I can be bold. I can be brave. I can claim joy if I lay hold to the power of God within me.
That is the motto God put on my heart this morning, and I’m clinging fast to it as I charge into battle.
Last week I had a long-awaited doctor’s appointment with a new cardiologist. (Thanks to all who prayed for me!). He is a kind man on the forefront of research surrounding my condition, an enormous blessing. Because of his knowledge in this area of medicine, he was able to more correctly diagnose me on the spot. I have Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, POTS for short.
POTS is an autoimmune syndrome affecting the sympathetic nerves in my body. In short, I don’t regulate adjustments in blood pressure properly. Basic examples of normal function would be vessels tightening (raising bp) when you stand up to prevent fainting from lack of blood in the heart and head, or vessels relaxing (lowering bp) when you work out so you don’t get heat stroke.
They don’t know what causes POTS, but they know it is most common in women my age. My doctor gave me many articles to read, most of the information backs up what I’ve already been experiencing but has been helpful in making me feel validated in my condition.
I don’t want to bore you with my symptoms so I’ll keep it brief: heat/cold intolerance, exercise intolerance, extreme exhaustion, trouble sleeping, physiological anxiety responses, blah blah blah, and of course collapsing/fainting episodes. Life quality is compared to that of someone with congestive heart failure. There is no cure, though for some, the syndrome fades away inexplicably.
The medication I’m currently taking tries to moderate my blood pressure but as you can imagine it can’t duplicate such a delicate system.
Some good news, patients with POTS tend to have overlapping issues and if they can pinpoint ones I have, they can prescribe medication to counteract. Also, my doctor gave me a few pointers on how to manage my syndrome a little better, ie: compression leggings, even more salt, no heat exposer etc.
So that’s where I’m at. Obviously, thinking about my future can get sad. Will I be able to be a personal trainer again? Will I ever learn to surf? Will I be able to have children? Will I be able to go to Disneyland without a wheelchair?
All these whirling questions have surrounded me like a cloud, but Sunday, via the preaching (Peyton Jones) and singing (Resolved Church) I came to a startling awareness that my “future” in the terms that I want to think about it, is not what life is about. God is.
It’s not that I’ve never thought this before, but this time it really slapped me in the face and then soothed me. It really is all about Christ, his love, his sacrifice, his glory, and eternity. It’s not about whether or not I experience what I think I should experience. It’s not about whether I ‘conquer the world.’ It’s not about what I accomplish.
I disguised my goals and dreams as missions for God, but if I’m not willing to walk away when God strips them from me, they are really idols.
Without God, none of us can reach any of our dreams or expectations. Any good we do or have is from God, and any good we can’t do or have, must not truly be good.
That is the only option if you really believe God is in control. And I do. Realizing this takes the pressure off.
If it’s not about me and what I do but about him, what he did, and what he wills for the present and future, then I just have to rest in his sovereign unveiling of time and know that eternity will more than make up for what I miss out on earth. It really will.
Until then, I choose joy. I choose to claim his power because it is He who endured ultimate suffering, conquered the world, and chose a wretched, crazy blood pressured sinner for a child. He will be abundantly sufficient.
- A fantastic article on POTS: https://myheart.net/pots-syndrome/
- Below: 10 Facts about POTS