As many of you know, I had my first appointment and treatments on both of my hands/wrists in the Twin Cities last week. I've had incredible amounts of all kinds of pain over the past decade so I wasn't all too concerned about the pain of the injections. Good heavens, was I wrong to think it'd be no big deal. It was excruciating beyond anything I imagined. The week since that appointment has been incredibly painful and frustrating and discouraging but we continue to trust that God will use these injections to bring healing, even if it is a painful process. We obviously were hoping to see improvement after the first treatment but that so far has not been the case. So we wait and pray and trust and press on.
The discussion with the doctor who does these treatments was good and encompassed not just my joint problems but also the Crohn's disease. He reaffirmed what I already knew about the major drugs I'm on for the Crohn's and how they negatively affect the rest of my body, especially my joints. It was encouraging to hear about the alternative medicine options out there, some that I'm already familiar with, some that are new to me, but it is also overwhelming and discouraging because insurance doesn't cover alternative medicine.
And again, my husband and I have much to pray on, think through, research, and discuss. It is the story of our lives in so many areas right now and I praise God for how He uses these things to strengthen our relationship with Him and with each other. It's far from pretty or perfect and we screw it up all the time and continually have to repent and ask forgiveness and get back up. I'm so thankful to be married to somebody who is really great at making sure we laugh and have fun amidst the tears and trials. He's pretty fantastic.
Daily I'm reminded of how much we have to be grateful for. Twice in the past few weeks there have been instances that, had they timed out differently, one or both of us could've died in an accident. Those especially have caused me to give thanks for each day of life we have together and to do my best to not take it for granted. And then there are the endless and continual daily blessings and gifts that completely overwhelm my heart with gratitude...
...walking the Mall of America, while I had no ability to use my hands after the injections
...eating some of the best food we've ever had at Red Cow after walking the Mall of America
...long evenings with siblings eating and talking and playing games
...camping with just my husband and myself for a few days
...a sweet visit with friends I hadn't seen in years, exchanging stories of what God has done
...introducing Justin to one of my favorite TV shows
...eating the best homemade ice cream and homemade waffle cones ever
...playing ball with my pooch
...cookouts with friends
...bonfires and s'mores and pudgy pies
...driving into the sunset (literally)
...coffee cake on Sundays
...herbs and tomato plants flourishing in my potted garden on the deck
...fresh coffee beans from the local coffee guy
...and on and on the list could go but I have to leave for work and there are some photos below that speak more words than I could say anyway. Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2 My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
let the humble hear and be glad.
3 Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
and let us exalt his name together!
4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him are radiant,
and their faces shall never be ashamed.
6 This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
and saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the Lord encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
8 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
9 Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints,
for those who fear him have no lack!
10 The young lions suffer want and hunger;
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
11 Come, O children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 What man is there who desires life
and loves many days, that he may see good?
13 Keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from speaking deceit.
14 Turn away from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.
15 The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous
and his ears toward their cry.
16 The face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
to cut off the memory of them from the earth.
17 When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears
and delivers them out of all their troubles.
18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit.
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
20 He keeps all his bones;
not one of them is broken.
21 Affliction will slay the wicked,
and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
22 The Lord redeems the life of his servants;
none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.