Have you ever felt betrayed, in some way, by God?
I certainly have. I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis a couple of days after I graduated college. I spent that following summer in bed, very sick, resulting in two hospitalizations.
The joy that comes with graduation and starting a new life was completely stolen; my faith was shaken to its very core.
It didn’t make my situation any better knowing I had already fought Type 1 Diabetes for 21 years.
God has brought me through so much – family issues, relationship issues, and health issues. I have always tried to live out my faith in an active way.
Long story short, I felt betrayed.
During some very low points in college, I had no choice but to depend on Jesus. But I ended my college career with renewed conviction that God will always take care of me.
Then, BOOM, I was diagnosed with MS.
What is the good in that situation? I certainly didn’t see it, for a very long time.
I had asked myself a question every so often as I grew up with Type 1 Diabetes:
How would I handle being diagnosed with another chronic disease?
I’d answer that question, telling myself that I’d handle it with grace and give all the glory to God.
Well, to be completely honest, I didn’t handle my MS diagnosis very well. I was angry, hurt, depressed, and in shock. It all led to apathy.
And that, my friends, is a dangerous place to be.
The lines that were so clearly etched while I was in college became blurred. All the effort I had put into college and a career felt meaningless.
I felt as though my faith had nothing left but the very deep roots that had been there since the beginning. Thank goodness those were still there. Those roots became the foundation where I began to rebuild my faith.
I gradually began to see the blessings in my diagnosis. I graduated college with a bachelor’s of science in nursing. I didn’t get hit with my MS until after I graduated.
My mom told me this once: “It’s like God knew it was going to happen, that Satan was going to try and hit you where it hurt, but He said, ‘Not until she graduates college’.”
I didn’t see it that way for quite a while, but I do now. My diagnosis became my source of empathy for the patients I take care of.
Growing up with Type 1 Diabetes made dealing with the aftermath of my MS diagnosis a little bit easier. The sleepless nights of worry and endless tears I shed became a huge part of my healing process – healing through tears.
The mornings I spent not sure whether or not I could get up and face the day, I knew, deep down, Jesus would give me the strength to do so.
This Christian life is not supposed to be easy. By the world’s standards, you could say I’ve had it rough. We all “have it rough” in one way or the other.
But, what if I can stand out? What if I can make a person ask me how I can still be smiling with everything that’s wrong?
I can tell them my smile is there because of Jesus. That is my ultimate goal in telling people my story. My faith in Christ is the foundation with which I gradually rebuilt my happiness after it had been shattered.
Realizing what God has done for me in the past, how He is here in my present and how He is invested in my future encourages me to march on in my faith.
My MS does not define me. My Type 1 Diabetes does not define me. However, they are defining moments in my life.
My life experiences have taught me that I do not walk in this life alone.
Things to Think About
If you’re reading this blog post and asking yourself, how do I stand out?
Take heart, your entire life’s story is a living testimony.
But here are some questions to narrow down what your ministry, gift and passions are:
- What do you want people to notice about you?
- What has God carried you through?
- What are you going to do with your journey?
- Who are you going to encourage?
We are all on a journey. It’s a journey that only lasts a lifetime. A lifetime, compared to eternity with Jesus, is just a snap of a finger.
Blessings in this life are often disguised as impossible barriers. But, keep in mind, nothing is impossible with God.
What do workers gain from their toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil – this is the gift of God. Ecclesiastes 3:9-13