“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should” (Ephesians 6:18-20).
My doctor asked me what I attribute my improved functioning too. I answered: Medicines, God, doctors, writing, exercising, praying, running a HopeKeepers group and praying.
“And the pacemaker?” he asked.
“Yes, and God,” I interjected.
Yes, I think I mentioned God or praying three or four times. And the best part is that he didn’t flinch-he is a Christian and understands the power of prayer. He then shared his frustration that he cannot reduce the amount of medications and vitamins I ingest daily, but we agreed they are necessary.
As I left his office and he wished me a good holiday season I walked with added confidence knowing he didn’t want to see me again for four months–the longest time since chronic illness entered my life more than four years ago.
It has been a long journey filled with highs and lows. But the constant is faith. It has waned at times but continues to live within me despite the challenges.
I am fortunate to have a doctor who has been on this journey with me from the start. In fact I remember early on, before we knew I had dysautonomia, he apologized for not yet diagnosing my autonomic dysfunction. But with perseverance on all parts a diagnosis came; after much trial and error a treatment plan formed.
Recently, another doctor in the practice came across a patient with similar symptoms to mine. Together, with my primary care physician, they reviewed my records to decide on a treatment course. Perhaps her journey to improved health will be shorter; it would be gratifying to know the knowledge learned through treating me will improve care for others.
Regardless, ultimately, God is the biggest variable.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for allowing me a doctor who listens, is knowledgeable, and willing to learn about my condition as we navigate my journey. Please continue to bless him and all who help those with chronic illness. In Your name. Amen.
About the author:
Laura Seil Ruszczyk lives in New York with her husband and three kids. She retired from her job as an elementary school counselor in 2012. She has dysautonomia–a deregulation of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The ANS regulates such things as heartbeat, blood pressure, temperature control, breathing, pupil dilation and digestion.
How do you keep your faith alive, despite the challenges your chronic illness presents?
During the month of December I am excited to share some Christmas songs and videos. I will do my best to match them up with the devotionals theme, but either way, I hope they bless you.
This song begins with the script from a TV show you may recognize. Rather than waiting until the 20th or so, to remember the Christmas story, let’s start out worshiping our God who brought His Son to earth–right now!
As you wonder if prayers make a difference, consider the many prayers that were lifted up for a Savior! This is Sidewalk Prophets singing, “Oh What a Glorious Night.” -Lisa