I don't want to win the lottery.
You might be wondering if Matt or I went out to buy a ticket or 10? No. We did not purchase a lottery ticket at the gas station, even during our regular gas fill up in our vehicles. We do not plan to buy one.
I don't want to win the lottery.
You may be thinking, well okay, I understand as you've seen the news coverage of the many lives that have been ruined over the excess money and fame that came suddenly to ordinary people. Of course this is part of it, but it's not my primary reason (keep reading).
I do have faith that God will provide the money that is needed to follow through with our treatment. My plan is to move forward with treatment in February, without the money in the bank. I do have the money to make my first months payment to Dr. Jemsek of $2,250 before our four hour appointment that will teach Matt and I how to care for me at home for the first 4 weeks. This is the biggest THANK YOU to all of you for your prayers and financial support through God's amazing grace and providence. And a biggest THANK YOU for putting our story out there for you to have the opportunity to help. But everything else, between supplements to copays are going on credit cards for now (we were debt free this past year, but not anymore). I don't know how my next payment of $2,250 will come in March, as payment will incur every 4 weeks as I change my regime and go to my appointment for oversee. Mind you, this payment every 4 weeks for 9 months is only for oversee care. This does not include any of my IV medications, disposable syringes, supplies, IV pole, saline, home nurse, supplements, prescriptions etc that we will incur every month. It also does not include Reese's appointments or treatment plan (her first appointment is January 26). Remember, insurance won't pay any of this, as they deny that my illness exists.
Dr. Jemsek is the best of the best in treating lyme, and he made amazing controversial advancement in the HIV/AIDS disease in the 80s and 90s. He's currently trying to prove that Lyme Borreliosis Complex causes ALS. I completely agree with this research, as I have had intermittent ALS type symptoms since 2013. Examples are: difficulty swallowing, generalized weakness in legs and arms, lose my balance walking, dropping things, weakness in my neck (difficulty holding my head up), slurring my speech and finding words, twitching in my arms and shoulders, difficulty breathing. There have been a few times where I will move my leg or arm uncontrollably, as in kick or punch. On a daily basis my stomach muscles go weak and my stomach cannot hold up my guts. I have been driving and completely forgot what my house or street looked like. This past month I have had difficulty with my voice as it hurts to talk. I have lost the control of a leg. Beyond ALS, my digestive system works only when my brain is rested (mornings usually). I can only wear tennis shoes (church is the only exception) as my feet feel like I'm walking on pins and needles without them or prolonged standing. I feel extreme hot and cold. My heart will beat uncontrollably fast and have chronic high blood pressure (it's under control with a beta blocker). I was either near fainting or passing out because of my heart. I have chest pain at least 2 days a week. Then I had a seizure and lost consciousness (Dr. Jemsek has this under control with medications). My circulation is extremely poor, as when I take a hot shower I have to work the blood back down to my feet. Pain is relentless. Matt calls me a vampire as I have to live in near darkness, due to light sensitivity. I currently take 30 pills a day just to treat my symptoms and supplement for the deficiencies lyme has caused. Every month I sit in a doctors office for 5-6 hours to get an infusion of an entire immune system (it takes about 10,000 people's blood donations for one infusion). Thank you to those of you who donate blood! The list is endless, as I'm sure you are getting bored by now. It's funny because if you saw me at church or at the grocery store, you would have no idea that there is something very wrong with me. The majority of my symptoms are invisible, and I get most of my uncontrollable movements when I'm closing my eyes to rest my brain.
My point is:
I feel confident in the amount of money that I'm trusting the Lord to cover for my treatment with his practice.
You might be wondering...
So, why would you not have the desire to win the lottery... even a little?
My greatest desire that is much greater than financial gain is wisdom. If I can gain anything substantial in this life, it would be wisdom. Not worldly wisdom, but godly wisdom.
You might be wondering...
How will wisdom pay for your treatment?
The lottery may pay for my treatment, but it's ultimately God that will be the one providing. Lindsay and a couple of her friends said that they would pay for my treatment if they won, and it's possible that God could work in that way. I don't believe that this will be the case, but I do understand that it's possible. When Lindsay approached me about asking for your help in providing for treatment, I shut her down. But she took the initiative to do it anyway, and then to my surprise, your generosity and the Lord's plan is providing my first payment to my doctor!! I can't tell you how grateful I am that you listened to the Lord's urging you to help me. But, my desire is for wisdom over winning the lottery or gaining a substantial amount of money any other way.
Godly wisdom may not provide me the financial means for treatment and earthly things, but it's far more valuable than gold or pearls or the Benjamins.
Choose my instruction (wisdom) instead of silver,
knowledge rather than choice gold,
for wisdom is more precious than rubies,
and nothing you desire can compare with her.
Proverbs 8:10-11 (Likely written by King Solomon)
Solomon was the richest (financially rich) man who ever lived on this earth. He was not just some poor, or even middle class man that didn't truly know the comparison of riches to wisdom. He knew the comparison of wisdom to gold, and wisdom was far more valuable to him.
In fact, God told Solomon to ask Him for ANYTHING and God would grant it to him. Can you even imagine? What would you ask for? Solomon asked for wisdom to govern His people right. God told him that He would give Solomon wisdom and knowledge. God also told him that He would also give him wealth since he did not ask for riches or for the lives of his enemies or for a long life. Solomon was the richest and wisest man to ever live. (1 Kings 3 and 2 Chronicles 1)
Okay, so you may say...
Solomon had wisdom AND riches.
"Thus King Solomon excelled all the kings of the earth in riches and in wisdom" (1 Kings 10:23).
Yes, he did. And he had a heart for God for a very long time. But in time, with his selfish desires, he disobeyed God. God said, “You must not intermarry with them (women from other tribes who did not have faith in God), because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods (false gods / idols) (1 Kings 11:2 parentheses mine). This command was given to all of the Israelites. Solomon disobeyed taking wives of other nations. He married 1,000 women! These women, as God had warned, led Solomon astray as he began to worship false gods. "So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the Lord; he did not follow the Lord completely, as David his father had done" (1 Kings 11:6)
Solomon turned from God towards the end of his reign and he died shortly after. The Bible and written history remain silent in regards to his faith at the end of his life. My stance is that he wrote the book of Ecclesiastes, as the book is full of wisdom. He talks about life being meaningless without God and all of the riches cannot compare to knowing Him. I personally believe that the book was written just before Solomon's death, and it's a book of repentance. This book shows us how worldly desires are meaningless, like chasing the wind (1:14). Solomon ends the book, "Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgement, with every secret thing, whether good or evil" (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).
Godly wisdom is far more valuable to me than riches. And Solomon got caught up in all of the worldly, selfish desires, leaving God behind. Not only did he leave God behind, but he worshipped other false gods / idols / statues.
I don't want to win the lottery.
When life concerns riches, this is our prayer:
give me neither poverty nor riches!
Give me just enough to satisfy my needs.
For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?”
And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name.
Give us our daily bread, not a lottery win.
You may wonder, "If your brain is infected, then how will you gain wisdom?" My mom wondered the same thing over the summer. She asked me, "Sarah, how is it possible that you can forget what you did one hour ago, but at any point or time you are able to recall Scripture?" This is because it is my spirit that is growing and the Holy Spirit who is God, is the one who recalls His Word to me. Our bodies are dying and wasting away, but our spirit is being renewed everyday.
That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Take heart, and join me in praying for godly wisdom.