In Sickness.

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” -Isaiah 40:29

SJ Photography

At the age of 21, I went to the doctor feeling sick and hopeless. I could not stop having painful stomach episodes and as a soon-to-be-teacher, I feared that if I couldn’t get it under control that I would never be able to have this career.

After blood tests and examinations, the doctor diagnosed me with Irritable Bowel Syndrome-an underlying condition of my overarching issue called Leaky Gut Syndrome. Both names sound pretty awful and they are. But, the doctor gave me some natural suggestions to try first. He suggested the Paleo Diet (which he warned me would be brutal at first and it definitely was) as well as taking a supplement every day and exercising. I did this regimen and for 5 years it worked for the most part. That is until December of 2017.

In December, I became incredibly sick and was convinced I had a bad stomach bug. I was out of work for a week and by that weekend, I was headed to the emergency room extremely dehydrated and weaker than I thought possible.

As I laid in the hospital bed with an IV in my arm, I looked up to the ceiling and felt helpless. I remember closing my eyes and praying that God would save me from this pain.

They ran tests at the hospital and when the tests came back, they said there was nothing wrong with me. This had most likely been a serious flare of my syndrome. I explained to the ER doctor all I had done for 5 years and he said I’d gone above and beyond what I could do, but I needed to contact a specialist because I needed medical intervention now.

I remember coming home, staying up late, and feeling devastated. I’d been a crazy health nut for so long, but I was still sick. I had been fighting taking medication for so long because I believed that only the “natural” way would heal me. But I now have to do the natural way and take a medication each day to allow me to be able to function. An expensive medication my current insurance does not cover. Life just isn’t fair sometimes.

That led me to seeing my primary doctor who wanted me to do blood work to rule out any other issues. & they did find an abnormality. They found something that was serious and needed to be treated, though luckily it was not life threatening. But it would mean another medication and even more strict lifestyle changes.

I am sick. & It is caused by genetics. I could not prevent it.

But it bothers me all the same.

I’d be lying to you if I said I wasn’t angry. Most of my anger has been directed at God.

I’ve begged and asked to be healed of the things which ail me, but they haven’t subsided yet. Honestly, I’m not sure if they ever will.

I’ve had to listen to “Even If” every single day to remind myself that God loves and cares for me even when it feels like He doesn’t. No matter what I do, no matter what others say, I still often immediately feel anger when I think about these things. I have to make a conscience effort to remind myself of His unwavering love for me even on the bad days.

But yesterday I was sitting outside, and I started to think about it all. I felt the anger and some sadness rise up in me. Then suddenly a huge blast of wind came out of nowhere and shook me to my core. I felt that amazing, only God, kind of whoosh that reminded me that He loves me and that He walks with me through every hard moment and that this time is no exception.

He loves me in sickness, in anger, and in sadness. He will hold me through these times when I don’t feel strong enough to stand. He will comfort me as I navigate this new world I’ve been thrust into.

& Even when I don’t understand and I begin to feel all those feelings, I will cry out that it is well with my soul. I know with everything in me that My God has not forsaken me, and He never will.

-Kristin

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