a teensy bit worse with a smile.  If I could, I myself would forget about the disease, as well.  But it becomes more difficult to manage when I pretend it’s not there.  If I tuck the disease away for a time, its shadow gets bigger and bigger until I can’t handle it by myself anymore.  And then who besides God do I tell?  Will anybody hear me?  Will anybody help me?  Who can do something about it? I do not want to be treated differently.

Anna, I hear.  You’re not being selfish by letting others know your struggles.  You find joy in comforting others who are struggling.  Let them find joy in comforting you.  Asking others to pray for you is not selfish, either.  It’s what I want you to do.

At the words I am reminded of my hope and the reason for my positivity: Jesus.  No, I can’t physically keep up with others.  I let them encourage me or give me a piggy-back ride.  However, I can spiritually run alongside someone else.  I can encourage them and lead them to one who is stronger than me who won’t hesitate to lift them into his arms to carry them: Jesus.

I worry because I don’t know what each day will bring, especially regarding the MS.  But Jesus whispers, Pass it over here to me.  When I do, it does not weigh me down any longer.  I get frustrated because I have more responsibility than I want; have had this responsibility for too long.  But Anna, I hear, it doesn’t have to be such a big responsibility if you keep letting me help.  So I pass that over to my Lord, as well.  There are people who care about you, Anna.  Let them in.

So I make a list, because I’m good at those.  In my list, I give reasons why I’m frustrated.  I share that even though people don’t notice my limp anymore, I do, because it’s hard walking with a limp.  I share how quickly weakness sets in and what that sometimes affects.  I share my frustration of the symptoms I deal with that nobody sees, the ones I don’t like to talk about because nobody understands them.  I make another list, a list of lies that I’ve been believing, lies that transform into stress that in turn affects my symptoms.  I make a final list, a list of ways that could help people experience and try to understand.  But who would want to make themselves physically tired and then walk around with a weight around their left ankle, just to feel how heavy it gets by the end of the day?  Who would want to wear gloves doing everyday activities just to experience my daily struggles?

I am reminded once again of the fire that burns inside now, the fires of my passion and love for my savior and redeemer, Jesus Christ.  I’ve struggled, too, I hear. And you have me.  No struggle shall overtake you, for I am bigger than it all.  And I PROMISE that we will get through this—together.

Jesus Christ is my reason for everything.  He is my shield and my refuge.  He is my strength, and he is my smile.

 

“Always” by Passion

 

My foes are many
They rise against me
But I will hold my ground
I will not fear the war
I will not fear the storm
My help is on the way
My help is on the way

Oh, my God
He will not delay
My refuge and strength always
I will not fear
His promise is true
My God will come through always
Always

Trouble surrounds me
Chaos abounding
My soul will rest in You
I will not fear the war
I will not fear the storm
My help is on the way
My help is on the way

I lift my eyes up
My help comes from the Lord