Warning! My Eyes Are Hot!


“We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.”  – 2 Cor. 4:8-9

2013, “The most lonely I’ve been since…”

Eyes On Fire

As if the approaching holidays were not already hard enough, December 2012 began months of gut-wrenching loneliness and extreme exhaustion.  Coady was getting sicker and sicker and I was starting to have dizzy spells.  I also started to notice that the white part of my eyes were not so white, and my eyes felt like there was a fire burning behind them.  One of my doctors dismissed it several months earlier, but she didn’t really look at my eyes.  So after several months and a slow progression of it getting worse, I asked my sports doctor about it when I was in to see him for the balance issue.

He said the discoloring was very subtle, but if he looked close enough he could see what I was talking about.  He set me up with a new family doctor who saw me that very day.  That’s when the weekly blood work began, lasting for months, which led to a full ultra-sound of my abdomen.  My liver enzymes were climbing and the team of doctors could not understand why.  Apparently, an angry liver makes my eyes hot and can cause dizziness.  As time passed without answers, I continued to get physically weaker.  The higher the levels climbed, the harder it became to perform the simplest of tasks.  I was getting scared.  I went from running 10 miles to struggling to stand up.  I felt like I had 100 lbs. weight in my legs.  To parallel my failing health, Coady was becoming more ill with each passing day and dropping weight.  He was having test after test.  I was having test after test.  I felt like I was carrying Mt. Everest every time I stood up and Coady was having to be rushed outside every hour or half hour.  Sometimes he would have to go out 3 or 4 times in a row just so he could try to empty his bladder.  To add to the pain, this was all happening during the coldest months of the year.  Needless to say, I was exhausted and felt the extreme loneliness of this valley.  He and I were in this completely alone.

I was at a complete loss.  I am very proactive when it comes to my health.  I don’t drink alcohol or smoke.  I eat as much organic as I can.  I exercise.  I do everything I’m suppose to do.  So, on my way home from the ultra-sound I began to pray – again.  I poured out my heart to God.

“You’ve stripped me of everything and that is Your right, but I don’t understand this.  I don’t know what else to do…  Regardless, God, You owe me nothing.  No matter what, You are good.”

An honest prayer does the heart, mind, and soul good.

Help Me Find It

My level of fear rose when I discovered that my doctor had requested the technician to take scans of a larger area than what she and I had originally talked about.  In her office, we talked about the liver and kidneys.  She ordered a complete ultra-sound of my entire abdomen.

On my way home from the ultra-sound, I came to a resolve.  I told God that He will either heal me or take me home, because if they found anything I was not taking treatment.  I have no family, no kids, and to be completely honest, I was too tired and had no more fight left in me.  I do not have a death wish.  On the contrary, I want to live and love!  But, I am also good with going home.

I’m not strong enough on my own…

“For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.  Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.” – 2 Cor. 4:15-16

If He heals me – I Win!  If He takes me home – I Win!

It only took me 15 minutes to drive home, so you can imagine how my heart leaped up to my throat when my phone rang 5 minutes after I walked in the door.  During the 5 minutes before the call, I sat at my kitchen table and said these words, “I get it God.  I am not in control.  I can do all I know to do, but really, it is all up to You.  I get it.  I can’t eat healthy enough.  I can’t exercise enough.  I can’t clean enough.  I can’t BE enough on my own…  It’s all You.  I get it.”  I knew and acknowledged all the stuff I was trying to control, the things I’ve picked up when everything else in my world was stripped from me.  This was just another area God was wanting me to surrender.

He wants ALL of me.

It was after my prayer of refusing treatment, my prayer of surrender, when the doctor called to tell me that the test came back normal.  All clear!  What doctor actually calls that fast to tell you you’re fine?  Totally God!  But, the doctors still had no clue to what was attacking my liver.

God truly leads our every footstep.  When we’re not thinking about every little step, He is.  God paired me with the perfect doctor for me.  She is so sweet.  She’s also the first doctor I’ve had since Warren’s death that actually took time to get to know me.  I had scheduled appointments with other doctors over the years while I was still feeling great, asking them to do blood work.  I had lost a lot of weight when my husband, Warren, died and I wanted to make sure all of my vitamin, mineral, and hormone levels were where they needed to be.  Those doctors would hardly looked at me!   They just dismissed me as a young grieving widow who needed to eat.  One doctor told me I just needed to go eat a BigMac.  I was furious as I left.  I just paid this “doctor” to tell me to go eat crap!  Oh excuse me.  He told me to eat what almost every other doctor tells their patients to avoid.  Let me just state, I was well aware of the grieving process, and this is exactly why I was trying to be proactive with my physical health.  Thankfully, God used my sweet new doctor from India to confirm that maybe I should dig deep, see what may still be gripping my heart, and then let go.  Grief, of any kind, is a journey.  Layer by layer the losses are uncovered as the shock wears off.  Along with some adopted mommy talk, my new physician told me to avoid cinnamon because it is a heat producer.  My liver is on fire, so I was to research and eat only cooling foods.  Thankfully I can still eat Indian food!  By the way, she also listened to what all my diet consist of.  She was the first and only one that took the time – to see me.

After I hung up the phone, I was still unsure of what was going on, but I knew God was up to something and in full control.  I knew He had not left me completely alone in this very alone season.  Truthfully, 2013 was the most lonely I’ve been since I stood over Warren’s grave.  Yet still, God is so near.  I asked the Holy Spirit to guide my prayers and then continued to pray.

“God, please heal all that grief has made sick.  Show me who You created me to be.  Who is Shannan?  Who am I before the pain of this world touched me?”*

This is not just about my losing Warren, that’s only one season of my life.  There is more to me than his life and death.  This prayer comes from a heart that is fully opening up to God, allowing Him to open every wound, every pain-filled place, and clean me out.  It is a painful process, but the freedom that follows is so worth it.  I’d much rather face this pain for a moment than to carry it for a lifetime.

No immediate answer came.  No big “AHA” moment.  But, there was an internal knowing that God’s hand was at work, so I started to think about when it was that I started to feel bad.

I started to developed major food allergies about 7 years ago.  I now react to eggs, walnuts, and fish is an ever-growing concern.  With every exposure to seafood, my reaction intensifies.  In the months leading up to this frustrating season, I had added coconut to my diet because of all its health benefits.  I even switched to using it as a lotion to avoid all the chemicals that are in most everything we consume.  I was also adding different forms of protein to my smoothies because I was told I needed them.  Well, the people telling me I needed this stuff failed to see what my diet already consisted of, mostly fruits, vegetables, fresh herbs in my ginormous salads, lentils, yogurt, etc..  It was obvious that my liver was becoming toxic from something new added, so the process of elimination continues.  For now, I avoid coconut completely, and I limit certain spices.  My eyes are white again!  I’m slowly regaining strength.  God is teaching me a lot more than I can write about in one blog.  Let me encourage you.  No, let me assure you.  God is never absent.  God is always with you and always has a plan and a purpose.  He waste nothing.  NOTHING!

When you, like I often am, are tempted to give up, run to Him instead.  Surrender all and you will gain everything you will ever need.  You will gain His presence, and in His presence you will find His peace that passes all your understanding.  In His presence you will have all the fullness of living an abundant life.

“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” – 2 Cor. 4:17

God alone gives me life.  He is my every breath and heartbeat.

“I’d much rather face this pain for a moment than to carry it for a lifetime.”

Wouldn’t you?

~ Shannan

2014, Staying Faithful and Walking In New Beginnings.

God Is Good!

* Disclaimer:  Let me add a warning label here that I failed to add when I shared my story with someone else.

WARNING:  In so praying this prayer, the prayer for “God to heal what grief has made sick”, be sure to prepare to feel like your skin is being peeled layer by precious layer from your body until there are no more layers to rip from your grip.  Be assured, this is NOT really happening.  You may also feel that the entire world is watching you as you stand naked and cold before them.  These are just a few, but not limited to, some of what you may experience.  Any other side effects fall under the description, “etcetera… etcetera… etcetera…”  These imagined side-effects are temporary.  Rest assured.  IT IS WORTH IT.  The end result will feel like a rush of fresh air to your lungs.  Be courageous.  Begin your journey.  Now commence to pray.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

On Our Way To 100%

Mama & Coady Cuddle

Rest Is A Must Now

2 Comments

  1. jaresare said,

    02/03/2014 at 11:50

    Thank you for continuing to share your encouragement and strength in the Lord. I continue to keep you in my prayers. Blessings to you always Shannan. Jared Grover

    Jared Grover

    http://about.me/jared_grover http://www.groverchronicles.wordpress.com grojared@yahoo.com 613.304.9594

    • 02/03/2014 at 11:50

      I do appreciate the continued support and your prayers Jared. God bless you and your family!


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