by Connie Kee
I was born a Type A personality, and I really had trouble even sitting down to enjoy a cup of coffee. There was too much to do and not enough time to accomplish everything. Rest – what was that? It was not even a word in my vocabulary. That all changed on a summer day in 1993. A most unwelcomed creature, a tick, decided that I would be a good host. And unfortunately for me, that tick was also a host to a myriad of diseases including Lyme disease and multiple co-infections. My life was changed forever.
During the years that followed, extreme fatigue, pain and other issues became a constant reminder that something was wrong. That tick was not even a blip on my radar screen and unfortunately for me, the doctors never considered it either. Over the next 17 years, I became sicker and sicker, going from doctor to doctor with no answers, just misdiagnoses such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. The strange thing was that on the outside I looked fine, which made my suffering invisible to others. But my story is not an unusual or uncommon one for this is the story of thousands of people suffering from Tick Borne Diseases including Lyme disease. In fact, last year, the Centers for Disease Control estimated that there are at least 300,000 new cases of Lyme disease every year, making it the most common Tick Borne Disease in the world.
During those years, and still to this day, I cried out to God – for His presence, for His peace, for His healing and for answers. “God, what is wrong with me?” became the cry of my heart. But what about that word ‘rest’ – the one that was never in my vocabulary and the one that I never had time for? Well, it became my constant companion. But more important, God had treasures for me in that rest.
I clearly remember a time years ago when I was spending many days on the couch. I would prepare a pot of soup early in the morning, and then I would head to the couch to rest. One day, my thoughts turned to Psalm 23:
1“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.”
As I thought of this Scripture, I saw so many promises and truths for my life and situation. The reality that Jesus was my Shepherd, that He was caring for me, protecting me and providing for my every need, illuminated my heart and mind. These truths became a reality to me and I knew that even though I was not well and didn’t even know what was wrong, Jesus was caring for me; He was with me; and He loved me. Great peace and comfort came over me.
But there was more! Verse 2 says: “He makes me to lie down in green pastures;” Wow! The verse doesn’t say that I see the green pastures and run as fast as I can to lay down in them. No, it says that He MAKES me to lie down. He MAKES me rest! Up until that day when the plug was pulled from my body and all the energy drained out, I was busy, busy, busy and always on overdrive. That was me. I was trying to take care of everything and everybody. So that day on the couch, I began to see that even though God had not caused my health problems, He was using them for good in my life (Romans 8:28). He was “making me to lie down in green pastures,” and the thought of that changed everything.
Can you envision green pastures? They are beautiful, luscious, fertile and full of life. The sunshine and rains nourish them and provide all that they need to grow and flourish. This place of rest is where His Living Waters (Jesus Christ) nourish and feed us, and where His love shines on us, healing and restoring our souls (Psalm 23:3).
Seeing the beauty of my Shepherd and the amazing restfulness of the green pastures brought me to a place of trusting God more in every aspect of my life. The process of handing the reins of my life over to Him was accelerated, and I began to stop striving. I will tell you, it was life changing and I have never been the same. As I have found, there are many great and marvelous treasures from our loving Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in the green pastures, so rest, release your cares and burdens, and be refreshed!
P.S. I now LOVE sitting down enjoying a cup of coffee so please, let’s make a coffee date!
**For more information on tick borne diseases and support for sufferers, go to www.natcaplyme.org, the website for the National Capital Lyme Disease Association