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And Giving Over This, My Journey Lord...


Life is a journey, and that's one of the things I just love about it. But sometimes the journey takes us on twists and turns we don't see coming.

Anybody out there know what I'm talking about?

Even though most of you are sleeping as I write this I can hear your agreement. It doesn't take a whole lot of living to learn to expect the unexpected and know that a moment can change everything.

I have been riding a large curve on my journey the past three months, one that came out of nowhere as many curves do.

It started with the flu. The worst flu of my life. 10 days into the flu when my fever was finally starting to break, a pain ripped through my shoulder and down my arm. It didn't even start to subside for 11 days. I do not cry often, except for tearing up at songs or movies, and I sobbed every night. It was impossible to recline because the pain took my breath away, therefore sleep was just a mere hope. When I did manage to fall asleep sitting up on the couch, the pain inevitably woke me up within 45 minutes. I have never experienced anything like it.

I was prescribed heavy painkillers that didn't even take the edge off. I had a cortisone shot that didn't do a thing. Finally in an act of desperation, the massage therapist at my chiropractors office wrapped me in kinesiology tape which gave me the first bit of relief and gave some rest to my sleep-deprived self. 

I started physical therapy, and eventually the acute pain subsided and was replaced with a dull ache. And numbness. And weakness. I could no longer lift a gallon of milk with my arm or pick up my kids unless absolutely necessary. Playing the piano made my arm go completely numb, which made my heart ache.

But one night while editing pictures I noticed that my shoulder looked strange in the photos - it seemed as if my bones were protruding. I looked in the mirror and indeed they were, and I also had a sizable discoloration on my shoulder.

I'm not a worrier by nature, but I sort of freaked out.

The next day after an MRI of my neck, I went to my physical therapist who studied my shoulder, used a lot of big words with another therapist, and told me my muscle was deteriorating. The level of the deterioration concerned him, and he got me an appointment with a neurologist. 

Which brings us to today. Now as I said, I am really not a worrier but I was not looking forward to this test. I had heard it involved being pricked with needles (which it did) and I could write several blogs about my (humorous) encounters with needles being a not-good-at-medical-stuff kind of girl. I'll save those for next time (I'm sure you'll be waiting on pins and needles, haha) and spare you the details on the test, but let's just say it wasn't fun.

However, after listening to my story the doctor said he thought he knew what I had, and after seeing my shoulder (and studying it with the same concern and puzzlement that the therapist did) he was sure of it.

So now here I sit, one of the less than 200,000 people a year who get Parsonage Turner Syndrome, the statistics making it a rare disorder. You can google it to get the details but basically when I had the flu my immune system (which is a piece of junk no matter how many vitamins I take or the amount broccoli, almonds, and blueberries I eat) attacked a nerve instead of the virus, destroying the nerve in the process. After the nerve died, my muscle wasted...if you look it up I am a textbook case. Excruciating pain, dull pain, numbness, weakness, muscle wasting, all caused by a confused immune system that killed a nerve.

It hasn't been the most pleasant process.

But as I type my heart is so very grateful for a diagnosis...so thankful for specialists who are well-trained and knowledgeable in their field of study...so thankful that I still have (limited) use of my arm...so grateful for friends and family who pray...and so thankful for a God who can heal. Jimmy was joking in the office today that I should have married a doctor, but the cool thing is I'm the daughter of the Great Physician! Boy, am I thankful for that.

And tonight I am also thankful for things I am learning through this curve in the road. I heard a long time ago that God does not waste our pain, and I believe that with all my heart.

Even though I am not a crier, I could burst into tears right now thinking of a song I listened to on the way to my doctor's appointment earlier today. We practiced it tonight at praise band practice, as our friend Marlene will be singing it Sunday. Every time I have heard it today, the lyrics have ripped through my soul, making my heart feel like it could burst. The words literally take my breath away.

So I will leave you with the lyrics to Christy Nockel's song "Choose" as the stunning lyrics reflect the desires of my heart to choose Christ on this curve in the road, and on every other road I will go down on my journey.

Be blessed and much love to you on your journey.

Jennifer


"Choose"

Let me be in love with what You love
Let me be most satisfied in You
Forsaking what this world has offered me
I choose to be in love with You
I will choose to be in love with You

Let me know the peace that's mine in You
Let me know the joy my heart can sing
For I have nothing Lord apart from You
I choose to call on Christ in me
I will choose to call on Christ in me

For in the fullness of who You are
I can rest in this place
And giving over this, my journey Lord
I see nothing but Your face

Let me know that You have loved me first
Let me know the weight of my response
For You have long pursued my wandering heart
I choose to glory in Your cross
I will choose to glory in Your cross




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