Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Raining Praises

I want to thank those of you who pray so faithfully for me and my family. I have some praises to report! Some of you know that my husband has been working a very low paying job (although he has a bachelor's and practically a master's degree) because our current life situation was meant to be temporary while we awaited going on the mission field long term.  With my pain levels increasing and no good treatment options in sight, I have been unable to work my job as a nurse.  The Lord has graciously provided a promotion for my husband that will make him an assistant manager.  The hours and pay still aren't great, but it's definitely better and there is room for advancement.  He starts tomorrow and is so happy to be finished with his current job. It's not only hard to physically suffer, but it is very difficult to also watch loved ones endure suffering because of my condition.

I had a better week last week I think.  I don't know if I felt a lot better or if I am just getting better at dealing with chronic pain, but probably a little of both.  When I say I feel better though I still can't sit (nothing helps that) and I still have daily pain, but the level just drops a notch or so.  I actually worked about 16 hours last week! Every hour helps our income greatly so this is a big praise! I realized now however that I over did it as my pain has increased. I have decided to try to work one 8 hour shift a week starting in May. I have only been working about 5 hours a week so this is a pretty big increase especially because my 8 hour shifts will most likely turn into 9+ hours.  I have spoken with my charge nurse though and if things are too hard I can drop back down to shorter shifts. Praise God my work has been so understanding in this situation. There are few jobs that allow you to work as little as I do and make good money.  Thankful again for God's providence in leading me to be a nurse, even though I've never really loved it (at least not as a nurse in a hospital in the States).

The increase in work has resulted in a major pain flare in my feet and legs. I had a lot of trouble with my feet last summer and fall, but once I got up to higher doses of Neurontin and wore better shoes the pain seemed to subside.  Unfortunately it is back with a vengeance. I have a naturally high instep and arches so this leads to difficulty finding shoes. I have also had some burning in my feet again so I know I really need to be careful so I don't end up being on the couch for a couple weeks again like I was last fall.  I basically had to get rid of all my "cheap" shoes and am slowly investing in good quality shoes. I got some new sandals today that are supposed to be good for my pain issues so I hope I they will allow me to stand for longer periods of time.  It's really hard to not be able to sit or stand for very long. I sure could use your prayers about this.
We've been hit with tons of rain lately. The rain always increases my all over muscle pains as well. Sometimes even my forearm muscles hurt!  But this weekend I was encouraged by how Jesus' resurrection gives so much hope for "gloomy" days.  My dad is a pastor and brought up a passage in his sermon that is not typically thought of during Easter. These particular verse really encourage me when the daily struggles with chronic pain seem more than I can bear.  I hope they bring you strength to serve the Lord no matter what your circumstance as well!

"We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." 2 Corinthians 4: 8-11; 16-18

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