Wednesday, February 5, 2014

WHY Do I Have Pneumonia, AGAIN? (Here's why...)

I don't know.  But I do have more to the answer than that... so keep reading.

Oh, it's hard. I can pray the Psalms from the pit of despair with all true feeling these days... and more.  Let's see now... this makes four straight years of chronic illness for me, throw in two pregnancies. I'll spare you the details of the hospital stays with surgeries, ICU, chemo, blood transfusions, ports, medications, pain med addiction, wheelchairs...

But it's hard.

I had a true Davidic meltdown the other day.  I outdid David, actually, in begging for God for mercy and help. Healing! Please. Please. Please. Please. Pleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleaseplease....

Really... why isn't one of the Psalms simply that?  Please! Please. Please. Please. Please. Please.(I guess that's why I wasn't chosen to write any of the Psalms.)

It works for my kids sometimes.

And am I better?

No.  Worse.

BUT... God was not silent..

First of all, He blessed me immediately with several hours of comfortable, cough-and-pain-free, restful sleep. That was a miracle. That doesn't happen with pneumonia.  I would have "gone down into the grave" without that little respite.

But I woke up the next morning sick as ever. Sicker. And still asking WHY? and Please? Please? PLEASE?

God? What glory do you get from my being sick? What benefit is there to You? My family?

And He answered in my heart:  "Everything benefits me. Everything is for My glory."

And that is exactly what I tell my children... when they get sick, or hurt, or stung by a bee, or wonder why the kitten died:

"God loves us.  God is always helping us. God is always teaching us. God is always leading us. God has a perfect plan and He knows the way.  God will give us the strength we need for everything He leads us through."

And God did answer my desperate begging. My broken heart moved Him.  He loves the sacrifice of a broken heart.

How did He answer?

First of all, a paycheck (due to certain circumstances, the paychecks have been uncertain and sporadic lately). Enough to write a menu for five weeks and stock my empty pantry.

God says, "I hear you. I am providing for you."

See that bin on the bottom left?  It usually holds all my dry beans. It was empty.  Today, I got the mail, and there was a HEAVY box containing all these organic dry beans, sent by my mom, packed in and around a pair of boots for my 8yo--which was the only pair of shoes we needed.  God says, "I hear you. I am providing for you."

One thing I know is good for pneumonia is grapefruit.  Eat them, and put the peels in your hot tea.  It is a wonderful expectorant and combats "phlegm" in the body.  A look in our local small-town grocery store didn't have any grapefruit worth buying... but that was okay.  It was Monday, and on Tuesday night my daughter had choir practice in Columbus.  My husband was going to go to Costco and get a case of grapefruit.  But then Tuesday rolls around, with a winter storm, and choir practice is cancelled.  Oh well... no grapefruit.  But wait! The  phone rang. It was my father. He was driving  back from Columbus, and had a case of grapefruit and a case of oranges for us... his wife's mother had ordered them from a freight truck from Florida--the best citrus you can get.

God said, "I hear you. I am providing for you."

This is just a portion of what my father brought us.
Then the mail.... OH! The MAIL this week!  A $500 check from a choir-loving relative as a gift towards our daughter's trip to Spain to tour with her choir (she will get to sing with the Vienna Boys' Choir).  Arriving one day after we had to make a painfully big payment towards her trip.

God said, "I hear you. I am providing for you."

And the school supplies we ordered (thanks to the finally-here paycheck) arrived one day early. You know my kids and their artwork. Our colored pencils had been sharpened down to nubs, and we use a certain brand that blend nicely.  What a blessing to refill.  My children's artwork, as those of you who read my blog know very well, is a continual source of blessing, joy, and grace to me.

God said, "I hear you. I am providing for you."

And, as an Amazon "add-on" item, we were able to get this authentic box of "Turkish Delight" to complement our current read-aloud of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe..  It's imported from Turkey, and it matches what it looks like Edmund eats in the Disney version of the movie--and reviewers called it "authentic."  Oh... what a fun treat and little educational experience for my boys!

God says, "I hear you. I am providing for you."

And an email arrived from Amazon awarding me a $10 gift card for completing a survey for them. I was able to get this (saw it here on Elizabeth's blog). Oh... it's wonderful, and a perfect addition to Devotions with my littles, which is the central part of our schoolwork every day. And such beautiful artwork... I know it will inspire some lovely pictures.

Did you catch that I got this for free?  God said, "I hear you. I am providing for you."

And a big packet arrived in the mail from old, dear friends we haven't seen in 12 years.  And when I opened it?  This... the most adorable new outfits for our new baby girl arriving in April, in the perfect sizes and types for the seasons. And so unbelievably cute!

God says, "I hear you. I am providing for you."

And then, a box showed up on my porch from  I didn't order anything. I didn't want my husband to think I had ordered anything behind his back.  What the heck?  Nothing more than a thoughtful gift from a friend, that encouraged me in a very specific and special way.

God says, " I HEAR YOU, I am providing for you."

So. Why do I have pneumonia?

For God's glory. For the benefit of His perfect plan that is always in the works, even if I don't understand.  Just like when my 4yo doesn't understand why he has to take the yucky medicine. Or take a nap. Or NOT play the Wii for more than 30 minutes.

Why do I have pneumonia, for the fourth time since June (while I'm OLD and weak from illness, AND 6 months pregnant, might I add?)?

So God could remind me that He IS my shepherd. He hears my cries. He leads me. He provides. He knows what it best.

I will let His rod and staff comfort me.  Where He leads, in faith, I will follow.  Like a sheep, I have learned I am too stupid to go anywhere on my own! The sheep doesn't know the rocky path is what leads to water! The Shepherd knows.

I have pneumonia... but He is here. Hearing me. Comforting me. Providing for me. Loving me.  Leading me. Green pastures. Still waters. A restored soul.  This earth is my pilgrimmage through the valley of the shadow of death... but I will fear no evil.

And one day,

All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.
--Lady Julian of Norwich

One day, the green pastures and still waters will be my permanent resting place. I'm on my way!


  1. Camilla....I have no words. (Imagine!)

    (Ok, I have a few...)

    Pneumonia! Again!!! Your poor lungs. I will be praying for you. God must want you awfully close to His heart right now, to keep you on your knees so frequently.

    This post! Inspiring and beautiful and a testament to His blessings.

    1. Thank you, Sarah, for your prayers. I really wanted to write a post titled, "Alright! Who is praying for me?" I knew you were! And I say "knees?" That's too high up for me anymore. And that is good--because that is where the grace is, isn't it!

      Loved your first "Rest" series post today. It is such an encouragement. So uplifting. Such a help! I thought exactly of you when I read this in today's Office of Readings: "He died for us, that all of us, whether awake or asleep, together might live with him. Therefore, comfort and upbuild one another, as indeed you are doing."

      As indeed, girl, you are doing! Prayers in return! --Cam

  2. Cam, I am so sorry you are battling this again, but like are finding God, even in the midst of suffering, which is what I've always admired about you.

    This post is such a blessing to me because I love the little things that God does and the way He speaks to us in ways we can understand.

    He is so faithful to provide and if we didn't get to the bottom once in a while, I guess we would appreciate his provision as much.

    You have been richly blessed this week with love :)

    I pray that God will heal you and give you rest.