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Broken Crayons Are Not Useless

garden, broken crayon

Sherri Journeying Through

My son and his family were preparing to move. Was I willing to let them go? Yes. Did I want them to go? No. But that was my selfish desire. I have realized that the harder I try to hold on to what I want, the less I allow God to intervene, not just for my good, but for my best. In the process, I have learned not to hold on. And in some instances, I actually do that. In other instances, though, it can be very hard, especially for a fixer. And I am a big fixer.

I want everyone to be happy. Smiling. Content. But that’s not reality. The reality is that it is not up to me to fix everything; it’s not up to me to make everyone happy. 

I realized yesterday that I tend to coddle people. I also realize the world’s happiness has not been made my burden. I am accountable only for myself in how I react to the circumstances that this world throws at me, such as how I will deal with having Parkinson’s disease, what the financial burden will be, and choices others around me will need to make regarding my health. On and on my list goes.

But how I choose to deal with what life throws at me is what matters. Will I choose to smile, knowing that my God is bigger than all of this? Or will I whimper and whine?

Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I want to be strong in every way. I want to support others. Sometimes we need to give “tough” support, the kind that says, “Enough! Get up, live your best, and be thankful that God has given you another day!”

Whether it’s another day walking slow and stiff or another day with the ability to weed my flowers without pain, I want to give it my best.

Sometimes we feel like a broken crayon. No longer valuable. No longer pretty. But broken crayons are still usable and make beautiful colors. We just need to let go of what is keeping us down and give it to God. Let us be usable, like a broken crayon that God is using to complete a beautiful work of art in our broken lives.

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Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

The post Broken Crayons Are Not Useless appeared first on Parkinson’s News Today.

Finding Hope for Today

 

Sherri Journeying Through

Sometimes you can feel as if you’re at the end of your proverbial rope. You’re holding on as tight as you can, hoping the blisters on the palms of your hands won’t become totally unbearable and you let go.

I was thinking about all that’s going on lately in the world: tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes, flooding, wildfires, and tornadoes.

As if that weren’t enough, the likelihood of people diagnosed today with a terminal disease isn’t just likely, it’s a given. The likelihood of people diagnosed with a chronic illness isn’t just probable, it’s going to happen. There is pain and sorrow eating away at our society day by day, and there is no stopping it. Our hope is being challenged left and right while our faith may feel as if it is rapidly dwindling. Is there hope? Can we hold onto our faith and make it to the end without giving up, without giving in?

It is believed that King David of Israel might have had Parkinson’s disease. If that is true, then couldn’t it be possible that some of the other diseases we live with today could have been around during King David’s time? Diseases and illnesses such as breast cancer, migraines, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, dementia, and so much more likely played a part in history. After all, according to Christopher G. Goetz of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, the “shaking palsy” was first diagnosed by physician James Parkinson in 1817, who described it as a neurological syndrome. Earlier texts, including some from India around 1000 B.C. and some ancient Chinese texts, describe symptoms of what might have been Parkinson’s.

If Parkinson’s disease really did play a role in King David’s life, then it is probable that those diseases from long ago still exist to some degree today. Couldn’t it be more than likely that Parkinson’s is one of those diseases referred to when the Apostle Matthew wrote, “Jesus went through all the towns and villages … healing every disease and sickness.”

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Can you imagine what it would have been like as a person with Parkinson’s disease to be healed on that day? The day of healing every disease and sickness? To be walking down the street one minute, mistaken for a drunk with uncontrolled limbs, slurred speech, and constant tripping? You stop near this man who claims he can heal you and you think, “What have I got to lose?” 

You get yourself in line and you wait. 

And you wait. 

And you wait in a line longer than those in high-security status at the airport. 

You consider turning around to go home, but then you see him. The one who everyone’s talking about. 

You remember the other day when Aunt Martha told you she saw him heal a man with sores all over his skin. And her sister, your Aunt Mary, saw him heal a man who was blind, with some spit and some dirt. 

So, you keep waiting, just a little longer, because you feel hopeful.

He sees you. You’re hard to miss due to all the awkward movements you make. You get to where he is, sitting on a rock and he is waiting for you. As you approach, he stands and offers his rock for you to sit upon. Before you can say anything, he stands behind you and gently puts your head between the palms of his hands. You feel a warmth permeate your entire body. Your body relaxes. Your movements calm. You can’t put into words how you feel, you can only say you don’t feel the same. Something inside happened from your head to your toes.

Were you healed? Could it be?

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If people were healed way back then, why not right now? Today? Why not be hopeful? 

Healing today may not look the same as it did back in Matthew’s time, but it happens. Sometimes it is our perspective or our attitude that needs healing. Perhaps it is our faith that is restored and healed after being tested by the trials of a chronic illness. Perhaps hope is healed after despair rips out our joy and leaves a deep dark pit inside. If your faith began dwindling because of your circumstances, isn’t the gift of renewed faith and hope healing in its own way?

Why not be healed? Why not be hopeful? Hope enables us to live through today’s sicknesses and diseases while expecting something better for tomorrow. Hope tells our heart that help is on the way. 

So, why not be hopeful?

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Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

The post Finding Hope for Today appeared first on Parkinson’s News Today.

Finding Fulfillment in My Life

fulfillment

Sherri Journeying Through

I think I have lived long enough to learn (although it’s an ongoing process), that as hard as I may seek, no one or nothing but God can fill the hole inside my heart. I believe I was born with this hole. Broken at birth, so to speak.

I have sought friends and things, both consciously and subconsciously. A husband, no matter how loving, can’t fill this hole, nor a child, no matter how loved, can fill the deep chasm that cries out for fulfillment and wholeness.

I stumble often and again, consistently and constantly, telling myself that just a hug, just an “I love you,” or just some extra patience extended toward me will go a long way to filling me up. These things I seek, these things I long for — I tell myself they will fill a little bit of that empty space.

But, they don’t. And having a chronic illness can often make that hole seem so much darker and so much deeper. I feel fractured and damaged. I feel incomplete, as if a part of me is missing.

It isn’t anyone’s fault. There is no blame to hand off. It is a case of trying to fill a hole made intentionally by a God who wants me to realize He put it there and only He can fill it.

When I stop and recognize that truth, slow down enough to dwell on what that really means, I begin to drink His love, His forgiveness, and His sovereignty. I begin to experience His blessings of fullness and a beautiful new wholeness.

I find myself setting others free from the impossible expectations I have imposed upon them, and in the process, I free myself. I may have been born into this world broken and in need, but I will leave whole and not wanting for anything.

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Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s Disease. 

The post Finding Fulfillment in My Life appeared first on Parkinson’s News Today.

Source: Parkinson's News Today

Sometimes Grace Hurts

faith

Sherri Journeying Through

Steven Curtis Chapman said it best:


”I don’t even wanna breathe right now
…I don’t even wanna be right now
I don’t wanna think another thought
…I don’t wanna feel this pain I feel 
[but] right now, pain is all I’ve got.”

It was a hard day.

I waved goodbye to my son, his wife, and my two grandchildren as they drove down the street. They were heading north to a new home, new jobs, a new life. Twelve hours away instead of 12 minutes. My two grandchildren — one 5, the other 1 — I had watched almost every day. All day.

I helped those little ones learn to walk. Eat with a spoon. Drink from a cup. I sat in that rocking chair over there and rocked them to sleep. Sang them songs. I read to them the story about the pants with nobody inside of them, by Dr. Seuss. I held them when they were sick or well or when they just wanted to be held. We jumped in puddles, planted flowers, played games, went for walks.

I sat at that table over there and played games with “Boo.” We colored, we painted, we had tea parties. Then my son announced a new job opportunity and you can guess the rest. That’s why I stood outside on that summer morning, waving goodbye to a car filled with oh-so-precious ones.

I went to the rose garden later, and everywhere I walked, I heard Boo. I saw her chasing blackbirds. I heard her excitement upon finally seeing the elusive jackrabbit we’ve been tracking for months.

The next day, I worked in the garden and watered her row: larkspur, bachelor buttons, poppies. She was so proud of her little garden. I worked out there all day. I worked until I couldn’t move. I worked so I didn’t have to think. I watered the ground with tears.

The following day, I still couldn’t move because I moved too much the day before. I had lost mobility and gained pain. I sat on the couch and worked on pictures and cried. My grandchildrens’ smiles fill my digital albums; I could almost hear the giggles behind those smiles.

The next day, I felt like I was locked in a blackened room — hopeless, lost, empty — weeping for lost things. And it felt like my heart was breaking in two. The crack in my heart a week before was now a massive crevice. The strength that held me together became jello.

God, how am I going to do this? I whispered through tears I hadn’t spilled out so hard in so long.

My head told me those two little ones were not mine to hold onto. I was not even their parent. Can a grammy love her little grandchildren so much? Yes. She most definitely can.

I sat on the bathroom floor. I cried more and through the tears, whispered, God, I lived for those kids.

They were my daily dose of laughter, love, smiles, hugs, and joy. God used those little ones to bless me over and above in so many ways never deserved. I viewed them as little disciples, and we talked about God everywhere we went. In everything we did.

How I found the energy to do it every day, only God knows. I napped when they napped and again when they went home. I fought through the pain within my body and never refused to hold them or change diapers, even when I didn’t think I could stand the pain another minute. I was determined not to let Parkinson’s dictate my life, but my body was screaming to let go. My heart was screaming to hold on. My head was saying it was time. Time to listen to the body. The disease that strives to claim more ground with each passing day was doing its job. It was time to let go.

The grace of God intervened. Sometimes grace hurts. That still, small voice that you can hear because you’re not busy making incessant chatter. The comforting, life-giving voice of God.

God, I lived for those kids, I had whispered through tears. And before I could go on to the next thought of despair, He whispered back, “Live for me.

Uncontrollable sobbing became controlled. The tears dried up as a tiny ray of sunshine, a tiny grain of hope took hold deep inside my heart — the crevice began to close. A few more tears fell, not from grief but because of grace. The grace of God. The trustworthy grace of a merciful God.

I don’t know what living for Him looks like in the days ahead as I live this life with Parkinson’s disease, but as I live for Him, I will trust Him completely. I’ve been through too much in my lifetime to do anything less.

As I said, Steven Curtis Chapman says it best: “Even when I don’t understand, even then I will say …
 You are my God, and I will trust You.”

Through losses, heartaches, pain, diseases, we can trust Him.

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Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

The post Sometimes Grace Hurts appeared first on Parkinson’s News Today.

Source: Parkinson's News Today