Walking Through The Wilderness
Written by Deb Lundquist
February 24, 2017
As you all know, I often talk about my faith because it is part of how I get through this path we are all walking together. I know that not all of you have the same faith as I, or any faith at all, but just bear with me and see if it helps in anyway.
I often listen to Discovering the Jewish Jesus on the DayStar television channel. Rabbi K. A. Schneider, who is a Jew who believes that Jesus is the Messiah, has done several series that he has done, and I never know which one I am going to be listening to as I tape his shows. Several times he has talked about how we often walk through wildernesses in our lives and that during those times we need to lean on God all the more to get through them because that God often teaches us things during those times, things about ourselves, about Him, or things about others or situations.
I have been thinking about that a lot since I started to listen to those broadcasts and I have come the conclusion that I have been walking in a wilderness since my accident in 1999. I have had some real moments of insight about my relationship with the Lord, my illnesses and why I have them, which is why I have the support group, the webpage, and now this radio show.
All my life, I have been in the medical field in some way, either as a patient, a medical transcriber, a medical bill/insurance provider, or advocate for the patient to get their bills paid. I was a sickly child and learned early about doctor’s, illnesses, and medications. I was a medical advocate for my first father-in-law at the young age of 17 when his family didn't know, when he developed cancer. Then our daughter starting at the age of 5 when we discovered she had been having bladder infections from the time she was conceived. By the time she had her surgery at 10, I knew as much about urology as a urologist and was even asked if I was one. By the age of 22, I already had raging endometriosis and had my miscarriage of my first child. I could have been a doctor by the end of that episode at the age of 29. I could have been a doctor the way I remember all things medical that I am told and have often been asked by doctors and nurses if I am.
Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, who knows, I understand all about the muscles, ligaments, tendons, fascia, nerves, and I can feel what each is doing in my body. It angers me when a doctor tries to explain things to me because I already know. I always say, ‘yes, yes, I already know that, let’s get on with things.’ Or I will say, ‘no, you have that backwards, this is the true way of things.’ They really hate that. Like the doctor who told me if RSD/CRPS moved to more than one limb it was really Fibromyalgia. Yea, that was a funny one. I actually laughed and then educated her.
When I got Fibromyalgia, God told me to be an educator for Fibromyalgia. That is what I have tried to do, once I figured what to do for myself.
So, anyway, back to the subject at hand, I started thinking about what Rabbi Schneider said about walking in wildernesses in our lives. Now if you remember anything about the Bible, the Jews escaped from Egypt and walked in the Wilderness for 40 years before they were allowed to cross into the land of Israel. According to the Rabbi, this was so that God to teach them many lessons and it took 40 years for these lessons to be taught because they were a stubborn people.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I know I am stubborn, lol. I also know that I have asked God to stop hitting me over the head with a 4 x 4 when he wants to teach me something because I’m being dense! I figure my accident in 1999 was a huge 4 x 4! However, I survived it only by the Grace of God! Everyone said I should have died, all the emergency people that is. God wanted me to teach.
Even as healthy people, I think we walk through our wilderness phases, I have given a lot of thought to this over the last few weeks. When I was first married, was a huge wilderness phase for me. And yet, now that I am over all the abuse stuff, I can look back and see sometimes of laughter and happiness, sometimes of fun and joy.
Since 1999, I have been walking through another wilderness, with oases in between each wilderness period. For 4 and a half years, the wilderness was very dark and dank, and I don’t even like to think about that time. That was the time of completely uncontrolled RSD/CRPS with pain levels so off the pain scale chart as to make it obsolete. Still during that time, I did go to Washington, DC to advocate for RSD/CRPS. I think about it now and wonder how I ever managed it. I could only have done that with the help of God. I sure couldn’t had done that on my own! That wilderness time was long, hard, and so frightening. We were completely financially dependent on our daughter who was only 18 at the beginning. Incredible, but that was also the time when God would take me down stairs at night to write the most incredible poems like ‘Living with Strife’, ‘If You Were Me’, and other poems about learning how to live with illness through faith.
Then, I had a 7-year Oasis, no pain. Then, on and off again wilderness’ and oases and that last few years have gone by and I have survived each one. With each wilderness, I come out having learned something new about myself and my faith has always grown stronger, because I never, ever give up on God. I just don’t know where I would be if I didn’t have faith. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t be here.
As I have been searching in my mind what the Rabbi has been discussing, I have come to the realization that we each walk through our own wildernesses differently. We all handle them in completely unique manners, just like we are unique in ourselves, but still in the end we learn different things. With Chronic Illness, we will never be cured, but there will be times when the wilderness will have an Oasis here and there. If we don’t take what we have learned during our wilderness walk and use it, we will take that path again until we take that knowledge that we learned and apply it to our lives.
I have just gone through another wilderness. They are rough, but we can get through them, especially if we do not turn our back on our faith. If we share that we are in a wilderness so that we are not walking through them alone, we can get past them a little easier. We all go through them. Just as we aren't alone in our Fibromyalgia, we don't have to be alone as we walk through our wildernesses either. So, let someone know if you are going through one. Let our support group, Your Fibromyalgia, know so that we can help you walk through yours as well.
Wildernesses can be dark, lonely and frightening places. Don't walk yours by yourself. We can get past them, but they can be very hard to get past if you try to do it by yourself. I know, I just tried. Then, my Bob and God stepped in and stopped it.
My wish for you is peace within your pain-wracked bodies, that your stresses be lifted up and off your shoulders and that your wilderness should be turned into a beautiful oasis from this moment on. May God Bless you!