Unfailing hope

When being diagnosed with a chronic illness, I believe that the first thing that comes to mind is “Why, Jesus?” I believe that there is sadness, frustration, anger, bitterness, envy, comparison, jealousy and darkness. I also believe in Jesus and that’s what changes things. I know that there is a God who cares for me, who understands everything I have to endure, and who collects all of my tears in a jar. I have a Father who draws near to me, sees me in the midst of my circumstances that I wish were different and says, “I am with you and I have never left you. Put your hope in me. Let me carry your burdens. Let me bring you strength and endurance when you have none. Let me love you when you feel unlovable.”

When being diagnosed with a chronic illness, I believe it takes your breath away and knocks you off of your feet. I also believe that you feel stripped and abandoned because the life you’ve always known, has been quickly flipped upside down. My identity was changed. I was no longer the happy, fit, and ambitious person I’d come to know and love. I felt weak, fearful, and alone in my struggle. I went through a year of severe depression and anger. In the midst of all of these emotions, I would often reflect on a verse that God revealed to me early on in my journey, “The lord will fight for you, you need only to be still” (Exodus 14:14). This verse, brings me peace and hope in the midst of my exhaustion and pain. We may never understand the path God has us on but when we seek his truth, miracles happen.

When being diagnosed with a chronic illness, you start to feel a lot more. You start to empathize with others. But you also feel unloveable, alone, fearful, tired, hopeless and simply worn. In this midst of those feelings, the enemy will step in and tell you that “no one understands,” “you can’t do this anymore,” “you’re alone,” “I need to be more like her” but Jesus will step in and say “I care for you,” “Fear not, for I am with you,” and “my grace is sufficient for you because my power is made perfect in your weakness.” My story is no different than yours. God is in the midst of both of our stories waiting for us to stop carrying our burdens. He is waiting to show you how he loves, protects, cares, and provides for you. Be brave. Be fearless. Believe in God’s faithfulness. Believe in the portion God has assigned to you. Believe in the restoration that happens when you seek Jesus. Believe that all you need is your daily bread and God will give you no more or less than that.

-Abby

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