I sit at the white, paint-stained desk in my bedroom. I wear sweatpants and a large, oversized t-shirt. My hair – much longer now than it was when I last wrote – hangs in a loose, messy bun at the base of my head. The window sits open, and a soft breeze that carries the familiar scent of fall drifts in. The autumn air is somehow crisper, lighter than the air of summer. It fills my room with the smell of falling leaves and the faintest hint of smoke. Birds sing in the distance as the soft, golden light is beginning to disappear. The atmosphere of the changing seasons is calming and restful. Even though my body hurts, my mind is clear, my heart is full, my soul is at peace.
It feels good to be writing again.
I’ve struggled the past few months with many things – sickness, questions, emotions, accepting where I am in life, my faith.
I got sick in June for two weeks. We didn’t know it then, but my body was just beginning its war with something that we’re still unsure of. Several weeks later, the illness returned. After seeing four different doctors, running a multitude of tests, a trip to the Emergency Room, and all kinds of symptoms, we’re finally getting close to some answers. We believe that whatever I have is curable and won’t affect me long-term, but it has still altered my life now in ways I never would have expected when I first got sick in June.
My condition has made me feel 80 instead of 18. I had to quit my job. I constantly need to be reminded to take my medicine. I never leave the house without wearing my baseball cap – it’s the only thing that covers the painful, severe rash on my forehead. I sleep supported by several pillows to help alleviate my chest pain. It’s difficult to eat. I never seem to have enough energy. My motivation is at an all time low. Concentration is a struggle. The list goes on.
Some days are good, others… not so much. I’m constantly trying to keep my emotions in check – it’s been so difficult to bear their heavy, heavy weight. My Dad is always encouraging me to “stay mentally in the game,” and I try.
I really, really try.
But some days are just hard.
And that’s okay.
The past few months have really challenged my faith. I stopped reading my Bible for several weeks. I struggle with prayer. I’m not going to church. I quit watching my online Bible study.
In all honesty, I’ve been angry with God.
Keeping things in perspective has been a real challenge. I often wonder, Why is this happening to me? What did I do to deserve this? What is the purpose?
What is my purpose?
Even though I don’t have the answers yet, I know there is a purpose for my pain. A purpose for my suffering – both mental and physical. A purpose in what now seems purposeless. A purpose that God knows, but remains hidden from me.
I’ve asked “what is the purpose?” many times before.
And God has always answered in His time.
Maybe you feel the exact same way I do. But maybe it’s not physical sickness that’s causing you to question things, that’s causing you to doubt. That’s causing your pain to feel purposeless.
Maybe it’s mental illness. Maybe it’s the loss of a loved one. Maybe it’s rejection. Maybe it’s a breakup. Maybe it’s moving away. Maybe it’s falling short of a goal. Maybe it’s not getting something you had hoped for. Maybe it’s watching someone you love suffer.
Whatever it is, we’ve all been there – the lowest of lows. A dead end. Rock bottom.
But the only way you can go from rock bottom is up.
I started reading my Bible again recently.
I prayed – really prayed – for the first time in weeks.
I wrote some things in my journal.
I made a commitment to watching my online Bible study again.
I finally found a product that is helping my skin.
My appetite is coming back.
I’m about to get the results from several lab tests that will lead us towards a diagnosis.
I looked in the mirror and felt good about myself today – the first time since July.
I have an amazing doctor.
I’m staying “mentally in the game.”
My friends are supporting me in this.
My family is right by my side.
There is a purpose.
And God is still watching over me.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” – Romans 8:28
“In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, not anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:37-39