Monday, July 21, 2014

The Things that Bind Us - Devotional #1

A couple of years ago, a friend and I were driving when a particularly bad lightening storm blew in.  Before we knew it, lightening hit a tree about fifty feet in front of my car.  The tree fell in front of the car taking down the pole with a power transformer on it approximately ten feet in front of the car.  As it hit the ground, it exploded into a burst of flames, taking down the power lines and the pole behind our car.  With shrieks of terror, we both wondered if the car itself was going to burst into flames.  Thankfully, the flames were quickly extinguished by the rain.  However, we were left in the car in the driving rain with the power lines literally wrapped around the car, wondering what might fall on us next or if another car would hit us.  The lines were wrapped so tightly around the car that the rear view mirrors and side paint were removed.  

With our hearts racing, we immediately turned off the car, called 911 and began to pray for God's protection and peace.  After praying, we each called our fathers not knowing if we would have the chance to talk with them again.  Within a matter of fifteen minutes, the fire department arrived but could not come near the car because the power lines were live.  How we chafed against those power lines that were holding us in the car keeping us from what we thought were rescue and safety.  We kept trying to think of ways to get out of the car.  Climbing out of the sunroof once it stopped raining was actually one of our harebrained thoughts as we sat in the car watching the firemen chatting as they waited for the power company to arrive.  We kept thinking "if only those wires hadn't pinned us into the car, we would be free!" 

After several hours of sitting in the car, the local power company finally arrived and confirmed that they had deactivated the power lines.  Upon getting out of the car, we told the firemen and the power company officials how frustrated we had been by being bound into the car by the wires and how afraid we had been that the wires were going to electrocute the car.  Their collective response was immediate. If we had gotten out of the car before the power company had killed those wires that were lying on the ground around our cars, we would have almost certainly been killed.  

My friend and I have reflected many times since this on what a powerful analogy for life it was.  How many times in life, do we feel that something is holding us back - preventing us from being free or meeting our goals?  We rage and complain; we arm wrestle with God. We worry and stress over things about which we can do nothing.  Yet, is it possible during those times when we feel hemmed in by life's circumstances that God is actually working a blessing in our lives?  Certainly in our situation with the car and the wires, this was true.  But it has also made me stop and wonder if I shouldn't be thanking God for what He might be doing in my life to save or benefit me in other situations when I feel trapped.  

One area in my life were I frequently feel the most trapped is by my Migraines.  However, when I look back over the past seven years of Chronic Migraines, I can see that because of my bonds I have found blessings that I might not have found any other way.  I am learning to thank God in all circumstances.  I am learning to become a more patient individual.  I am learning that my value isn't in what I am able to do.  I have met wonderful, dear friends in the Migraine community who I may have never met any other way.  I have learned about other health issues which needed to be taken care of because my Migraines forced me to slow down and go to the doctor.  I have learned to be thankful for normal days without pain even if they aren't filled with great fun and adventure.  I have seen God meet my financial needs in powerful ways.  I have had friends and family show me what real love is as they have ministered and taken care of me when I couldn't do that for myself.  

God is always faithful.  He always uses the bonds in our life for His glory and our good.  May I become one who thanks God in every situation rather than always complaining and questioning.  I may not see the benefit of the situation immediately, but if I keep my heart open and pliable, I know that God will reveal the blessing in the storm to me.

Growing in His Grace,

An Apology

I just realized that I had over 20 comments awaiting moderation - some which were more than a year old!  Please forgive me failure to see these and to respond to them.  If you want to get in touch with me, please email me at  I saw that some of you had questions, and I'd be glad to answer them.  Thanks for the comments and the patience!!  I'd love to attribute it solely to my Migraine brain, but it also has to do with my slowly growing knowledge of technology!  

Friday, July 18, 2014

AHMA 2014 Conference and Blog Plans

It's hard for me to believe that I haven't written anything on this blog since 2013!  It certainly isn't because I have lost the zeal for Migraine advocacy.  There are, however, new plans in the works.  Within the next few weeks, I hope to roll out my new web page -  This blog will become a spiritual encouragement and devotional blog for those who deal with Migraine, other Headache Disorders, and chronic pain. 

In the meantime, I have had a number of amazing opportunities.  The first one was to attend the Second Annual American Headache and Migraine Association (AHMA) conference in Los Angeles.  I cannot begin to tell you what an honor it was to spend time with so many of my virtual headache buddies in real life and how much encouragement I received just by being a part of them.  I also had the opportunity to listen to world class experts in the area of Headache and Migraine management speak about their hopes and dreams for the treatment of Headache and Migraine disorders during the conference, as well as about new treatments and research in these areas.  I particularly found Dr. Andy Charles' talk about Cortical Spreading Depression and Migraines fascinating!  Trust me, you don't want to miss out on our third conference in Washington D.C. next year!  It's going to be even bigger and better!

On a personal note, I particularly enjoyed reuniting with one of my best buds from junior and senior high (Marie Sandusky) when she attended the conference to look for ways to help her adolescent son who suffers from Migraines.  Neither of us looked (or acted) a day older! :)  In addition, I had the fun of rooming with two of my Migraine Heroes - the reigning queens of Migraine Advocacy - Teri Robert and Ellen Schnakenberg.  Like the kid who puts their textbook under a pillow trying to learn by osmosis, I just tried to absorb some of their collective wisdom by being that close to them for a week!

I was able to go to Los Angeles to work the AHMA booth during the American Headache Society (AHS) meeting and was gratified to meet so many doctors and health professions who are so committed to and passionate about finding better treatment for their Headache and Migraine Patients!  By the way, if you aren't a member of AHMA, what are you waiting for??  You can join by going here.  If you want a list of all the really good reasons to join, just shoot me a note!! 

I also had a few hours to take in Hollywood and Disneyland - both a challenge and a delight for me as a chronic Migraine sufferer!

Many thanks to all my Migraine and Headache Disorder buddies for their friendship and for how much I learn from you about how to live a graceful life in the midst of the storms of Migraines!  Many thanks to the AHMA board for granting me a scholarship so I could be a part of this year's conference and for allowing me to help out our booth!  Many thanks to all the amazing medical professionals who take the time to be a part of building AHMA and supporting patients!  As I've said before, but will say again, never forget that as Migrainers - we don't have to be survivors; we are thrivers!!  Carpe Diem (no matter how short of a day pain may allow it to be!)