No Time for Lyme…
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
Many people are unaware that they have an enemy that lurks around this world with only one agenda…to steal, kill, and destroy. If you really think about it that can be a frightening thought…unless you also understand that you have an Advocate who came into this World to take back what was stolen, to bring back to Life what was meant to kill, and to make new what was destroyed. If you take a moment and reflect on your life there is always something that the enemy as either stolen from you, killed, or destroyed. And most of us can name more than one thing. It could be a loved one, a home, a job, finances, a dream, reputation, joy, hope, anything.
For me the thief stole my health. There have been several times where he came close to actually killing me, and if that wasn't enough he thought it would be fun to attack my family, finances, and marriage simply because he has an agenda to keep as many people from experiencing Life to the fullest. He knows he will ultimately be destroyed and he wants to take as many people down with him as possible. It makes me angry and thats a G rated term for how I really feel about him and his ridiculous army. But I’m a fighter and when someone like him throws a bomb at my life I don’t let the debris of his destruction block my hope that the one who Created me will also sustain me and bring me back to Life. If my Creator is for me than who in that Hell can be against me? I will win this battle because I have been promised a life to the fullest. I trust that when I’m told that there are plans for me that include a hope and a future that my God will come through.
On January 22nd, 2015, I found the treasure that would bring me back to life. The only way I found this treasure was by what many people call a Divine Intervention. I also call it a Divine Orchestration. My amazing husband of fifteen years was applying to a job in Tempe. We knew Phoenix was an area we were considering moving to because of my health. After fighting through some barriers, Jason was able to get ahold of the Hiring Manager and after a couple minutes of small talk the lady learned that I had Lyme Disease. She asked a couple more questions and informed Jason that there was a clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona that treated Lyme and Cancer patients. She gave us the name of her good friend, Sam who was the business manager at Shea Medical and after I got off the phone with him all my hope was given back to me. I flew into Phoenix, met with the phenomenal staff at Shea Medical and was told that within 8 weeks of treatment I could beat Lyme Disease and all its ugly co-infections. Currently it is stated that there is no cure for Lyme Disease but the idea that I could return to a healthier, normal life after my twenty year battle with Lyme Disease completely blows my mind.
During the Spring of 1995 I was playing on the streets of Moscow, Russia with some friends. (I even have the picture of us playing in the nasty mud puddles that my mom warned me not to go near.) Days later I developed a severe stomach virus, or what people commonly say as flu-like symptoms. I was puking up things and exiting things that were never meant for the body to come in contact with. I became so severely ill that my parents were trying to figure out a way to fly me back to the states to receive proper care. Then the symptoms stopped. I thought to myself, “Well that sucked,” and went on enjoying my sweet sixteen year old life. Days later I developed a weird headache that I had never felt before. It was like my brain was being bombarded with tiny creatures who were starving for my brain or something. My head felt like it was being electrocuted and then the electric current started to travel down my arms and ended at my finger tips where it left a constant tingling feeling like I had been sitting on my hands all day. Then my third digit of my right foot started to go numb. It was weird…And then all the sudden my zest for life and all its excitement was as if it was hooked up to some sifen and sucked right out of me. I could no longer run… and playing soccer and basketball require running! I was devastated so I fell into depression. At this point you would think my worst enemy would end his stabbings there. But noooo…the symptoms continued to get worse. Thank God I learned from our one year mission trip to Russia that I could do All Things through Christ who gave me Strength. Despite the attack on my body, back home in Michigan I tried out for soccer. I made the team my junior year and somehow by the Grace of God got voted most improved…but then my senior year I got cut from the team. That dear coach whom I still love and admire today said, “Christine, you just can’t run honey. You have to run to play soccer.” She offered me to be her assistant but I couldn’t bear the thought of watching all my friends run and not myself. So I stopped playing sports. I learned a lot those last two years of high school…things like sitting with another group of people at lunch who don’t play sports and how they could offer me a whole new perspective on life outside of athletics. I learned to appreciate writing and journaling and going to parties without having to get drunk and still having fun. And best of all… I fell in Love! I should have fallen for Jason sooner but I was too immature when I left him to spend a year in Russia with my family. He was gorgeous, and crazy, and really funny, and would build me up so I could stand tall among everything that was crashing down. I was only a year into college when we decided to get married. I knew I didn’t want to risk losing this gem and so when he proposed on the north beach of Chicago at age twenty I whole-heartedly told him yes I would promise to spend the rest of my life with him. He knew I was sick, but at the time we didn’t know how detrimental the mysterious ailments would be on my health later and how difficult sickness would be on a marriage. We were married July 8th, 2000 and I was pregnant by Christmas that same year. Ive been told that with pregnancy, autoimmune disorders including Lyme are suppressed which may be one of the many glorious reasons God gave us four boys! For thirty-six months I blamed any symptom I had on pregnancy and any lack of sleep and depression I was dealing with on babies keeping me up at night. After we were done having children I had a dream to pursue a nursing degree. Jason was reluctant but supportive as he always was with my endeavors, and so we prayed for open doors. The doors did indeed fly open and so I sailed through nursing school the first year as Jason basically became a single parent. Don’t get me wrong the sailing included many harsh storms that threatened the marriage and the mental health of my oldest child. Without the constant prayers from my parents back in Indy, and the never-ending help from my in-laws, I made it through the first year. By the third trimester, the stress level of trying to balance life with nursing school, raising four boys, my marriage, and all the essential tasks of surviving life with a disease became too much and my immune system shut down. The first manifestation that told me I was entering some deep waters was when my left eye went completely blind. After ruling out a Retina detachment I sought more care and learned that the swelling in the back of my eye blocked the blood from feeding oxygen to my eye and so I lost vision. Miraculously my eye site came back, but not without permanent damage. By May of 2013 my symptoms were so painful that it took every ounce of strength in me to walk across the stage to receive my degree. And then I collapsed. I was bed-ridden that summer with so much pain that I became suicidal. And in the moment that I was contemplating how to escape this life, a very close family friend called to check up on me because he felt an urge that something was wrong. Jim and Jan Carl showered me with love and concern and guided me to the Borne Clinic in Grand Rapids, Michigan where I was medically diagnosed by the wise Dr. Pedke with Lyme Disease. And thus began treatments to try and give me my life back. But disease doesn't come without a huge price tag. Hundreds of dollars turned into thousands of dollars and though my husband is the hardest worker you will ever meet, we couldn’t afford the cost to pay for this disease. And thats when the Provider blessed me with the Carl family and their willingness to help cover the cost of getting me well. They too are victims and have suffered from Lyme for many years. I ended up seeking more treatment at an incredible Lyme Clinic in Fond Du Lac Wisconsin under the brilliant Dr Meress. But after going on a much needed vacation with our family and enjoying the sun in Orlando, Florida we started discussing the possibility of moving to a warmer climate. Everything I researched from raising a family to finding Lyme Clinics pointed us to Phoenix Arizona. Yet among the Lyme Clinics that I had researched, I had not discovered Shea Medical until our Divine Interaction with this lady from Tempe AZ.
Currently I am flying back home to Richland, Michigan. We will be breaking the news to our beloved church and friends that we have found one of the top clinics in the world to treat Lyme in Scottsdale, Arizona and that we plan on moving out west just as soon as we can find work. There are a couple exciting things stirring career wise for us and if you know anything about our Good God, He is always stirring up something that brings Life and Life to the fullest for His children. And this is where my faith is being tested again. In order to receive healing in 8 weeks of Lyme Disease treatment, we need over $60,000. And that’s just for myself. We will also need to have all four of our boys and my husband screened for Lyme Disease as well as more cases are being confirmed that this infection can be spread in utero as well as through sexual transmission. (This cost includes what little insurance will pay and moving expenses to be able to settle our family into our new Life.) We are humbling ourselves to anyone who is willing and able to give and asking for help to get me well. My hope is that when I am well I will have a future that includes playing soccer in the sun of Phoenix with my boys again…actually they would prefer football…but at any rate my dream is simple…to give back what was stolen from us and in turn give back to my family and the world for that matter…especially those who suffer from the epidemic of Lyme Disease…And I know there are many of us out there.
Blessings of Health and Prosperity to you as you consider showing God’s love to a family in need.
“For I know the thoughts I have for you…thoughts of peace and not evil, to give you hope and a future.”
- Dirk & Shelly Van Belle
- Heather Bunch
- Stacia carter
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