It’s a beautiful day outside. The weather is perfect so the kids are out back playing basketball. I LOVE the warmer weather!

I forgot though, that every spring I struggle with depression. Spring time sparks that funny ambition to clean out the house. Spring time motivates you in a fierce way to do those yard projects that have been brewing all winter. You also want to get everything done before the desert heat comes and you can only function if your half naked and eating ice chips.

So why in the world does this glorious season bring on depression??? Well, because of pesky ol’ illness. I’m slapped in the face with my limitations. My brain is never on the same page as my body. It drives me bonkers to be doing a project and then have to quit, after just a few minutes. A project that should only take me a few hours, might take me days or weeks to finish. It’s so aggravating!!!

Okay, so that’s my sob story. Now moving on to the hope….

Psalm 139:16 “Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.”

It brings me comfort knowing God has never said “whoopsie-daisy.” Nothing that I have gone through or am going through came as a shock to God. He knew what I would face and He drew out the path to get me through it. The problem is already solved. I just have to trust Him and follow His leading to get to the solution.

It’s funny how I try and take control of my life. I carry things that God never intended me to carry. I do things in my own strength or I guess I should say, I TRY to do things in my own strength. Which is just crazy talk because I say “whoopsie-daisy” all the time. I also say, “oh golly” but the old man makes fun of that one, so I try and limit it. I’d much rather my struggles be in the hands of someone who has never had to say such things! Instead, like a total weirdo, I take back control and then mess up and say, “Whoopsie-daisy! God, can you fix this?”

I’m going to try and rest in the fact that God has written out all my days. He is trustworthy and good. The beautiful weather is still enjoyable, even if I can’t do what I want to do. I need to remember to praise God for springtime to help fight the depression. So, ready, set, PRAISE…

That’s My God Ya’ll

I’m struggling to find a time to sit and write a blog. So, I decided to take pieces from my book (Aka large pamphlet) and post them for now! Hopefully soon life will slow down and I’ll write something new!

I’m one hundred percent certain that God is hilarious. I can say this with such conviction because we are created in his image and there are people out there like Kevin James, Owen Wilson, Anjelah Johnson…These are incredibly funny people. If we are created in his image and he has made these funny people then he himself, is in fact, funny. I believe God to be Almighty, All Knowing, Just, Omnipresent…But the character of God that I find the most comfort in is, God is Funny.  Humor in my life is a must. I need to know that when life is kicking me and kicking me, God is like nudging me saying, “Look, Emilee, that llama has a dumb haircut.” He knows me and knows my needs, which is precisely why he created the miniature horse. I mean, c’mon, it’s a horse only small! So funny, right?

Now, I didn’t laugh my way through years of suffering. I didn’t take every challenge through illness and just giggled right past it. I cried a lot. I begged God for mercy often. I had moments where giving up and taking my own life felt justified. I’m weak and I’m human. I know that you’re thinking, “No, Emilee, you’re so amazing. I wish I could be just like you. You’re like, the best thing ever to hit the planet.” I get it, it’s confusing but I assure you, I have had some very ugly moments. I’ve been a big baby on some days and a real monster on other days. I’m ok with admitting this and laying it all out there for you because I trust in God. I trust that God has a plan for my life. I trust that God will avenge me if I get attacked for being transparent. I’m not here to paint a pretty little lie. I’m here for the ugly truth and the funny in between. Ezekiel 25:17 says, “I will execute great vengeance on them with wrathful rebukes. Then they will know that I am the Lord, when I lay my vengeance upon them.” I just peed a little. That is some scary stuff right there. I dare you to slam me now.

When I was first diagnosed with Lyme disease (Please note there is no ‘s’ on the end of Lyme) I freaked out a little but was also relieved. I finally had a real diagnosis. I could finally tell people what was happening to me. I could finally mentally slap all the doubters in the face. It was the best worst news ever. I immediately found a Lyme literate doctor and started my journey towards health, or at least the closest thing to it. I felt incredibly blessed that God had put certain people in my path. I was fortunate to have a husband fighting for me. He never questioned whether I might just be depressed. He never gave up on me. He fought for me when I had no fight. The day he said “I Do” was the best day of my life. While my parents were down front looking at Phillip saying, “Sucker! Good luck with that,” I was saying, “Thank you God for such a treasure.” I could go on and on about him but I’ll save that for later. I’m focusing on God right now, geez, stay focused.

God is my whole life. I would have died without him. I would have given up and quit. I trusted he would get me through any pain or suffering I felt that day. It’s actually a miracle that I was aware of God through all the kicking and screaming but I was. I knew, without a doubt, God would come through. He would give the strength I needed, when I needed it. Most often it was through laughter. He would show me something funny and we would laugh together and then move on together. When I say we would laugh together, I don’t mean I would hear an audible laugh from God. I mean I would laugh and just know God was laughing with me. Golly, I’m not crazy. Although, if you hear God audibly I don’t mean to judge, that’s cool. You might think about getting it checked still, but seriously, still cool.

Through the years there have been many dark days. The Lyme disease has caused my body to be in horrific pain. My whole body hurts all the way to the bone. Pain is a prison. You are stuck there and it keeps you in bed and isolated from the world. In these moments it was crucial that God provide. I was incredibly lonely. I hated being in bed away from my family and friends.

I love people. I am what they call a social butterfly. So, to be cooped up in a room was miserable for me. It seemed that every time it got just a little too hard or lonely I would get some stupid text from my BFF. God would use her to take the focus off my pain and circumstances. He would provide a situation for me to laugh or roll my eyes at her bizarreness. God used my best friend often to bring me “back to life.”

Life with Lyme, without God, seems impossible. My heart breaks knowing people are suffering from a chronic illness or a disease without knowing the love of the Lord. They go through this giant battle without seeing the hope that God can provide. This is tragic and just not ok.

The Bible says, “And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.” James 5:15. God would raise me up constantly, daily, hourly… What a gift I was given through such a hard time. God is the answer people, so quit being stubborn and give your life to him. I demand you believe in God!

I totally nailed that speech! I’m sure thousands just gave their lives to Jesus. Gold crown in heaven, check!

I’d Do Anything For Health, Well….. Maybe Not

Battling illness for many years means I’ve tried just about every treatment out there. Anything from what modern medicine has to offer, all the way to, “I saw this really crazy thing on a documentary once.”

As time goes on you somehow become less and less bashful and modest about things and more and more shameless and open.

Women who have experienced labor can probably relate. You walk into the hospital at 4 cm and in a bit of pain. You hide in the bathroom to get changed into your hospital gown. You take hold of the two sides to make sure your backside is covered and carefully slip into the bed, praying no one notices you forgot to shave your legs. After 10 hours (or for me, 20) all modesty is gone and you are now living like a hippie. Who cares if you haven’t shaved your legs in a month! “Oh I’m sorry did you see more of me than you wanted too? Get over it because I’m literally dying here.”

That’s what illness can do to you.

I was inspired to rewrite the words to the Meat Loaf song “I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Wont Do That)” awhile back because after so many different treatment options and try this’s and that’s, I found something I didn’t think I’d ever be able to give up. My husband, who is so awesome, agreed to sing it for me. Even though the words were a bit humiliating for someone who still has shame.

So, what is it I wasn’t willing to give up??? Can you relate???

I’ll write out the lyrics and the video is below!

I would do anything for health

I’ll crawl right through hell and back

I would do anything for health

I’ll never die of pain and that’s a fact

And I’ll never forget my first enema bag

Oh no, no way

I would do anything for health

But I wont do that, no, I wont do that

Some days it don’t come easy

And some days it don’t come hard

And some days it don’t come at all

And these are the days that’ll never end

And some nights I start to tremor

And some nights I binge watch shows

Some nights are like lying your head on the toilet bowl and puking some more

Maybe I’m crazy but it is eating at my brain

I know I can detox and sweat these toxins I contain

As long as parasites are dying, as long as bacteria is crying

As long as my legs are improving too, you better believe it

That I would do anything for health

I would do anything for health

Oh, I would do anything for health

But I wont do that, no, I wont do that

I would do anything for health

Depleting me of all my wealth

But I just wont do that (x2)

And some days I pray for bread

And some days I pray for tacos

Some days I just pray to God for no brain fog or temperature change

Maybe I’m herxing, I did just change my dose

I better go pee now, I cut it way too close

As long as the bowels are clogging

As long as the bones are aching

As long as the hair is falling too, you better believe it

That I would do anything for health

And you know it’s true and that’s what’s up

I would do anything for health

And there’d never be no flaring up

I’ll never get better if I can’t go poop for so long, so long

I would do anything for health

Oh, I would do anything for health

I would do anything for health

But I wont do that, no I wont do that

No, no, no, no

Girl: Will you raise yourself up, will you not get down

Will you do colonics when you start to drown

Will you be able to walk when it gets cold

Man: I can do that, yeah I can do that

Girl: Will you consider a hookworm when options are low

Will you let me spray you down with holy water, if you move too slow

Will you please stop telling everyone we know

Man: I can do that, yeah I can do that

Girl: I know it’s hard to not feel worthwhile

Your hair is a mess, your only hair style

Sooner or later you’ll be giving up coffee

Man: Psssshhh, I wont do that, no I wont do

Anything for health, but I wont do that

A Flip Flop Life

When I get ready for a hot date with my hubby, I get my hair on point, my makeup on, and then slip into that great black dress that’s sure to make him have lustful thoughts of me all through dinner. I then go into my closet and scan over my collection of shoes, trying to find that perfect pair to top off the look. I know a pair of high heels would be like putting the icing on the cake but instead I have to settle for the lame, flat, black sandals. My circumstances through illness, don’t allow me to wear the high heels. I can try and suck it up. Put my feet in the heels, and suffer through the night. Leaving me in the end… a hot mess. Or I can wear the flat, sandals. The less glamorous choice. They may not be ideal for the look I’m going for. They may not be what I had planned but they are the shoes that will get me through the night. They are the shoes, that at the finish of the date, will leave me pain free and functioning.

We all have an idea of where we want our lives to go. We make plans for our future and get excited about them. None of those plans include illness or a death or a divorce. We would never add those things to our plans. Our plan will never include the things that will stretch us or make us uncomfortable. Our plans will never include struggle, pain, suffering…Our plans would leave us right where we are. Emotionally, spiritually. I’m so grateful I’m not the same Emilee I was at 20. 20 year old Emilee was more selfish with her time. She was more judgmental. She got out of control anxious when the house was messy and cluttered. She was angry and couldn’t let go of past hurts. She didn’t rely on God to solve her problems. She was way more insecure!

You know that verse in 1 Corinthians 12:12 that says, “there is one body, but it has many parts. But all it’s many parts make up one body. It is the same with Christ.” When I would read that verse I would think my friend Sherri is probably something cool, like the arm. It has all these uses and mobility and strength. And then my other friends Genie and JoAnn are like the elbows. The part the arm has to have to even be able to bend! But me… I’m probably the appendix. You know, the body part that you can remove and not really notice. Through illness and struggle, though, God has changed me. He’s healed many emotional wounds that were keeping me from true freedom. He was giving me truth in a world full of lies. This is never the plans I would have made for myself. Especially for my family. These plans were and are incredibly hard. They continually make me struggle. They cause lots of temper tantrums, rebellion, avoiding, despair, and then eventually surrender.

Oh! Side note, my husband had to get his appendix removed a few years ago and he’s kind of a weirdo with his body. Anyway, he seriously mourned the loss of his appendix and regrets getting it removed. He still feels like there was more he could have done to save it. How sweet is that? God gave me a man who values his appendix!

There’s a phrase I hear often that makes me very uncomfortable and that is, “God won’t give you more then you can handle.” This isn’t truth and it isn’t helpful. In fact I would say it can be detrimental. When your circumstances just flat out stink and you are in such despair, hearing ‘God won’t give you more then you can handle’ might make you feel like a failure or weak in your faith. 1 Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” In context, this verse is talking about temptation from sin, not suffering. Paul explains a trial too large for him to handle in 2 Corinthians 1:8-9 For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us,” You WILL be given more then you can handle but we have a Father who will give us the strength that we don’t have. You have to depend on God to get through. Saying “God won’t give you more then you can handle,” keeps us focused on our self and our own strength. Realizing you are in a pit and can only survive on God’s strength, keeps God in His rightful place.

In 2 Corinthians 12:9 God says, “My grace is sufficient for you.”

Rely on God to get you through those unbearable times. You were never meant to “handle” it. When I finally quit my tantrums and surrender to God, I get to see the real treasure of God’s plans for my life.

I have two pairs of heels, that I’ve had sitting in my closet for 8 years. Untouched. I can’t let them go. Even though they are a constant reminder of my limitations. They sit there and taunt me. But I can’t get rid of them. I always think, maybe one day.

About 4 years ago I was out shopping and I saw these incredibly cute heels. They were adorable and could go with practically anything! I couldn’t help myself. I had to buy them, knowing I wasn’t going to be able to wear them. But I just thought, surely some day soon, I’ll be better and when I am, those are the shoes I’m wearing! 4 years later there they sat. Never worn, never shown off, never appreciated for how awesome they were.

My church was having a garage sale as a fundraiser to help send people over to Haiti. I went through my house finding things to get rid of. I got to my closet and saw my amazing shoes that never did get their well deserved debut. I took a deep breath and put them in the bag. 5 minutes later I took them out of the bag. I was struggling to let them go. I felt like I was giving up hope that I would never be well enough to wear them. And what if I am healed and those precious shoes were gone! I grabbed them back from the bag, whispered sweet nothings to them and apologized while putting them back in the closet and moved on. About 5 minutes later I returned to the closet and grabbed the stupid shoes that now had become my enemy and put them in the bag. I mourned the loss as I gathered more and more things, making the shoes fall further to the bottom.

I was trying to hold onto a past that was not my future. I’m not saying God won’t ever heal me. I know He has complete power and authority over my illness. But by not letting go of the shoes I was keeping myself in bondage to my limitations. If you have something in your life that keeps you from seeing God’s plans for you because it reminds you of what could have been or it brings up regret, guilt, shame, whatever, just get rid of it!

Hebrews 12:1 says: “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…”

Those high heels were a weight. They no longer were something I was excited to one day wear but had now become a weight. A heavy load of why am I not better yet? I had to get rid of the weight and trust that God’s plan for me right now, is to wear flat, shoes! (insert crying face)

The Message Bible says this about Hebrews 12:1 and I really liked it:

“Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves lagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!”

Isn’t that a great picture? Going over your story of where God has taken you will shoot adrenaline into your souls!!! It’s so true. God has done so much in our lives. We need to take note. Pay attention. Go over it. Share it. Let it motivate us to keep running the race. The path that God has set before us.

The next verse Hebrews 12:2 says:  “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Jesus trusted the path set before Him by his Father. He stayed on that path and didn’t waiver.

I mentioned before that I had two pairs of heels that sat in the closet untouched for 8 years, before buying the third pair. Well, I do still have those two pairs. One, they are a much shorter heel so way more realistic. Second, they don’t make me sad. Probably because they are just average and not those amazing cute ones. I keep them because they are a goal but a goal that doesn’t leave me sad and hopeless. The adorable shoes made me sad every time I saw them. I had a choice. I really could hold onto them and torture my soul. We all have a choice. We can decide to be victims, We can quit, we can go against God, we can find our own paths. That is our choice. But it won’t take you to a place of healing and rest. It will keep you from true peace. God’s plan may look harder but it’s the very best plan for you. Proverbs 16:9 says: “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” And when you put that next to Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” You can trust His plan. He isn’t trying to harm you. He isn’t trying to make your path so miserable. He is strengthening you and refining you so you will have hope and a future.

My desire was a high heel life but God’s plan for me was a flip flop life. The flat flip flop life ended up being the blessing.

We have a good and loving Father. He calls you His child (John 1:12), His friend (John 15:15), He calls you justified (Romans 3:24), an heir (Romans 8:17), He calls you accepted (Romans 15:7), righteous (2 Corinthians 5:21), blameless (Ephesians 1:4), Redeemed (Ephesians 1:7), Sealed (Ephesians 1:13), a work of art (Ephesians 2:10) forgiven (1 John 1:9), He calls you greatly loved (Romans 5:8).

You can absolutely take the path He is leading you on. You don’t need to fear it and take your own “short cuts.” Walk boldly, the path set before you. In whatever shoes God has given you!

I’m deeply sorry for whatever struggle you may be going through right now and would love to pray for you. Leave a comment if you’d like prayer! Rest in God dear friend. He has a plan for you that is good!