Throwback Thursday


I am amazed at the “He did it again” moments daily. It is only 7:45 in the morning and God has already “done it”! I was scrolling through Facebook and came upon one of those “your memory from this day” posts. I usually keep on scrolling and never reshare these. This time I noticed it was a a share from my blog that I had posted on this day in 2011. I have only shared my blog posts on Facebook a couple of times. As I read this post from my blog I am in complete amazement. Even at that time in my life I KNEW God had a plan. A bigger picture to be seen later on in my life. This post is a heavy reminder on how faithful God is and has been to me. He gave me promises at that time and I am now seeing some of things come to pass. Full circles, a complete 360 overhaul of my life. I want to share this post with you from 2011. God is good ALL the time. His mercy endures forever!

Written January 25th, 2011

1 1/2 ago I got really sick.  Something happened. I still don’t know what brought it on, but it changed my life forever.

I blacked out at home and stopped breathing for several seconds. My poor husband in total panic, stood over my fragile body and prayed life over me. After that everything changed. These so called “episodes” started happening daily. Sometimes there would be a trigger of some sort, other times for no reason at all.

Along with these episodes came uncontrollable shaking, immobilization, shear panic, insomnia, constant dizziness and disorientation, to name a few. Did I mention I have 3 children under the age of 7.

What was wrong with me? The doctors ran every test they could and found nothing. I was sent to a specialist aka the Crazy Head Doctor. After a year with him…..nothing. No diagnosis at least not anything that made sense.

My God, My Provider, My Strength where have you gone,  I felt.

I can’t live like this. I can barley get out of bed. But every morning I fight ,because I AM Victorious through Christ Jesus. I have a theory about my life and am convinced it to be true.

My God created me. He is a purposeful God with a plan and a future for my life. He is in complete control of my life and is working amidst my struggles. He has blessed me throughout all my trials with my salvation,a home, my children, and a wonderful husband. He is my peace when I am restless. My joy when I am in sorrow. My strength when I am so weak. He has sustained my life when doctors told me I didn’t have much time to live. And daily He is performing life changing miracles for Me…just for Me…unworthy, sinful me. Why? Because even though I have a tendency to lean on my own understanding, He forgives me for that and quietly reassures me that as long as I continue to seek Him first that His plan is bigger then what I can see in front of me.

I still don’t know fully the gravity of this situation, but I know that My God is in control. “Trust Me” He says. “You have already won the battle for I go before you and have fought so you may be victorious”. I stand on this promise.

Yesterday was a tough day for me. Everything felt like it was crashing down. My health, financial burdens, guilt. I didn’t feel like living anymore.

“Oh you of little faith” a quit whisper in my soul. “Trust me” He says.

Oh Lord!, I cried out. Save me from myself. I am my worst enemy at times.

Let me tell you that Satan looks for any open door he can find to come in and steal your life from you.  But My God promises Life and not death! Stand on this my friends. Stand on His promises. He is faithful beyond our comprehension.

As I continue my struggle, today is a new day, and even though I feel sick today I will praise Him through this storm. What will he do today? Anticipate His blessings, friends. He longs to shower them upon you. He loves you more then you love yourself. And thank God for that!

-Rachel

John 5:24

2 Corinthians 12:9

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Sweetlife18


I am flooded in my mind and in my heart with words, sentences, and phrases. My God has once again “done it”.

It has been almost 2 months since my life was changed…..again. I have not felt led to share on this topic until now. When I saw my pdoc around the 4th of December I couldn’t even drive. Things had gotten so bad with the bipolar schizoaffective that I was being visited by some of the old demons. The lupus and fibromyalgia also thought this was a good time to hit me full force. I had ticks back and nothing was “right”. If I felt as though the seam of my shirt was crooked it put me in tears. A constant moving and tugging was how I was living. I was like a roller coaster, anger that would cause me to do terrible things, sadness where crying never seemed enough. My daughters and husband would help bathe me at night, even applying lotion to my hurting body. My daughters would lovingly brush my hair. I would ask Matt why this was  happening to me. Why me! My young life had already been riddled by what I thought of as every thing that could possibly go wrong. As I have told you so many times in previous posts that My God was still there, at this time I found myself feeling more confused than ever. More lost than ever. This time around I could not see that light at the end of the tunnel. Although I believed that My God was indeed with me, I just didn’t see how He was going to pull this one off. I have been waiting, hoping for that very moment where God would heal me of EVERYTHING! Jehovah Rapha, The God That Heals. I would read His living Word sprinkled with promises of healing and almost felt taunted. The enemy of my faith whispering his lies, telling me My God’s healing was for other people……not for me. Up until the 4th of December I felt useless, broken down and turned upside down, but not defeated. I still hung on to that little bit of hope. The very promises that the Lord had spoken to me were chiseled onto my heart.

That day of my doctor visit I left with a new prescription along with more changes to my current meds. That night as I prayed over my new medication (something I always do with new ones) I had no idea what was up God’s sleeve. Within 2 weeks of starting the new med., the ticks had left me. I felt some kind of normalcy that I hadn’t experienced in almost 10 years and really longer then that if I reflect on my childhood up to my early twenties.

January 4th I saw my pdoc again. By this time my doctor pretty much had me pinned. His goal being as few medications but just enough of the right ones. I left this time with another new med to address the insomnia that I had been battling with since I got married in 2002. As I held this new med. in my hand with the rest of my pill cocktail, I prayed as usual over it. The next morning Matt made a comment that I had slept peacefully, no yelling, kicking, punching, or scratching that night.

It is now the 24th of January and to say my life has changed is a severe understatement. Miracles have occurred. Peace now fills my heart. Joy has been restored. Every day after January 4th I had waiting for the fluke of “the good feeling” to go away. A phase, a passing fancy so to speak. And everyday I am in awe of this now permanent place that the Lord has brought me to. A place I have never been to, a place just for me. A custom made, unique life that has changed so much over the years. Trials, pain, sorrow, depression, the highs and lows are now no longer holding my hand but crawl behind me. Trying to keep up with a Rachel that it thought it knew, but now that Rachel is running. Running freely in her life and in her walk with the Almighty God. I serve a God of promises kept. I have not only excepted but embraced this new miracle that is my life. I am doing things I never thought I would do or be able to do. I am realistic that being human I may still have episodes here and there and challenges with my mind and body. However these things are NOT the ruler of my  heart. They no longer dictate what I can or can’t do. I still have to take care of myself and take precautions as my medication affects me.

Today I attended my first ever ladies bible study. I not only made it there but I made it through! I was blessed beyond words just to be there. Blessed to fellowship with the 7 other gals at my table. As we discussed a topic of ” The Great I  Am” showing up in your life I was almost at a loss for words. Awe struck how God “did it again”! Wow! What a topic for discussion. As I tried to express to my group how much and how many times God has showed up for me, I realized I could not give enough examples nor could I stress enough how this never changing God has changed me so much. What He has brought me to. How he has kept me alive when I thought I was going to die.

Today God showed up and brought me Joy both tangibly and spiritually.

My Hands


I recently had acrylic nails put on. This was the beginning of November. I have had them put on numerous times in my life. Always eventually removing them. My general thought has always been that if I get them on it will help me to feel pretty. This was the same thought this time around. Since November I have gotten them filled and painted several times. Don’t get me wrong, for a moment they do make me feel pretty. As I have battled with insecurities throughout my life, I have left searching for things to fill that empty space. Superficial things that I hope will change the dark void I so often feel. Of course these things provide a temporary false security. For a moment I feel better, prettier, younger, skinnier……and the list goes on. But as for all these things they provide just a glimpse, just a moment, maybe a few days, but the empty void returns with a vengeance. So last week I decided it was time to take the acrylics off. Just too much money spent and time wasted. For what? Something that I found did not love me back. In the past after I have made that decision and removed them, I always felt like I had stubs for fingers. Nothing pretty, nothing glamorous or attractive. Just plain old stubs. This time it was different. When I removed them I saw something I had never seen before. I saw hands that have been with me to hell and back. My hands look so much like my mother’s hands. A sign of a strong, hard working woman. And yet so different. So unique. Like my fingerprints, my hands are mine. They tell MY story. With these hands I have lovingly and expectantly touched my burgeoning belly that held life. With these hands I have cradled my newborn. I have fed, bathed, changed, and dressed this new life with these hands. With these hands I have touched the salty waters of an ocean. I have gutted a fish caught with these hands. I have used these hands to detect fevers and then to stroke the hair of an ill child. These hands have been with me through it all. They show signs of it too. Every worn area, age spot, and burn mark tell a story. These hands have held a knife to my wrists, cutting deep to relieve inner pain. My hands have held God’s living word and have turned the pages of this ancient book that I feel was written just for me. These hands, my hands have been raised to the sky to surrender, to reach, to touch my God. The beauty that I now see, the beauty that God has revealed to me is life changing. I look at my hands now and think okay hands, God has made you strong for a reason. What can I use them for today to glorify my God. To serve my family, to serve others.

 

Psalm 134:2 NKJV, Proverbs 31:13 NKJV, Proverbs 31:20 NKJV,                                    THIS is what I want for these hands.hands

2018…..The Year of Battles Won


It is 1:00 a.m. on New Years morning. While the rest of my household is sleeping, I am awake still pondering in my heart the things of God.

2017 was a year of challenges and triumphs, promises made and promises broken. Many tears were shed. Tears of joy and tears of sorrow and brokenness. Lots of laughter, hugs, and kisses. 2017 ushered in many changes for myself and my family. We packed up and made our 3rd out of state move to Arizona. I have had to find new doctors and have been through many changes in medication and treatment. As we have been through so much this year, God has taught us to rely more on Him and to lean more on each other. He has brought my family together like never before. He has brought us closer to each other. I have watched in awe how God has grown and changed my children for His glory, plans, and purposes.

Some of the most life altering moments for myself have happened in the last couple months. God has brought people in and out of my world for life changing reasons. As I have become stronger mentally and physically, I am able to see more clearly His calling for my life. He has planted seeds in my heart. Some of which I have already been able to see grow. As I begin to see clearly for the first time in my life some of His plans for me, I find myself constantly second guessing myself and feeling unworthy for the cause of Jesus Christ. As He gently reassures me and whispers to my heart, I get up again to take up my cross. I feel as though I have been sleeping for so long and I am now waking up. Waking up to be that salt and light to those around me and to those God has purposely set in my path. He has called me to live a purpose driven life. A life foreign and unknown to me. A life that I have never lived or known before. He has filled my heart with a longing and desire that makes me feel as though I am on fire. A hunger and thirst for Him like never before.

Some days the pain in my body seems unbearable. Some days I am in constant war with my own mind and thoughts, trying to desperately gain some control. Some days I am so tired from medication and lack of sleep, that I don’t think I’ll make through the day. But throughout all of this I can hear Him gently whispering to me, Rachel….keep fighting. Fighting for myself and fighting for my family. Daily laying down my burdens at the cross.

While so much of the world is sleeping in their hopelessness, bondage, and fear, I will remain awake with wonder, hope, and a future. Ready and listening to be obedient to His word.

What He has instilled in the very depths of my soul will be a game changer for 2018.

Happy New Year.

The Bipolar Life


I just had one heck of a week and a half!

Let me back track a bit. So about a month ago my pdoc weaned me off of Abilify because I wasn’t doing great. Once I was completely off all hell broke lose. I was not well. So I called in to the Dr., this was Wednesday the 20th, she wanted to make several new changes at once. This approach  typically doesn’t go over well with me, but I trusted her and wanted to get better.

The biggest change was getting me off of Seroquel in 4 DAYS! I was at 500 mg. She dropped me 100 mg every night. Well not only does the Seroquel help with sleep, but it keeps me from being angry……I mean REALLY angry! I guess the idea was to stop the Seroquel and then start Rexulti the next day. In addition to the Seroquel change she upped one med. quite a bit and took away Trileptal. So yeah… a lot going on. Within a few hours of the lower dose of Seroquel Wednesday night I was feeling a bit angry. Thursday worse. Friday was even worse. By Saturday Everybody was walking on eggshells around me and I was not feeling good. Sunday came and I was off the Seroquel. The Rexulti was to be taken around 5 p.m. By about noon I started experiencing severe withdraws. I was so freaking sick, I thought I was dying. Seriously…..I thought I was dying, it was that bad! 5 p.m. came and I was desperate for relief. I was hoping this new med. would cure me. It didn’t. I had an adverse reaction! Ugh! I was throwing up so violently that I was throwing up blood! I was begging my husband to take me to a psych ward. And I hate psych wards. But the closest one was a 45 min. drive from us. We decided to take it hour by hour. If I could get to sleep and make it to the next day, we could see my pdoc.

I’ll jump to Monday morning. I ended up surviving, obviously. Although, I didn’t sleep at all Sunday night. Every time I would lay down I would hallucinate. This now marked 2 days no sleep. We were at the pdoc’s office when they opened and of course my Dr. wasn’t in. However, we were able to see the nurse who said he would contact my pdoc’s cell.

Today was my first day I finally felt somewhat normal. My body has almost fully recovered and my mind feels pretty good. Pdoc ended up putting me back on Seroquel.

God, once again, has sustained me. He has upheld me with His right hand and covered me in the shadow of His wings. I knew He was with me throughout this entire challenging time. God is good.

Dreaming Words of Truth


So my pdoc decided to get me off of Abilify. I was on 30 mg. I have been tapering down 5 mg a week. I officially got off completely this Sunday. It has been a hairy few weeks. Lots of episodes…almost every night in fact. I finally called the nurse today at my doctors. He will get back to me tomorrow. I don’t want to get back on it, as I am on so much medication. But this has to stop. I’m still not sleeping even though my Seroquel was upped 100 mg. I know things will get better. They always do.

In the mean time, God is moving in my life mysteriously. He is coming to me in my dreams again. Giving me His living word. I awake (when I do get a few hours) and run to my desk to write down what He has told me. It is a truly an Awesome experience.

I pray that you feel His presence in your life too.

Psalm 34:17


Just got over 1 week of mania. About a week or so ago it all started. I had gone 4 days on 12 hours of sleep. yuck. Then I crashed……or so I thought. Got 1 night of sleep then back to mania. Eventually it all ended. I was depressed now. But God is faithful and just like every other time, He brought me through it. I am so in love with Him.

I saw my new psychiatrist for the first time since being here in Arizona. I liked her a lot. She was very educated and a good listener. I got a genetic test done, which I think is incredible and wonder why none of my other doctors ever had me do it. She is also doing away with several of my meds. I couldn’t be happier! Of course this will take time, as you can only wean off of 1 at a time. First up Abilify. Down 5 mg a week till I’m off. Friends I am on about 9 meds right now. Many of them, as the doctor pointed out, are duplicates for the same thing. I also lost 10 pounds! WooHoo!

I am adjusting to being home alone. Sleeping a lot. Guess I need it. Eventually I want to get on a good schedule where I am being proactive most of the day.

Oh Lord, when I was in the depths of darkness, you rescued me.