Thursday, May 5, 2022

Field of Dreams: A Personal Story for Lyme Disease Awareness Month 2022

I know it’s been a very long time since I have written a blog post here on My Lyme Symphony, but May being Lyme disease awareness month, I wanted to share a photo I took and the relevant story behind it, something more personal. 

I call this photo "Field of Dreams," which I took in the summer of 2013 on the way to a doctor's appointment. 

This was during a particularly difficult time in my Lyme and health journey, and we were at a serious crossroads as to the next step in my treatment process. 

Like always, my mom drove me, and on the way, we stopped at a gas station to fuel up. As I sat there in our car, contemplating what my doctor and I would discuss, I looked around, and my eyes fell directly on this field. 

It's a field I've passed by many times over the years, but on this day, in light of what was happening, I was especially drawn in by its openness, barrenness, and simple beauty. Stretching off into the distant sky, it looked like Heaven was touching the earth. Even though it was sitting dormant, this field seemed to exude the hope of a brighter tomorrow, which really struck me. 

As I took it all in, not knowing for sure what our next step would be, I pulled out my camera and took a few shots. 

Later that night, after looking through the photos I had taken, I began to see similarities between this barren field and my Lyme journey; it symbolically reminded me of where I was in my life and how we all experience this kind of season at some point. 

I thought how there wasn't as much fruit to show for or match up to all of the extensive, hard work I had done. And then I began thinking about how God often works in such places, how only He can really, and how this field pointed to that very thing. It reminded me of something He [the Father] told me early on—that He would heal me, but in the meantime, His grace was sufficient for me. 

I essentially realized then that although it's not fun, there are times when barren field seasons are important and needed - a field of dreams that hold seeds, holy seeds, of greater potential and hope for the future. Thus the title of this photograph and my life story really. 

It has been 28 years, and I'm still walking through this long, hard Lyme journey. Nothing has been easy, but I have learned much along the way. 

I’ve been so deeply sick and severely fatigued and debilitated for so many years that I spent twelve of them living in bed, only getting out for doctors appointments and blood work and dragging myself there at that (if you're interested in knowing more about my health story, you can go here).

Over this almost three-decade journey, a lot has happened, more than I can write in one blog post. But I'll sum it up and say my field of dreams is still a work in process. 

I live with [chronic] Lyme disease every day and the remaining damage that's been done from 16 years of misdiagnosis. Unfortunately, as many of you know, this is an all too common story, and I often share it because a lot of people aren't even aware this can happen. 

There have been some improvements due to my continuing hard work, perseverance, research, and dedication to not give up on walking out this path laid before me.

Overall some things are better, which I'm truly grateful for, and some are not, which is frustrating and speaks to the ugly truth and reality about Lyme and tick-borne diseases. If you haven't already, I highly recommend reading Kris Newby's book Bitten: The Secret History of Lyme Disease and Biological Weapons.

Some of my improvements have created a whole new set of physical issues I now deal with. So, ultimately, it will take whatever the Father will do for this to be resolved and for me to be completely well physically, which takes me back to what He initially said all those years ago. And so it is for many who are also walking through their own difficult Lyme and health journeys. We all have a story to tell. 

Honestly, I never imagined it would be this long, arduous, harsh, and grinding, but God being God, He's let nothing go to waste. 

While I'm waiting in the meantime, He's sovereignly taking what was meant to destroy me and working it all - the good things, the bad things, the ugly things, the unjust things - together for my good and His glory. He's been nurturing, teaching, and maturing me in the deeper places. 

He’s also been producing and strengthening deeper Jesus roots in me, a root system that is deeply grounded and steadfast in Him, His heart, and His ways. 

At the end of the day, I choose to keep holding onto and declaring the promises of God while I continue to do my part. And although I don't always understand, I do feel an assurance from His heart that He will fulfill His promises and purposes for my life in His timing. It keeps me going in the long haul. 

And so this photo, Field of Dreams, speaks to all of this for me — where the truth, grace, hope, and promises of God and His Kingdom reside amidst all of the earthly hardships, battles, sufferings, and losses. Where the real and raw laboring takes place as the seeds of impossibilities are uprooted and replaced with seeds of possibilities. Where divine revelation, wisdom, and understanding unfold. Where the deep and fertilizing work of the Spirit happens.

It's a seemingly strange, paradoxical, ironic mixture. And while it hasn't looked like anything I was expecting, quite the complete opposite, I believe this is where the Lord often works so powerfully and profoundly. In fact, I believe He does some of His best work in such places.

Indeed, I'm counting on it.


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