Wednesday, February 4, 2004

Believe It Can Be Different

by Donna L. Watkins
Originally Published in A Healing Moment - 2001

When we're in the middle of a bunch of health challenges, it's hard to think of going anywhere. I don't mean across the room, or around the town, but really going somewhere other than the state of mind we are in at the moment.

Poor health can be very discouraging. It takes your dreams and twists them up and throws them in the toilet, seemingly waiting for somebody to push the lever. Sometimes, we just go ahead and push the lever ourselves.....figuring there is no hope left for those dreams.

I believe it can be different!

All of us have seen people who have had serious health challenges and overcame them. Think of Helen Keller, deaf and blind - Franklin D. Roosevelt, President in a wheel chair - Norman Cousins, laughed himself out of a crippling incurable disease, proving laughter truly is good medicine.

What about us? Are they special people? What did they have that we don't? Nothing more than a right choice! We make choices every day ... I believe that it's what we BELIEVE that makes that choice for us, before we even know it.

I've been developing belief for many years and that's what took me from the couch in the city of Montgomery, AL, to a new home in the woods of Prattville, AL, with an acre and a half of land which we named, "The Refuge." We moved there in January of 1990 and the previous year we had made less than $10,000. We put all we had into that mortgage so we could get a no document loan, meaning the bank couldn't ask what our income was.

The next few years we didn't make much more than that, but we scrimped and pinched because we believed that's where we wanted to be. I couldn't be in the sun with vitiligo, so it gave me a place to walk and talk with God and be in His Creation that I loved....and we felt it was a good choice for our son, who was ADHD, as we home-schooled and gave him a place to release his excess energy.

It wasn't a sensible move. It wasn't even something we should've thought as possible. But somewhere inside of me, with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and vitiligo restraining my life, I knew there was more. The woods were my refuge in life. For many years I lived with "my diseases" peacefully since I was in awe of being able to do it in the woods, but somewhere not too long ago, I realized that there was more to life than that and just as we were able to make that move and to pay that house off in 7 years, which was a miracle in itself, I knew there was something else - something even more. And the real knowledge came when I began to believe that it was okay for me to have something more.

That's when we began the process of being able to move to a cooler climate so that I could enjoy Creation even more and even be a volunteer for organizations that want to preserve it. Alabama has eight (8) good months of heat. That put me inside for most of the year, and with that lifestyle, it was hard to change my mindset to do anything the other four (4) months of the year.

In August 2000, we decided to move to Virginia and believed we could make it happen. We found a house in September and moved in November. Here we are. The house in Alabama hasn't sold, we have a mortgage here, and we're scrimping again. But! we're making dreams come true ... and getting better at it.

Sacrifice is worth it and makes everything look so much better. We learned to be frugal when we bought our first house in the woods and that lesson stayed with us ... that's how we paid off that house ... and it's how we're making this mortgage until the Alabama house sells. There is so much more to life than stuff, and it's the stuff in our lives that keeps us from doing many things. What we own, owns us, in one form or fashion.

The lesson to be learned? BELIEVE in yourself! God has no stepchildren! You are a child of Abba Father. He loves you enough to have sent His only Son to die for you. Why would He not give you good health? Would a good father want His child to be sick? Of course not! I'm still chewing on and digesting the Bible fact that Jesus bore all our sickness and disease. My belief is going to make the difference on how that is operating in my life.

Remember when you had a bad day at school and you just didn't want to go back the next day? You went to sleep thinking of it and when your Mom woke you for school, you had an awful tummy ache and informed her you had to stay home. So, you now had the day to be sick, whether you were or not.

Do we have "bad days" in life or maybe even in the womb, or in our early childhood, where we somehow decide that life is scary and we don't want to participate? Do we set up a belief in something that we would now know in our maturity wasn't necessary? Are those beliefs buried within us somewhere? Do they form the root or foundation of our health?

I'm asking myself these questions......I'm finding some very interesting answers. I'm finding some beliefs I formed in my early days of "religion" are not what I believe any more.....but it's hard to renew my mind. It's work to renew the mind. However, it is also a command, so if you find things you believed without really going through the process of making that choice --- in other words it was presented as a fact, and you didn't have the option to think otherwise --- then maybe it's time to go back over and review those beliefs. What do YOU believe? Are you being true to yourself?

That's why I write and challenge you and myself to think about what you believe and why you believe it. If you see something that you don't agree with, do you just click the unsubscribe link? Or do you chew it for a while before you decide whether to swallow or spit? I was in a stage of my own Christianity that when I saw something that didn't line up with my list of laws, I would flee from it. What was I thinking? Did I believe that the words could contaminate me? Did I believe that if I read it I would change my mind? If that were so, then I didn't really have a belief, but a legalistic list.

Take some time - you can find 5-10 minutes, even if it's in the shower or on the toilet - to think about what your dreams would be if you dared to dream. If you become more of who you are ... of who you truly want to be ... it will affect your health for the better! I am slowly leaving behind the diseases I've carried and once believed were a lifelong burden.

I will continue.....and I know there are many of you who are walking beside me. March on....there are others following. Let your light so shine before men that they will see our Father in Heaven.

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