Chapter Two: The Beginning Stages

“I’ll take it. I’ll take His words like a daring covenant, not knowing what’s yet to come: there is no growth without change, no change without surrender, no surrender without wound, no abundance without breaking. Wounds are what open the soul to plant seeds of deeper growth.” -The Broken Way

 

My story really starts in August of 2016. As a senior in high school & vigorous overachiever, I was living a very busy, full life. I was managing six scholastic subjects, studying for the SATs, volunteering at a non-profit, preparing for the upcoming speech & debate season, working out 4+ times a week, preparing to go on my very first missions trip in the fall, & babysitting on the side. Oh, not to mention attempting to keep up with a social life. You see, I had a non-negotiable life plan & schedule. I would graduate high school with the fullest resume possible, go away to the college of my choice, start dating, graduate, get married, begin my nursing career, have some kids, etc. You get the picture.

But, life threw a wrench in my “rock solid” plan. Actually, to be more accurate, that’s when God stepped in & said, “but here’s Mine.”

Suddenly, I began to experience peculiar symptoms. I was extremely thirsty, & consuming excessive amounts of water, to boot! Between 100-130 ounces a day, to be precise. I was frequently nauseated, & lost an appeal for basically all food. Disclaimer: I have always had a great love for food, so this was particularly strange behavior. I mean, this is coming from the person who ate an entire pizza with her best friend AFTER eating a full dinner….for a snack. So, my family & friends knew something was up! 😛

Like any great parent, my Mom promptly booked me an appointment with my doctor to get things checked out. After a consultation & extensive bloodwork panel, I was given a speech about how stress affects the body, a reminder of the high stress linked to senior year, & told there wasn’t anything visibly wrong with me.

I  promptly plunged back into my life schedule with relief. Thank goodness! Nothing was going to interfere with my perfectly organized agenda!

But little did I know, my journey was only just beginning.

 

Wow. If I’m being absolutely real here, I look back at where I was physically, emotionally, & spiritually a year ago & thank God that He changed my heart & my plan. To be even more shamefully honest, I thought I had everything perfectly together. I was painfully comfortable in my Christian walk. Yes, I was doing my devotions & praying, but I wasn’t dependent on God. I was dependent on myself. My plan. My day. My schedule. My to-do list. Me, me, me. I thought I could handle life on my own without Him. I thought it would be just peachy. I cringe when I look back on 17-year-old me. Oh, how wrong that mentality was.

But isn’t that usually how it usually goes though? We settle into a comfortable routine, think everything is adequate, and expect Jesus to follow us.

Yikes.

I plan on having a blog post specifically dedicated to this dangerous mentality, but for now I’ll just say this: “God doesn’t call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust Him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we will be in trouble if He doesn’t come through.” -Francis Chan

As I’ll expound in greater detail later on, God had other plans. He brought me out of my comfortable bubble to renew my faith. Did I cooperate immediately? Nope. Was it easy? Absolutely not! Did I fight Him? You know it. Were the plans anything like my own? Hahaha, no way! Is He done yet? Nope! But….did it renew my love for Him? Affirmative.  Has He been with me every step of the way? Yep! Has it been worth it? Absolutely!

You see, in that moment, one year ago, God loved me too much to leave me the way I was. & I am so glad He did.

To be continued…..

 

Chapter One: Faith over Fear

This is the post excerpt.

“God may ask you to rise up and lead in ways that will take humility and courage, and Deborah has set the example. But God is with you for every battle you face. The enemy may intimidate you with his strength, but God is able to overthrow him & his schemes.” -Patsy Clairmont.

A year ago, around this time, my health had just taken a drastic turn for the worse. I was completely bed-ridden, unable to eat, unable to shower, unable to do school, unable to babysit, unable to go to church, throwing up consistently, & battling severe abdominal pain. I was enduring test after test, needle after needle, & receiving no answers. It was also around this time God first laid the undeniable call to blog about my journey on my heart, and I replied with a resounding, “no, God! What if no-one reads it? What if I get negative feedback? What if I sound inept and stupid?” The protests went on & on for months….Satan was intimidating me with his lies.

Overtime, every so often, (and in completely unexpected ways) God would remind me of His call, and my protest was always the same. Honestly, I always would naively hope He’d forgotten! (Haha, what a joke, Grace!!) But, as He always does, He won over my anxious heart just a few short weeks ago, an entire year later. Sometimes I forget most people don’t know a fraction of my story. Sure, 90% of my social circle knows I’m chronically sick & struggle a good deal physically, but they don’t know exactly what I have, how its defined, what I’ve gone through, & most importantly, how God has worked through it.

You see, as I was having my quiet time a few weeks ago, I was praying out loud, and I petitioned, “Father, please use me and my experience to point others to You, because if my suffering doesn’t point to You, it is truly for nothing.” Wow. The impact of my words hit me like a massive tractor trailer truck immediately after I said them. “If my suffering doesn’t point to You, it is truly for nothing.” I seriously wonder if God planned that!

So, even as Satan’s lies began to whisper in my ears, I surrendered to the call. The enemy was intimidating me with his strength, but God overthrew his schemes.

I share this because through this blog, I want to tell you my story…the good, the bad, and the ugly. I want to be real and raw. My hope is that through this blog, people can understand these rare disorders better. My hope is this will be a tool to uplift & bless others. My hope is that through sharing what I’ve learned and how God has compassionately shown me His glory as He’s worked in my life, it’ll encourage & speak to even just one single person. Because if I hide my suffering, it is truly for nothing.