This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves
to be my disciples. John 15:8

My Thorn

>> Sunday, January 10, 2010

I should be at church right now. Not only should I be there because it is Sunday morning, but also because I have a commitment at church on the second Sunday of the month. Unfortunately, I woke up with a migraine, so my husband is filling in for me at our church's "Community Cafe", serving strudels. He took the kids so I could lay down in a quiet bedroom until my migraine medication kicked in.

Migraines are one of the fun things I've been dealing with lately as I wait to see a new doctor. I have suffered from depression for most of my life. I was not diagnosed until I was a young adult, but once I was, I could look back with 20/20 hind-sight at a lot of my adolescent struggles and realized that there was a good reason for them. Please don't get me wrong....I know that all teenage girls (and boys) deal with some serious issues as they grapple with hormones and relationships and school stresses. Mine were different. But I didn't know it then. Now I do.

So anyway, a few years ago, after having Micah, I was searching for a new primary care physician. Between a miscarriage and my pregnancies with Elijah and Micah, I had spent the better part of 3 years in some stage of pregnancy, and in that time, my PCP had moved away. I got a referral from a trusted friend and started a journey with a new doctor who would not turn out to be the best doctor for me. I will not throw her under the bus and imply that any of what I am experiencing now is her fault. I will say, though, that she was never the right doctor for me, and I shouldn't have spent over 2 years with her. I have no doubt that she is a wonderful doctor. For SOMEONE ELSE. Over the last 2 years, my depression has slowly gone from an irritation to a debilitation, and I have not had a doctor who heard me when I would try to describe it to her. For some reason, as long as I wasn't suicidal, the medication I was on was deemed sufficient, despite the fact that I was feeling irrational guilt, anxiety, panic and sadness.

The hardest part for me has been the fact that, as a believer in The Great Physician, I felt like I must somehow be failing Him. I must not be praying "right", or I wouldn't be so sad. Sometimes I can be such a silly girl! Would I feel that way if I couldn't "pray away" cancer, or diabetes, or multiple sclerosis?? Of course not! But because depression manifests itself mostly through emotions, it seems like something that should be able to be "prayed away". Recently I shared with a friend that I wish everyone around me could experience what I feel for just 5 minutes. I do not wish it on anyone, but I wish people could know the reality of it for just a couple of minutes so that they could know how real and how difficult it really is. Making anyone with depression feel guilty for feeling depressed....will only make them more depressed (go figure)! And yet there are people out there who think they are being helpful by doing that very thing. If you are one of those people, I am sure you mean well....but stop it. It isn't helping.

So last August, when I had my yearly appointment with my beloved OB/GYN, I shared my concerns with her and she said "I have the perfect doctor for you!" Over the course of 3 years, my OB/GYN lead me through the life-changing experiences of miscarriage, pregnancy and early motherhood. She was very sensitive to my depression issues and closely monitored me through the hormonal ups and downs of my pre- and post-natal body. I trusted her completely and knew that if she had a doctor for me, she really had a doctor for me! I came home from that appointment with a buoyed sense of optimism. Until I called to make an appointment with this doctor and I could not get in until JANUARY (remember....this was August at the time)! I decided she was worth the wait, however, because I would rather wait for the right doctor than guess and get a dud again.

So wait I have. I have occasionally called to see if there were any openings sooner, and I've had no such luck. Since August, I have experienced a sharp decline in my stability. I have experienced deep valleys, high anxiety and the joy of migraines. Fortunately, over-the-counter migraine medication does help them quite a bit (I know that is not true for all migraine sufferers), but it takes awhile for it to kick in. And that is what I am experiencing this morning.

Well.....January is here and my appointment is on Friday. I can't wait. I am hopeful that this doctor is going to be able to help me and I'm praying that is true. I hope she's ready for me, because I am ready to have my life back again and I won't leave her office on Friday until I am certain that she has heard my heart. If she is anything like the doctor who referred me to her, I know that she will. Yet I do not put my hope in her alone. Doctors are wonderful, but they can not do anything without the permission of our Father in heaven. He uses them, to be sure, but they are merely His hands, whether they realize it or not. So I am praying. And I am asking everyone I know to pray, that the LORD uses this doctor to remove the thorn from my flesh.

And if He chooses not to, I pray that He would help me to live in victory over it, instead of succumbing to it.

2 Corinthians 12:7b-10
"....there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the LORD to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."


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