July 4, 2019

A Soul on Fire

Posted in: Personal, Silver Linings

The Migraine Chronicles: Week 1

Thank you, God, for my chronic migraines.

Yes, you heard me right. And I’m not being sarcastic. At least not this time. There are many blogs out there about chronic pain & how to manage it. This is not that blog. I’ll let them do that job & do it better.

My first silver lining… increased faith.

Now, hold on, if you’re not a believer this isn’t about preaching to you. I believe in being authentic to yourself & my faith is a big part of who I am. But I also believe if you struggle through out the day like me (albeit maybe for different reasons) you too might find unexpected strength & rewards from your trials. Doing ordinary tasks with an extraordinary love can transform you one day at a time into a person you weren’t expecting to be, but might give thanks for. Stay with me through the Christian talk, my friend, and you might find out we’re more alike than you think. And I promise, not every silver linings post will be about my faith. But I can’t talk about the rewards from suffering from chronic migraines (defined as more than 15 migraine days every month) without talking about one of the biggest impacts it has made.

Jesus didn’t promise us an Earth without suffering. “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) I thank God for my migraines because He is transforming me each day. The amount of effort I go through to ensure I work my shifts at the hospital or work full time as a photographer is tremendous. Or to prepare for a family vacation. To obtain full, quality of life days when I don’t burn up or burn out, I have to plan my time & energy wisely. At first, it was about survival. But now, I strive to be present… to be an active participate in my own life. Sadly, for a couple years recently, I did not feel that way. I referred to myself as a supporting actor in my own life. It took time, hard work, community & lots of grace. Now, I know my weakness gives me strength.

If this post reaches you on a hard day, please don’t think I have it all together. Snort! Suffering whether it be chronic pain, illness, depression or even the trials of raising children should not be taken lightly. If you’re having a horrible, crying, fetal position type of day reach out to somebody right now. A loved one. A professional. A neighbor. Anybody.

The Silver Lining blog series is about lifting yourself up. Maybe not today. But it could be the road map for making the next truly horrible day a little bit easier. Choose the lens with which you see the world with: will you choose one with an attitude of gratitude? Find one small thing to be grateful for in the chaos. Something like, today I showered & it was glorious. And give yourself a little grace on the days you struggle to find a silver lining. Every day may not be good but there is something good in every day.

I can wax on and on about how God sets my soul on fire. Sometimes this happens even while my body feels as if it’s on fire, a lovely migraine symptom called an aura. (Yes, there’s more than one type of aura & no, they’re not always warning signs. They can last the whole migraine. Which may be days, weeks or months. Fun times! –That time was buckets of sarcasm.) But it’s time to close this post so I’ll end in prayer.

So, yes, I thank you God for my migraines. Heavenly Father,

You know deep in my heart I don’t want them anymore. I won’t stop praying to be healed. But I know in your timing not mine I will be. When it is truly to my benefit you will heal me. If I was healed tomorrow & forgot your kingdom, my eternal happiness would be lost. And like a loving father, you protect me always. I ask that you protect whoever is reading this post. Whatever they maybe struggling with today grant them the graces they need to overcome. Grant them faith, hope & love.

I ask this in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.

Until Next Time,

Caty

The Migraine Chronicles are a 10-part blog series released every Thursday. Check back in next week for the next silver lining. Can’t wait? Good news! Pick & click one below:

The Migraine Chronicles: Silver Linings

Week 1: A Soul on Fire

Week 2: Part I My Dreams Come True Weekend

Week 2: Part II The Happiest Place on Earth

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Caty dunlap photography 2019

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