Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What's rocking my world right now?

Can you sit for a spell and visit with me?  I'll fix us some sweet tea and we can chat.

This past week has been an emotional roller coaster for me.  Usually I don't share my personal problems with my blog readers but I've learned something important that I simply feel I must share.  It's rocked my world and it's too important to keep to myself.

Several months ago I shared with you all that I have an inherited kidney disease.  My Dad and sister had the disease as well.  Up to this point I've been plodding along, visiting my doctor every three months and having whatever medical tests were required.  My kidney function has gradually decreased over the past 2 years but slightly increased 3 months ago.  One night last week, after my scheduled blood work, my doctor called me at home to let me know that my kidney function had dropped from 21% to 17%.  He told me that if it doesn't return to 20% in three weeks I will be placed on the transplant list.

I've always had a healthy lifestyle.  I tried to eat low cal/low fat foods and exercise regularly.  I didn't smoke, drink alcohol, or do drugs.  More recently, I've started eating whole, organic foods.  After the dietary changes, I noticed the increase in my kidney function. I felt like I was on the right track.  I was encouraged to keep doing all I could to help my poor kidneys out.

When my doctor called, I felt as if all of my hard work had evaporated.  He sensed my frustration with my bad test results and reminded me that their is no cure for my disease except a transplant.  He also reminded me that my lifestyle has been beneficial because it has given me quality of life.  I have felt generally well even though I'm sick.  But in the back of my mind I kept thinking. . .

When you follow the rules, you should be rewarded!

This is not fair.  This is not how I've planned my life to be.  I've been working really hard and what do I have to show for it?  Not fair, not fair, not fair. 

Yes, I had a pity party.  My family didn't know it.  My friends didn't know it.  My pastor didn't know it.  But God did. 

And my pity party did not impress Him. 

I inwardly sulked.  I ate junk food.  I didn't exercise.  I didn't pray.  I cried a little.

After a few days, God spoke. 

I was driving to work and couldn't get reception to my favorite radio station.  I couldn't stand the silence so I channel surfed.  I heard a voice on the radio of a young wife and mother telling her testimony.  After a few minutes of listening, I realized she was talking about the fact that she was dying.  She was dying of cancer.  She had maybe 6-12 weeks to live.  She would be leaving a loving husband and 2 small children behind.  She wasn't having a pity party.  She wasn't sulking.  She was too weak to eat much or exercise.  She prayed a lot.  She only cried a little. 

God spoke through her words.

I thought about her all day while I worked.  After dinner I looked up her name and found her website.  I was able to watch a video of the testimony I had heard.  I listened to the whole thing.  I was so amazed with her story.  I was convicted by my attitude.  After all, I'm not dying.  My life will certainly change in a great way.  I will have to take medications for the rest of my life.  I will most likely gain enough weight  so I will not look like myself.  But I'm not dying. 

Her name is Rachel Barkey.  She died last year.  She is one of my heroes.
If you get a chance, please look at her website and check out her testimony.  I think it might change your life. . . or at least your attitude. 

These are Rachel's words. . .  
 There is a natural tendency within us to try and make God who we think He is or who we think He ought to be. If all is well in our world, our view of God is unchallenged. He is good. He is loving. He is fair. But when things start to go awry, that is when our true view of God is revealed.

We think God is not good or that He is unjust or that He is not in control because hurricanes destroy whole cities. Children are mistreated and abused. Wars break out and innocent people are killed, or women get cancer and die, leaving their children without a mother and their husbands heartbroken. We try to fit God into who we want Him to be rather than seeking Him for who He really is.

My frustration and anger are normal. They are even right—some would say. But at their root, they are unbelief. They are my sinful heart saying, “I don’t believe that this is the right thing for me, God. You must not know what You are doing, or if You do, You are not good, or You are not in control, or You are just being unfair because I don’t want this, and You are not giving me what I want.”

That is what my heart naturally says, and what yours does, too, when faced with circumstances we don’t like—when someone at work is making things difficult, when someone in our family doesn’t do what we would like them to do, when accidents, natural disasters, or disease happen. But God is good. He is in control. And He is fair. When I try to make Him into a God who serves me, I sin. Our natural bent is to sin, and it is our greatest problem.

And just to make sure I got the message clearly, God directed our pastor to speak these same thoughts on Sunday.  That pretty much took care of my pity party.  I'm out of my funk.  Today I'll eat my wholesome food, exercise, and read my Bible.  I'll pray and thank God for being in charge of my life.  He is good.  He is in control.  He is fair. 

May God bless Rachel's family.  I'm sure they miss her terribly.  I'm so glad she lived out her purpose and shared this message with all of us. God certainly used her to rock my world.


  1. Thanks for sharing this message - great for me today but I need to read it often. Way too often I want God to see things my way and to make my life the way I want it. But, of course, when that scenario is in front of me, I see immediately how off base I am. God has a plan for each of us and He is in control. Take life one day at a time and enjoy each day.

  2. I can only say "amen." What a beautiful post. I too have a lifelong disease (although not as serious as yours) and sometimes I have these same thoughts. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Timely post for me, thank you. I developed RA after the birth of my youngest 9 months ago and it has been a physical and emotional roller coaster. I can relate to your feelings and even told my husband yesterday I was feeling a little "poor-me", which is not my default. I can usually find gratitude and blessings in any situation. I pray your blessings outweigh your worries. :)

  4. What a wonderful testament; thanks for passing it on. You are in my prayers.

  5. What a wonderful post! All too often, we put God in a box and try to keep Him there. We all have a purpose and it is for Him, not us. I will pray for you, your health and your family. Thank you for sharing something you may not have normally, it helps other find strength and it encourages others.

  6. I had to take some time and let these beautifully shared words sink in. God is good. God is in control. God is merciful and just and healing and holy and... He IS. Rest in that, dear one. I have to remind myself to do that daily; as I do, I will remember you and Rachel and all of us journeying with Him.

  7. Wow. So true. I need to hang that (rather long) quote up in my house. Too many times I try to cram God into my little box and oh! The things I miss! And how stupid! Some of the things that get me down, are ridiculous when you hold them up to someone else's trials. I am so blessed. Even on the worst days.

    Thanks for the reminder!

    (and I'm so sorry your kidneys are not behaving. Darn bodies! I hope it all works out for you in the end, no matter which way it goes).

  8. I feel bad, I just read this post. I'm sorry to hear this. I have cronic, (inherited) health issues as well. And I agree, it isn't fair, especially when we've played our cards right, and tried so hard to live well. I work in health care and I am constantly reminded of how fragile life is. Thanks for sharing your story and the link to Rachel's site. It kind of puts things into perspective.


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