Tuesday, September 27, 2011


 "Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not."  
~ Lamentations 3:22


"What did you say, Honey?"  My husband's voice could not have sounded more gentle.  Its soothing kindness humbled me.  His tender, compassionate soul captivated mine, yet, searching my fog-ridden mind for an answer was too tiring.  Response was so distant.  Too far to reach.  Words alive seconds before lay dead.

Yet, these dead words and others in my life are not dead so silent.  Their powerful influence screams with life.

They are an unyielding, haunting, scrambled voice, an unwelcomed echo that takes no notice of my desire that they be raised.

I plead.  I shout.  The dormant bundles do not hear.  They do not listen.

Doctors tell me it is "brain fog," an inability to recall words or details, a fuzzy sort of feeling in the head.  Concentration can be elusive.  And the frustration of it all is hard to reconcile in a body exasperated with pain, exhaustion, and muscle stiffness.

I look for mercy.  I hope for reprieve from the other annoyances of  reflux, dizziness, depression, tinnitus, and hair loss.

Yet, fibromyalgia has chosen to make its presence known in my life.  It must be heard.  It must be felt.

Fibromyalgia is like a choking vine.  It wraps and wraps, trying to mask the person whose life has become its ground and wall.  Its job is to suffocate, to criple, to put down.

As I write these words, my "voice" struggles through a mighty jungle.  I am impassioned.  Like one who longs to find her secret garden behind sticky thorns, sappy branches and clinging vines, I work to cut down and pull out barriers to imagination.

My strength is inefficient.  My work is lacking.  My persistence is waning. 

I gasp for air, as one being buried in woody mire.  The echoes of confinement raise to mock my insufficiency.  These echoes are clear, understood words.  They work to banish hope, to kill desire, to destroy belief.

These words mean war.

I fight for faith, reach for grace, grasp for knowledge of One Who can smother the brutal echoes, Who can with one word crumble walls and cut vines, Who has strength to bear life and lift from mire, Who has hope to restore loss, Who has grace to soothe pain.  One,...

Who waits for my stillness.

When faced with chronic pain, stillness is not the natural way for most, including me.  We want to move.  We want to search and find our own way.  We go to doctors and physical therapy.  We take medication.  We scan the web and look for help.  We go on special diets.  We visit the health food store.  We fight to have our life the way we know it should be.  The way it used to be.

Such has been my fleshly fight.

And, in the midst of this fleshly fight, I have come face to face with a greater enemy.  It is a bigger opponent than pain.

It is a war of  a weary soul.  My soul yearns for rest within.  It cries with the need to be still, the need to find deeper grace, the need to know greater personal reality with God, the need to live Paul's words that tell me to be "content in whatever situation I am in" (Philippians 4:11).

Friends, I seek healing, but I also seek something, Someone, greater than healing.

An understanding of the phrases, "Seek the Giver, not the gift; seek the Healer, not the healing," are my reality.  And,...

it is precious reality. 

Perhaps that sounds foreign to you.  But before you judge me, listen to my heart.

I am living with pain allowed by a God so loving, so compassionate, so tender, so I would seek the beauty of sufficient grace.  Grace that pours like a river into the life of one who is only and always not enough on her own.  Grace that is only found through surrender that calls loudly for more and more of me.

Grace that is not found in the pew of my church.  Grace that is not found in a perfectly well body.  Grace that is not found in pristine appearance.  Grace that is not found in serving.  Grace that is not found in a perfect life.

I seek that grace that is found on the battlefield of my insufficiency and His sufficient place.    

I weep.  I rejoice.  I huddle in pain.  I rise in praise.  I hurl in rebellion.  I crumble in surrender.  

I taste depression, yet dance with joy because He is faithful.  And, He is my God, Who loves me with everlasting love! 

Friends, the Father's grace does not compare with human best.  All the times and seasons of our lives are in His nail-scarred hands.  I cannot weigh God's goodness on human scales.  With every prayer breathed, I ask Him to be my all in all.  I pray to let go of my human need to understand, and to let go of any fleshly idea that I have a right to understand.

I work to surrender.  To flesh-out my faith.  I confess my not enough, and glory in Christ's everything in everything. 

Reality stings and sets free, for awesome victory follows surrender! 

I hope you hear my heart leaping, as my fingers press my keyboard with promise!  I pray you are rejoicing with me as you hear the Vinedresser cutting through a mighty jungle in my life! 

I'm alive, and my soul will ever live to give glory to the One and only God and Jesus Christ, my redeemer.   

As I close, I am thinking now of so many who suffer much, much more than I do.  This day, so many live with devastating words, and so many hearts break and are breaking because of pain that speaks terminal hopelessness.  Please pray for these lives and the lives of their loved ones.  Please cry out to God for those who face cancer and other severe illnesses and traumatic injuries.  Ask God for healing and hope. 

Because of His Grace, Through His Love,


  1. I hear both your languish and your leaping. A modern day psalm that could have easily been penned by King David. Leaning into the grace available to us in our suffering, receiving it as we need it, and then living it... well, this is the beauty of Paul's thorn, Christ's thorns as well.

    What is not removed must be released to the work of the cross. You are doing that hard work, friend, and I'm here to testify that God will give you more strength, more understanding, more hope than you currently hold to see you through to the other side. As you go and along the way, your faith is leaving a trail of breadcrumbs that point others straight to the heart of the Father.

    I love you, friend. Always here to talk as you'd like.


  2. I hear your heart and fully understand as a fibromyalgia and alopecia sufferer. Andrea, you capture my heart's cry here in this post as well. Your definition of the grace to be found..."Grace that is only found through surrender that calls loudly for more and more of me."

    The more of me He has been calling lately has been a willingness to push through the "fibro fog" and trust His power to help me memorize His word. I can't tell you how such a surrender has given God the place to show up powerfully.

    Thank you for writing about our chronic pain so well. I've refrained from doing it because the words are so hard to compose a clear explanation. I believe you have accomplished this...even with the concentration issues. Praise God...

    And yes, I fully agree, ours is not a terminal illness and others need our compassion, sympathy, and sincere prayers.

    Lifting you and them to the throne of immeasurable grace,

  3. Oh, my. I can't imagine what you deal with every day. (You write beautifully for one in such a fog!) Truly a Testament to His Grace!

  4. HI Andrea. Thank you for stopping by my blog. Your words penetrated my heart and made me stop for a moment and ponder grace...Thank you for your heart, your honestly, and your passion. I will be praying for you and all those who are suffering to a God who hears!!!

    Blessings sweet sister.

  5. Bless your heart, Andrea. I'm so sorry that you are suffering, but I do know that in your suffering (as in mine) He is enough.

    Lots of love to you.

  6. Grace
    and more Grace
    For His Grace is
    That is what rested in my heart as I read your heart words...

    Sister, you are seeking the Giver and that is the best heart attitude to be in. Seeking the One who is everything and more that you need.

    I am praying for you! And I'm praying for all who are hurting! What I love about God is He doesn't deem ones pain any less important than another. What I've been dealing with this year is nothing like what you are dealing with BUT to GOD every one of us; our pain and problems are important to Him and so we wait...we pray...we worship...we rejoice and when necessary we cry and we keep rejoicing knowing that GOD is for us and not against us! He said, He'll never leave us or forsake us.

    My prayers will continue to go up to the Throne for you dear one. Love you!

  7. Grace that is not found in a perfect life.

    You couldn't have stated it more beautifully.

    Your beauty shines forth in the midst of your pain.

    Thank you for taking time to share your heart with us. Though you have not posted in months, know that I have thought often of you, and kept you close to my heart.

    May you continue to find comfort and strength and peace in Him alone, the All Sufficient One.

    Much love

  8. so beautiful! i love the 'seek the Healer not the healing' - my life longing!!

  9. Dearest Andrea, Words can't begin to help but know dear one, that many are lifting you up. I once heard a word spoken "For This We Have Jesus". Many will be touched through your continuing on in His strength.
    With love & prayers,

  10. Oh Andrea, this just breaks my heart! To think of you enduring so great a burden is difficult to fathom. I am struck by the beauty of your telling, the power of your spirit. Your words are gripping; and so very transparent.

    I pray this season passes; even for a miracle of healing. I pray the thorny thicket turns swiftly into a flower-strewn meadow.

    I love you, dear sister. I thank God for your indominable spirit, and the faith exhibited in so tender a sharing.


  11. Dear Andrea:

    First, I am so glad to see you back here, no matter how often or even how seldom you may post, it is always a treasure.

    This blog should be available for every believer who deals with pain. I will be sending it to those who I know will value your words, and even more, your heart.

    Praying for you my sweet friend, as you know.
    Remember... you were my very first blog I ever read! I still know I started at the top. :)


  12. I hear and understand on so many levels. God bless and give you the strength for each day. Someone once said where there is no struggle there is no strength. Quite a truthful paradox is it not?

    Blessings, from one jungle warrior to another,

  13. Andrea, you have truly touched my heart. I am not a writer...those who have written comments before me have beautifully expressed their thoughts. I echo them all. Please know that you have many who love you and are praying for you. What an inspiration you are to us all!


  14. Andrea,

    I will pray for you and all who suffer. Your words of grace touch my heart and so many more. As always your message is a blessing from God and I praise Him for your heartfelt words and the love He shows through you!



  15. This is Denise from shortybearsplace, thank you for visiting my blog, and leaving your heart prints. I love your blog, I have become a follower. You have such a beautiful way of expressing yourself. I was greatly touched by this post. I will be lifting you up in my prayers, please take gentle care of yourself. In His love, now, and always.

  16. Popped back in tonight to say, I love you and I said a prayer for you...love and blessings!

  17. I see Lisa just above me has popped back over and that's what I am doing tonight too. Just checking in on my friend. I'm praying for you, as you continue your walk through this season. I can't think of anyone who does it with more grace. You bless my heart.

    Love you my friend!


  18. Andrea,
    I can't tell you what your comment to my Mom-in-Love tribute has been to me....specifically the last sentence:
    "Her 'rapt attention' to you was and is lovely adornment of faith, and the thread of such love continues through your life and the lives of your husband, children, and many others."

    Thank you for this lovely word picture. I've seen the thread of her love today flow through me and mine in unique and special ways. You put the words to it and the Comforter helped me see how it played out.

    Gratitude overflows from my heart,

  19. Hey beautiful! I am here to say I love you and enjoy our connecting on FB. I pray a blessed Christmas and New Year for you and your entire family. I pray a year of beautiful, unexpected things for you!!! Love you and Merry Christmas!

  20. Dear Andrea,
    Missing you on blogland but I couldn't let this year end without me dropping by here to tell you I am thankful to God for the gift of your friendship. I have no doubt the New Year will usher in blessings of peace and joy and provision for you and for me!


  21. Andrea,

    How wonderful to hear from you on my blog! Thank you for your kind comments and the amazing ministry you provide. My book (actually it's God's book-He gives me all my stories:) is still in production but I feel so blessed that it is being published by Tate Publishing, a Christian publisher. Hopefully I will have a release date soon. Take good care of yourself!

    Blessings for a wonderful new year,


  22. All the comments above have said my thoughts for you so graciously so I will give you a(( HUG)) Dee

  23. Andrea, I know what you mean by brain fog. I walk around as if in a trance on most days. For every hair I lose, I gain a pound. I work at losing those and end up making my fibromyalgia worse. Weather is my number one enemy. How can God's creation cause so much pain. I have found that clonopin helps a lot with the brain fog and a lot of the pain. I am able to react with my poor husband who takes it all in patient stride. I thank God every day for him. I heard someone say one day that they go to their happy place when things get worse. You know what my happy place is, Kindred Spirit. Love you. AWE


Thank you for visiting. I cherish your thoughts. You are special to me, but most of all, you are special to God, who loves you with everlasting love. May your life be swept into His joy and peace.

In the Wonderful Love of Christ our Savior,