Choose Life…

Choose Life…

As I write this I am in sheer awe of the goodness of our God! The song ‘Rattle’ by Elevation Worship blasts through my mind this morning:

Open the grave
I’m coming out
I’m gonna live
Gonna live again
This is the sound
Of dry bones rattling!

I am going to live again! Do you hear those words soul? You are going to live again!

I had been going through one of the worst seasons of life yet – a deep dark depression that was leading me nowhere but death. I was sunk in a pit of despair, and I could not get out. All my thoughts led only to death. I felt like death. I was numb- I didn’t care anymore about life or living. My emotions were in a dangerous place.

I could no longer run from my circumstances anymore. I had to turn around and face them but in facing them I became more overwhelmed than ever because I could see no way out. No way forward. No hope. I was stuck between a rock and a hard place.

I made a step towards help when I wrote my other blog post back in January opening myself to the reality of the circumstances surrounding me. But it was not going to be enough. If I did not take further steps forward, I would drown in a sea of pain.

So, after much avoiding, I finally put myself forward for counselling. I took this step most unwillingly.  

After my first session at the beginning of March, I felt conflicted. I did not realise how much lighter I felt from finally opening up and sharing my burdens but also, I had reopened the wounds. They were now spewing open everywhere and I was a mess.

My first session had been talking about my diagnosis with Huntington’s disease. It was so hard, and the reality was obvious now – that I had been very much in denial about all of it. I had put it all in a box in the back of my mind. It was time to accept the facts – that I have Huntington’s disease.

For two days the pain was so bad that I finally lay myself down on the floor before God with nothing left. I could not go on as I was. I looked out of the window in my garden and begin to imagine myself dying. I was grieving it all. Suicidal thoughts were like a mirage across my mind.

The thoughts of death stayed with me throughout March and April. I couldn’t shake them no matter how hard I tried. I would go a couple of days of normality and then another depression day would come. If life was to be like this from now on, how could I carry on?

Yet…God did not leave me in this place…

During Easter week I caught covid. When I first started to get ill with covid I was disdainful of it. However, I did not expect to get so ill. I spent four days in a row vomiting all day and could not keep anything down. Particularly in the evenings, I was even despairing, and anxious at times. In other words, I did care about my life. I had been believing a lie that I was despairing of life itself. I woke on Easter Sunday and the vomiting and shivers had stopped and I realised that God had just delivered me from somewhere I was not meant to be. I came alive again.

On that Easter Sunday, I felt God say to me, “Life is a gift – a gift I have given you…” And I have stopped seeing it that way. I knew that day that I was not just going to get better from covid but that God was delivering me from death’s door and as I started to get better, the words, “I want to be here…” began to echo through my mind.

I had just crossed over from a life and death moment.

And God led me back to this verse again…

“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the Lord, you will live long in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”

Deuteronomy 30:19-20 NLT

It is a choice. And God wants us to choose life! So today and every day for however long I am here I choose life knowing that my life is a gift that He has given me. These words cannot even begin to describe how good God is, but He really really is! There will still be hard days ahead yet, still more healing, and still more things to face but God is with me.

In choosing to face the pain God brought me through it. All these years I had been running from it and hiding but the day I made that choice God delivered me. He saved me from it.

I will still have to face Huntington’s disease in the days to come and I still have to face the effects if it on my life. I will still have to face the fact that we will probably never have our own biological children. I will still have to face the grief and loss.

But these facts do not have the final say in my life!

God does!

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