Broken at Birth

imageI think I have lived long enough to learn, although an ongoing process, that as hard as I seek, no one or nothing but God can fill the hole in my heart. I believe I was born with this hole. Broken at birth.

I have sought after friends, family members, things – consciously and subconsciously. A husband, no matter how loving or a child, no matter how loved can fill this hole, a deep chasm that cries out for fulfillment and wholeness.

I stumble often and again, consistently and constantly, telling myself that just a hug, just an “I love you”, just some extra patience extended toward me – these are the things I seek – the things I long for and that will pour a shovelful of fulfillment into that empty space.

But, they don’t.

It isn’t anyone’s fault. There is no blame to hand off. It is a case of trying to fill a hole made intentionally by a God who wants me to realize He put it there and only He can fill it.

When I stop and recognize that truth, slow down enough to actually dwell on what that really means, I begin to drink of His love, His forgiveness, and His sovereignty. I begin to experience His blessings of fullness and of a beautiful new wholeness.

I find myself setting others free from impossible expectations I have imposed upon them and in the process, free myself. I may have been born into this world broken and in need, but I will leave whole and not wanting for anything.

The Meaning of A Rainbow

Rainbow of Tulips (2016) by Sherri Woodbridge
Rainbow of Tulips (2016) by Sherri Woodbridge

Generally, when you see a rainbow, clouds are not too far away. To see a rainbow, you need sunlight and raindrops. Like glass prisms, raindrops break sunlight into different colors and reflect it to make a rainbow.

Some say that the rainbow comes after the storm. While that is true, it is also true that rainbows can come during the wake of a storm.

After God turned off the floodgates of the great flood, He told Noah that He would put a rainbow in the sky to serve as a reminder that never again would He destroy the earth by a flood. (See Genesis 9 in the Old Testament)

The rainbow was and still is a reminder of God’s patience to a fallen world. It is a reminder of His faithfulness. It is a symbol of His mercy and His grace and it is a symbol of peace.

Our warrior God, the One who fights for us, hung up his bow in the sky and promised to all humanity that never again would He send a flood to destroy the earth. He didn’t need the reminder – we did. A reminder of His faithfulness. A reminder of patience and of His grace.

When the storms in our life threaten to take us out to sea, raging wild, causing us to fear for our lives, it is sometimes easy to feel God has forgotten us and has left us to drown. But then the skies part just a teensy-weensy bit and what do we see? Raindrops. Millions of raindrops and one humongous rainbow. A reminder that He is in control. A reminder that He is faithful. A reminder that He is a God.

You can’t view a rainbow unless the sun is behind you. The light has to break through the prism of raindrops so a rainbow can been seen. And so it does. And so it will. The light of the sun breaks through the raindrops that have pounded hard upon us, trying to break us down and leave us feeling hopeless. And when the light passes through those drops of rain, it bends to create a beautiful rainbow.

How many times have you seen a rainbow and seemed to feel better? Either because you were awestruck by its beauty or because you were reminded of God’s faithfulness? He put that beauty in the sky for us, so that we would remember HE is in control. That He always keeps His promises.

There may still be clouds hovering above. There may be rain pouring down, but look for the Son and you’ll find a rainbow and there you will also find… Peace.
Did you know…
Because the raindrops are always ‘moving, the way we see the rainbow is constantly changing, and as two people cannot occupy the same place in space at the same time, every body sees a different rainbow. So, every time you see a rainbow, it’s God’s personal reminder to you that He never changes and He’s right there with you through the storms.

Why Me?

imageIf you have PD, chances of asking the question, ‘Why me?’ may have popped into your head on one occasion or another. You may ask why and I suppose my answer to you would be what an older gentleman once said to me.

I was raking my front lawn one afternoon when my neighbor walked over. A few months prior, he had shared with me that he had found he had cancer. On that day, he stood on the other side of the fence telling me how he picked my sweet peas on occasion for his wife. He was a gruff gentleman, around sixty, and had been diagnosed with a form of leukemia that was rapid in its quest to win his life. He fought his fight well with that disease but eventually, and sadly, he passed away.

As he approached me that afternoon, he took a seat on the back of my son’s truck tailgate and began to talk. In the conversation he said, “I was walking over here to see what you’d say to me when I asked you why you thought God allowed this to happen to me. But, I think I just figured it out.” He paused thoughtfully and then said, “Why not me?”

When we ask the question, Why me?, Sometimes it seems we are saying we’re above everyone else. That perhaps someone else deserves this unfortunate situation, but not me.

So – why not me? Why someone else and not me? That’s a tough, hard question – either one. We’d not wish PD, nor any disease, on anyone else, so why us? We would not wish our loved ones to suffer in any form, so why them? And yet… Why me?  Tough. Hard.

All I know is that for some divine (yes, divine) reason I was meant to walk this journey and so… Why not me? Why not run when I can, stumble when I will, fall is I may? Why not breathe it all in while I can, to the best of my ability, not knowing what tomorrow’s may be? Why not glean what wisdom gather, sow what encouragement that will be soaked up, walk beside another struggling more than I? Why focus on the what-ifs, the unknowns, the faceless fears, the why-mes, which only lead to self-absorption? I’ve been there. It ain’t pretty.

I’d much rather breathe each moment focusing on the outward, not focusing inward. That does not mean that I’m refusing or denying the fact that this disease is wreaking havoc on the inner workings of this temporary shell they call a body, but that I’d rather focus on others that I can still be an encouragement to, help some one on their own unique journey, or in some way, no matter how small, be an inspiration for someone else. Because after all, we are all chosen for some thing, for some time, for some reason, so – why not me?

Some statistics you may not know:  It’s been proven that gender plays a role in the development of PD. It’s also been proven that men are at a higher risk. It’s believed that estrogen plays a part in this as it plays a role in protecting a woman’s body from chemical changes that occur with PD.

That being the case, women who have undergone hysterectomies can be at a higher risk. And, if that is true, then in all probability, women who choose estrogen replacement therapy can run a lower risk compared to other women in the same age bracket.

Caucasians are at a greater risk than African Americans or Asian Americans.

Family history plays a part if a family member with Parkinson’s disease had symptoms develop before the age of 40. If PD was diagnosed in later years, there was not a higher risk to family members.

PD can happen to anyone, whether they fall into the higher risk groups or not. And, if that’s true, than the opposite can be said – if you fall into the higher risk groups, that doesn’t guarantee you’ll get PD. We may as well just state the facts:  Anyone can get PD. Anyone can get cancer or a cold. The important thing to remember is to enjoy the now. It’s the only time you’re guaranteed.

For more information on today’s stats, please visit: The Better Health Centre.

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