After experiencing chronic illness for a few years, I was confused as to what was going on with my body, my limitations, and with how I was living my life. After being diagnosed with ME/CFS I felt profound relief knowing my experiences were real, but I also was a little confused. What is the purpose of this disease? What am I supposed to learn from this? How am I supposed to cope and raise a family? Years prior to this time period, I began writing hoping to share some of my experiences after recovering from postpartum depression. At that time I was wondering why I was experiencing depression and I asked the Lord what he wanted me to learn. After recovery, and over the course of the next few years, several people opened up to me and shared their experiences of depression wishing they had known more about depression and how to deal with it. They asked for help. I began to understand I was experiencing this trial, so I could help others and lift and encourage them. And maybe even guide them to recovery through God. Feeling others pain helps us to understand them better. After all, He uses us as instruments for His purposes. So, again, when I was diagnosed with ME/CFS a few years later, the feeling and need to write was strong. I began writing again for the second time and learned that God wanted me to share about chronic illness, to give a voice to those who are suffering in any way.
I am scared to share and open up about chronic illness. First of all, I’m not sure I really understand it all, so what could little old me possibly share with anyone else. Second, no one likes to hear about someone’s problems and I don’t like to complain. I’m definitely a “the glass is half-full” kind of a person and negativity is not a good word to describe my personality. Third, though I am extremely open and will share information if I think someone needs help, I don’t like talking about me or my private life at all. When the spotlight shines on me, it is blinding and uncomfortable. But one day, as I was reading my scriptures, I could imagine the Lord saying, “If you could help one person, like articles you have read have helped you, would you help me?” Sometimes it is easier to say yes, than it is actually to do. So, I said yes. And now here I am left with the growing pains that come with learning to seek out God and help His people.
Living with chronic illness is not easy. It is confusing, overwhelming, painful, hard, and downright cruel to its victims. It can leave its victims misunderstood, depressed, anxious and scared. But as with any other life trial that WE WILL experience on this fallen earth, God will walk with us, IF WE ASK HIM. Deuteronomy 5:33 tells us, “Ye shall walk in all the ways which the Lord your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess.”
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16 KJV). He is the way. He is the light and life. And He will bring us the TRUE happiness we seek through any of life’s darkest trials.
I believe in you. I believe you can make miracles happen. And I believe that peace (true inner peace) is the answer.