Overcoming Disappointment

One would think, because I’ve had MS for nearly 15 years, that it wouldn’t keep surprising me. Every time I leave the house, I come home exhausted. I was sharing with my husband yesterday about how I’m sick and tired of being surprised and disappointed by the same old thing. So yesterday, when I came back and finally sat at the kitchen table, he approached me: “Come on Anna. You can’t let this keep surprising you, remember? What’s your go-to verse?” My….verse? “Yeah, for when you start getting disappointed. You don’t have one yet?” So that’s what we did. We spat off verse references that can help me when I’m disappointed that I don’t have any energy. Again. Here is our list that we came up with quickly!:

Philippians 4:13: I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.

Proverbs 3:5-6: 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.

John 16:33: I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

Philippians 4:4: Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

God is the wind in my sails!

God sees me, and He knows my frustration. Some how, some way, this will all work out for the best. It’s part of His plan. I have no idea why, after sitting outside for an hour, I’m still shocked that I can’t walk well (um, worse than before. I just don’t walk well, period). Why, after getting down on the floor to play with Lydia, I sit and just need to stay there for a bit. (I don’t crawl around so much anymore. I just tell her our Barbies (or unicorns or whatever toy we’re playing with) will drive to the park, and the park will be within my reach. Or some other half-way compromise. She’s awesome for (most of the time) working with me.) She just w! ants to continue playing with Mommy, so she follows my…stipulations? We’re both happy– I get to play with her longer periods of time!

God is my help. He uses my weaknesses for His good. In fact, His power is made PERFECT in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). Even my very obvious physical weaknesses. As I continue to internalize this truth and recall the scriptures I had memorized years prior (for this purpose, actually), I will remember that I am strong in Christ.

Poem: TRUST (it’s a must) :)

He looked down upon her, and shook his head.

How could she not see the joy her actions had led?

How could she be frustrated, with all the joy up here?

The angel then realized that she hadn’t attuned the correct ear.

How could she be frustrated that she was not making a profit on earth,

If all of her actions led to things of eternal worth?

The angel descended and spoke through a friend.

All she needed was encouragement to defend.

The Enemy would not get his girl today,

With all the others fighting for her to keep the enemy at bay!

The girl picked up her armor which had fallen out of her hand.

She then saw what was happening, and against the devil she took a stand.

“I am okay if I don’t meet my goals,” she proclaimed.

“I have made progress, and it is by God I am claimed!

“I have been working and trying, and that was the goal.

“I can’t beat myself up because of what I can’t control!”

The angel above her smiled to the skies.

She had finally cleared her head of all the worthless lies.

“I am good enough, and I am doing this right!”

The girl shook a fist as she started to write.

“Why am I looking for my worth in money?

“As if I don’t know God? That’s funny.

“But I am his child, and he calls me a masterpiece.

“One day I will see and know how it fits, this piece.”

The girl down on Earth shook her head.

She was doing all she could in her stead.

She couldn’t control what other people did;

That was on them and herself she kid.

Only God could do something where she could not.

She should be speaking with him instead of feeling distraught!

//

The author of this poem looks through the words and into your eyes.

Are you, too, guilty of believing these lies?

Are you distressed by something you cannot control?

As if, on your own, you can change the public opinion poll?

Here is the solution, for all your troubles (it’s broad):

TRUST IN GOD.

You have to make a decision before you solve a problem.

If the decision is to trust God, it’s awesome.

Then it doesn’t matter what the solution may be;

It’ll work out later because you trusted in He.

These are the things I’ve been learning lately.

And I, the girl of the poem, have been moved by this greatly!

I try and try and try, but without God, my attempts are futile.

Pretty soon, all this work and self-reliance is brutal.

So trust in God, I shout it to the skies.

I hear it come back to me, my pleading cries.

Because I’m the one who needs to hear it.

And that is why for myself, this poem, I’ve writ.

//

Anna E Meyer

What MS Does To Me, a poem of realness and hope

Written 8-22-12, Anna Olson

 

My fingers get so tired, doing what I want to.  What else, then, can I do?  I think I’ll run to you.

No piano or pen can I hold or play.  What then, can my heart say?  I think I’ll simply pray.

 

I’m running only figuratively for all know I can’t be literal.

But I can look to you and see your hand, if only in my peripheral.

You, Lord, are my strength, my portion, my mineral.

You lift me up, this I know; it’s scriptural.

 

My body is exhausted, walking and doing what I must.  Where then, can I find gust? I think I’ll trust.

No distance can I go without struggle.  Where then, can I scuttle?  I think I’ll be humble.

 

I trust you with my life as much as I’m able.

Sometimes I take back, but you, Lord, are stable.

I seek your truth, which is much more than a fable.

It is you why I keep going; you’re my power cable.

 

I am so scared, for unpredictable is this disease.  Who then, can relieve?  I’ll always believe.

Nothing of my body can I know what is to come.  Who then, knows all and then some?  I’ll always succumb.

 

I hold fast to you, Lord, for you are perfect in all your ways.

My God, you are so good and me you always amaze.

I will raise your name above all else for all of my days.

I live to glorify you, Father, and to bring you praise.

“Five, Six, Pick Up Sticks!”

I can’t even describe it.  My physical struggles this morning help me understand others.  I am home at the moment, spending the last few weeks here until I go back to school.  Today, I volunteered myself to pick up branches and sticks before mowing the lawn today.  We have a pretty big front lawn, and eight trees live there.  Little did I know exactly how much the two storms we had this week blew down.  I’m only half done now, and I’m going back out there in a bit.  I’m not sure if it’s wise to be going back out there, as the MS is being really stupid this morning, but I do believe I am.

Walking was tough going.  But crawling was so much easier.  The ground always welcomed me.  Even when I had intended to stay standing and pick up a few sticks, the ground drew me to it.  I crawled around, gathering sticks until my hands were full.  Then, I had to get back up.  Each time I attempted rising, I had to pause.  This was usually the point when I would say a little prayer.  Sometimes it took two or three attempts to rise up once again.  Other times, I would be almost up and I’d fall back down to the ground.  Still other times, I’d crawl back to the ranger (where I would deposit the sticks), that I could hang on to it and use it to help me up.  This didn’t always work.  Eventually, I would get up, go and cast the sticks into the back of the ranger, and then turn around to see where others were.  I started looking for areas where there were many sticks in one general area that I wouldn’t have to get up right away.  Yeah, after falling and struggling to get back up, I did the same thing.  Over and over again.

It’s difficult sometimes to stay walking upright and obeying God when falling into sin and staying down is so much easier.  Sin always welcomes us to it, and we find ourselves falling when we don’t mean to.  But God uses each valley we go through, each fall we encounter, to teach us.  Work is being done by us and in us for the Lord even when we don’t realize it.  The sticks and branches are everywhere, and it seems like there are always more to pick up.  But we keep picking them up.  Eventually, they’ll all be picked up and the lawn, branchless and home of the many trees that were the culprits of the hassle, will be mowed.  The trees are beautiful in themselves, and they’ve been a part of the lawn ever since I can remember.  Storms come in our lives and blow things everywhere, but the sun comes back!  Sometimes, we are helping to pick up the sticks left from somebody else’s storm, and God uses us that way.  (I am just full of analogies today.  But don’t worry, I’m done.)  God works in ways I’ll never understand, and my struggles this morning got me thinking about it.  But to describe it simply can’t be done.  So I’ll rest in the Lord and trust him through it all.  He gives me strength to make it through struggles.  Even if it’s not physical, I trust what he’s doing!

Smiling despite circumstances, 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