Wow, it’s been a long time since I last posted anything on here. The time leading up to the holidays is always a busy time for me since I have so many friends, co-workers, and family and since my mom is now living with me, I help her with making out her cards and other holiday tasks as well. 

This year I decided I would try to focus less on me and more on others. I heard someone say, “Christmas is Jesus’ birthday, not yours.” They weren’t speaking directly to me but quoting someone else, but I took it to heart nonetheless. I focused more on the celebration of Jesus’ birth than on gift-buying. Once again this year, we went out of town for Christmas, and I missed going to church on Christmas Eve, but I still spent time in silent meditation. It helped that during my Christmas vacation, I read a book by Adam Hamilton called The Journey, and I gained some fascinating insight into the time leading up to Jesus’ birth and how difficult it must have been for Mary and Joseph. As most of us know, Mary was “blessed among women”. In our society, the word “blessed” has come to mean that we’re fortunate, but those who are “blessed” in the bible actually had to endure one or more great ordeals. Mary had to deal with a possible scandal, she had to give birth in a stable (terribly uncomfortable I’m sure), and she and Joseph both had to go on the run in order to save Jesus from Herod’s decree that male infants be killed. Then she had to see Jesus die a horrific death. It would seem that being “blessed” isn’t so great…at least not for many who lived in biblical times.

So often I’ve told myself, I’m so blessed that, though I have Dermatomyositis and possibly still have Lupus, I haven’t had any internal organ involvement. Skin problems, yes. Arthritis, yes. Muscle weakness, yes. My fortune in not being seriously ill has been a silver lining to an otherwise very gray cloud. However, since December 30th, I’ve had some trouble breathing. I can’t seem to fill my lungs up completely, and when I try to take a deep breath, I sometimes get pain in my chest. My Rheumatologist said two weeks ago that I seem to have developed some pleurisy, and she put me back on Mobic which has helped a little, but I still can’t fill my lungs up. I also had a pulmonary function test a couple of days ago and now I have to wait awhile for the Pulmonologist to send a report to my doctor, so now it’s a waiting game.

I have mixed feelings about all of this. I told God about fifteen years ago, “OK, I accept that I have Lupus, just PLEASE don’t let me have any internal organ problems. I know now that I was trying to bargain with God and maybe I did for a while, maybe he gave me a reprieve for whatever reason, and I’m so glad he did. I endured a lot but I’ve found so much peace since then.  I’m much stronger mentally, emotionally, and spiritually than I used to be. I now feel that no matter what happens, I can face it. I’m hopeful that this is just a bit of pleurisy that will pass and not return. That being said, if it turns out to be something worse, I feel confident that God will continue to walk next to me on my journey. I am not alone. 


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