Flu and the Holiness of God -

Thursday, June 11th, 2009Hello, faithful friends -

I am back! Sort of. :) I am over the flu and I greatly rejoice that fact many times over! I never knew flu could be that bad .... more on that soon. I have to put up this first -

*****Disclaimer: This is a warning that the following post will be on flu and all things flu, so even though I am not going to be graphic, I will be talking about it (real life, people!) and if just at the mention of throwing-up, you feel queasy or faint, etc, you will not want to read this, or you can skip around in the post, because it won't be all about the flu-feelings. :) Thank you. Do not say you weren't warned. Because you were. :)*****

Okay! Now that that is out of the way, we can get right down to it! Now everyone is leaning back in their chairs in anticipated horror of what I will say next. Ha...I should do that more often! (grin)

Jean Marie is not dead, to begin with....(Can we get a high five for the Dickens opening?-Thank you) She is not dead, and she is grateful. She is also very thankful that she did not have to go to the ER, because she has never been, ever, and the thought of the unknown as well as the known (ahem) terrify and freak her out .... oh, wait. Right. It scares her. Where was I? Oh, yes...flu.

Today, one week ago (I refuse to let this go half-way until tomorrow even though when I stop typing it will be Friday morning) at 7am, I turned over in bed. And turned over again. And shoved off all of my sheets. I opened my eyes and the room was: going up and down-and around and sideways-swirling-and the very thought of what it was doing-is now making me feel queasy. I have never in my life been that dizzy. EVER. I thought: "That feeling wasn't a dream? What is this?".

I somehow thought that life would be better if I sat up in bed. Ha. It surely was not. Then in my somehow sleep-crazed mind, I thought it would be great if I stood up. Start laughing. Because, obviously, it was not. Not only did it make the room go into crazy dancing mode, I found that my legs wouldn't hold me...so down on the floor I went. Clenching my eyes shut in panic did not alleviate the incredible nausea and dropping-into-an-endless-hole-feeling. I lifted my hand to push back my hair, and stared, make that attempted-to-stare at my shaking hand and realized that my heart was beating so fast and loud that all I could hear in my ears was that sound.

Thankfully, my call to my sweet sister in the other room was heard, and she brought me a bucket, because I knew I wouldn't make it to the bathroom. (Don't worry...I won't write nasty stuff, wait...I will try not to) She also brought me a couple slices of banana to slow down my outright shaking. I was pretty sure that my life was ending, so I asked her to "Maybe wake Mom up?". Dad returned in short order, laying his cool hand upon my forehead, and I took my temp. with a thermometer. It read something like: 96.6 degrees. Yeah. Dad took my blood pressure...it was super, super low. He had me sit up and my heart was beating so hard and so fast...worse than any pro-lapse I've ever had, and I couldn't breathe...blah, blah...I mean, you really don't care about the little stuff, right? I rather need to write this down, though, I have to remember how bad it was, so I can remember how good it is now.

*Okay, and for those of you who are wondering if I am exaggerating, I am really trying hard to put the whole truth on here, if I can't, I'll leave it out. I have a pretty high pain tolerance, and when I am sick, attempt to push through it, and take all the nasty medicines to get well as soon as possible. I guess this is my second disclaimer...I am writing all the hard stuff, to get to the overwhelming and amazing stuff. Deal? Deal.* Moving on -

I was really and truly quite sick. I have never felt that physically sick ever in all my (almost) 21 years of life. The combination of nausea and extreme dizziness and racing heart made me hope that this was a bad nightmare. It wasn't...and it was only about 15 minutes after that, that I threw up for the first time of many times for the next 24 hours. I very quickly emptied my stomach of everything that was in it...which, it being 7am, was nothing but fluids. The rest of the day is rather a blur, I laid there between Kimberly and I's beds on the carpet for most of the day, drinking water and juice and half hour to ten minutes later throwing it all up again. The dizziness was relentless and I took comfort that it was a "good week to have it", as well that it was only the 24-hour flu! Hopefully, lasting only 24 hrs. of vomiting. I spent the very long night that night on the floor and crawling into bed in the night/morning wee hours, only to spend those hours continuing to throw up what...by now...was nothing. It hurt so bad to choke and heave and have nothing there.

*I gained, a whole new appreciation for this kind of vomiting...one that a dear toddler I know, Miss Abbie...struggles with, and has struggled with since she was very young. I held that bucket and said that I have "a better understanding of what Abbie feels like....oh, my...Poor baby, poor baby!". More on this later...the appreciation thing. *

Are you all dead yet? :) (wink)

Now that I think about it, I wonder how Kimberly ever slept next to that all night, I remember apologizing, but really, just amazing. I clenched that bucket with both hands sitting up in bed, tears filling my eyes, and all I could manage was - "Oh God....Oh my God". I was not swearing...as I am not a swearing person, it was like I said - it was all I could manage. All my heart could say was "Oh God". I explained this to Mom, and she understood, and from then on...I didn't worry about what to say. It didn't matter.

Okay, so that was Thursday and Friday... and yes, finally, sometime on Friday, I stopped throwing up. Which was good...because I was running dangerously low on fluids and was dehydrated. Let's see: I did not move from the bedroom and bathroom until Sat., I crawled during that time, did not stand until Sat., which means that I did not look at myself in a mirror for 3 days, and had not eaten from Wednesday night to Saturday. I moved to the living room couch on Sat. and had chicken broth and jello and stayed there until Sunday.

For those of you who want to lose weight extremely fast...I know how. It's called...the FLU! Yes, yes! :) Wonderful, eh? I lost 10 lbs in 3 days. I am SO the success story for this weight-loss program, they should pay me.

The rest of all this pain is really not that important to anyone but me, because I lived it, and my doctors, because they, um....need to tell me how to recover from it. HAH. As if they... I meant, physically. Oh, yes, the trip to the ER, very thankfully was not made due to a deal I made with Joyce, a dear nurse friend of the family, of drinking fluids whatever it was...2oz. per 1 lb. of body weight? I made the deal, and didn't have to go. Nothing like scaring me out of my PJ-ed-for-4 days-mind, and thinking about going to the ER without makeup and not smelling sweetly of ... say, orange blossoms, or having a real need like...say, blood gushing from a bullet wound to the shoulder. Which would be SO much better than going in for dehydration!

Nnnoooooo....but, anyway, you are bored now. But I'm not! So, since it's my blog, I don't care. Hm. That sounded selfish. I need that little crossing out line....that Blogspot doesn't have. Cranberries.

Where was I before all this nonsense? Ah, yes! About to make sense to all of you who have prevailed through all this sticky mud to get to the sense of why ("WHY?" You scream to the ceiling-"WHY go through it all?") you were reading my blog. Ahem.

In all honesty, I had to have a bit of light-heartedness. Believe it or not, it is hard for me to blog about this. One: because I have never written about anything but the latest wonderful events and pictures and nothing physical on my blog, Two: because I don't know how much of the flu my blog readers and parents will approve or can take!, and Three: It is painful to re-live last week and think about what-all went on.

And you all roll your eyes and think - it was just the flu! I've had the flu before, and it wasn't like this. Trust me. It was not Sister Mary from Persuasion lying on the couch and saying-"But I really am very ill! They just do not understand!" :) Haha.

Did I mention that pushing myself to eat food while the nausea lingered was a very hard thing? I love food. Food is wonderful, I never have to push myself to eat food, unless it is...say, seaweed or raw fish or oysters. I draw the line at slimy and raw. I sat in front of the broths, puddings and crackers and tears stood in my eyes because I felt so sick at just the thought that I could only pray my way through eating half a cup. Needless to say, only when the nausea had passed, on Sunday and Monday, did I start eating half and full meals again, pushing myself to gain some weight. I never struggled with eating before, and man, it was incredibly hard.

Did I also mention that my dizziness has lingered? Say, as in, still being here, now. I sort of sling-shot myself around the house, in slow-motion, of course, push myself off walls, couches and counters to keep myself righted and standing straight. It is not nearly as bad as when I had vertigo-like dizziness during the flu, but still, it's a problem...we're still figuring out how to best settle those crystals in my ear to allow this to pass. So if you drive by my house and see me falling over myself trying to open the mailbox and close it like a half-way normal person, I have not had too much Root Beer... I am just attempting to stay upright and on my feet. Thank you.

Last week from Thursday to Saturday were some of the hardest days I've had in a long while. This is going to take more than one post to properly put all my thoughts and feelings into words, but I'll reward you with the real reason for all this flu talk....and actually, just now remembered the other half of my title! The Holiness of God.

Hmm....how can I say this? I praise God and give Him all the glory for giving me the flu, because it drove me to a whole new level of wretchedness in my eyes. I recalled during some of those flu moments hearing a respected teacher of the Bible (I believe it was RC Sr, but I'm not sure, don't quote me) once say that handing God some of our own righteousness (without the Holy Spirit's working) made of our human hearts was so offensive to Him, it was like handing Him trash, or vomit. It was so unacceptable to Him that it was like....filth in His holy eyes. There I sat, with a bucket of vomit in front of me, thinking about giving in pride my works of righteousness in rejection of Christ's work on the cross as ALL REDEMPTION as this bucket...to my Savior. It blew the analogy right up in shards in front of me. How could I have ever not seen the utter uselessness as well as offense that this brought to my Savior and God? Whoosh.

It's 2am on Friday morning, and even though I want to keep writing, I'm stopping. Because I have to leave at 9:30am for an ENT appointment and I need sleep. I'll finish this later. :)

Saturday evening - 10:50pm:
Hello again. :)
Yes, I'm back. Sort of. AGAIN.

So, today was a full day... after getting up at 6:30am to watch the Endeavor launch, we got down to the river, and it was scrubbed, but we refused to be defeated for getting up uncharisticly(or however you spell that) early, so we went to Sunrise for a cinnamon roll and coffee, and garage sale-ed...we bought a Ball quart jar for 25 cents and that's it...out of 3 sales, and then went to Growing like Crazy...the garden nursery. It was just lovely in the morning light and dewy and wet plants, I took 40 pictures. They will be a post sometime soon. :)

Still, there's nothing like watching the sad and disappointed tourists heading back to their cars after a canceled launch to make you feel a bit guilty and sorry for them all day long. :( Poor people...there were lots of out-of-towners. Due to a certain friend's ridiculous accusation that it was my fault, this is entirely false, because it was due to a gas leak on the external fuel tank. We get back to the house, and Dad says: "I can't believe you didn't look it up, and check it!" (At Nasa.gov) Haha. Thanks, Dad. Apparently it was canceled at 12:26am, (midnight). Dad knows everything...how he does this, I have no earthly idea. Especially because some of that grand thinking should have passed on to me.

NASA says this: "The earliest the shuttle could be ready for liftoff is June 17, however there is a range conflict on that date with the scheduled launch of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter/Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.". Try saying that 7 times fast. What it means is: the Atlas is set to go up that day. And because the Patterson family is in town for that, I'm in favor for the Atlas that day. I know that makes all the difference and NASA now has no decision to make after hearing mine. (rolls eyes)

So ... it's time we get back to the flu. I know you say -"O, must we?" And the answer is: YES. We must. Where were we? Oh, yes. Wretchedness. The story continues -

It was Friday night. And the flu part of the flu was over(notice how I avoided using certain words? I'm so nice), but the dizziness and nausea was still incredibly bad. That night was the culmination of it all. Even thought it would still last for several more days, that night - was the worst. The dizziness was so consuming that opening your eyes was fine as long as you did not move your head one millimeter thus sending you on a spiral of churning gut, spinning head and heavy breathing.

I sat scrunched up in the bathroom in a ball, my head and cheek pressed into the cold hardness of the tub. I wished for any moment but that moment. For any sickness except that dizziness. Anything but that. But there it was. And blatant it was. Blatant and shouting and huge. The unfairness of it all could have drowned me many times over...I could have cried tears of pain, self-pity and woe. I know I could have, because I have before. I could have sat there praying and praying in selfish and spiritual blindness for it to be over as soon as earthly and unearthly possible. I certainly wanted that, and I know I could have, because I have before.

But I couldn't do that this time.

There was the dizziness and nausea screaming every time I made a move, and whispering every time I thought about anything but that. It was loud.

But something else was drowning it out.

It was the middle C of the raging, stampeding wreck of my physical and emotional song that had treble trills and pounding bass staccatos. It was solid. It was always present. It never went up or down, it remained at one note. It was staid. It was whispered sweet peace in my ears and gentle comfort to my soul.

It was what I knew to be true, reminding my soul, of the faithfulness and holiness of the God who loveth me.

I sat. And turned my drooping hand from palm down to palm up, never turning my head or lifting my cheek from its resting place. I was beyond any "WHY?"... "WHY?" didn't even matter anymore. Acknowledging my place before a sovereign, perfect, just, worthy, holy and righteous God did. My fingertips lifted...my heart exalted: "Holy, holy, holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, and worthy is He to be praised...my heart shall make its boast in the Lord, for He has been slow to anger, He has not dealt with me according to my sins, He has been merciful. Holy, holy, holy is He Who sits upon the throne, and worthy is the Lamb Who was slain, worthy is He to be praised.".

He is worthy of my glory in giving me the flu. He is worthy to be praised, as I had the flu. He is worthy to be praised, as I couldn't see straight. He is worthy to be praised, because He hath already accepted the Sacrificial Lamb, and my redemption hath already been made certain, and my Redeemer hath already been glorified, and my soul doth already belong to Him alone.

Am I making sense yet?

I sat there and talked to my Mama about many things, and whispered hoarsely, in complete and utter amazement: "There is nothing. Nothing next to the holiness of God!!!!"

I was broken in many places that night, as I lay on the bathroom floor, the rug on the hard tile my bed. I was at the end of myself, I was so completely unsatisfied with Jean Marie. I was sick of Jean Marie. Jean Marie was nothing without the Person Who wholly satisfies her soul. I literally lay on that floor for hours. Awake. And laughing to myself of the complete stupidity of man. (And yes, I can say that, not because it is my blog, but because it is true) Why do we even think that we without God could possibly be better than we with God? It is ridiculous.

I couldn't handle any of my headset, the commercials made me want to hit something and the radio station didn't have a "brokenness" setting, so I used up a vast amount of my memorized songs and verses as my company.

And was wretched and crushed. Yet pieces like these were constantly and consistently running through my mind, pressing through my heart, comforting my spirit, calming my soul.

"Who is man that God should be mindful of him?"

"Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?"

"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work in you, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. "

"Guilty, vile and helpless we, spotless Lamb of God was He, full atonement, can it be? Hallelujah! What a Savior!" (and every verse of this song...many times over)

"He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock, and covers me there with His hand."

"Whatever my God ordains is right, I take content in what He has sent, His hand can turn my griefs away, and patiently, I wait, the day."

"I am my Beloved's and He is mine."

"You still reign in the deepest valley, You're still God in the darkest night...Oh, let your will be done in me, in your love I will abide, oh I long for nothing else as long as You are glorified! So, quiet my restless heart. Quiet my restless heart. Quiet my restless heart. In You. "

"Bless the Lord, o my soul and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, o my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies."

I reached a whole new level of wretchedness and brokenness on that Friday night.

And I never want to be healed of it.

I want to be that girl who lies on the bathroom floor and cries "Holy, holy" not out of myself...but out of sheer praise to a Worthy God. I want to be so broken that I don't like myself unless I can see Christ in her. I want to keep that humility that only comes from the realization of a sinner's place before the Holiness of God! Not only that, but the redeemed sinner's ownership of a new place solely upon the works of none of himself, but all of Christ. Christ as all redemption.

Can you see where I am going with all this? I can't believe I can't condense this in 5 paragraphs.

There has always been that one shelf that I can fall back on. When every other part of my heart has been torn down so that my sin is exposed, I can still fall back on looking and feeling fine. HAha. But God ripped that rug right out from under my feet, and I fell in a very ungraceful, ugly, dirty, wounded little mess. Make that big mess. And I knew it. I felt unworthy in every possible way, which I equal as pretty big brokenness for me.

If the flu is what it takes to make you that broken, I'm praying the flu on all of you. You will thank me. One day.

Because this wretchedness of heart? This joy? This sheer delight in letting the Lord have it all, whatever His will desires, and just as long as He is glorified will my heart be satisfied? This dying to all of self and trading it all in for the righteousness of Christ?

This brokenness

I wouldn't trade it for the wholeness I had before.

It pales in the light of His glorious face.

It not only pales, it disappears.

And I finally think I ran out of words to say on this early Sunday morning at 1:15am. :) It no longer matters if I have more than 2 comments on this post, it no longer bothers me if anyone reads it.

As long as He is glorified, I will long for nothing else.
~ Jean Marie

One more thing - a huge thank you to my family, who cared for me so lovingly and self-lessly, who played the piano and read the Valley of Vision to me, who played the John MacArthur CD for "just one more time", who made all sorts of food to tempt my angry tummy, who prayed over me, and just all around took care of me. You all are the best. I love you so much.

And thank you very much to everyone who prayed for me, outside of the family, as well, because I needed it, I really did! I think many of them brought about the result of my blog post. :) Love you guys. Thanks.

Like a summer rain upon a withering and dying flower, so is the Word of the Lord upon my soul.


  1. God is good . . . isn't He, sis? I'm glad you're doing better. :)

  2. I wanted to thank you for posting this. I know you don't know me- I'm the Brower's oldest daughter, if you know them. :-) Anyway, what you wrote has touched my heart and made me think and convicted me. I'm going to be doing a lot of thinking and talking to God after this! So, THANK YOU! I'm glad you are feeling better and I hope you get over being dizzy soon!

  3. A good reminder that God has given us all things, including those that hurt us for a time. It's like picking up rocks, and if you don't get that you should read Randy Alcorn's books...all of them!!!

  4. God is a great savior. you make it look so easy to put into words what you feel in your heart, Thank you for posting this great truth, that we are nothing but poor sinners trusting in Christ alone for salvation. I am a friend of the Burnsed family we attend church together. Glad you are feeling better and hope your dizziness goes away. Joel

  5. Hey Jean! I just got to round to reading your post! I knew you were sick but I had no idea how sick! I had a dizzy spell once. I can only say it WAS one of the worst things I've ever experienced. And ever since then I haven't been able to do things like spin around many times without the dizziness trying to come back. That was a good 5 years ago and every year the effects of it lessen, or so it seems to me. :) I'm so glad you are doing better!!


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