Known in the Gates: Part 2, The Inside Story

One of the movies that has really resonated deeply with me is, The Breakfast Club.  Please see my previous post for the catchy theme song that underscored the film and one of the most poignant scenes that is also pertinent to Part 2 of this 3-part blog.

In Part 1, I described the isolation that I have felt when enduring a serious illness and how the Lord still gets me through the toughest of days.  His Word is my greatest comfort; the leading of the Holy Spirit and His presence are my greatest companions.  I ended with a question,

But how well does he really know me?

Sure, my Lord crafted me before I was born and set forth all that I would be, all that I would endure and accomplish.  His Words in Psalm 139 declare that He knows my “innermost being.” Does this include the longing of my heart as well?  If it does, why has He allowed me to become so dreadfully isolated?

Maybe someday I will get to see why so many family and friends have chosen to “walk on by” me as it says in the theme song of The Breakfast Club.  Have I not been a good friend?  Maybe I was not.  I remember about two years into this ordeal someone contacted me and asked me about getting together for coffee.  I replied “yes” and then I never heard from her again.  My spirits had soared then crashed and burned.  For believers in Jesus Christ, the answer to the “why” question is usually left for eternity.  We simply may never know “why” this side of heaven.

Those of you not living in isolation may not have any idea how much Satan uses this experience to tear a person down.  He can prey upon all of our negative emotions and be allowed to create havoc in our lives.  (Yes, ultimately God is still in charge!)  Yet I know that it’s really not about resisting Satan or about losing the people in my life.  I resist the devil and his demons with the sword of the spirit:  the Word of God as described in Ephesians 6:10-17.  People come and go in our lives and that is the normal ebb and flow of life.  It really is about my response to the taunting, the loss of these relationships.

My challenge has been particularly great due to the effect that this chronic illness has had on my brain.  Responding to Satan’s lies and the loss of relationships has been affected by the change in brain chemistry that came with chronic illness.  My ability claim victory in the name of Jesus Christ and fully embody the companionship of my Lord have been affected.  Satan’s lies have been magnified.  My social skills have eroded.  My ability to think clearly has been altered.  And I struggled to override these skill deficits but could not, even if I tried.  Allow me to explain.

Only recently did we discover that excessive neurotransmitters called catecholamines (epinephrine, norephinephrine, and dopamine) are likely contributing to my mood changes, thinking and communication skills in addition to possibly causing the convulsive episodes.  This is happening due to the expression or “turning on” of polymorphisms (SNPs) or breaks in several enzymes that help form my DNA code.  The DNA code is the instruction manual or blueprint from which the body functions.  Everyone has a unique combination of broken SNPs that get turned on by illness or significant stressors in the environment (such as exposure to mold).  For me the factors included everything that I have written about in this blog:  biotoxin illness/hepatitis, latent Lyme disease, Candida toxicity, mold illness, infected root-canaled teeth, and mercury toxicity.  That’s a lot of stressors!  These illness and environmental challenges became a trigger for disaster.  I even have the data to prove it, all of it!

methylation cycle, Dr. Amy Yasko, SNPs, Lyme disease, mold illness, mitochondrial, mito disease, methylation, B6 deficiency, CIRS, mold illness,
One version of a methylation cycle from http://ihateticks.me/2014/10/06/methylation-for-dummies/

For some people this process manifests as a Mitochondrial Disease or a disruption in the methylation cycle inside the nucleus of the cells of our bodies.  My thought life was affected.  My mood was affected too.  I had waking and nightly nightmares not based in any reality past or present.  Those were internal things that my beloved husband, Steve, and the healthcare community could not see very often.  Several healthcare practitioners labeled me as having a mental illness of sorts, often without even completing a mental status exam or workup!  Gratefully, Steve believed me.  They all saw the wretched convulsive episodes that have plagued me for hours every day for 3 1/2 years.  And Satan was allowed to enter into the whole dynamic with lies and attacks that I will definitely write about at another time.  Absolute mental and physical wretchedness.

But now the gig is up!  Two days ago I woke up from a lovely nap after starting to treat this condition.  I had my first 16 hours seizure-free!  It’s as if someone turned on the lights in my brain!  Not only do I have a formula for correcting the brain-part of the process but the prayers of deliverance against the spiritual warfare are taking hold.  The cascade of negative mental, physical, social, emotional, and spiritual suffering is beginning to turn around. Lord willing, I am going to get well!

My Jesus knows all about every aspect of what I have described here.  He also knows the desires of my heart.  How do I know this?  My prayers long before this illness began was to become whole.  I had been broken by the consequences of a hard life:  events out of my control.  Many times during trauma the Holy Spirit would bring encouraging scripture to me that kept me moving forward.  Yeah, finding hope and finding myself has come through horrible, ongoing isolation and trauma.  I have worked hard to recover from so much suffering in my heart, my mind, my body.  Each step of the way has been both painful and meaningful.  Yet I tell you, Gentle Reader that nothing has been wasted!  I have learned to trust the process in EVERY CIRCUMSTANCE under the protection of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  And now the desires of my heart are being realized.  Cool beans.

So how does one rebirth the desires of one’s heart?

Jer 29.11b

To be continued in Part 3 . . .

The knife in the soup pot

Just when I thought I could get my act together and get a little cooking done, some absent-mindedness took over.

It’s not that I meant to cook the paring knife in my stock pot filled with bone broth.   Oh no, that would not enhance the flavor or nutrition at all! Tee hee.  It’s just how it goes sometimes.  It fell in after cutting up the one carrot allowed on my low oxalate diet and I was too foggy in the head to pull it out.  “I’ll do it later,” was my thinking and later came in about 5 hours.  Sish.

Ever have a day like this?  Sure, we all have.   You find the salt shaker in the frig or your boots in the car.  After travelling with TWO 15+ hour stretches  plus another 10+ hour jaunt these past 8 days, this issue was actually our “new normal!”  Where is the hair blow dryer?  Well it’s behind the driver’s seat in the truck of course, attached to an extension cord.  (And this saved everything when multiple locks froze on the camper more than once!)

Sometimes a little insanity is just what a person needs.  Keeps things fresh, right?  Here’s an extreme example that is my reality today.  When I start convulsing it might just be due to a need to clear some satanic warfare and not the mold residuals from my husband’s breath and trip to a known water-damaged building.  After all, when the convulsions continued this afternoon it wasn’t long before we discerned that he had already de-contaminated and more was going on here.  We probably had chatted a little too soon after the exposure to the mycotoxins I cannot tolerate.  Yet I love talking with my beloved River Bear!  It’s so easy to forget the insane myriad of details that must be followed  in the normalcy of everyday life actvities.

This time there was a battle going on.  Not just at stake was a fluke of mismatched tasks in following our protocol.  This was real.  We knew from other episodes that Satan has used this illness to temp us with divisiveness, to misplace anger and bitterness, to doubt God’s soveignty and more.  Praying through it, keeping me from harm in the process, citing scripture verses, and singing hymns set me free once again.  We deal with this NOT because I am not indwelt the Holy Spirit by the way.  I belong to Jesus.  The Lord will always be the victor for those who believe.  Even Satan cannot snatch us out of His hand.

Spiritual warfare can sway us from the hope we have in Jesus Christ. So that is the test here.  Yet I will never be moved.  (Ephesians 6:13)  No amount of hassle, suffering, horror, or weirdness will ever change my mind. Such is the power of faith in the One who will trash Satan and his demons into the lake of fire someday.  Jesus remains THE VICTOR on the throne and delivers us from evil.  I just get extra doses that strengthen this spiritual gift needed for the life crafted for me.  And then you get to read about it!

Hey thanks, Gentle Reader.  And be encouraged.   THERE IS NOTHING that can separate you from your Heavenly Father’s love either:  no matter what happens on this earth.  (Romans 8:38-39)  Come into a personal relationship, a closer relationship with Him through His Son and dwell in His house forever.  And don’t worry.   While things will never be perfect here, they will be in heaven.  No knives in the soup pot!  Just bliss, joy, peace, love, happiness, and the spiritual food of the angels as we sit at the feet of Jesus taking in His glory.

Oh yeah.   And the Bear who loves me will be there too.  So glad.  :j