Two Years In The Making

Hey guys! I know a post has been long overdue. A lot has happened in my life during these past couple years and I felt it was time to share some of that journey with you.

My health took an odd turn a couple years back. It has been a grueling, painful trek but in my moment of clarity as I look back now, I see how God has been gracious to me in the ferocity of this storm. I had been suffering from painful swelling in my legs and arms. There was no explanation as to how or why this started happening but my condition kept declining over time. Aside from the horrible, relentless pain, I came to a point where I felt like a shell of who I used to be. People saw me on the outside but on the inside, it was like I was trapped while something else was running my daily functions. As strange as it may sound, I literally felt like a puppet on a string. My brain constantly felt like it was drowning in confusion with no moments to breathe. My train of thought would derail halfway through a sentence and I would sit there awkwardly as I tried to grasp them before they escaped my reach. My capacity to hold memory was like sticking my hand into a bowl of random objects with the hope of pulling out the proper thing. I was almost always frustrated with myself because I could barely keep a casual conversation. My smiles and laughter no longer felt genuine or natural but almost like that was just one of the body’s responsive functions. I retreated into myself because I wasn’t myself and I didn’t know how to wrangle all the pain, frustration, episodes of sporadic, uncontrollable emotions, brain fog and the feeling of being a mere shell of who I once was to turn it around and embrace it as the new way I would live my life.

The constant, restless pain distracted my mind because it would constantly receive messages of possible avenues to get relief but would find itself lost when it failed every time. No amount of sleep helped. Change of diet did nothing. My prescribed medication couldn’t touch it and I wasn’t willing to deal with the effects of that along with the unstoppable discomfort and pain. Exercise was almost next to impossible because even walking was excruciating. My feet always felt like I was standing bone-on-bone with no cartilage to support. My legs tingled and roared with such a deep pain I can’t even try to describe what it is like but I always instantly recognize it when it starts to surface even now. I couldn’t sit with my feet planted on the floor and always had to have some sort of object to use as an elevated footrest which wasn’t too horrible but it felt like I was being an inconvenience to everyone around me all the time.

Those years are honestly one large blur almost like a palette of paint colors all mixed together: I can pick out some of them and identify them but most are just a muddled mess. After another long round of tests and a second opinion, my symptoms improved almost to the point I was back to normal. After a few months of almost no pain whatsoever and my mind clearing up, I started to feel the beginning onset of the discomfort and pain once more. I am overwhelmingly grateful to say I have not gotten as bad as I had because by God’s grace, certain measurements I have taken to hopefully keep the progress I have made has proved somewhat successful.

Even though we still don’t know for sure what it was since I occasionally still feel the discomfort in my legs, I am trusting God will continue to carry me through like He always has. Even with such pain, I can stand on His truth, cling to His Word and take comfort in knowing He is always there. He will never leave me. He will always love me no matter how much I change from the symptoms and He will always take care of me through the ups and downs of it all. I can’t express my gratitude to God for my progress enough times as I remember what it was like two years ago and what it is like now. I feel more like myself. My head feels clear and I remember things quickly and accurately like I used to. When I smile and laugh, it feels real, genuine and warm like it used to before everything happened. I can engage in my hobbies of running and exercising (I know for most, running is something that is not enjoyable and I am mostly considered crazy for loving it haha), playing and writing music, writing my blog posts and living my life to glorify God in the best way I know how.

The journey has been long, dark at times, but as I continue, I know I have God walking alongside me and ready to carry me through it all when I am too weak to stand. My heart can’t sing this loud enough or long enough: How amazing is our God! How deep is His love for us to carry us through struggles and storms all the way to the finish line when He knows we are incapable of reaching it on our own! He could stand back and watch us crawl, writhe and try our hardest to endure but instead, like the loving Father He is, He scoops us up and makes the hard climb for us.

I am not completely recovered. I am not fully healed and I don’t think I ever will be but that’s okay because I have God and I have the support of my friends and family He has blessed me with to help remind me of His goodness and mercy.

I honestly feel like the determined, bold side of me has been asleep for a short period of time and has finally been called to wake up to serve God with the gifts He has given me to help further His kingdom and encourage others around me.

We are all going through something. We may feel like we failed to stand in it but it is about who we are when we come out of it. I know I am stronger from this, not physically, but spiritually. I have an even deeper sense to trust God no matter what comes around the bend. Even if I can’t see an end, He already has it all mapped out. God has given each of us His strength to endure our storms and trials. I can’t wrap my head around the vastness of His grace and power.

I hope you all found this brief update encouraging. I hope you know in your heart, like I do, God will carry you through because He promises He will and His Word is TRUTH. May this ignite the fire in your soul to press on no matter what and to give Him praise all along the way. No matter how rough the path may feel or steep the climb may be, you CAN endure with Christ as your strength.

Keep marching.

Be bold and shine.