A Battle of Wills

dancingwithgod

I am forcing myself to sit at my computer in the hopes that the Holy Spirit will show up and write this post for me.  As mentioned in my previous post I have been having health issues and have started a new medication which makes me tired, heavy, unmotivated and somewhat foggy in the mind.  But my spirit is willing so here I am Lord awaiting Your words.  Not to say that this past week has been wasted.  I have had many great and powerful communions with the Lord but underneath all that a battle is raging on.  A battle for my soul you could say.  A battle between flesh and spirit.  A battle between good and evil.  Sometimes I prefer to look at this battle as a dance as this imposes on me a need for cooperation, for partnership, in order to make it look beautiful.  Not that I am in cooperation or in partnership with my sinful self or evil or the flesh.  No my cooperation and my partnership is always with God.  This dance becomes beautiful when I allow myself to completely trust in God no matter what is happening in my life.  Whether I am feeling healthy or sick, it does not make a difference.  The dance remains that same.  Often my dance with the Lord becomes ugly and out of step.  I trip all over my own feet and stomp on the feet of my partner, the Holy Spirit (ok I know the Holy Spirit does not have feet but let’s just pretend).  The dance does indeed become a battle ground at times, especially when things get hard and painful.  I begin to battle with myself where I allow thoughts to flood my mind and they bring me fear, worry, and sadness.  When my crosses become heavy and  I am hurting under the weight of them I often panic, focus on myself and the pain instead of Jesus, thus throwing myself into utter confusion, fear, anxiety and worry.  This is what has been going on for the past couple of weeks in my life and I’m going to explain why.

I went to see my family doctor this past Monday as I have been increasingly feeling more and more pain throughout my entire body.  I have always had this but it used to happen every few months, then it was every month for a couple days, then a couple days every week and now it is everyday and has been this way for 2 to 3 weeks.  I filled out forms at the doctors office shading in on diagrams of the body where the pain was.  By the time I finished the entire diagram was pretty much covered but there were particular points on the body where the pain was radiating out from.  The pain feels like arthritis pain (achy joints) as well as muscle tension and weakness, headaches, and burning throughout all the nerves in the body.  After looking at the diagram and talking to me for some time my doctor asked me what I thought it was.  I told him fibromyalgia and he agreed.  My doctor sent me away with some information, a requisite for blood work, and two prescriptions for new medications (which make me so tired and lethargic) that have proven to be successful in treating fibromyalgia .

I think that fibromyalgia is a group of symptoms being produced because something else is going wrong in my body or maybe it is just coincidence and I simply have other issues that are not related.  But I believe it is related to both the PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder) I have suffered from all my life and from the bariatric surgery I had 2 1/2 years ago If your eye causes you to sin, tear it out!! My Extreme Weight Loss Journey… .  Fibromyalgia has a connection with both these things.  I believe this to be true because I am having other symptoms beyond the fibromyalgia such as daily nausea and heartburn, extreme sensitivity to cold, dizziness, blurred vision, ringing in the ears, racing heart, etc.  You get the idea!!  And it sucks!!  And this is the attitude/battle that goes on in my mind that causes me so much distress and anguish.  If I could just submit to God’s will in everything that comes my way I would be well on my way to holiness.  However, I often battle rather than submit.  I complain to the Lord that the pain is too much, that this is not the life I had envisioned.  A life where I am disabled and not able to function as a normal member of society.  A life where I am unable to work and must depend on disability assistance for help.  A life where pride conquers humility.  Yes this is all pride.  I am battling the demons of pride.  My will against God’s will.  I have a vision of who I want to be and of what I want to do for the Lord in the world.  This vision did not include a life sentence of pain and suffering due to fibromyalgia and PMDD.  It did not include the embarrassment and stigma that comes with being a burden on the government, being a leach, being lazy (my husband is on permanent disability benefits so we know all too well the way others look down on us).  And my goodness I do it myself to others!!  I have caught myself on many occasions looking with pity on someone who is on welfare, who is disabled, who is addicted, who is obese (even though I used to be obese myself) rather than looking at them with compassion and love.

The past week I have been foolishly moving out of the present moment I have a present for you!! looking to the future and focusing on all the crosses I may have to bear.  This in and of itself has become an even heavier cross to bear.  I have to constantly remind myself that the Lord’s yoke is easy and His burden is light.  My situation is my situation.  No amount of complaint, agitation, anger or sadness about it is going to change it.  The only thing that makes it better is submitting to it and abandoning myself completely to Divine Providence.  Do the new drugs I am taking make me tired?  Yes they do and so I must submit to this cross also and so it goes with all the crosses in my life.  This life I am living is in fact the life ordained by God to sanctify me and unite me to Him.  This is the deepest desire of my heart and embracing this truth turns the battle within me into a dance with the Lord once more.  And so the dance actually is the movement in and out of the battle.  The dance trumps the battle for the victory is already won but the battle is important and a normal part of the spiritual journey.  With every battle that the Holy Spirit wins for me I am that much closer to my hearts desire.  If my life has taught me anything thus far it is that life is full of crosses and joys and I must embrace them equally.  This is easy to say and most definitely not always easy to do.  But even in this I must trust that the Lord will work everything for my good and for my sanctification.  When I lose sight of this truth I start to fall apart.  So I must continue to battle and keep my eyes fixed on Jesus.  I am battling for my soul after all.  Thank God I have God on my side.

The other day my eldest daughter Eden came over for dinner.  I told her about the pain I was experiencing and how I was reacting to the new medications.  She listened.  We talked.  And then she asked me.  Do you think God is sending you these sufferings for some reason?  Right away I knew the answer was no.  As the Holy Spirit told me the answer I told Eden my answer.  Since Lent God has been showering me with all kinds of consolations and gifts that have been literally out of this world.  My relationship with the Lord and my love for the Catholic Church has deepened immensely.  The Lord has healed many of my wounds and has put a desire in my soul to love others unconditionally.  I told Eden that I believe God did all this because He foresaw this cross and therefore wanted to comfort and console me.  He knew that I needed all that He so graciously gave me because He is love.  He knew that without Him I would not be able to survive the weight of my crosses.  I am weak I know and I am okay with this reality because the Lord is my strength.  With God I will persevere to the end.  For this I am certain.  Yes there will be much fear and trembling but my fear and trembling will be done at the foot of the cross where I can offer up my suffering for others.  If all the rest of my life consists of this then so be it.  I will let go of my grand ideas of changing the world and being the next big saint or Doctor of the Church lol.  I will let go of my disordered beliefs that in order to be a good Catholic and a holy women I need to be active in the church all the time.  I do not want to be remembered as a person who did but as a person who was.  Who was a child of God and a spouse of Christ.  My identity and my worth is not dependent on what I do but on who I am.  I do what I do because I am who I am.  I am not who I am because of what I do.  Oh Lord, help me live out these truths everyday.  Jesus, I trust in You.

Sometimes when I find myself in a battle of wills (mine against Gods) I read the following books and the truths contained within them always help me to find my way to the narrow path once again.  Thank you Lord for all the faithful examples you have given me through your servants who successfully persevered to the end.

Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence: The Secret of Peace and Happiness

Abandonment to Divine Providence: With Letters of Father de Caussade on the Practice of Self-Abandonment

 

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