Thank you, as ever, for your continuing prayers; they are making such a difference! In the fortnight or so since I last updated you there have been marked improvements. Many, if not all, of these have to do with my core strengthening, so a special thanks to those of you who prayed for a muscle you had never heard of for the first time after the last update.
I am learning that, thankfully, God isn’t restricted to my knowledge of what’s going on in my body. But I am also learning about the power of specifically targeted prayers – it’s as though they accelerate the healing process!
I am now able to walk short distances without any crutches at all! Four of us managed to get a short break away in the countryside last week, and there was much laughter and cries of thanks to God as on the first night I made an impromptu dash across the living room of the accommodation, crutch-less. That was over a week ago, and now I am able to safely walk around the kitchen to make a cup of tea without holding on to any surfaces, whereas the rest of the time I am using just the one crutch to help me get around.
I have also started to have a go at driving again. Before we went away I had a go at reversing up and down the drive, and just this afternoon I went on a short drive around the neighbourhood. I don’t know whether I was more amazed at the fact of how easy I found it, or the fact that my Dad, who bravely sat through the whole thing, considered me safe!
One of the issues I’m continuing to get to grips with is the side effects of the drugs. I am still taking four different painkillers, one of which is administered using a patch. Much like a Nicotene patch, it is replaced every few days and is a slow-release form of the drug. It is also the most addictive of the four, being a narcotic. As such, when we resume the weaning process, the doctor will be starting with this.
I am made very much aware when it is patch-changing-day by the extra pain, both stiff-pain all over (think very bad flu) and my usual nerve (“good”) pain from the knees down. Once the patch is changed, I experience a buzzy feeling as well as a sudden yet prolonged sense of energy. It’s like I feel normal again!
I am keen to come off this drug in particular as soon as I can. The reality, however, is that I still get pain breaking through the pain relief I’m already taking; I need the pain to reduce before we start to wean off the drugs. And yet most of the pain (the nerve kind) is a sign of healing taking place – which is a good thing!
So please could I ask you to focus your prayers in the following way in the coming days:
• Thank God for the amazing progress He has enabled over the past fortnight: the ability to walk crutch-free and to drive.
• Ask for more of the above, longer distances without crutches, and increased confidence on the road. Stronger legs and stronger core.
• That I would know God’s grace to me as I endure the ups and downs of the drugs while they are still necessary; yet that we would quickly reach a point where they are not.
• For continued grace and patience for my family as they support me as wonderfully as they have been through the ups and downs. It is not just I who has big decisions about the future ahead: we all need to know a sense of His grace and joy, yet also purpose from God at this time.
On Sunday I was encouraged to hear this verse afresh:
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
It is this sense of Christ living me – of my life not being my own – that sustained me in the very moments that my life was in danger. Knowing that His eternal life was in me gave me inner confidence that I could not be snuffed out unless He had decided that. I did not need to desperately cling to life – I had the life of my Creator at the core of my being! What amazing riches we have in Him.