The “It” – Part 1


A couple of months ago I mentioned that
for a long season I had been in a funk and
how the Lord had shown me something that needed
to be changed and I finally felt like I was getting
my game back.

When I lightheartedly mentioned doing something 
different to get my game back, I had no intention of sharing
any of this.  I didn’t.  Not at all.  
My health has been a very personal issue 
and not something I have talked all that much
about.  However, many of you responded wondering 
what exactly “it” was because you could relate.  


I needed to pray about it and chat with the Lord about 
it…because I already share a lot of our lives.  And I really 
am a very private person {the Lord undoubtedly enjoys 
that aspect of how He wired me since He blessed me 
with this kinda’ public ministry} 
and it was then that the Lord reminded me that
this Place Called Simplicity was His and that if He wanted
me to share it, I better share it.

Why exactly did I not want to share this? 
A few reasons, but one being that I am not a 
complainer nor am I a whiner.
In no way do would I ever want the sharing of my
story to be seen as complaining,
whining, moaning or groaning. 

And why would the Lord want me to share it? 
Because actually there may be some one
else out there who has struggled even a speck
and this will change their life.
Truly, I wish I had read someone else’s story 
that was like this many years ago, 
it would have dramatically changed my life. 

Now a couple of more months have passed 
and “it” has become our new normal and this mama
is indeed forever grateful for His prodding about “it”.  

On that note, I now willingly share my journey
 and I joyfully invite you along

for the ride.  
Please be nice.  
It’s my journey and 
even though there have been many twists, 
turns, bumps, flops, ker-plunks, 
times of soaring high and occasional thuds, 
I really do thoroughly love my life. 

I will tell my journey in parts as this is a long story
{and it’s so much easier for me to think in parts} 
and Lord willing, in the next few days I will post part 2.

So on that note here’s my very personal journey
shared from my heart…..

Since I was a little girl I struggled with my health.
I was hospitalized for extended periods in elementary
school.  I had some very, very serious stuff 
going on but all the medical professionals with
great expertise at the
Children’s Hospital just couldn’t figure out.
The symptoms were visible and real. Yet, test after test
after test and no one had any explanation. 
I missed many, many, many days of school over the years.  

On top of the health stuff, I couldn’t gain weight for anything. 
As a junior in high school I weighed 87 pounds and I was
so stinkin’ embarrassed at how thin I was.   {Yes, yes, I know
many of you wish you had had that problem, but no, 
really, you don’t.  It was awful.}  I desperately tried to 
gain weight every single day

and the health struggle continued to torment
me with no answers. 

I was actually a health “nut” – long before it was ‘vogue’.  
My friends thought I was a weirdo that I ate unending
salads and most everything in it’s raw
form as much as possible, au natural you might say. 
I was also an avid exerciser. 

I had my first yukky symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis in 1988. 
{As you know, the Lord has now graciously healed a large part of the MS}.
But at the time, those closest to me said, 
“If you have MS, 
there is surely no hope for us.  You have taken 
such good care of yourself.”  

Their words actually taunted me.  

I flew to Florida for a second opinion from a
world-renowned MS specialist at the University of
Miami.  Together we counted the 17 lesions in my brain
and he remarked, “If you hadn’t taken such good care of
yourself, you wouldn’t be doing as well as you are.”  
His words did make me feel a bit better –
I guess all the health food and exercise 
did pay off!

A few years later I would be diagnosed with yet another
auto-immune disorder: Sjogren’s Syndrome.
I’d never heard of it and it had already 
wreaked some serious havoc. 

We were doing foster care at the time and our 14 year
old foster daughter was with me at the appointment.   
As she and I drove toward home we passed a 
darling little bakery in a quaint part of Richmond 
which I had eyed many times, 
but never stopped at.  Turning to her I said, “Well I have ‘towed’ 
the line with health food and so far, we can see what 
that’s done.  Time to live a little.” 

We drove home with two boxes of sugary
surprises for the treasures waiting.  
I remember telling Dw, “Life is short.  I’m tired of 
eating healthy with little results…let’s party.”  
And party we did with our sugary treats.

The party ended and I was immediately back to my
healthy ways but wondering, 

“Why is my body my enemy?” 

Soon things were getting even more aggressive with the 
auto-immune stuff and two years later the same 
Rheumatologist diagnosed me with two more 
aggressive auto-immune disorders.  
He was such a nice man. Sometimes I wonder how it 
is to be the ‘bearer of bad news’ 
on a daily basis?   It can’t be fun.

The news he delivered was not-so-good to hear.  I 
don’t talk about what he said that day basically at all.
I talked to Dw and not sure I really told anyone else.

Long ago I had chosen not to focus on my health or how
I was feeling as the Apostle Paul’s words about “the thorn in 
his flesh” ministered to my soul.  

I felt that although the 
auto-immune stuff is there, if I chose to focus 
on me I would have a very small life.

Instead my life is very large.  
I have the sweetest
pile of treasures gathered from all over the world. 
The Lord has blessed me with a beautiful ministry
that I can do from the comfort of my own home. 

So in our home I rarely, rarely talk about how I feel.  
It doesn’t matter.  
I am alive and I am grateful for everyday 
that I have breath.  Yet, the truth is, I am in constant pain.  
There is not a part of my body 
that doesn’t hurt, ever.  But it is not a topic of discussion.  

Every now and then Dw will say, “You feel awful 
don’t you?  I can see it in your face.”  Yes, there are 
some days where it is impossible to hide it.

On a side note, I have always wanted my kids 
to remember, “We had the funnest, craziest and downright 
wildest mom growing up.”  

Recently someone {who barely knew me} happened to be the 
‘recipient’ of something giggly-crazy I had done.  
I wasn’t around when she ran into Dw and Graham.  
Laughing she told them,  “I had no idea your wife 
was such a character.”  Graham responded, 
“Ohhhhh, you have no idea.”  

When Dw relayed Graham’s words to me, my eyes welled 
with tears.  Simply spoken, but one of the highest compliments
{to to this mama’s heart} that one of my kids could give me.  
Sweet joy:
Although living silently with constant, tremendous pain 
he thinks I’m crazy-fun.
Mission accomplished.  

Anyway, back to the story….  

A few years later we moved to Colorado to pastor
and something was terribly wrong on a new front which
were impossible to ignore.  More tests, lots of tests and 
then came yet another auto-immune diagnosis…
something that hadn’t been caught before because 
I’d never mentioned it.   
I am either really good at denial or ignoring.   
The jury is still out on which, but this new auto-immune had wreaked 
so much havoc on yet another organ.

This time, having never heard of this auto-immune disorder, 
and knowing nothing about this disease I told the Doctor, 
“I’m really not into medication.”  

I’ll never forget his response.  
He looked me straight in the eye and quietly spoke, 

“That’s fine.  
You don’t have to take medication.  

You will die, but that’s your option.  
Your body cannot live without this.”

“Well since you put it that way…”

I had read that auto-immune disorders piggy-back on
one another, but this was getting a bit over-the-top…
Exactly how many 
piggies could get on my back?

Anyway, the days had become harder and harder
to navigate as my body waged war against me.
Then in October of this past year I 
was on the phone with our oldest treasure, 
and quite out of the blue she asked me a question.
{We were not talking about how I was feeling.}
I have absolutely no doubt that her words were straight 
from the heart of Almighty God.

She said, “Hey Mom, would you….
Part 2 


19 thoughts on “The “It” – Part 1

  1. You are so bad….Cliffhanging! Thank you for sharing this. I have several family members with chronic pain. I have mega pain daily many days feeling 70 or so. I do better when I'm busy (fostering or caring for others) but daily just hurt. I despise when people ask how I'm feeling because I just don't want to whine & complain. Sometimes I just say I'm 'feeling' fine. I feel every ache in my body just fine. LOL. I'm looking forward to reading the 'rest of the journey'. I've often wondered how you make it to Uganda so many times a year & hold up physically except by the Grace of God. I know how badly I hurt & wonder how others do it when they weigh much more than I do. Thanks again for sharing your journey. I'm glad the Lord prods you along. God Bless you & your health.

  2. Oh, I am looking forward to hearing part II and beyond with your story, Linny. I just know it is going to change lives. When I read the words, "Why is my body my enemy" I was stunned. I have asked God and Joel this same question exactly. Already you are helping others with just those words. I know that I know that I know …..God is using this Linny in a powerful way beyond what you or anyone could imagine.
    Dear sweet, sweet friend, I have not known you many years but in those where you have graced my life I have never heard you mention you were in pain….Now, I don't have to tell you that I live with pain and have spoken about it and not once have you ever shared with me the pain you suffer. Humbling my friend. What I am trying to say is you NEVER have to worry about someone thinking you are a complainer or whiner…nope, never. Sending you a really really big gentle hug today and praising God for how He is going to use your words here to change the lives of others….YES!

    1. Literally my dear friend, I have tears dripping as I type this. Thank you for your kind words and affirmation of my life. I do believe God will use this newest journey to help others…I am humbled and grateful. I love you bunches!! xo

  3. Wow! Thank you so much already, like the others say. This week has been a very difficult one pain wise for me. I prefer not to have people notice how much I hurt. But sometimes just knowing I do helps other people. For a start it helps me to share the 2 Corinthians God of all comfort because I know how He has comforted me.
    And I too, want people to know me for something quite different than someone overcome by pain. So, I am looking forward to the wisdom God is giving you to share.
    Thanks so much and big, big hugs. Sandy in the UK

  4. This is speaking right to my family's heart. I have a heart condition that causes me daily pain and leaves me with so little energy to be mom. I understand your desire to be a mom who blesses her family despite pain. I'm thinking, though, of my sister as I read this….she's just twenty and has spent the last two years literally bedridden! unable to walk! lift her arms! sometimes she can barely think clearly or blink! Drs have no idea what's going on and she is now fighting to stay in good spirits and trust gods plan in all of this. All she's ever wanted was to be a wife and mom to many treasures!

  5. Tears are in my eyes and I can tell you haven't even gotten to the heart of what you want to say. I know this is going to minister to me so well because I, too, live in chronic pain and have had numerous issues throughout my life, even though I'm only 21, that doctors can't answer and doctors say I shouldn't be alive and right now I'm really struggling to be grateful for this so-physically-painful life that I live. Thank you, Linny, for being willing to share.

  6. I love your beautiful Christ-like example of "doing everything without complaining…so that you may SHINE like stars as you hold out the WORD of life." Phil 2:14……Very encouraging!!! May the Lord bless you and your family as you shine Him daily :))))

  7. Oh my goodness!! I have been diagnosed with Sjogren Syndrome too shortly after I had my second child. I'm very curious to hear the second part!! My family (hubby, myself & 3 beautiful treasures) have all made some major changes to help me with this disease. Anxiously awaiting :). PS – my hubby & I just love to hear Ruby's updates.

  8. aw, dear Linny, my prayers for you. What an sweet lady to many children who need love and you do it unselfishly. Pain is no fun. And I complain of a foot that pains me. It's not easy but we go on and love and live as God wants us to live. Am looking forward to the rest of your story. I do care! Hugs and love across the miles!

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