Monday, April 21, 2014

Never Alone

Post Soundtrack:  Home by Phillip Phillips

This is something I posted elsewhere not long ago.  I thought it would be an interesting counterpoint to my other post today.

It is so surreal, examining what has become of my life. I don't think anyone effectively plans for who they will become and what will happen as time marches on. Most surreal of late for me, of course, is being diagnosed with Lupus. It's a strange idea to attribute to one's self. I've known and been close to folks with serious illnesses. Cancer, Lupus, Goodpasture's, MS, diabetes, and other life-threatening medical problems. Though it makes my heart ache to see them struggle, it does not surprise me to have my life touched by such things in that way. The more people you love and grow close to, the more likely these maladies will crop up. However, it is human nature to never expect it to happen to you. It comes as a shock, no matter how long or how much it was suspected, no matter how much research and info-gathering one has done on the disease. It still tends to feel rather earth-shattering.

Adjusting to this new awareness of one's physical self is complicated, involving grief, hope, worry, resignation, and in the end acceptance and contentment. At least that is how God intended us to work through it, relying and trusting in him to carry us through. That is not to say that emotional upheavals are somehow wrong to experience on this long road of dealing with disease. I firmly believe in allowing myself room to feel, to react to the unpleasantness and fear. But the strength I ask for in prayer is to overcome those feelings, and to press on renewed in spirit, if not in body. I am blessed to have a husband who helps me through this process, who holds me when I cry, and who walks beside me when I am ready to tackle life again. Between these two, my husband and my Lord, I know I will prevail, regardless of the physical outcome.

Am I afraid? Oh yes. But am I without hope? Most certainly not. This world is not my home, and if I must endure pain and sickness while here, I can look forward to a rest in heaven where such things cannot touch me any longer, so long as I keep my focus on what is truly important in this life. Faith, obedience, and working hard to do God's will. That is my comfort, my hope, and the key to the endurance I seek.

I write this so that others might have a peek into the struggle that goes on inside the heart of one faced with life-long disease. So that those struggling can be reminded of that which we are reaching for, beyond the scope of this physical body. But I also write this so I can see it myself, be reminded myself, and gather that necessary strength to get through the bad days. I am not alone, and I never will be.

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