Tag Archives: encouragement in Christ

Valley Fever Journey~ Chapter 5

I was so sick. I had never been this ill in my entire life. (Feel free to read Chapters 1-4 of my journey for just how sick!) I was in the hospital for 11 days, waiting for a diagnosis of what was wrong with me.

One diagnosis came early, Sweets Syndrome, a “very rare inflammatory skin condition, or Acute Febrile Neurtophilic Dermatosis.” Say that three times real fast! That explained one set of rashes.

On October 18, 2020 I received the diagnosis that I was praying it wasn’t.  Valley Fever, or Coccidioidomycosis.  Apparently, I inhaled a fungus which causes “a disease especially in humans and domestic animals found in dry soils of the southwestern U.S., Mexico, and Central America. It can be asymptomatic or present as a mild to serious flu-like illness marked chiefly by fever, cough, sore throat, headache, fatigue, and pneumonia but sometimes becoming disseminated beyond the lungs especially to the skin, bones, joints, and meninges resulting in painful lesions, swollen joints, or meningitis.”

After the suggestion that I could have this, I prayed for any other result.  They ran several tests.  But if you know me, you know that I looked up all of them.  This one I did not want, others could go away…this one would not.

Thankfully, early diagnosis is a key.  Many of my friends that live in the Southwest(FB support group) have gone undiagnosed for years.  This resulted in dissemination, loss of lung, limb, meningitis and in some cases, death.

Fast forward….I am so much better.  I am now going to the ID doctor once every six months, so this month I will go back.  I have lesions, nodules and a cavity in my left lung as of six months ago, and my titer has been 1:2 for an entire year.  This reading indicates an active disease, but a good reading.  I am praying it is >1:2 this time around, which would indicate dormancy.

Those of you who have experienced “fatigue” know there is a marked difference in it and “being tired.”  That has improved as well.  I am walking 3-4 miles a day, which is a long way from using a walker for two months.

I still have joint and muscle pain, but it is tolerable.  I “eat to live” rather than “live to eat.”  Anyone that knows me well knows I stick to a pretty strict eating plan, and it has helped me.  I do listen to my body and if I overdo it…my Sweet’s Syndrome rash will break out and remind me it is okay to rest.

As I have said so many times..”everyone is dealing with something.” The pressure is on my friends.  But Jesus Christ has never left me, and He never will leave you. He told us in this world we would have troubles…but that He would bring us peace, and that we could take heart, He had overcome it all through His death on the cross. (John 16:33)

So what about my prayer?  Lord, anything but Valley Fever! He did not answer that prayer the way I wanted. I am not sure why, but I trust Him. He did answer my prayer in getting me through it.  Getting me through those tough days and nights when the pain was almost intolerable….bringing me peace when I was not sure what my future would hold.  Sending confirmations of His love through song, Bible verses and other people.

That is good news.  Remember you are never alone.  Once He is your Savior, He will walk with you through every one of those troubles, and friends…there will be troubles.  We live in a very fallen world.

None of us knows what tomorrow holds.  I know that I will always have to be mindful with my Valley Fever and whatever else this body has to endure. I know that it is okay.  No matter what, He will get me through it.

Jesus Christ is our only true Hope.

I am so grateful for those of you that prayed for me and took time to continue to check on me.  You were used to encourage us.

My prayer for you is that as you deal with the trials of this life, you will have the peace that only He can give. 

~Be Encouraged Today~

   Tammy

Dream of Direction

Hello, it has been a while!

A couple of weeks ago, I woke up with 1 Peter on my mind.  I usually don’t dream about specific books of the Bible, so I made a mental note to read and study it.

I was already doing a study on Revelation (Amir Tsarfati’s “Revealing Revelation,” which is one of the best studies I have ever done.)  But, not wanting to get off track, I put Peter off. 

For someone who seems to forget things rather easily, 1 Peter would not go away! I finally began to read it and was not surprised that immediately it spoke to my heart and right where I was emotionally and spiritually.  And as I read on, I realized its theme was hope for believers in their suffering. And as believers, it continue to let us know that we can allow the grace of God to be amplified in our lives.

“Praised [honored, blessed] be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ [the Messiah]. By His boundless mercy we have been born again to an ever-living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,[born anew] into an inheritance which is beyond the reach of change and decay [imperishable], unsullied and unfading, reserved in heaven for you, who are being guarded by God’s power through[your] faith [until you full inherit that final] salvation that is ready to be revealed [for you] in the last time.”  I Peter 1:3-5 AMP

I have always believed that I was called to be an encourager, thus my participation in particular ministries over the last three decades and these blog posts and books, among other things.  It truly is “in giving we receive”.  Life has often gotten in the way, but I pray that through these trials, “the grace of God has been amplified in…my life.”

As God continued to speak to me through His word, I realized how timely it was several times throughout the week.  After having a couple of conversations with people, I would come upon the very situation we were talking about…you guessed it, right in 1 Peter!

Why even my desk calendar for August 6 was on 1 Peter 5:6-7 AMP “Therefore humble yourselves [demote, lower yourselves in your own estimation] under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you, casting the whole of your care[all your anxieties, worries, concerns once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.”

Why does any of this matter?  Because we matter…to God.  He wants to have an intimate relationship with us. He wants to save us! The God of the Universe wants us to know that He loves us, and that He has a plan for our lives.  He wants to encourage us, but as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, sometimes we are too busy…to hear what He has to say.  

We get so “busy” with the things we think we should be busy with and those “good things” that we miss the very Word He wants to speak into our heart for the moment we need it most.

I simply don’t want to miss Him and what He has to say.  He has always been faithful and will continue to be so.  I know that to always be true, even when its hard…even if it doesn’t turn out like I want it to….He is faithful.

I pray He helps me listen more, and talk less.

~Be Encouraged Today

Tammy

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Winter Gum Balls

What do you see when you look at this tree?

Some see an almost barren, winter gum ball tree.  A representation of the season that is not a favorite of mine.  All I have to do is mention “gum balls” and everyone knows it has no value other than its ability to produce a seed ball that can get in lawn mowers and shoot out at ankles causing a deep gash, depending on the distance and speed of its trajectory! And forget walking barefoot.

Yet others see a chance to recharge, a chance to rest in a way that will bring the beauty of spring and renewal. All the while still seeing the irritating gum balls.

Now look closely.

I saw something in this lonely looking tree that I have never seen before.  

Ever.  

And I have looked at that tree for over 35 years.

Yellow Birds.

Dozens of yellow birds, picking out the seeds from those dreaded gum balls!  I always wondered where my precious yellow birds went in the winter, and would wait patiently each spring to see my first one. Were they always in my front yard and I was too busy to see them?(That’s another post for another time!)

My “yellow bird” or American Goldfinch has come to mean a lot to me through the years.  To make a long story very short, this bird has become my own personal rainbow. https://yelobrd777.com/2015/03/10/whats-your-personal-rainbow/

I know that God is very personal, and “yellow bird” has shown up over and over when I have needed him too.  This day I described was no exception.

Except I wasn’t looking.  The most I have ever seen together.  My heart has been emotionally broken for several reasons of late and I have been praying for so many serious issues…on the very day they showed up!

Is your heart broken too?

What’s the big deal? It is just a coincidence.

I feel differently. It was if God reached down and gave me His love in a way in which I was not expecting on a cold, blustery day in January.  He reminded me that He was here with me and had not left nor forsaken me.  

And in an irritating gum ball tree that I thought had no purpose at all.  Looks like the birds thought differently.  

And the Father did too.  He uses all situations, no matter how uncomfortable, how frustrating, how misunderstood… for His glory and He builds my faith.

What is your yellow bird?

~Be Encouraged Today~

Tammy