Friday, March 21, 2014

GUEST POST: BATTLING LYME & BOTTLE OF TEARS

This last guest post this week is someone that I have only become friends with through the wonders of the internet and social media.  We have many mutual friends, because she grew up in Little Rock, and I did work with her husband at Kanakuk many moons ago, but I have never actually met Lindsey Wheeler.  I hope to remedy that someday, because I feel certain that I would like her very much in person.

Lindsey and Chris have one beautiful daughter that they adopted from Guatemala and live in Tennessee.  To say that Lindsey has walked and is walking a hard road is an understatement.  But - to see her joy and the ways that she clings to the Lord is so encouraging.  Now, she is turning some of her hardship into something more - a way to encourage others who are suffering, as well as raise funds to help cover her medical bills.  It's called Bottle of Tears, and I am excited to see it flourish!  Here's her story.

..............................................................................................................

Bottle of Tears isn't something random. It is a vision that God gave me in the midst of my own pain and suffering. Some of you know my story and some don't. I am Lindsey. I am a 34 year old wife and mom that struggles every single day of my life just to get out of bed.

1524745_10152822935745400_1232683155_n

I went many years wondering what was wrong with me. I knew I was very sick, and doctor after doctor would misdiagnose me. I was told I had "Chronic Fatigue" and "Fibromyalgia" and that I was "Depressed/Anxious." Each diagnosis left me just feeling so alone and confused because my body kept getting worse. I would tell people I was very fatigued, and they would smile and say "of course you are, you're a new mom" or "yes, me too...busy week." But the fatigue actually felt weightier than that, like I'd been carrying a bag of bricks so long and so far that I wasn't sure how much longer I could manage, desperate for relief. Finally, after years of being misdiagnosed, I found a doctor that listened. I remember bawling in her office telling her that I felt like I was dying and no one was listening to me.

Later that day after tons of blood work, I found out I actually have Lyme disease.

I remember that day thinking "Praise the Lord, I have a real diagnosis. I'm not really sure what Lyme disease is but at least these antibiotics will fix me." Oh man, I wish that would have been the case. You name it, I've done it. I've done rounds and rounds of intense antibiotic treatments, bicillin shots twice a week, holistic therapies, hyperbaric chambers, nutritional iv therapies, foot baths, saunas, drinking things that I still have nightmares about. And guess what friends?!

I'm still sick.

But, I refuse to give up HOPE. I know that God has made me for more than just this sickness. I want to love others even in my brokenness. I think for a long time I was waiting to be healed before I would allow myself to dream. Not anymore. Bottles of Tears was birthed out of the many hours of my own tears. Years later, I am just now realizing and am starting to grasp how much God loves me...just the way I am. He doesn't want me whole before I start to give of myself.

So, here I am friends. I'm broken. I'm in pain most of the day. I am a mom to my precious adoptive daughter (who also has adoption trauma/struggles too many to list). But, I'm here and want to pray for you. I want you to know that you aren't in this alone. Let's keep fighting! God hasn't given up on us.

So, what is Bottle of Tears?

Mailing hope in bottles to those that need it most as a reminder that no one is forgotten.
This is my heart behind this new dream...A "Bottle of Tears" vintage glass bottle is a small token of hope to remind the grieving and broken that they are not alone. My deep desire is that you know that God sees you. He loves you. There is purpose in your pain. And, He's not done with you yet. The beauty of a vintage bottle is that every one is unique, just like you. In the midst of the pain, when everything seems unclear, I pray this gift will be a small glimmer of hope in your story.

The verse behind Bottle of Tears and what will be rolled up on a vintage sheet of paper in each bottle...

"You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book." Psalm 56:8

Lots of love,
Lindsey Wheeler
www.bottleoftears.com

bottle copy

0 comments: