Friday, October 2, 2015

Bell's Palsy: Day 8: "He leads me besides the still waters..."

I was contemplating what God wanted me to write about this morning. 
Writing is my therapy, but what does God want me to write about?

 My mind drifted back to ten days ago - the wonderful weekend spent together with my fellowship group at the quaint little holiday resort called 'WYNFORD HOLIDAY FARM', in the eastern Free State, South Africa. It's a treasure of a place - tucked away amidst the picturesque mountains that border Lesotho; a little gem that provides a great escape from our busy lives.  The bonus is that it has a Christian ethos and the management and staff attempt to subtly encourage guests to relax into the beauty of their surroundings.  Some folk choose to simply pull up a chair and take it all in.  Others grab a book from the 'honesty library' in their reading room.  

Wynford staff treat their guests like family; they provide good, wholesome meals; teas and cookies under the thatch lapa of the summer house and clean, comfortable rooms.  There is no cellphone signal in the area which makes it even more appealing - no disturbances at all. Instead, it's a weekend to enjoy God's beautiful creation, or to sit quietly in the chapel and take in the view of the majestic mountains.

At night a trillion stars dot the heavens and the 'Milky Way' shimmers in all its glory.  In the morning, birds herald in the dawn and the sounds of the farmyard animals add voice to this Eden. There are a number of beautiful walks too.

One morning, we were walking quietly along the river bank - our group scattered out along the path. It was so peaceful.  I turned to a friend:

"This reminds me so much of Psalm 23...'walking beside the still waters'," I said.  "Have you considered the part where it says,' He MAKES me lie down... to RESTORE my soul'?"  

"That's interesting..., " was the response.  "I never thought of it that way. But its probably true.  There are times where God FORCES us to take a rest."

How ironic! Four days later I was struck down with Bell's palsy. 


There's not much one can do about the effects of an attack like Bell's Palsy except to accept the blows as they arrive.  You are left with a paralyzed face, an eye that refuses to shut, a tongue that does its own thing, a nostril that won't flare and an ugly frozen expression that refuses to budge. The only positive option is to focus on adapting to one's 'new normal'. It's time to learn how to eat, drink, talk, blink, a whole new way. One reaches for anything that offers the possibility of relief. Often, nothing works. Instead, I have had to resort to simply lying down and surrendering into the company of God. It's time to pray for the people I care about and to meditate

Yes, God is certainly MAKING me lie down! And something inside of me says , 'It is right'.  I have the honest hope of restoration; the love of friends; a Christian family that is far wider than I ever thought, and the all-important opportunity of embracing God's glory amidst my affliction. Without the Lord by my side, I would most certainly be a mess - crumbling like a leaf in the clutches of winter.  

But its not that way at all.  Although the paralyses is unchanged, the birds sounded brighter this morning.  I made muffins too - to give to friends and I'm looking forward to my REST during the day. It's obvious that I am being instructed to take it easy.


I pray that God draws close to you to, dear reader.  That you too are able to surrender into His loving arms.  Allow Him to deal with whatever is troubling you - in the full knowledge that "He has got this!". May you also find the true meaning of the gift that is offered by our amazing Lord Jesus Christ. My prayers are with you at this time.

Have a wonderful, happy and blessed weekend. With love, Caryl


  1. Dear Carol
    Thank you for sharing. Touched a chord within me. Your blogs and posts are truly God Given. Rest in His Grace today. God Bless.
    With live in Christ

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. As I read this I pondered on your words. Yes maybe when unknowingly the body is in need of a rest then God says you must lie down and do that. I know my mum always used to say when we were taken ill and me in particular used to say but I haven't time to be like this and get upset, mum used to say you must need the rest. So yes it probably is so. I so love your positive outlook and I know your strong belief is helping you get through this. Thank you for sharing the difficult journey and for showing us that yes it's god,s way and that we can overcome. Get well soon dear lady. X

  4. I see you're already finding ways to serve; on this blog, making muffins. Enjoy your times in the lap of God my dear friend.
    Hey do you remember my forced rest. When I had my TMJ surgery and my mouth was wired shut for 6 months. During that surgery I had the best dream about psalm 23!! I'm sure I blogged it let me find it Love love to you

  5. Thank you for allowing us share to your journey with you,