I am so excited to be posting our first guest blog from my “invite to write”. I know that my blog readers will enjoy hearing from other readers. This makes me happy!!! Thank you to Mia for being willing to share her beautifully written devotional. I hope you are encouraged – and please leave Mia some love in the comments! 🙂
I am a 49 year old fibromite from South Africa. My hometown is the beautiful little coastal town of Gonubie about 20 km from East London. We are so blessed to stay about 200 meters from the sea. I am married to my teenage sweetheart of 27 years and we have two precious sons. The oldest is a fourth year architecture student at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth and the youngest is taking a gap year, waitering in PE. My hobbies include knitting, cross stitching, sewing,art, writing and cooking. I am a housewife and love it! My husband is the love of my life, my best friend and so special.
The Scripture reading comes from Eccles. 3:1-8 : A Time for Everything.
This is the first devotional I have ever written. Looking at Solomon’s wisdom, I want to thank Ann for giving me a place to share my time to encourage others with the same encouragement God has given me and for sharing with you one of my passions: writing.
I was diagnosed with FM about 6 years ago and have gone through many, many fibroseasons during which God has carried me with more patience and love than what I allowed for myself. I think I am finally entering my season of the new normal. Ann, I love that description! I would like to share with my fellow fibromites the seasons of fibromyalgia that I have experienced.
The first season that I think we all go through is the cold, dark frightening winter of this unknown visitor that causes so much pain. The icy cold fear of pain, exhaustion of night-after-night of insomnia and so many other terrible symptoms often lead you to the road of extreme loneliness and despair. The skepticism of the people around you does NOT contribute to your wellbeing. Usually the doctor’s conclusion of that-all-in-your-head kind of thing is the last straw that makes you doubt your own sanity. The emotional hurt can be even be more severe and frightening than the physical symptoms and most often much harder to bear. It seems that you are sooooo alone; struggling through thick layers of snow without even one ray of sunshine to bring just a little warmth of relief.
Dear Ones, when you are in the midst of your own severe winter season, you are never alone. Your Lord is walking with you every single step of the way. Be patient with yourself even if you are the only one and allow your roots to grow deep into our Wonderful Saviour, our Lord Jesus. Let your lives be built upon Him. He knows pain and suffering and understands exactly what you are going through. Ps 22 gives a good description of His own pain, suffering and loneliness He went through. Commit your spirit into His Hands like He did His into our Father’s Hands. Remember His great, great love for you and His tender, gentle smile of joy when He looks at you. He lovingly collects all your tears and saves them in a special jar marked with your name.
Remember that this is just a season, a time and He created it all; not to stay, but to pass. Only He is Eternal. During my own winter I went through so many conflicting indescribable emotions of terror, anger, rebellion at life and so many more that I was totally unfamiliar with. Eventually the extreme darkness was slowly replaced by greys and browns of discouragement, despair, hopelessness and loneliness and later with beautiful dark, rich reds, oranges, blues, greens as our Good Shepherd started leading me on a wonderful inward journey to springs and waters of refreshment and rest, where he fed my soul with Himself. What a Saviour, what a Friend and God! The seasons were changing.
My first fibro spring started mercifully with a diagnosis by a rheumatologist in Port Elizabeth. For me it was profound and so liberating. I was not insane neither a hypochondriac. I had permission to suffer without having to make excuses whenever some one was enquiring about my illness. Some colors started creeping back into my life. Spring flowers of joy started to bloom where there was only a dead winter landscape of depression.
For those ladies (and gents) going through this season, I want to encourage you to keep your eyes and thoughts on our Heavenly Gardener who is creating a beautiful garden in your soul. This season is necessary for cultivating all the lush green foliage He is preparing.
Through both these seasons I was startled by all the feelings that I experienced, especially the intensity of emotions it caused. When I realized that they were all also created by Our Father as a gift of mercy to help me cope with the illness, my summer started.
In a next devotional I would love to share the next two seasons.
(Mia has done such a great job that I am allowing her to submit another devotional to be published later in the summer. Stay tuned!)
Lots of warm love and blessings from a cold South Africa.
Mia de Vries
If this blog post encouraged you today, please encourage Mia by leaving her a comment! 🙂 If you would like to contact her personally, her email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org