I married my college sweetheart 20 years ago. We have 4 wonderful children ranging from ages 9-17.
17 years ago, I came to the full knowledge that I was a sinner and in need of a Savior. After hearing that Jesus, perfect and blameless, willingly died on the cross for my sins so that I could have eternal life with Him, I repented of my sins.
At 27, already a wife and a mother, I was now a new creation in Christ. Praise God!
For 15 of those years, intense pain had become my companion. Years went by before any answers or healing came. I went from being an active, energetic wife and mom to being bed ridden and isolated.
I battled extreme exhaustion in every way, falling asleep at stoplights and even forgetting where I was going. My symptoms continued to worsen.
After ten years I was finally diagnosed with Chronic Lyme Disease.
This disease stole my health and I had no idea the fight I had ahead of me. I was told that it was time for a wheel chair, that complete healing would never come.
I didn’t have anything to smile about.
Needless to say, we were in our fiercest battle. I had to leave home for 6 weeks for intensive treatment, learn how to give myself shots daily, change how I did nearly everything and accept where God had placed me.
Because of my fear and pride, I didn’t share my suffering with many at first. I was facing vulnerability in my marriage and close friendships, but the Lord provided.
God met me in the valley, fully equipping me. If not through this trial, I would have never experienced such selfless love from my family.
Michael never once treated me as a burden or complained of our circumstance. He vowed to love me in sickness and in health every day. It is a picture of 1 Corinthians chapter 13. Together we understood better what it meant to be one.
Through it all our faith grew as a family. We had to communicate more and think outside the box. Our norm took on a whole new meaning. Michael could not do it all alone and the time had come for us to humbly admit that we needed help.
We have been on the receiving end of sacrificial love. A friend loves at all times. This kind of friendship is a gift from God that is to be treasured. Even though they do not understand your illness or course of treatment these friends remain. They remain not just for weeks or months but for years, taking time out of their busy schedules to hold our family in higher regard.
I share this because I KNOW that it is not easy to persevere through the storms of life, not knowing if there is an end in sight BUT, take heart dear sisters because I can tell you that God is in fact always good, always faithful and has never forsaken me. Not at my lowest point, not at my worst.
Chronic illnesses do not just go away so you have to choose to have joy and peace. Striving daily to be thankful and live the highest quality of life you possibly can.
The difficulty of these years and trial does not outweigh the out-pouring of God’s abundant love. Thankfully, I never had to use that wheel chair and I have always had plenty to smile about. Today, the pain and fatigue have both lessened. My memory has greatly improved.
Limitations remain and I continue to strive to continue to regain my health. My quality of life with my family is wonderful and I am even homeschooling our youngest daughter.
I hold tight to His promises. Romans 8:28, God works all things out for good, to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.
It may seem strange to hear but I’m thankful for the valleys I have walked. If it weren’t for these moments, I wouldn’t have learned that we never walk in the valley alone, or known the victory of no longer being gripped in fear, but instead knowing the overwhelming joy of standing on the Peaks!