God's Grace and Peace to You...
The Lupus Diagnosis
OUT IN (left) came to me as I was experiencing
two more bouts of painful hands and arms. These
occurred in February and were the most severe to
date. My husband characterized them as
"crippling". I had to agree! Over the years, there
had been no help from doctor visits. I had resigned
myself to “living with it”, but the pain was so much
worse this time! In the original version of this
piece, I had added the words: “Physical healing
may not always be the Plan, but spiritual healing
is….” Later, I removed them, realizing I was
speaking mostly to myself! Then, on March 26, on
yet another doctor referral, I was finally diagnosed
with SLE or systemic lupus erythematosis. Based
on my health records, the rheumatologist feels I
have had this over 30 years. There is no cure, and
so this piece with the original additional words is
taped over my desk to remind me.
|OUT IN: “Therefore we do not lose heart, though
outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being
renewed day by day.” 2 Cor 4:16, NIV.
Next are three of many pieces that reflected the roller
coaster ups and downs of grappling with the diagnosis
and the peace of knowing that God would provide and
has much yet planned for me!
LOOK TO OTHERS (right) was to remind me to snap out
of it and not be tempted to throw self-pity parties! I
needed to remember that looking beyond our own
interests is what God has called us to do. The isolated
bird on top is me - looking down and remembering the
"others" that God has put in my life.
THE RACE (below) was to remind me to look forward
and not back, and not long for a different situation. Both
could hinder the plan God had for me.
EVERGREEN (below right) was to remind me... all that I
am able to do, say, or be comes from the Lord. And all
He allows is for my benefit because He cares for me.
The diagnosis brought new light into my life. Seems
weird to say, but it's true. GREAT LIGHT (left) is my
testimony of this. The 30 years of coping with the
ailments of lupus planted many seeds of self-doubt
and questions about the future... hovering over me
like a dark cloud. Each time my joints or various
other symptoms flared up, I never knew if or when
I would return to “normal” again. I had to stop
doing calligraphy completely for 2 years in the 90’s!
But now, with God’s grace (part of which provided
a diagnosis), I no longer walk in that darkness. The
light of His grace has instead taken over! He has
given me new eyes with which to see Him, His
creation, my life, His Plan for me...and new hope.
YES! I truly thank God for this diagnosis!
MORE AND MORE (right): The grace and peace He
has given me is beyond more and more! I describe
this painting in my catalog as flowers “exploding”in
a grassy area... because that is how I felt when I
completed this piece. God had provided the grace
to create 4 new pieces (Tower, God’s Will, More
and More, Great Light) all within 5 days…with no
hand or arm problems! He gave me the courage to
tackle that which I previously saw as overwhelming
and completely unattainable. And He gave me
brand new eyes with which to see it all. I was in
the midst of an explosion of God's grace! Yes,
there are also down times with this disease, but
God has sent blessings to outweigh them.
And so the plan continues...
|LOOK TO OTHERS: "Each of you should look
not only to your own interests, but also to the
interests of others." Philippians 2:4 NIV
|THE RACE: "Let us throw everything off that hinders and
the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with
perseverance the race marked out for us." Heb 12:1 NIV
|GREAT LIGHT: “The people who walked in darkness have
seen a great light.” Is9:2, NIV
|MORE AND MORE: “May God give you more and more
grace and peace.” 1 Peter 1:2, NLT
|EVERGREEN: "I am the One who answers your prayers
and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all
your fruit comes from Me." Hosea 14:8 NLT