This post has been updated as of November 20, 2017
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. We are so thankful for what the Lord is doing in my life. God has been good.
This Journey can be Dark
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 every day through this difficult journey. I am not thankful that my daughter may be sick, I am thankful that God is teaching me through this process. While teaching me to trust him as the way ahead seems dark.
Even in the Dark there is light
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.
Companions along 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 overwhelming. 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 of 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.
I wanted to update you all on what has been going on with our journey this past year. Since this post was first written my 8-year-old daughter was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease. While this is a common illness for many adults it is not a common one for an 8-year-old to face. We have been navigating dosing of medication, and different ways to manage pain for a young girl who just wants to play and enjoy her childhood.
In addition to the above diagnosis, we are currently in the middle of testing for my youngest daughter. Since she was born we have had different health issues that have come up with the baby of our family. Her pediatrician and I have been watching her carefully over the past several years. Her symptoms finally developed to the point that it was disruptive to her everyday life.
We don’t know much as of this post, but what we do know is that she has a Malabsorption problem. What that means is that her body is unable to digest certain foods. It appears that the foods she is unable to digest are carbohydrates. We have just begun the testing process and we are not even close to a diagnosis at this time. Yet I am sure you can imagine that there is a lot of emotion surrounding this new diagnosis that we are facing.
As for me, my health has not improved as much as I would have hoped once the cold weather returned. I don’t tolerate the heat very well, and so when the cool weather finally returned to my little corner of South Carolina I was elated. Yet my pain and fatigue have continued to cause me severe limitations.
What does that mean for the Laundry Pile? I hope to answer that over a series of posts that I hope will be available soon. God Bless and thank you for your prayers for me and my family.