Jumbled, Confused, and Strong

Thursday, October 11, 2012  ::  

I haven't posted anything for a few weeks. If you know me personally or you've read any other posts you probably know why I've been kind of quiet.

Chad and I are still visiting doctors so I can get poked and prodded as doctors try to figure out why I randomly had a stroke one day. So far, all my systems have checked out beautifully which is a very good thing.

My heart? Great. My blood? Excellent. My arteries? Clear and flowing. One more test to check the smaller blood vessels in my brain. I wonder why they couldn't check the smaller ones when they checked the larger ones, but who am I to question a neurologist? I planned lessons about leaves for children in college. (No offense to all you fantastic amazing teachers out there.)

After this final test when they tell me the small blood vessels in my brain are also perfectly fine (which is, of course, what we are praying) we will move forward with a cryptogenic stroke diagnosis which basically means I randomly had a stroke one day. More about that when it becomes the actual diagnosis...

As for my quietness in blogging, my brain hurts. I mean, I can tell you exactly where my stroke occurred because when I think for a long time on a subject, or review my memory packet for too long, or engage in intense conversations, or plan four sessions on Titus 3 for a women's retreat my right temporal lobe throbs. So, in order to avoid pain in my brain, I avoid this blog.

The thing is I love this blog. It is a convenient tool to use with the women of Second Mile I am blessed to lead. A few people I've met though out life read my thoughts which humbles and excites me. It has also become a conduit for relationships with women I would have never "met" apart from this crazy internet land. When I'm not blogging I feel somewhat voiceless in these areas.

I was blessed over this past weekend in that Retreat de Moxie gave me the opportunity to use my voice with 47 lovely ladies. I spoke on Titus 3, challenging the women with reminders of how to treat people, who we were before Christ, that we are saved by His generous kindness and love, and how we should treat one another. The passage continues to play over and over in my mind. My prayer is it is playing over and over in their minds, too.

To be honest, this weekend took everything I had. The sports mantra "leave it all on the field" popped into my head several times during the retreat. After each session I went to my little closet that my sweet friends transformed into my room and laid on my air mattress and let the tears stream. Don't worry, friends. It's mostly stroke symptomatic. However, there was also emotion stemming from desiring my old brain back. I didn't want to have to lay down. I wanted to talk with everyone, to hear what each person was processing, to stay up late and laugh, but physically I just couldn't.

As I would lay there and pray, 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 became more personal than it had ever been.

There was given me a thorn in my flesh (in my brain). Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it from me (probably more like 30 times.) But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in all kinds of weaknesses." Therefore, in the quiet moments in my closet I chose to be thankful for this new weakness which allowed me to depend on Jesus in a way I never had. In my weakness, I pray he used my words to challenge the women and glorify Himself.   (Paraphrased and made personal)

After the third and last session on Saturday evening, I sat down and turned my heart towards Jesus to thank him for letting me speak to His daughters. I confessed to Him that I felt like it was the worst teaching I had ever spoken in my ministry years, that it was jumbled and confusing because my brain felt jumbled and confused, but asked that He would use it anyway. I confessed my feelings to some friends and they told me my assessment was wrong. Isn't the Spirit funny that way? When I felt my absolute weakest, He made something good for His people to hear.

"Remind the people...Titus 3" 

Thank you, Moxie ladies, for letting me lead you during the retreat. Your prayers helped to lift and carry me. You all make me so happy.

Thank you, friends, for continuing to love and support me during this weird time. I often tell myself what I'm going through could be much worse in order to gain perspective, but perspective does not diminish the fact that my brain has changed and this is difficult.

My hope is to continue to write on this blog. I'm pretending it is good therapy to help the re-wiring of my brain progress a little faster. Don't you agree?

Retreat de Moxie friends. Photo taken by the lovely Monique. 

8 important comments so far. What are your thoughts?

Anonymous said...

I just love you, Angel Haynes! I just do!

Wendy said...

You may feel jumbled or confused, but you are absolutely strong! Your strength shows in these beautiful words you write. Your body is strong, your minds is strong and more importantly your faith is strong. You are a blessing to so many! Prayers to you Angel! And as it is written in Isaiah 40:29-31 "He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

The 4 Sullivans said...

WOW!!! Your "jumbled and confused" brain is sooo much wiser than my brain!!! You are such a testimony and I can't wait to some day actually get to hang out with you!!! I am praying for you and trust that God has something amazing planned!!! Much love, Kristie

wearitbaseball said...

Awesome Angel! I'm sure you spoke some major truth up there even though you were completely spent. Will continue to pray for your lobe... :)

Anonymous said...

I see, and hear and read how much you love and are being loved by Jesus! The depth of that love and the love you have for the people in your life touches me deeply! I love you precious daughter....your words encourage me! Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Angel, as another that has experienced "jumbled and confused", as you put it; (from different diagnosis) but seem to be getting better, you will be in my thoughts and Prayers. Your Love, Strength, Faith and Testimony touches me so very deeply! May God's grace forever be upon you. Your words encourage me as so do the words of your Mom beginning on Sept. 28, 2007. Your parents continue showing us a tremendous amount of love, comfort and guidance. You are so loved by many and doing an awesome ministry!
God Bless You dear one,
Vicki P

Unknown said...

I remember distinctly thinking to myself at the retreat, "Wow, Angel's message outlines are so clear." Not even kidding.

Tori Einstein said...

I've been thinking about Titus 3 a lot since we got back from the retreat. I was deeply challenged throughout the sessions but especially session 1. Remind the people to have respect for authority and remind the people to have respect for all. Man there were some deep truths spoken in that session.

It was such an encouragement to see you press in and rely on Jesus to get you through the weekend. Thank you for being a great example to us, Angel!

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