On my Bike

I’ve been riding my bike frequently this spring — perhaps even regularly.  Our town has a downtown area — charming and old-fashioned these days — and most places that I need to get to are bike-able, even for me.  I am not an athlete — nobody has ever ever accused me of that.  But I believe that getting some fresh air and exercise is vital to my physical and mental health, so I ride.

Today as I was pedaling along to the Post Office, I was thinking of my legs.  More specifically I was thinking about my legs and multiple sclerosis.  I got that diagnosis twelve years ago by a neurologist who put it quite bluntly, “Well, Natalie, I sure don’t want you to go out and kill yourself, but all the tests for MS have come back positive.  You have multiple sclerosis.”

Hmmmm… Well, no, I told him.  I have to go home and make dinner for my family.  I don’t have time to kill myself over this.

That has generally been my attitude through the years.  I don’t have time to sit and worry about this.  Life goes on, and day by day, I’m going to just deal with this as it comes along.

Of course, I don’t want to diminish the seriousness of the disease.  I know many people who suffer and suffer terribly with MS.  They DO deal with stuff on a daily basis compared to my relatively mild case.  For me, God has always been on my side with this disease.  Flare-ups come and go.  I have annoying symptoms every day, but nothing that defines me at all.  And I refuse the daily medication the doctors all think that I should be on, and the steroid treatments for flare-up are so full of side effects, I’d rather have the flare anyday.

Early on in this diagnosis, I was positively impressed with a woman who showed up at the Ladies Bible Study one Tuesday.  Nobody had ever met her before, and she never came back again.  But what she said to me that morning was profound.  We were all going around the table sharing prayer requests as usual.  When it was my turn to share I said, “Well, I’d like prayer for my MS which is really bothering me today.”

This wonderful lady turned to me, and smiled the widest smile.  Looking straight into my eyes, she said lovingly and boldly, “Miss, I am a prophetess of the Most High God.  And you should never be claiming ownership of MS.  When you say “my MS”, you are claiming it as your own.  Is that what you want to own — MS? This is not your MS. And I will pray for you to be healed of MS.”

From that day on, I relinquished my ownership of MS.  It became a diagnosis I received from a doctor who didn’t know me from Eve, and I no longer needed to make it a prayer request.  God has used this diagnosis and its symptoms for my good and for His glory.  Maybe I’m healed, and maybe I’m not, but I am for sure not defined by that disease anymore.

I am way too busy taking care of my family.  And riding my bike.

Blessings on your heart today.  Love, Natalie


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ptcakes
    May 25, 2011 @ 07:39:38

    Dear Natalie,

    There must be something in the air, for I too have been riding my bike. And again, no one would ever confuse me with an athlete. As I pedal, I will have thoughts of you. Wishing and praying that you too are enjoying a beautiful ride on a beautiful day.



    • Natalie
      May 25, 2011 @ 15:14:58

      Thanks for the comment, Patty — it’s just something about riding that feels free and independent. It’s a nice way to enjoy the view! Raining here today, but maybe I”ll at least get out for a few minutes. Peace.


  2. Dianna
    May 26, 2011 @ 06:53:40

    Wow, Natalie, I didn’t realize that you “have” MS. My son was diagnosed 3 years ago. He had one episode: double vision -which lasted for about 2 weeks. But that was the reason he was diagnosed. He does do self-injections three times weekly, but has had no more problems. I give thanks to God daily that he’s symptom free and pray that it’s God’s will that he remain that way.
    Good for you – out riding your bike!


  3. Natalie
    May 26, 2011 @ 07:52:23

    I am so sorry to hear about your son’s diagnosis, Dianna. I have never had double vision, but sometimes get foggy, blurry vision when I”m overheated. I am very glad to hear that he’s been symptom-free and the injections are working for him! I will definitely pray that he remains that way.


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