I didn't know the answer until today...when a client was here in my studio to discuss her Christmas card. We talked over the card details in the way I always do...with me trying to get a sense of what has been meaningful to her family this year so that I can articulate that for her in the card. And that's when it hit me: my story has been given to me not just for myself, but as encouragement for others. For her...and maybe even for you.
It would take days for me to unpack all of the details, but here's my best nutshell version:
I love life and I love the Lord.
The first words I heard God speak to my heart were from John 10:10. "I have come so that you may have life and have it to the FULL!" (I was 12 years old at Camp Ozark.)
I didn't know the Lord back then, but those words fired me up! They spoke to my heart. That's the life I wanted to live...a full, abundant life.
And so I did. I lived life to the full despite resistance, obstacles and trials.
But then something happened. Lots of things really, but the biggest was that I nearly lost my life. It's not a day I want to remember...and yet it's a day I'd give anything to remember. It was the day I gave birth to my second and youngest daughter. (I'll spare you the details.)
The months and years following her birth were plagued with adrenal failure, anemia, exhaustion, low energy, a compromised immune system...and an overall BLURRY state. I even had an inexplicable stroke-like incident somewhere along the way.
I was barely living. Abundant life didn't describe me at all.
And then came the migraines...on top of the low energy, adrenal fatigue, compromised immune system and brain fog. I was only half-alive for the last seven and a half years. It pains me to say it.
I had forgotten the promise of John 10:10...entirely. And on the few occasions when I was reminded of it, I listened to the lies of the one who comes to steal (the enemy of God; read the first part of John 10:10 to make sense of that). I heard dark whispers like, "The abundant life isn't for you, Linsey. You are low energy. You have headaches. You can't really live life to the full. Look what happens when you try...you feel worse!"
And I believed it. Until now.
Today, despite a foggy head, I am LIVING AGAIN! Really living. God is doing a new work in me these days. He has spoken the promise of abundant life back into my heart...not just once, but day after day! And this time...I'm listening! As if for the first time.
Friends, the John 10:10 promise isn't just for my heart. It's spoken over your life, too. Do you need to hear that today? Are you weary and broken down? Are you just going through the motions...barely getting by each day? Or maybe you've got an abundance of energy but are living for things that don't bring abundant life and deep satisfaction? I've been in every one of those places. John 10:10 is for all of them.
In closing, I'll leave you with a powerful song HERE from Third Day. I'm claiming this as my "new song." No more half living!
And because I can't bear to give you so many words without at least one visual image, I couldn't resist making one of those fun word clouds with words from the song:
Here's to LIVING AGAIN!
P.S. In case you ever need a good doctor in Houston,
here's who's helped me live again:
Dr. Nellie Grose (M.D.) 713.660.6620
Tracy Southwick (Naturopath) 713.861.6777
Dr. Patrick Krupka (D.C.)
And my amazing husband, Dr. J.D. Hasenbank
along with his partner, Dr. Daniel DeWalch.