My Very Present Help

“God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.”
– Psalm 46:1 KJV

 

Lord, I do not know in starting this post what it will be called. And I know I just posted the Share Your Passion Tag 9.27.19 and still have the notifications to do for the nominees while trying to stay awake, but I do know that I need to write this post to and for You! To praise You for what You have done for me in abundance recently, but especially for seeing me through the Transforaminal LESI (Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection) I had to have yesterday (Tuesday). LESI.1I was nervous because I had never had one done. I have had many friends and family who had them when having babies, and guys too for back issues. Yet they were always either they did not take despite how many they gave them, how they created pain and damage somewhere it never had before the epidural, and even paralyzed.

Just days before this epidural, I had a dear young friend who gave birth to her 3rd baby. Her husband was reporting she had an epidural because the baby turned breech at the last moment when time to push. Afterwards my friend struggled with severe headaches, neck pain so stiff she could not move her head, and blood pressures running 222/98. The whole in her spine from the epidural was not healing. They went back in and did a blood patch, and within 30 minutes it healed. Praise God she finally starting getting rest and truly healing.

But with all of this on my mind, I was also so stiff and in pain, moving as though I were 90 yr old with a walker again. My neck too gets stuck several times a day, needing a pop 8 out of 10 times because of my cervical issues). I’m on 2 blood pressure pills. Friends and family were noticing and asking things like what happened, are you going backwards, and I thought your new neurologist was good. I was hurting all day from my mid back, to my sacrum, to my hips, to my thighs, to my knees, to my calves, to my feet, and even to my toes. Every one of those parts had moments of weakness and completely giving out with no warning, sometimes multiple parts at a time.

In therapy they are always trying to get my body straight for certain exercises, good posture, and to properly support my spine. When they are working to help me they see I am truly trying, but my legs do not look like they are designed to go straight, as well as my back against the wall and stay there while I do the needed work. When they literally straighten it for me by physically forcing it straight and maintaining the hold, it causes severe pain, especially afterwards. I struggle to walk and within an hour or so cannot walk anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, sometimes taking a full night and day resting as much as possible, while using my walker to get up and down, to walk to use bathroom, and even to get up and down to use bathroom. And oh how it hurts to bend to try and clean myself, yet I still fail to be able to sometimes.

I say all of this, Lord, because today was the first Dr. B was realizing how “taxing” (his words) it was for me to use my legs to walk, to stand, to do just about anything while having to live in a world where I HAVE to. Yet when he told me to tell my doctor I had to sadly tell him again how they either just keep saying they don’t see why I really complain, or to tell him. He heard it. Just like last time. He does listen. I had to let him know the neurologist he sent me to (neurologist #7) told me not to be doing shots, but I was able to let him know I told her if it wasn’t for the shots I wouldn’t be walking, sleeping, standing, tolerating anything against my back (even a pillow), or anything. I let her know how grateful I was to You, God, for Dr. B. I had told her I was trusting You, and that You led me to someone who was listening and willing to DO what he could, therefore I was to trust whatever he said he needed to do.

Yes I heard the horror stories on those spinal nerve blocks we have done the last 3 years as well, and been told since I was 12 yrs old (the first time I woke up unable to walk and my back hurting, having to be carried to the car and into the hospital) to avoid surgeries, shots, chiropractors, or any back docs as much as possible because I would end up paralyzed. If I was able to walk, then just find something to use as a pain gauge to determine between I’m okay, I really need to sit down, or lay down and do NOTHING until my body allows me. No medicines. And my body could not tolerate cold because it stiffened it worse, increasing the pain and worsening the mobility. The heat seem to just magnify the feel of the pain. I learned to just quietly breathe it out… and not that funny breathing or any of that cry out in pain that just turned out to be more physical exertion. Natural patient breaths. Most of the time having to close my eyes and go inside with You, God, just patiently waiting.

That’s most certainly what I had to do yesterday with You! I don’t usually try to let people know I am in pain because I figure there is no point to burden others when they have their own burdens, and happen to be busy working or serving. I have to work hard at therapy and the doctor’s office because they always ask you questions that you are trying your best to answer to help the doctor, but to tell them WHAT is wrong, WHERE, WHY, HOW do you stop it, are reasons I am there to ask them to tell me. And I understand it is a 2 way communication street, but the strict insurance rules taking on playing the role of the doctor or even God, do not help. You, Lord, have allowed me to manage through the challenges of my spine for 47 years, but have made clear it is time to get answers, healing, help to know what won’t be healing, how to manage and maintain, and to learn how to better communicate to help my doctors.

This was my pain level coming in,
really for the last several months.
Even on the premed and my regular meds.
Especially when using the bathroom. 😦LESI.4It is most painful when I have to stand for more than a few minutes, like when making a lunch for Anthoni (my son) sometimes for work, or for Bobby (my 85 yr old stepdad) for lunch, or long enough to stand in the kitchen to even fix myself something. I have to lean against the cabinets, fridge, drawers, or shift from foot to foot. It is excruciating when standing for praise and worship at church (and I hate that because of how it steals Your praise, and never fails to get looks of me having attitude, a wrong heart, or even sinful).

And OH!! How I struggle to bend forward to clean myself. That’s embarrassing to say out loud, but I am trying to make this record before my memory fails me as it does every moment of the day. And the depression makes me feel like what’s the point of writing… that’s just trying, and what’s the point of trying if nothing’s going to change, except maybe for the worst. I am trying to openly praise You in a way to thank You for everything You did for me yesterday… in just by BEING THERE WITH ME! And because You often convict me and encourage me to be as open and honest as possible for my dear friends who are suffering their own chronic illnesses and the chronic humiliation that comes with it.

Like our Caz who just went through another excruciating time of her own in (A Very Mini) Mini Me Update), and her only way to escape was to share with us via WordPress, Facebook, email, and photos. The pain, agony, misery, and tears in one being bold enough to be vulnerable while feeling like nothing… to no one… just completely invisible no matter how strong the pain, how loud the shouting, or how honest the tears and anger. Hence the name of her blog and FB… Invisibly Me.

I think of her when I am on that table… praying for the face of the friend I seen in such agony… yet posting for those that she knew were going through their own things, and she wanted them to know they weren’t alone, telling them what rights they have at a time like that, and in those deep desperate eyes crying with the only ones she knows to care about her… to please still be there, please still see me… without you I have no one to see I exist… I am visible. I am here. Without SOMEONE on my side, Invisible is all I can feel. I don’t even see me anymore.

I think of and pray for
Wendi of Simply Chronically Ill,
Jill of Food, Feelings, Freedom,
Kourtney of Defining Yellow,
Caralyn of Beauty Beyond Bones,
Tasha of Pain Warrior Code,
Carol Anne of Therapy Bits,
Maxine of Heaven’s Reef,
Margaret of The Word who has been displaced from her home due to a hurricane months back, and found kindness in strangers who are lovingly sacrificing to provide shelter for her and her husband,
Jen of Jen’s Life,
Efua of Grace Over Pain,
Stu of Something to Stu Over and his beautiful children Brandon and Erin.

Dr. B was very patient, kind, compassionate, considerate, informative, insightful, and very careful with what he was doing. The numbing medicine alone when it kicked in with the premed and my regular meds, immediately decreased my pain down to moderate, but only because he was still working with needles and pressure.LESI.3Getting off of the table was much slower and challenging than it had been, but Dr. B has helped me many times come off that table in a careful manner, helping me to feel that my feet are on the ground, and that my feet can keep me upright with my head feeling like a floating bowling ball that I cannot control. I kept this face till I got out of the office and into the car. I believe it was really more about feeling ungrounded while trying to walk on it. But praise the Lord for all of that medicine. It was allowing my pain to actually accomplish this last picture representing…

NO PAIN!!LESI.2So many answered prayers, even if just for the moment.
But God, praise Your Holy name, I’ll take that moment!
And for as long as You will allow it! 🙂
So many have been praying for me, and still are.

I know the ladies of the bible study I am attending with Keitha leading (Redeemed by Angela Thomas-Pharr), the ladies of her church Gracepoint, and several who were attending the ladies banquet at Brown Barn the night before the Epidural are praying fervently for me. (Don’t let me forget, Father, to take my badge back with me for next Tuesday evening, hopefully undamaged)GB-Redeemed Badge

This picture below shows while I thought I was doing a good job of keeping some excruciating pain under control so that I wouldn’t burden anyone or disturb this awesome night out together in sweet Godly fellowship, actually made my face look like I didn’t care for my picture being taken, as if I were unsociable. I admit I didn’t FEEL like I was BEING sociable, but I still made every effort for Sarah and Keitha particularly!
(Sarah is to my right, and Keitha is behind the camera.)71555398_744552119318478_7337167265403502592_nBut I am trusting that You will restore to me the ability to genuinely show a smile that represents how truly grateful I am for these sisters in Christ who give so much of themselves… to strangers… to enemies… to persecutors… despite their own health issues (Keitha was wearing her knee brace for her poor knees, and was limping, but very much serving)…. they are doing it all for YOU! ❤

I had to miss this week because it began as I was leaving the doctor’s office.
I look forward to being with the ladies whenever You allow.
And I look forward to getting another Keitha hug! 🙂RLLBS.2019.5

As long as this post is, it still doesn’t give proper credit for everything You have been doing for me, especially yesterday afternoon! Thank You, God, more than anything for simply being there with me! When all I could do was keep my eyes closed, go inside with you, and with normal patient breaths keep telling You that I love You! Even when I could not focus to form words, You were still there. Holding my hand, reminding me of past trials and the faith You got me through with.

THANK YOU, LORD GOD!! THANK YOU!
PRAISE YOUR HOLY AND RIGHTEOUS, PROTECTIVE, COMFORTING SELF!
THANK YOU, HOLY SPIRIT, FOR CONTINUOUSLY TALKING WITH ME,
COMFORTING ME!
AND THANK YOU, JESUS, FOR MAKING AN INCREDIBLE SACRIFICE
TO SAVE ME FROM MYSELF,
FROM MY SINS THAT BREATHE DOWN MY NECK SOMETIMES,
FROM FEAR THAN TAKES ADVANTAGE OF WEAKNESS
LIKE ALL COWARDS DO.

❤ I LOVE YOU, FATHER GOD! 
❤ I LOVE YOU, JESUS CHRIST!
❤ I LOVE YOU, HOLY SPIRIT!

 

 

 

I Was Here

gaillovesgodspoetry

I use to be here.
It was so unsafe.
The voice, the face, the unsafe ways.
These streets were pathways
For souls walking by.
We were a part of those souls.
A part of this place.
But I was a visitor
Who did not know
I was just passing by.
This was my life.
And this life was me.
Yet God emphasizes
WAS!!
God came along and took my hand.
He said, “Someday you’ll understand.”
This was FOR you,
But not ABOUT you.
You are all about me and my will.
You’re journey came through here,
But now you must journey on.
There’s so much more for you to do.

8-19-2019 Monday
Written by Gail Brookshire
Inspiration: Somewhere I once was.

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Yours, No Matter What!

Father God, Let me make it a point to first say, “Good early morning.” I love You and hope You’re blessed. Thank You for loving me. I’m sorry I have not been the testimony for you that I should.  I’ve been reading back over some former notes and journals…. my undying, unwavering love for You is not being expressed as it should lately. Instead a cloud with a never ending darkness hovering over my pen, my head, and even my totally devoted heart.

I was also taken back in thought today by remembering when I thought I didn’t deserve You and thought I was too tainted  for heaven, but I still cried out to You in love every day. Not because of me, but because of You. I told You time and time again that I was Yours even if You didn’t want me. That I understood if You didn’t, but that I still considered it Yours.

Many times when I thought today was surely the day when I would literally go insane, that this would be my breaking point, or would surely die, I would tell You to know that my heart, mind, body and soul was Yours, and always would be. Even if I went insane, to please see and hear my heart crying out to You, “I’m Yours!” I always will be. Even if You don’t want me, I love You! Please always hear that.

I pray that again now, Father. I have no idea what is going to happen from day to day. Will I lose my mind? My life? My health altogether? More than ever, I don’t know. And more than ever, I’m scared You’ll forget, or that I’ll say or do something I could never in my right mind do. But I know better than that.

I believe the majority of my problem are the medicines. No, I don’t care for the pain, the misery, and I do want to be mobile, functional, aware of my surroundings and behavior, so the side effects are the consequences. Seems there’s no simple or private solution. No peace.

Yet all I want my mind to focus on is You and the love of Your Son, my Savior Jesus Christ. What pain He suffered for me. He and the Holy Spirit both look out for me all day long, praying, guiding, whispering in my ear, and sending such comforting love like I’ve never known. May I ever endeavor to speak such words to You as You give to me. And no matter what happens, I love You! No matter what, I am Yours! I long to be home with You so much! Until Then! ❤

Until Then
-hymn lyrics by Stuart Hamblen

My heart can sing when I pause to remember
A heartache here is but a stepping stone
Along a trail that’s winding always upward,
This troubled world is not my final home.

Chorus
But until then my heart will go on singing,
Until then with joy I’ll carry on,
Until the day my eyes behold the city,
Until the day God calls me home.

The things of earth will dim and lose their value
If we recall they’re borrowed for awhile;
And things of earth that cause the heart to tremble,
Remembered there will only bring a smile.

Chorus
But until then my heart will go on singing,
Until then with joy I’ll carry on,
Until the day my eyes behold the city,
Until the day God calls me home.

This weary world with all its toil and struggle
May take its toll of misery and strife;
The soul of man is like a waiting falcon;
When it’s released, it’s destined for the skies.

Chorus
But until then my heart will go on singing,
Until then with joy I’ll carry on,
Until the day my eyes behold the city,
Until the day God calls me home.

Another Presence Enters In

gaillovesgodspoetry

Ahem! Ahem! Can you hear?
I sense your game of doubt and fear.
You start the same, assuming I play.
You’re not concerned with what I have to say.
But ready or not, I become aware.
I have no pity left to spare.
You set me up to take a fall,
Then trip my feet to hear me call.
You want me crying out for you,
And want to be my hero too.
But another Presence has entered in.
He says this madness has to end.
This passing a life back and forth,
Only to throw remains on the floor
Is going to stop this very minute!
Only I can see the value in it.
Step away and let her be!
She belongs solely to Me!

8-15-2019 Thursday
Written by Gail Brookshire

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His Will Be Done

“He has chosen not to heal me,
but to hold me.
The more intense the pain,
the closer His embrace.”
– Joni Eareckson Tada

“Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God
commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing,
as unto a faithful Creator.”
– 1 Peter 4:19 KJV

“For whether we live, we live unto the Lord;
and whether we die, we die unto the Lord:
whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.”
– Romans 14:8 KJV

For My Choir Buddy

Lord, Thank you for reminding me that I wanted to share with others as I dedicated a song to celebrate Sue Bailey’s passing.

Sue BaileySue Bailey

I couldn’t help but think about the song I’ve Got More To Go To Heaven For,
one because I always do when someone passes away that I love or am fond of ,
secondly because I’ve loved that song so much since I heard it in my teens that I am always singing it,
and lastly because of how incredibly fitting it is with the passing of my choir buddy.
I’ll always remember her joy, and am so excited about “the new angel in the choir, I want to hear sing.” ❤ She’s now one more of the many “friends awaiting when I walk through the gates. I’ve more to go heaven for than I had yesterday.”

I’ve Got More To Go To Heaven For
by The Inspirations

I’ve been on my way to heaven for a long, long time.
And many things have happened that’s clouded up my mind.
But I am more determined to walk the narrow way.
I’ve got more to go to heaven for than I had yesterday.

Chorus:
There’s a golden street to walk upon, a bell I’m gonna ring.
A brand new angel in the choir, I wanna hear her sing.
There’ll be a lot of friends awaiting when I walk thru the gates.
I’ve got more to go to heaven for than I had yesterday.

I’ve been thru lonesome valleys, I’ve climbed the highest hills.
I’ve known the joy of living in the center of God’s will.
I’ve watched the angels come and take my loved-ones home to stay.
I’ve got more to go to heaven for than I had yesterday.

Chorus:
There’s a golden street to walk upon, a bell I’m gonna ring.
A brand new angel in the choir, I wanna hear her sing.
There’ll be a lot of friends awaiting when I walk thru the gates.
I’ve got more to go to heaven for than I had yesterday.

Chorus:
There’s a golden street to walk upon, a bell I’m gonna ring.
A brand new angel in the choir, I wanna hear her sing.
There’ll be a lot of friends awaiting when I walk thru the gates.
I’ve got more to go to heaven for than I had yesterday.

Yes, I’ve got more to go to heaven for than I had yesterday.

I also think of her with the poem You allowed me to write on July 25th… Alas, I’m Home. She had actually passed on July 2nd, but I was a little hard hit with her passing at first that even though I was happy for her it was too hard to write at first. But I knew from Your loving whisper that I wanted to write this post especially for her. She is the new angel in the choir, and praise Your Holy name dearest Sue can easily say, “Alas, I’m home.” You have welcomed Your bride home.

Alas, I’m Home
written by Gail Brookshire

Alas in sight, I see
A home prepared for me.
Cloudless skies and stormless days.
Enjoying a view with a heavenly haze.
The voice of God clear and strong
Conducting His choir with angelic song.
Crystal seas glisten bright.
Streets of gold reflect His Light.
Familiar faces soon appear.
Some were souls once so dear.
Dearer more, now they are
Always a part of my heart.
Dearest yet, my Sweet Jesus Christ!
Waiting to welcome home His bride.
Friends for life, death, and resurrection.
He is my Greatest expectation.
Alas I’m in His Holy presence,
Basking in His Holy essence.

7.25.19 Thursday
Written by Gail Brookshire

Heard From The First Day!

“Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel:
for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand,
and to chasten thyself before thy God,
thy words were heard,
and I am come for thy words.”
– Daniel 10:12 KJV

My God loves me! ❤
He has known my heart from the 1st day!! 😍
And has heard EVERY WORD! 🥰
He knows how to melt my heart… like no one else! 😭