20 March 2016

5 Steps on My MS Battle Plan - By Tracie Peterson

Author Tracie Peterson
MS and MS by Tracie Peterson

Sometimes things come to us out of nowhere and we can’t help but wonder what God has planned. That’s the way it was when I was diagnosed with not one, but three different auto-immune disorders, one of which is Multiple Sclerosis.  Until that moment, MS had always stood for manuscript – not a life changing disease.
Tracie's Office
 Finding out I had MS sent me into a whole different area of research. No one in my family has MS so there was no one close to go to and learn about the disorder. God put me in touch with some really great people, however, and over the years I’ve learned a lot. I’ve also seen how God has been at work.
Tracie's Montana Mountains
MS symptoms are different in different folks, but one of the worst symptoms is the fatigue and memory loss.  For a writer, both of those things interfere a great deal. When I was first diagnosed it wasn’t unusual for me to sleep up to 18-20 hours a day. Most folks didn’t understand – doesn’t everyone get tired? But this was different. I was exhausted to such a degree that I could barely move. The memory loss showed up in forgetting words or thoughts. I’d be working on my manuscript and come to a word that I just couldn’t bring to mind. It was so frustrating and worrisome, but God has shown me how to turn even that over to Him. When I come to those places where the word or words won’t come, I just leave myself a blank and come back to it later. I also started making lists for just about everything. For the exhaustion I’ve learned to pace myself and take naps. The doctor also had an amazing medication that has helped.
Tracie's MS Hoodie!

Everybody has something in life that interferes in some way. It might not be a disorder or disease, but there will always be those things that come to us and create havoc and frustration. There are a lot more things that we can’t change, than those we can so why let those issues run our lives or worse yet ruin them? For me, it’s a matter of refusing to yield territory to the enemy and in order to do that—I have to have a battle plan.

My plan goes something like this.
 1) Pray and spend time in God’s Word.
 2) Humble myself and admit my weaknesses, but focus on my strengths.
 3)  Understand that sometimes the answer doesn’t look like I think it should.
 4)  Keep a positive attitude – commit it all to God
 5) Use my problem to encourage others and lead them back to the source of strength – Jesus.


Your battle plan will probably look different. It might be longer or shorter, but the important thing is to have one and let God run the show.

CFP: Thanks so much Tracie for sharing with us and our readers! We love your writing!!! Great Battle Plan!

Giveaway: A copy of Tracie Peterson's latest book (which I am listening to now on audiobook!) A Treasure Concealed. Winner's choice of format (OPEN to international readers also, the book is available through Book Depository!) Question: Do you have a "Battle Plan" to address health issues in your life or a loved ones' life? 

37 comments:

  1. TRACIE, thank you for being with us again on OWG! Your testimony is very inspiring -- as I am also dealing with an issue that's interfering with my life. I love your 5 step plan and I certainly need to follow it! The frustrating part for me is that there is no name or cause yet for my health issue. So I'm doing what I can do atm, and trusting God for what I can't. Thanks, Tracie! Love your books!

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    1. It's so frustrating when the doctor's can't figure you out, but you've got the right attitude. We don't need a diagnosis label for God to work. :)

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  2. Thanks so much for sharing from your heart, Tracie. I have been struggling with asthma that we are still trying to discover why control seems to be elusive. I love your 5 step plan. I need to follow this plan and I know the Lord will let us know answers in His time. Looking forward to your new series. Thanks for the giveaway. bettimace at gmail dot com

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    1. I, too, have asthma. It was the biggest reason we moved from Kansas to Montana where the air is dry. Up here I never have trouble with asthma unless I get a bronchial flu or infection which I battled this last week. Hope yours stays under control.

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  3. Tracie, so good to see you here! Loved your testimony....so inspiring as are all your books! I have read them all, I think, and am anxious to read your newest. I deal with a health issue, too, so plan to follow your 5 step plan. Blessings on you and your writing~~
    jacsmi75@gmail.com

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    1. Thanks, Jackie. I think most of us have something we're dealing with and those 5 steps are useful for all situations.

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  4. My daughter has a chronic illness. We found that by accepting we found strength. To take things one day at a time. Always looking for positives.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. Thanks for sharing, Mary, and praying for your daughter. And for you, it is hard caring for a loved one with chronic illness. I know it takes a toll on my husband and we also have family members with autoimmune disorders, etc.

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    2. It is hard when the children suffer. My granddaughter has had problems since birth. She wasn't supposed to live to be 5 and is now 13. She has mental damage and is delayed, but she's a corker to be sure.

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  5. It is nice to hear how you are doing, Tracie.The disease is different with everyone, and I've wondered how you were over the years since you announced your MS diagnosis at the ACFW Conference. As someone who was also diagnosed later in life with MS, I have prayed for you often.

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    1. I'm glad we got to be there at ACFW conference and have the opportunity to engage in the moving corporate prayer for her, Janet. And glad you privately spoke with her and encouraged her. Praying for both of you often.

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    2. It was an amazing time and the prayers have been much appreciated. In the beginning I didn't plan to tell anyone. I couldn't see the purpose in it, but God had other plans and it has humbled and blessed me. So please keep the prayers coming.

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  6. Thanks for sharing Tracie! My husband has been facing some health issues recently and I am still learning to remain positive and give my worries to God.

    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Patty, I pray you and your hubby will keep on doin' what your doin'. It will make all the difference.

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  7. No, we did not have a battle plan when my husband had his massive stroke at age 44. I'll admit that I was angry at God for 'letting this happen' to my sweet husband of less than 3 years, Randy never once blamed God, his faith held firm. Fast forward 20 years... we have thanked God for how this disabling stroke has enriched our lives & made our marriage much stronger than it would have been if he'd continued to work 80 hour work weeks. God is good, even when we question His ways! rw620 AT aol DOT com

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    1. Wow, Robin. What a testimony! Thanks so much for sharing. It is so encouraging to hear how God has helped others through trying times.

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  8. Thank you Tracie for sharing with us! I remembered when I had a terrible accident, I tried to overcome the obstacles myself, and that didn't work so well. Prayers and having God guide my path towards healing had not only healed me physically, but emotionally and relationships with others. Thanks again. Annie justcommonly(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. You're welcome and I'm so glad to hear how God helped you.

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  9. I don't know that I have a battle plan, except to pray and proceed with as much love as possible for my family. Being surrounded by supportive friends and family does help!
    kathrynlvoss(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Friends and family support and encouragement are the best. God often appears to us through them.

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  10. I have a special needs child who is 24 years old and still living with me. While I don't have a "Battle Plan" in mind, I do pray a lot and seek support through family, church and counseling for the both of us. I certainly do a lot of praying as well. I think I need to put a few of your steps into play, Tracie. Thanks for the giveaway and all the wonderful books you keep writing. You are in my prayers.
    princessdebbie1_2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. I guess because I'm one of those "planners" I like to have my ducks in a row and a plan on the table. However, sometimes all we can do is take life a little step at a time. I remember someone telling me long ago - "Forget about taking up my cross daily - I have to take it up minute by minute." Some days are better that way.

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  11. Thank you, Tracie, for sharing your great battle plan. I know you have helped so many by showing the way when unexpected illnesses may arise.

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

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  12. Tracie, I had no idea you battled MS or any other health issues...but how could I since I don't know you personally just through your books? I'll be keeping you in my prayers that God will give you strength for each day :-)
    I absolutely love your battle plan, especially the number one thing is to get with God in prayer and through His word! That should be the first thing we do as Christians when things come up in our lives unexpectedly! God knows before hand what's going to happen & I believe He already has a plan in mind. We have to get our strength from Him in troubling times, at least I know I do! :-)
    I don't have any battle plans myself, but if I did, it would look pretty similar to yours Tracie. God first everything else second ;-)
    Thank you for sharing your struggles with us and your battle plan. I'm so glad God's helped you through your tough days and your good days!

    Thanks for the chance to win a copy of "A Treasure Concealed"!

    teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. Thanks for coming by, Trixi! I'm enjoying having a Bible app on my iphone (Bible Gateway) that allows me immediate access to the Word anywhere I am. Prayer and Prayer Warriors are important. I'm listening to "A Treasure Concealed" and it is so good!

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    2. Yes, thanks, Trixi. You mentioned only knowing me through my books, but believe me that's a perfect way. My readers often know my heart better than those I see daily.

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  13. Thanks for sharing. cheetahthecat1986@gmail.com

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  14. I didn't know you have MS. I was diagnosed in 2006 with the disease. I know you understand when I say it is difficult for others to understand the unpredictability of MS. I can so relate to you on the fatigue, my husband is such a blessing for he makes sure I don't overdo. He makes sure I rest if I do too much. Thank you for sharing this, it helps those of us who have this disease to hear from others that struggle through this crazy disease.

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    1. Karen, I do understand. I have a friend who has one of my many auto-immune disorders and the fatigue is outrageous. Her husband doesn't see how it can possibly be that bad. I've done what I can to try to explain, but it is hard to comprehend if you haven't been there.

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  15. Excellent battle plan! I don't officially have a battle plan, but I do try to put some of yours into action! :)

    Many Blessings, Amada (pronounced: a.m.a.th.a)
    amada_chavezATyahooDOTcom

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    1. Thanks, Ama--th--a. I love your name by the way.

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  16. Thank you so much for sharing, Tracie. I had no idea either, but I will certainly keep you in my prayers. A very dear friend of ours was recently diagnosed with MS. She and her husband(Mark and Katie McElreath) were missionaries to Ethiopia, but have had to come back to the states for good now. I may not have a full battle plan in place yet, but I'm working on that presently. It's difficult when one does not have close friends to turn to, but I realize now that I should've consistently been turning to God for answers and drawing closer to Him. In times of trouble, my mom tends to lean on me a great deal, especially now that we've just received a piece of troubling news ourselves. My dad was recently diagnosed with colon cancer. Thankfully, it's only 1st stage at this point, which is all the more reason to have a battle plan in place. The C word is a pretty scary word for our family. Mere mention of it dredges up memories of loved ones whose loss is still most keenly felt. My Nana kicked cancer twice and is still doing rather well at 90+, but my aunt Anita(she had 4th stage colon cancer and by the time that they found it, twas too late) and my other grandmother did not. Although we are readying for warfare with hope in our hearts, it is nonetheless quite daunting for us all. Your prayers would most certainly be appreciated. Thanks again! - Blessings, Julianna
    emeraldelena(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. Wow, Julianna. You have a lot on your plate. However, you sound like you are a wonderful encourager and sometimes that's the best help for someone who is sick or worn from the troubles of this world. The Bible is clear on our duty to encourage one another and I can see you are going to be a tremendous help to your loved ones.

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  17. Thanks so much for all you're responses. I've been down with a respiratory flu this past week. It continues to hang on just a bit and I haven't been overly active. In fact, my hubby and I were just commenting that except for the doctor's visit last week - I haven't been anywhere - which for me is most unusual. We were to have gone on a research trip last week and I have to say - if there is any reason for praise in getting the flu - it's that I caught it before we left and I could cancel everything. So even in that - I see God's hand. I just wanted to thank all of you, however, for you patience in waiting for my response. Thank you too, Carrie for having me here.

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    1. Tracie, this flu knocks people down for a long time. So glad you knew in time to cancel your trip!!! Praying your will begin to feel better soon. We all spent quite a bit of time in bed when we had a terrible virus/flu recently. God bless you for coming by and sharing with our readers!

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  18. TRACIE, thank you so much for sharing! My battle plans is to see His face and follow His voice. Blessings to you!

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