Thoughts on Jumping off a Cliff

Today I jumped off a cliff.

For the past 16 years I have been dealing with a chronic intestinal illness called Crohn’s Disease. While I have had a number of flare-ups over the past years, to be honest, I have been extremely fortunate that my disease has been manageable with medication (8-16 pills a day with no real side effects) and slight dietary modifications. Many people who suffer with IBD are not so fortunate.

This fall, my body began sending me signals that all was not well. A series of scopes and and scans revealed three things:

1) my disease is active
2) over time the disease has taken its toil on my system
2) my past treatment plan is no longer working

Two weeks ago, I saw a new doctor who happens to be one of the top experts in our medically rich part of the world. He indicted that his personal bias for patient care was “deep remission.” Now trust me, I am all for deep remission. However, deep remission comes with a cost –ย  an aggressive treatment plan with all sorts of potential side effects.

Today I began a new treatment plan. It sounds so simple: one small pill. The drug is mercaptopurine, an immunosuppressive drug which is used typically used to treat leukemia. While the drug has been known to be highly effective in treating Crohn’s, to be honest the potential side effects scare the crap out of me. I started to read the fine print a number of times, but could never make it past the first sentence or two. You know how at the pharmacy check-out you have to sign something indicating you do not need counseling; in my case, I need psychological counseling. Truth be told while I had the prescription filled last week, but it has taken me days to work up the courage to swallow the first one. Why? Because downing that pill would require of me the faith of leap.

Over the past couple of month, my coach Steve from Centered for Life Coaching has been encouraging me to take some risks and has placed before me the image of jumping off the cliff. Until my call this month, our coaching conversations, while not unimportant, certainly did not contain the level of significance or risk factor that my challenge with Crohn’s possesses.

As we talked about my decision abut this new approach to treatment, I was especially grateful for Steve’s reminder that I am not stepping off the edge into some dark abyss with no hope of a good outcome, but I am actually leaping into the arms of a God who is both strong and loving. As he spoke my mind raced to the words of Psalm 62:11

“One thing God has spoken, two things I have heard: power belongs to you, God, and with you, Lord, is unfailing love.”

Now I believe in a God who heals and I trust that God will heal me; that healing may be instantaneously, progressively or ultimately. But until then each day will be a fresh opportunity for me to face my fears, trust and jump into the arms of a strong and loving God.

What is your cliff? Where is God calling you to practice the faith of leap? What’s stopping you from doing that today?

Please pray for me. And know that I would be glad to pray for you as you face your own cliff.

Stay connected…

Comments

  1. Terry,
    Just prayed for you. May you have a great holiday season and experience the joy of base jumping :>

    Much love and respect.

  2. Terry, good chatting with you this morning. And thanks for sharing here. Sounds like a tough road to travel emotionally if not physically. I sincerely hope the pills go down well.

    Related to our conversation, have you heard of TheHighCalling.org? We host conversations about life, work, and God there. THC is similar to the content at Jubilee, but more for a post-college audience and generally concentrated around four categories: family, work, culture and faith.

    You can visit the home page at http://www.thehighcalling.org/

    Have a merry Christmas.
    Sam
    Sam Van Eman recently posted..Ingredients

    • It was great talking this morning Sam and I am thrilled that you will be able to be with us in February. I appreciate the encouraging words as well.

      I have some familiarity with it, but need to delve in deeper.

      Stay connected…
      TT

  3. Lori Rennick says:

    I give you credit Terry for being vulnerable enough to share a personal struggle. So many Christians keep their struggles to themselves and call it FAITH. I’m praying for you… That God will sustain you and make you a testimony to his faithfulness. Have a wonderful Christmas and I’ll see you in the new year.

    • Lori – thanks for your encouragement, friendship and support on the journey. You are a pretty good cliff jumper yourself and have demonstrated the faith of leap to me by your willingness to follow the call of God upon your life especially in your faithfulness to love and serve the people of Haiti.

      TT

  4. Laureen O'Brien says:

    Sorry to hear about this Terry, but know that you are in my heart and in my prayers. I thank God that you have made it this long without additional treatment! The only issue I had when I was on 6-MP was the thinning of my hair (haha). It was waist long and straight at the time, and it was EVERYWHERE, So I got it cut short. When it came back in, it was wavy. Since yours is already short, you probably won’t even notice. ๐Ÿ˜€

    “See, I am doing a new thing!” Problem is, we don’t always welcome that new thing, because it’s scary, it hurts, it’s unknown, what will happen, what if I get worse???? Yeah, but what if you get well? ๐Ÿ™‚

    Funny that Crohn’s (although still annoying) is one of the least of my health problems now, but again, every day, through the suffering, He teaches me more and more and more about love and compassion.

    Just a quick nutritional note – organic carrot/spinach/apple juice works wonders, at least for me. <3 I'd make you some if I was in town. Take care.

    • I miss you Laureen – I am finishing up our musical plans for Christmas Eve and you would sound great on some of these songs. Thanks for speaking into my life from your experience – that’s really helpful (except for the spinach juice idea which sounds nasty).

      Have a blessed Christmas – T

      • Laureen O'Brien says:

        I miss you too – and you can’t really taste the spinach when you juice it with carrot and apple. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. You continue to be in my thoughts and prayers, Terry, for grace, strength, wisdom and healing, as you move into this unknown territory. Appreciate your willingness to be vulnerable here.

  6. Thanks for sharing Terry – will keep you in my thoughts and prayers and I look forward to hearing updates. I think I’m on a cliff (or two) of my own. Trying to determine if I’m being called to jump. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Anna – thanks so much for staying connected and for your prayers. In my eyes, you are a “wild at heart kind of woman of faith” and I pray that God gives you ears to hear his voice as you continue on your ongoing adventure of faith.

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