The MS Shuffle

Lately, I’ve run across a few things that “remind” me of the challenges faced over the last year. It’s been almost a year since my son started having initial symptoms of MS. I think of how the last 12 months passed in what seemed like 12 weeks…how every day just seemed to race past us out of control….how the past year seemed to have no escape from MS. How I longed for one day….just one where I didn’t have to think about, worry about or talk about MS. Haven’t had one yet.

Last January, our family had plans…not elaborate…we lived on a very fixed income. But, we managed. The October prior (2013) we rented a building and started a church mission in our area. We were looking forward to new ministry opportunities. We desired to travel throughout the state and minister in other churches – my husband is a minister and I have a music ministry. We planned to put braces on our son and take some sort of family vacation. When my daughter turned 18, we had hoped she could celebrate with her best friend back in Alaska. That didn’t happen. I was looking to return to work again and help us get ahead of things and start to breathe a little again. That breath never came. The braces were put on hold. The vacation (or anything that resembles one) is a long way down the road. After one year, we decided to lessen our church expenses and moved to a weekly home study.

All that said, just because life didn’t happen the way I planned the last 12 months doesn’t mean life didn’t happen. Yes, we had and have many challenges. There were/are many days looking at the funds coming in and going out and seeing that those coming in were far less than what needed to go out! Has it been hard? Heck yes! Would I change it? Well…some things yes…I could easily say I could have done without the MS part.

Many days, I wonder what brought MS into our lives? Why my kids? Why life changed so dramatically and beyond our control. Not that we have control…God has His purpose and plans. How did what we thought was a plan be far from reality? Obviously, no one PLANS to have MS so I understand that aspect. I mean, I didn’t grow up thinking, “I want to be an MS Specialist!” But, somehow I am…Still…the mind wanders and wonders why this path was chosen for us.

What I do know is this: Since starting this journey, our family has met many AMAZING and INSPIRING people – others living with MS and their family and friends. Parents just like us who were hit with this hurricane and looking for answers…looking for peace…looking for room to breathe. Others have helped us on the journey and strangely, we have helped others diagnosed after my son who were just as lost as we were.

The photo shown is from a young woman we’ve crossed paths with on this MS journey…she shared her discovery that she has the “MS Walk!” How her feet shuffle and she can’t walk a straight line.  I loved this photo because my daughter has always had difficulty walking a straight line. She too has recently discovered she has the MS Shuffle. new-walk

I think this photo is a great example of how sometimes life throws a curve…we start off on the what seems like a straightforward path and then all of the sudden the path winds…the wind blows us a bit and we rock back and forth but somehow we stay on the path of moving forward. It may not have been as straightforward as we thought but it was forward.

To remove MS from the past year would also change the life’s lessons learned from the last 12 months. It would leave out the people we have come to know and love…it would mean we’d miss out on seeing God “come through” when our bank account couldn’t…to hang on to His very word that says, “I WILL make a way in the desert!” When there seems to be no way, God says, “I AM THE WAY!”

Do I want my kids to be healed??? MORE THAN ANYTHING. Do I want God’s glory to be revealed? You betcha! If walking this MS journey is part of that, then I guess we have to walk it..not a mile at a time but one step at a time…because the next step could change course at any given moment.

Treasure today. Treasure the moment.

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