Tuesday, October 18, 2011


If you have been following from the beginning, then you have noticed a change of subtitle, not once, but now three times. Names and titles are almost always a struggle for me to choose, and in this case especially, because what I am naming has yet to be written. What I am naming has yet to be known.
In composing an essay or a novel, for instance, an author must have some sense in advance what is going to be said, what is going to happen, what the end will be, why and how it will be the end or point of closure. But even then, it is difficult to choose a really fitting title until after the work is finished.
What has happened here is I have set out with one intention to fulfill, one mission to accomplish, and now find myself being led beyond it. I realize it is not only for me that this is the case, but for you and for the ongoing fulfillment of His purpose in having me exist and be someone who is writing any of this at all.
So, He is bringing us beyond the ideological foundation that has been laid here during the past six months, which I have lived and practiced for many years now, and have tried to convey to you over and over again in various ways, tones and voices… that foundation being composed of writings reflecting a Christian attitude and orientation to bearing the hardships of chronic illness.
As we move now into what would properly be called Part 2 of this blog, I will attempt to name it well in calling it, “The Journey of a Soul in Happy Surrender to God’s Will,” which will simply be, the unfolding of a life in continued fulfillment of its purpose.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Beyond the Boardwalk

Lyme disease is extraordinary in its capacity to utterly ravage a human being, to take every worldly thing we take for granted, away. I have seen the faces of doctors contort with dread in the face of this diagnosis. I have known people to lose their spouses, families, and friendships on account of it. Careers and jobs along with income and then homes have been lost to the debilitation rendered by this disease. The multiplicity of symptoms and effects Lyme can produce within a single individual can cause a person to appear mad when presenting their list of woes to medical professionals as well as those closest to them in an attempt to gain some aid, cooperation or relief. The illness is long and is never really cured. Insult is added to injury in bearing the burden of widespread social ignorance and disagreement within the medical community. Moreover, we live wondering what’s going to happen from day to day inside of us, not knowing when we will ever begin to get better, when illness will stop manifesting in so many ways, when it is Lyme or something else that is wrong with us, knowing that even if Lyme is not the root cause, it’s going to make whatever else we get much worse, for as long as we live.

That said, as I have mentioned before, for me, it is one of the greatest things ever to happen. I harbor this sentiment, I believe, in a manner similar to a veteran’s fond remembrance of his or her formation as a soldier. While it was breaking me down, it was rendering me malleable in the hands of the One to whom I had given myself to form me in holiness. Throughout, I have trusted His choice of ways and the spiritual exercises He has called me to engage, and though I am not quite a saint, I am closer in my becoming than I was before illness.

When I began this blog in April, I intended to wade through the days with you, focused on the business of getting through one after the other, offering the support of a fellow Lyme sufferer and a sort of spiritual touchstone by which to grasp and remember the blessings to be found in illness itself, as that which brings us ever closer to Christ. Yet it seems I have come to a place where the days are not what they used to be… they are not what they were in year one, two, three or four as I am now five months into year five. I have heard from others, it was the fifth year that brought them to a place where they could begin to recover a life that resembled something they had once lived prior to Lyme disease, and it seems this is happening for me. So, it may be that I am blogging now, not only to utter reminders of blessings, but to offer hope.

Before this, I never thought I would have a day ever again where I did not experience at some point in it, crushing exhaustion with or without exertion. I never thought I would be able to eat a cookie again, without my brain swelling, the room spinning, and my thoughts dampening. I never thought I’d fit into my favorite jeans again… and that’s a weight gain I’m talking about! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the image of health I was before infection, but I am now entering a time where I can get by in ways I have not been able to for years. While I still cannot go the length of the boardwalk without stopping to rest a few times, I can actually make it to the boardwalk and walk without fear of getting stranded, unable from enervation to make it back to where I began. You see, there was a time when I could not even have ventured to try. And though my head is still ringing, and my muscles are not as strong as before, my stamina is improving both physically and cognitively which is opening up a new palate of possibilities for the future… hence, the poem of last Wednesday.

For awhile now, I’ve been traversing and pondering this transition toward something new, which I first remarked on in the August post entitled, “A New Season.” Living four and a half years through changing phases of chronic illness, I am tentative in issuing any proclamations of wellness. Yet my life itself is moving toward a change; I am simply following the promptings of the One who is leading me, to whom I have entrusted myself. I don’t know what’s going to happen from here on, but I hope that my journey brings you hope…

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Emerging from this cocoon,
this gauze
that has shrouded me for years,
turning me from who I was
into who I am,
I look back,
beyond the beginning of illness
to the past, like a collage,
an old photo album,
a chest full of memories,
It is strange,
being on the cusp of something new,
when for so long
and so slowly the movement toward it progressed.

Yet there are fragments of the past that need
remembering, addressing, consulting...  

And there is grace meted out,
to face these things.
To remember, the story of my life.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


"When I was a child, suffering used to make me sad;
now I taste its bitterness with joy and peace."