The Maw of Primary Lateral Sclerosis

deep photo

The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters. – Genesis 1:2

When I was in college, my friends and I spent a lot of time at a nearby lake. It was a beautiful place and I loved the water. There was this one side that was “our spot”…. the rock ledges just slowly lowered down into the water in a gradual way until you got a good ways out into the lake. That was as far as I would go, though.

See, when you swam out past that last ledge, there was nothing. The water just opened up and the floor dropped away and suddenly you were perched and vulnerable over this dark maw of nothing. It seemed to have no end, and it absolutely terrified me. Terrified. I couldn’t even breathe for a few seconds when I tried to look down at it through my goggles.

I’ve been reminded of that lake these few months. The way that maw made me feel when it opened up under me without warning… the way it seemed to threaten to swallow me up… that is the way it feels when I try and process the fact that I have Primary Lateral Sclerosis.


Honestly, I’ve been running from it, which is totally unlike me. I’ve prayed and prayed for so many years, for a diagnosis and for answers that explain what has been happening to me. I longed for that more than I longed for anything else, even healing. Now that I have it, I’m just moving on and acting like it’s no big deal. How weird is that?

I can’t even tell you why it’s happening! It’s not conscious, and I don’t feel like I’m doing it with any sort of purpose. Everyone around me is watching me and there’s great concern in their gaze. They are waiting for it to sink in, I can tell. Each time I look up and see them, I smile and wave so they’ll know that I’m just fine. Silly people, of course I’m fine!

wave  photo

But I’m not. And they’re not the silly ones.

And so I think I’m ready to dip my toes into the water now. I’ll stay right here on this first ledge. The water only reaches my calves, but I know that maw is out there. It’s mocking me.

God help me, because He’s the only One who can.

Dear God, I’m ready to start facing reality now. Forgive me for keeping my fingers in my ears for so long. Thank You for the grace and the mercy. And for the strength You willingly give me for the journey. In Jesus’ Name, Amen…

If you have been helped by this post and think it could be helpful to someone you know, please share this post on the social network of your choice for me.

All you have to do is click one of the buttons below.

May God Bless You,


6 Comments on “The Maw of Primary Lateral Sclerosis

  1. Shelly – having a diagnosis (though this is a hard one to process) – helps you to stay on that ledge with Jesus for he is not going to let you sink in the water. We know that ever as much as Peter discovered. Ever as much as He has held us steady ( even if not literally steady ) all the days of our lives.

    I went to read more about this condition. I know how to pray and you know how to stay in the right parts of the water. You are surrounded by “life preservers” esp. your precious and loving family. You are not alone! And you are so loved.
    Lynn+Severance recently posted…A Poem at Christmas, 2015My Profile

  2. Beautiful Beloved Shelly, thank you for sharing and identifying with what most of us with chronic disease and/or pain go through; the dreaded diagnosis. We smile saying we’re okay when really we’re not (who would understand, right?). Living on this side of heaven when our worlds are spinning out of control, it is so hard to be still and believe. I truly see Jesus asking you, like Peter, to get out of the boat and walk on the water that is found in Matthew 14:22-33 to sever that great fear. Besides the Lord God Almighty, you have a lot of Sistas who are walking right alongside of you to help aid you in claiming victory. I am sorry you’re going through this, because I am, but your writings are inspirational and encouraging to so many of us who can identify and will pray for the needed strength to press through these horrible challenges.
    Much love, Tammy

  3. Shelly…. beloved friend….this is HARD..I acknowledge that.
    I know that we cannot fathom the plans and purposes of God in this….


    I know He is trustWORTHY and GOOD, and that one day our “light” afflictions will see to me like a moment, but will have worked for us an eternal weight of GLORY.

    I can only think that the glory you will have in HEAVEN will make it all to have been worthwhile……….that is my HOPE and my PRAYER.

    Meanwhile I know God adores you, and the way you consistently lift others up with encouragement no matter how bad a day you are having.

    If we think of a pearl being formed in an oyster, I can only imagine what a huge pearl of great price is being formed in your life.

    LOVE you Shelly, so very much. xx

  4. Praying for you Shelly – may God grant peace and security and release from fear, for you in whatever the new reality brings.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.