If you have read A Little Piece of My Spiritual Journey you probably already know in 2008 and 2009 I thought I was going through the hardest moment of my life and was going to lose something, if not everything. I specifically mention the night my son started to turn blue, and I thought I was going to lose him, and if not him, I would definitely lose our house, car, or whatever else we had, due to medical bills. We had 5 hard medical years. Now, I laugh, because it has been 10 years. Regardless, in those dark moments I realized as I wrote in A Little Piece of My Spiritual Journey “I had never felt so stripped in my life, I felt like I was walking around completely exposed.” I had generous neighbors pay our mortgage, I had a mother’s group I attended, Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) give us money, I was given groceries and most importantly my child lived, and blessings didn’t stop. Still blessing haven’t stopped, but things haven’t been easy. In fact, I almost feel things are harder now.
For instance, recently I have been given the diagnoses of losing brain mass. I have a long medical history starting from the day of my birth being told I would not live through the night. Now 37 years later by God’s grace, I am still alive after fighting death numerous times. Currently I battle 2 diseases (asthma and GERD) and four hospitals are currently looking for other diseases, disorders, and/or syndromes. Overall, I am grateful because I have battled and conquered a nasty disease called C-diff. I am so thankful c-diff is gone, but it did leave battle scars.
One scar that continues to open is a syndrome called Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), I also have multiple disorders’ (Endometriosis, IBS, Fibromyalgia, PMDD, Anxiety, Depression; added with a whole lot of other symptoms.) It’s a lot to manage on top of having medically fragile and/or special needs children. However, after reading an article tonight from Christianity Today I am wondering about vulnerability, because the title of article in the November 2014 issue is called, “Sorry, Brené Brown: Not All Vulnerability Is Brave.” With that being said, I began to wonder if being as vulnerable as I am, should I be asking the question “Who took off my clothes?” I can’t deny the feeling of being stripped regarding the circumstances that happened in 2008 and 2009. And as funny as it may be I really do have to take off my clothes a lot of the time for all my medical procedures, but I always put them back on after my appointment. Through all of this I’ve discovered after my appointment with my neurologist, discussing that my brain mass loss is like equivalent to dementia I realize I took off my clothes. Of course not literally, but as I was crying outside the hospital sitting next to a cement wall feeling like I should just go live on the streets, I took off my clothes.
It has been a hard battle not being dressed for a few weeks, in fact the other day I was sitting with my dad (obviously with real tangible clothes on) talking about how he was going to preach a sermon specifically about garments. He mentioned scriptures like Isaiah 61:3 “To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.” He also mentioned other verses regarding the priestly garments and we discussed his sermon some more. At that time it never occurred to me then that I took off my clothes, specifically my spiritual clothes. I took off the garment of praise. I took the breast plate, the belt of truth….I took everything off. I took off my identity in Christ.
With all that being said, I encourage you to put your clothes on! Isaiah 5:27 is encouraging too. It says, “No one will be weary or stumble among them, No one will slumber or sleep; Nor will the belt on their loins be loosed, Nor the strap of their sandals be broken.” God encouraged them to fight and keep their clothes on!
So again, I encourage you, put your clothes on! Be strengthened in God’s righteousness, his identity and his garment. When we are naked, we are ashamed. I’ve been ashamed of my losses, but I don’t have to be. Jesus can cover me just as Isaiah 61:10 says in The Message, “Sing for joy in God, explode in praise from deep in my soul! He dresses[s] me up in a suit of salvation, he [fits] me in a robe of righteousness.”
We got some great clothes to wear so let’s put ’em on, and keep ’em on!