Those of you following my journey will know it is one of endurance. Over the last few days, something had been niggling me. At first I thought I was hearing from God and it was a revelation. Yesterday, I had a breakthrough and realised that God doesn't tease and niggle, whose job is that? That pesky devil, the enemy of course!
Mental health can be such a taboo subject but the more we talk about it, the more people can understand it. I've suffered from bi-polar disorder in the past and I believe I am now healed from it. Have been off medication since 2005 and in the last three or four years I have been learning with God how best to control it and maintain an even level. That was a long journey in itself, I found I was claiming my identity in the disorder, using phrases such as 'I am bi-polar'. I had to accept that that wasn't what made me who I am, yes I can be eccentric and yes I can be equally depressive. But actually, my identity is in God. I'm not bi-polar, I am a princess of God, His precious daughter, of which His love covers all.
So the niggles I mentioned were about balance. And my past affliction was being challenged. I've had about three, four days of being on a buzz then crash cycle, every other day and it took until yesterday for God to break through and cut through the lies. And as God is great at turning things to good, a poem came out of it. Afterwards I did a simple Google image search with the words 'Jesus is my balance' to check and confirm what I felt God was saying. This image with the scales is what came up and a great article that confirmed other things I've been hearing from God lately. Link to this article is at the bottom of the page.
Those of you following my Facebook page, I put a post up about my prayerful 'motto' for 2015 and I felt God say it was 'intimacy'. To attend to my relationship with Him and allow all the things I want to change to flow from there. The Jesus balance article makes reference to Matthew 6:33 about 'seek first the Kingdom and the rest shall be given to you'. If anyone has heard of Heidi Baker, I also read her prophetic vision for the UK yesterday, after I'd written the poem. We are about to come into the biggest revival in the history of Church! The biggest wave of His radical love for centuries. It is such an exciting time.
But equally, I feel, it is an intense time for spiritual attacks. If the Church is getting stronger, and those steadfast Christians out there are intent on holding onto God, no matter what the cost, then think how the devil is going to like that! He will try everything to tear us away from our loving Father God. My fellows brothers and sisters in Christ, be wise to the works of the enemy. We are in a time of patient endurance. Enduring any spiritual battles, waiting patiently for the return of Jesus. And I'm not afraid to say, I think it will happen in something like 100 years, we are that close! The significance of this revival is that God is preparing us to live fully in His presence.
So, to encourage you in your walk with Him, here is the poem.
Floating around in sin,
Feeling like I'll never win,
Doing the wrong thing.
Instead, I need to sing!
Sing of all my Father God has done.
After all, victory is won.
Bring it back to the cross,
Then I won't be at a loss.
Balance is what I need,
But only with Jesus will I succeed.
Only with God's vision
Will I find precision.
On His promises I will stand,
For I trust in His plan.
On the path of endurance I must stay,
If I give up, I will stray.
Shekinah glory feels hard to achieve,
By my faith I must believe.
He never lets go of me,
But I must not let go of Him.
Helpful Links, Photo Credits and Final Thoughts
'People of the Presence' photo - http://www.bible-reflections.net/resource/what-does-the-bible-say-about-heaven/3095/
Talking of revival, this article gives a great reference to Revelation 21:3 talking about God dwelling with us. This gives a good connection to explaining what 'Shekinah glory' means. It is simply the fullness of God's presence, living our day to day lives from that place of dwelling with Jesus. And ties in with the Matthew scripture about focusing first on the Kingdom and allowing all to flow from there.
'Following Jesus and the Myth of Balance' photo and article about being effective in our walk with God - http://blog.yanceyarrington.com/2014/07/19/following-jesus-and-the-myth-of-balance/
'Technology eye vision' photo - http://cs.brown.edu/courses/cs143/
Article and transcript of Heidi Baker's prophetic word over the UK, given in November 2014 -
Ok, so this is going to be a real quickie as a friend from Church has kindly taken Eli out for a little walk, and I mean little... I have about half an hour to write this, so here goes!
I really wanted to share a poem I wrote about 4 years ago on my travels to Uganda. A Church mission that really is 'another story'! But with hearing of other friends' battles, not just my own with Eli, I was reminded of it this morning during a little prayer. So it will be a bit Christian heavy I'm afraid but please don't let that put you off. The main message to take from this is to not give up whatever hardship you are currently going through.
Now here's the real spiritual, crazy, out there, weird stuff that if you don't follow Jesus, you may not understand or care to. So skip this bit if that's you! I just feel, in these 'end times' that the enemy is going to do everything it takes to lead us away from God. It is a real test of faith when life throws some crap at you. I know I've had crises of faith in the past because, as Joyce Meyer says, being a Christian is not for the faint hearted!
I needed to keep this short so I don't want to do my usual and waffle on without really making a point. The point is, God is love and whatever He puts us through or allows the enemy to work in our lives, He always turns it for good. He is a Father, that disciplines us for a reason. I know, when tough times come, there is always something to learn! My journey is about enduring. Not just persevering until the end, but actually enduring it for as long as it may continue without even knowing when it will end! And the end result is strength! And not our own but learning to 'let go, and let God' and trusting Him that His hand is on our lives and we are safe, secure and loved by Him. Remember, all things can be done in His strength. And our weakness is made perfect in His strength.
So this poem basically sums up the need to keep fighting, to keep making the right choices, to keep going with the flow, no matter how hard that is sometimes! As with a wave of water, it's much harder to stand against it, you just get washed away. Whereas, if you stand with your back in line with the flow of the water, you can't see the waves coming but you can hear them. You can feel their rhythm. And when the wave comes, it carries you. Think about it. Here's the poem:
The battle we will fight,
With Your strength and might,
Come what may,
Nothing can stand in our way.
Everyday we have a choice,
To leave our troubles at the door,
Submit to You and rejoice!
To lay everything down,
Let You take away our frowns.
To let You lead us,
To let You feed us,
We bite into Your word,
And apply the good news we have heard.
The battle we will fight,
With Your strength and might,
Come what may,
Nothing can stand in our way.
Well, I hope that has encouraged you. Just keep going, whatever you're going through, you are stronger than you think. Keep it up!
Photo credit: whatgodsaidtonight.blogspot.com
My little boy, Eli, is nearly 6 months old and somehow, we have coped with the relentless regime so far. Whenever I tell people he has reflux, I think most people tend to think of normal posseting and don't know how much of a big deal it is. For those without children a posset is just a small mouthful of sick and all babies do this after a milk feed. Our kind is of the projectile variety! 'So what's a bit of vomit?' I hear some people say. That on its own is frustrating at the best of times. When you get absolutely covered. Needing to change the baby and yourself. Thankfully it's only been so bad I needed a shower just the once.
But the worst part of it all is how never ending it is. Ok, I agree, babies are hard work generally. But oh, if we had the luxury of a 4 hour feeding regime and no medication, that would be bliss! With 3 hourly feeds around the clock, including special requirements and 8 lots of medication, check it out below what our daily routine entails.
6am - Medication, 1st dose of Dom Peridone. This medication relaxes the sphincter to allow fluid to be drawn through. One of the problems Eli has is that he struggles with large volumes of food. Hence little and often with 3 hourly feeds. Thankfully, my husband does this before going to work. I'm not a 'morning person' and having a baby hasn't changed this! Being a night owl, going to bed early to get up early is somewhat alien to me!
6:30am - Milk feed. My lovely husband does this too before work.
9am - Medication, 1st dose of Ranitidine. This medication is for the acid. Supposed to stop it coming back up. This is where my day starts. Eli hates this one and screams the house down. It can take 5-10 minutes to squirt about 1ml of liquid into his mouth.
9:30 - 10:30am - Milk feed. From the start this took us an hour, now we're mostly done in half an hour to 45 minutes. We can't let him guzzle the whole lot in one go as he can't cope with it. He'd just vomit. So we have do about 30mls, then get a burp. Again, no burps equals more vomit! Not so much now but we used to have to then pause for at least ten minutes before carrying on. All the way through, hence why it takes so long.
12pm - Medication, 2nd dose of Dom Peridone. This one is a bit easier as he doesn't mind it as much as the Ranitidine. But note, we only get an hour and a half in between feeds and medication. Which carries on all through the day. Not the luxury of 3 hours if he was on a 4 hour feeding schedule.
12:30pm - Milk feed.
3pm - Medication, 2nd dose of that nasty Ranitidine.
3:30pm - Milk feed.
6pm - Medication, 3rd dose of Dom Peridone.
6:30pm - Milk feed.
8:30pm - Medication, Omeprazole. This one is supposed to block the production of acid in the stomach. My husband takes over from this point and often does the 6:30pm feed when he gets in from work.
9pm - Medication, 3rd and final dose of Ranitidine.
9:30pm - Milk feed.
11pm - Medication, 4th and final dose of Dom Peridone.
1am - Milk feed. Again, my husband does this one.
4am - Milk feed. My turn for a night time feed.
Recently, the schedule has changed again. We started early weaning about a month ago (under the hospital's guidance). But we kept up with the above schedule for 3 and a half months. (From when Eli was finally released from hospital in May). The sleep deprivation was getting ridiculous! We still have 8 feeds a day, now 6 milk feeds and 2 solid feeds. So still 3 hourly and all the medication. Just no 4am feed thankfully. We take it in turns to do the 1am instead so we at least get alternate nights of a long block of sleep. It's better but somewhat of a tease! Every day when I'm due to get up I just want to sleep forever.
I feel like this continues to get harder. My dear Mum told me, (and I'd heard it from others too) that with having children, things don't necessarily get easier, the difficulties just change! But considering I work with and have experience of 2-5 year olds, I'm very much hoping it's at that point it will get easier. Plus it's my favourite age, just when the conversation starts. I love it, the things they come out with. Such simple ways of looking at things, no worries, no cares, no inhibitions that some of us may carry as adults.
I was so looking forward to having my baby when I was pregnant. I was somewhat delusional and so I'm told, most first time parents are. But having reflux to deal with on top of the normal adjustment that 'your life is not your own anymore', it was and still is, a bit too much to deal with. I read another blog somewhere about how reflux takes the joy out of parenthood. I can really identify with this. Even now, I ask God what the purpose of it all is for. Remember, no point asking why when hardship comes. Better to ask what the purpose is or what you're supposed to learn from it. Strength of character, endurance, among other things are what have come from my trials and tribulations. The worrying this is, the answer I received was 'to prepare you for what is to come'. Very cryptic and not much of an answer! We shall see what God has in store for me.
I'm Julia, Just Creative Julia, jolly pleased to meet you!
Welcome to my creative lifestyle blog, established 2014. My main sections are: creativity including crafting, poetry and interior design; well being including mental health, recipes and my faith in God; personal including parenting and my general introvert deep thoughts. You can also have a browse in my shop and Etsy shop.