22 October 2017

Stolen Time -- A "Symptom" by Carrie Fancett Pagels


Stolen Time -- A "Symptom" by Carrie Fancett Pagels

I've been wanting to write this post for a long time. But so much of my time has been "stolen" that I didn't even feel well enough to write a blog post on how with autoimmune diseases a common symptom is in losing time. You're not really losing the time. It passes. But its as if it is stolen, because you can never get it back. And you're unable to do much. 

Don't get me wrong. I agree that all of our time, every bit of it, belongs to God. And He has His purposes. But as a mom, wife, and author it often feels as though that time I could be doing something good for my family and for God is snatched away by the devil. I don't know why God allows it. 

For people with autoimmune problems there are ups and downs in energy and in pain. When I've had several decent days in a row (which for a healthy person would probably seem like a slow few days) then I (being the type who can tend toward denial) start making "big" plans for myself. I'll admit it, sometimes I don't consult God, and that's when I can get in trouble.

I am truly blessed to have a teenaged son, whose days at school help me keep track of the days as they progress, because I sometimes have weeks, like this one, which seem almost as if they didn't happen. Then I look at the calendar and go, "How did it get to be this date? Is that right?" My poor husband tells me, "Yes." It feels like the time has been stolen away from me.

In my latest published work, "Love's Escape", in The Captive Brides Collection from Barbour (October, 2017), my heroine, Lettie, has had her life stolen from her. She's a slave. So she's not been free to make choices for any of her time. Lettie has no reason to trust in a God who has kept her enslaved. So when she finally has the chance to escape, who can she rely on? 

God is the author of our time and our lives, if we lean into Him. In my story, Lettie has to accept God's love and trust Him to restore her. I'm the author of Lettie's life and I know I can give her back not only twofold but multi times over what was taken from her. And God's Word tells us He will give us back double for what we have lost. I have found on some of my "good" days that it is as if God is doing the work, doing the writing for me as my fingers fly over the MackBook keyboard. And I'm amazed and grateful. Maybe instead of focusing on the lost time, it would be better to celebrate what He is going to do when He restores that time! He certainly did that in July during our trip to Mackinaw City and I'm trusting in Him to do what He would have done in my life.

Giveaway: A paperback copy of The Captive Brides Collection with my novella, "Love's Escape," Lettie's story. Answer this question: When have you felt like your time couldn't be restored and then God gave you extra help and/or energy to accomplish His will?



70 comments:

  1. What an inspiring post, Carrie, to which I can relate. Thank you!

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    1. I imagine little Holden keeps you mindful of the passage of time, Carla. Thanks for coming by my friend!

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  2. I suffer from Lipedema (a genetic adipose fat cell disorder), and my mornings are a struggle. Getting myself "ready" with my leg massage, wraps, etc. Then the day starts, most of the time I am exhausted from "dragging my legs around" all day. But, I am so thankful for those few days that God gives me where my body has no pain and my legs feel almost weightless! Although few and far between, I do cherish those days! Avid

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    1. Hi Lisa, Those special days feel like heaven, I bet! Thanks for coming by!

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  3. I think sometimes just the busyness of life causes that feeling. It's so rush rush rush I don't take the time to stop and focus on God like I should . (Avid)

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    1. Now that you mention that, Amy, I agree. I remember being a busy psychologist, with a teenager and a toddler with developmental delays and being involved in church activities and yes it was like time rushed by.

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  4. I really enjoyed this post. Very eye opening about autoimmune diseases. To be honest I really don’t have an answer to you question. I just take each day as it comes because that’s what God has given me. BTW, I’m an avid reader. I love your books.

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    1. Hi Sherry! Are the leaves changing up there? One day at a time is a good way to take things. Thanks for your kind words!

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  5. I’m not entering, but Carrie, you are often in my prayers and it’s impossible to even imagine how difficult weeks like this must be. I feel that frustration & desire to do things with & for my family when I’m working from home, but alas, I’m working, and can’t be in 2 places at once. Maybe try to think of it like that...you are resting, healing, gaining strength, and that’s where God needs you at exactly that moment. Be in the moment and be forgiving of yourself (which is hard for anybody!) and trust that better days are coming soon!

    Trdivincenzo (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. Thanks, Teri! You're right that God has his reasons for allowing this or it wouldn't be happening. Blessings!

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  6. I totally can relate to Stolen Time. Just this morning I said this. Where has the time gone? What have I accomplished? Time was stolen due to pain. Which limits on what we can do. Then given that extra boost we try to make up that time. Some times that will set us back. Some may not understand due to they never have had that type of Stolen Time. Thank God. But some didn't have that choice. Whether it is due to illness or due to those who took that away from another. Your story is inspiration to so many. You are a blessing.

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    1. Thanks my friend. I'm sorry that you are in a situation that helps you understand well about stolen Time. Big hugs!

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  7. I'm sorry about your autoimmune disorder! I find myself feeling sometimes as though my time has vanished or been stolen, due to busyness in daily life. Thanks for using your take ya to write, and for the giveaway opportunity! I'm an AVID reader

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    1. Hi Rosalyn. Rheumatoid Arthritis is a thief. But I'm still here and still have work to do for the Lord, including my writing. Many blessings!

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  8. Sometimes just life in general. Staying so busy with working and supplying for your family. You look and your kids are grown, married, and you have grandkids. Where has the time gone? Seems like yesterday they were babies. Avid

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    1. Hi Aletha! I remember when I was working two jobs, dealing with my arthritis, and our daughter was young and I forgot how old she was when I was asked at some appointment! I was so shocked and realized that things had gotten too crazy busy.

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  9. Hi Carrie, sounds like a good collection! And hoping you have more good days! God bless. Avid

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  10. My time before Christ was so very wasted, as far as glorifying Him or benefiting me, or anyone else, and was so selfish. After salvation, He restored my time by allowing my testimony to point others to Him, as well as showing me Himself in His Word, following and obeying Him...this has restored what the enemy took from me! :~) AVID

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    1. Amen! PTL Carrie (I love your name BTW!) that God restored you! He did the same for me. This is a good point -- that when we aren't or weren't walking with the Lord, that time really was wasted until we can/could be restored!

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  11. I appreciated your story very much, Carrie. I am blest in having good health. I must say though, that as a Religious Sister, I also am "busy about many things" and find time goes too fast - sometimes even to pray - and keeps on going and I cannot retrieve it. I find myself saying I am sorry, God, so often for not making the best of the time I have to pray. But God is so forgiving and merciful and gives us each present moment and I think if I can learn to live in this moment the best I can , then God accepts all and gives me continued strength to begin again and carry on. flowersmarylou85(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Hi Sister Mary Lou! I am glad you are enjoying good health! I know you and the other nuns stay very busy! God is good! Blessings!

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  12. Like you I have RA and also fibromyalgia. I work through the good and bad days. I am a teacher of students who are Emotionally Disturbed. Some days I just say take it Lord, I have to be there for my students like you are there for me. I love your writing and know how hard it is some days. Avid.

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    1. Hi Sandra! Wow, that's wonderful you are able to work and God bless you for serving special needs children! Blessings!

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  13. CARRIE, thank you for sharing! I'm covering you in prayer!

    I'm an AVID reader.
    psalm103and138atgmaildotcom

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    1. Thanks sweet Caryl! I imagine this time waiting to go back home to Houston feels like time is going slowly.

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  14. I have Osteoarthritis,had knee Replacement in 2015 and everyday is a struggle as some other joint starts to ache but I'm taking it one day at a time ,trying to keep pushing on.Thank you for the givaway. Avid

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    1. Hi Elma! We only get one day at a time, so we have to take them as they come, you're right about that. Blessings!

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  15. Thanks for your post. I was struggling with my job and unsympathetic, —just bad bosses. With lots of prayer and perseverance, I waited the time out to retirement. Just before I retired, they both got transferred! Then I got some recognition and appreciation. I was able to retire on an upbeat! Now that I’m retired , I have more time for crafts and avid reading!

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    1. Wow, Paula, that's such a testimony! I am so glad God restored you at work before you retired. Blessings!

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  16. I feel like everyday life steals time, especially when the kids were younger. But now that my kids are young adults, I get to enjoy them in a different way. I am an Avid reader. Thank you for the giveaway opportunity. I hope today was a good day!

    perrianne(dot)askew(at)me(dot)com (no google account)

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    1. Hi Perianne! What a blessing that you have been able to enjoy your adult kids. Our daughter just came over and joined me, my husband, and teenage son for dinner and that was lovely. Thanks, today I'm beginning to feel better.

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  17. I am the same way. I have fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis that hurts so much sometimes I can hardly get around. I'm so much slower than I used to be at everything till it seems I don't have near the time I used to have. But God helps me through each day. I'm not commenting to get a book since I already have one. But I hope someone gets the book that will enjoy it. I sure did. Thanks for your story!

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    1. Hi Brenda! Fibromyalgia can cause so much pain and fatigue, too, and of course so can osteoarthritis cause pain. Slower is better than not moving at all, though, and I'm grateful that I can walk again. Thanks for reading The Captive Brides and so glad you enjoyed "Love's Escape"!

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  18. Cares of life seem to really get a peson down...being laid o# and not finding a job, not enough money for bills and food, husband going to a lot of doctor appointments and the list goes on. It is when I am in the presence of God, feeling Him and receiving a renewing that I feel my stolen time being restored. Avid

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    1. Deanna, I just love what you said! That's when I feel my stolen time being restored, too! Thanks for sharing. Praying that God fulfills all of your needs and restores you double and more.

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  19. Carrie, I totally understand! We take each day as we can.

    I was telling Darren it seemed like the world slipped away while I was sick with the whopping cough. Even without that, living with autoimmune diseases is a daily battle. It's a constant roller coaster ride. One day or week you're good but the next day or week you're not good. For those who have a strong faith, it's good to be able to know He is there battling it with us. I couldn't have gone through what I have without Him!

    Praying for you!

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    1. Hi Regina! Yes, it feels just like that--the world and time slipping away. What ever would we do without the Lord? God is for us--who can be against us? Praying for you, too! Hugs!

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  20. I have health problems too and have felt this way too. God restored my time lately by sending new people into my life avid

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    1. Hi Palvis. I love that the Lord sent you people to restore you and encourage you! Blessings!

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  21. Glenda Klein HammelOctober 22, 2017 at 4:22 PM

    Now, this mind finally figured out what blog was!!!?! Never too old to understand or learn new thibgs. AVID

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    1. Hi Glenda! Good for you to learn what a blog is! Blessings!

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  22. I'm always busy with work and church. I feel like I have no time. Can't believe Christmas is almost here!

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    1. Hi Marsha! I pray God will give you more time so you feel next pressure. Seems like your hubby is a pastor, right? I think that does make for a busy busy life! Blessings!

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  23. I love your post, Carrie. My life changed when my mother didn't bounce back from surgery and her mind has not been the same. We never know what life has in store for us.

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    1. Hi Melanie. I'm so sorry about your mother. You're right -- we don't know what life has in store for us. Praying for you!

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  24. Carrie you have had a time of it these past months. The good Lord has blessed you with resilience and it serves you well when you are having your good days. Prayers and hugs to you dear friend.

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    1. Hi Mardell! It's a good thing my father was a persistent persevering WWII veteran who modeled that Winston Churchill "Never give up and never give in" motto. Prayers and hugs back to you my friend!

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  25. Hope all gets better soon! sheliarha64@yahoo.com AVID

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  26. During my second year in medical school, I felt like things were bleak and I may not make it to graduation. Thankfully, He had other plans for me and that year was a long long time ago.

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    1. Having watched medical students struggle with internship requirements, too, I understand why it might have felt bleak. Glad God showed you the way to go! Blessings!

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  27. This is going to sound crazy, but it can only be through God's gentle nudge that I opened my OWG email after thinking about how I have dropped the ball on so many of my favorite blogs. Ironically enough, it's due to feeling overwhelmed in life and not having enough time for everything. In essence, "losing time," because I don't prioritize well. Could it be that your post was meant for my eyes today? Especially since I have not opened numerous emails in weeks. Not just yours. Your words have truly given me some perspective as I do not have health issues that limit my productivity.
    That I'm aware of anyway. Instead, I haven't given enough of my time over to the Lord to be directed as His will sees fit. Carrie, know that the Lord used you mightily in my life today.

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    1. Hi Terrill! Wow, well, I definitely felt God's strong nudge to write this post today. It has been on my heart for a long long time now! What a blessing that you don't have health issues stealing your time. I'll admit I had trouble prioritizing, too, when life used to be busy with full time work, child-raising, and church work. Simple obedience to God's will does help for re-prioritizing time. Blessings to you!

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  28. Carrie, I had started writing my story & realized it was turning into my own blog, so I'll just say it this way. Without my Lord, I am nothing. I look forward to the day that I get to spend eternity with Him in my new Heavenly body. Take care of yourself. God gifted you with your writing ability. Thank you for sharing your gift with us.

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    1. Hi Robin! Thanks so much for your kind words! You're so right about being nothing without God. He's so good to us. Blessings!

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  29. Many times I've had troubles and turned to God for help with guidance, direction and patience. Most recently this last month with my husbands health problems that seem to be neverending right now, among other, maybe some personal problems/feelings. God gave me some guidance last night to begin working on my way of dealing with a situation.

    wfnren at aol dot com

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    1. Hi Wendy! Isn't it great that God gives us help and guidance? He's so good!

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  30. There's definitely times when I feel like time is stolen when lack of energy due to all I've been during at work, home and for others. I remember one morning in pray I was so exhausted, but God gave me the extra boost I needed to get through the day. "The Joy of the Lord is my strength". I think and pray for you often, Carrie, with your health issues. I'm blessed with good health; however, have family and friends who suffer with some of the same illnesses as you do. Thus, a better understanding how it causes of days of less productive. Blessings for a healing touch and renewed strength in Jesus Name.

    marilynridgway78 [at]gmail dot com

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    1. Praying for you, too, Marilyn, and I understand! Hugs!

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  31. Sometimes nearly every month! We host a Senior Luncheon at our church and sometimes it feels like my mom and I won't have the energy to do it all, but every time we are Blessed with the power, strength, and energy to succeed! :) Hallelujah!

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

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  32. The time that couldn't be restored for me was when I took care of my Mother who had Alzheimer's. God gave me the Grace, Patience, and Understanding to get through 3 years of being her Caregiver.
    Janet E.
    von1janet(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. What a blessing you must have been to your mom, Janet! God bless you!

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  33. Hello Carrie! Nice to hear from you, I hope you are feeling well!!!
    Thank you for the post; very thoughtful. I can't wait to read Lettie's story.

    When have I felt like my time couldn't be restored? All the time when kids were younger and needed all of my attention, I've felt like there was always not enough time...always...
    When I look back, I feel like I should've done a lot of things differently; however, that time is gone.
    I know God works through my weaknesses and mistakes. He makes everything beautiful at the right time, right? Only through Christ, I could have survived the parenting years...and still do... He is giving me extra help and energy to accomplish His will in my life (to be an ambassador in my children's lives and to show His love and grace!

    Thank you!

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    1. That is so sweet, Natalya! We have a 28 year old and a 15 year old so we're not quite done raising ours, although like my mom and MIL have always said, you're never done parenting your kids! Blessings!

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  34. I had these thoughts just today. This whole year seems to have just passed me by.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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