Never Alone

Majestic CloudsI was diagnosed a few years ago with something called “Autonomic Neuropathy” which basically translates to a sensitive nervous system. It affects all of the things that your body does on auto-pilot, heart-rate, sweating, digestion, body temperature control, etc.  When you have neuropathy, it can send these otherwise automatic bodily functions into overdrive and it can happen at any time, for no particular reason.   I am still trying to figure out what caused it, but although unpredictable, it is not without triggers.  The most common ones being stress, lack of sleep, caffeine, alcohol, red meat, dairy, shellfish and raw fish.  Hence, the reason I gave up all of the above in 2010 and started going to bed by 9pm.   The one thing I have not successfully taken control of is the stress.  This year has been a particularly stressful one. I have had more serious and more frequent neuropathy episodes in 2015 than I’ve had in the past 5 years combined.   Most of the time they happen when I’m traveling and most of the time I have to travel alone.  On my last night in Charlotte, this past weekend, I awoke at midnight with my heart fluttering back and forth in my chest.  Immediately nausea swept over me and sharp shooting pains in my stomach, your typical  “fight or flight” response.   I got out of bed and tried to slow my heart rate by walking back and forth in my room to get out all of the nervous energy and I began to pray.  “Lord have mercy on me, please blanket my body with your peace”.  Next my body began trembling causing my teeth to chatter and my knees to shake.  I could no longer walk so I tried lying down but the nausea and the heat on the back of my neck was too much to endure so I went to the bathroom again and got a cold washcloth for my neck to try to regulate my temperature.   “Water, do I have enough water in this hotel room?” was all I could think.  I drank a bottle of water slowly and tried to call my husband.  No answer.  I was all alone again. This was happening again.  My body was out of control again.  No one to comfort me.  No one to know I was even afraid.  Then I remembered my two friends from church who serve as emergency prayer partners for me and shot a group text asking them to pray.  Immediately one of them responded. “I am praying.  God is your strength”.   At the same time, Jeff finally called.  He and Luke prayed with me and I lay there with my body shaking uncontrollably listening to the sound of my little boy praying “God please heal mommy and give her your peace” as his little voice trailed off to sleep.   Jeff took over praying “Lord Jesus please restore your peace to my princess right now and let her sleep”.    He offered to stay on the phone with me until I fell asleep. He said “I have my phone on my chest and I’m going to sleep too”.  I mirrored him by putting my phone on my chest close enough to my ear so I could hear him breathing.  And then there was peace.  My body stopped shaking.  My heart rate slowed to a familiar rhythm and we fell asleep together, 3,000 miles apart.    The next morning I couldn’t stop thinking about how alone I had felt, but that I was never really alone.  Our feelings can be so unreliable at times and we need our brains to remind us of the truth that supercedes our feelings.  “I will never leave you nor forsake you, Jesus said.  As I left the hotel, my Bible app prompted me with the scripture of the day “Whosoever shall confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, God abideth in him, and he in God”. 1 John 4:15.  I am never alone.