Over the past year I have been on a dark journey of sorts. My health dropped to an all time low about 18 months ago. I have been working with several different doctors during the past months to find solutions and answers. We have found some answers and ways to step forward in improving my health, and each step forward seems to bring many more questions and uncertainty.
Living with a chronic illness can be terribly discouraging, even so I am very thankful that I have been learning how to find joy in the everyday. I have learned to pause and notice the smiles on the faces of my children, and enjoy the antics they are up to every day. I am learning to notice more of God’s beautiful creation, and I have been praying that the Lord will show me how he is at work in and around me. I am so thankful for what the Lord is doing in my life. God has been good.
Recently we have begun a journey with my 8 yo daughter. It appears her health is not what it should be either. It is one thing to live a life of pain and struggle yourself, but to watch your children walk that same path is heartbreaking. Yet again I am thankful that the Lord has been demonstrating Himself to me in the everyday through this difficult journey. I am not thankful that my daughter may be sick. I am thankful that God is teaching me through it, as well as teaching me to trust in him as the way ahead seems dark.
Over the past 4 months I have managed to lose 30 lbs. I have a lot more to lose, but I am enjoying the benefits of what I have achieved so far. I am physically stronger and I have built up to the point of walking 2+ miles up to 5 days a week. It is really wonderful to be strong enough to walk such distances.
Each day I am being reminded of God’s constant presence in the life of our family. Even though there are many struggles that we are facing each day I have a sense of calm in my heart, knowing that God is leading us each step of the way.
My family and I have not walked this journey alone. I have not been here keeping you all updated on our progress over the past year, but we have been surrounded by many people who have been a wonderful blessing to us. I believe that living life in community is a vital element for anyone who is walking through this life. When we have people who keep pointing us back to Jesus Christ, and who keep reminding us of his love for us, we are able to step lighter. Conversely when we try to walk through a dark place alone, the burden we carry seems to grow and become a living monster all on its own. I encourage anyone who is walking through a dark time, find people who will point you back to Jesus, and what he did for you on the cross.
Finally, one last factor that can help as you journey through the dark places in life. Find someone whom you can bless. That someone may be a neighbor, a friend you haven’t seen in a while, or maybe even someone at church who you know is struggling. Do some small thing. Nothing grand or over whelming. Do something simple such as buy some cookies to share, write a note or even take them a cup of coffee. Perhaps it will give you an opportunity to get your thoughts off your own pain for a while, just long enough for you to catch your breath before you dive back into the struggle.
Dear friend if you are walking a difficult road right now I encourage you to take your pain to our Father. He loves you and he sees each tear that trickles down your cheeks.