I am a country girl with a rocker heart with a passion for Jesus, makeup, Disney and for finding a way for those with chronic illness to lead full and joyful lives. I am also a proud YPW (youth pastor’s wife) and mama to an amazing and compassionate little girl through the miracle of adoption. I love rocking purple hair and tattoos but also love riding horses and wide open spaces. With God’s strength, I battle endometriosis, fibromyalgia, gastroparesis, Celiac disease, chronic migraines, postural hypotension, severe anxiety, and a smattering of symptoms no one has quite been able to explain. Despite it all, I refuse to give up hope and vow to live boldly with every breath I take.
about a new kind of normal
Living boldly means standing up for what you believe in, loving all of yourself, and finding a way to leave the world better than you found it. My favorite song lyric by the amazing Christian rock band Skillet states:
When darkness comes, I’ll light the night with stars.
Even at the darkest moments of our lives, God places beacons of light and hope all around us to remind us of His presence and His purpose in our lives. My goal is that A New Kind of Normal can be one of those beacons.
Another favorite lyric by a band named Veredia states:
In a sea of a million stars, still the sky was dark so You dreamed of me.
In all of God”s glorious creation, there is only one you. It blows my mind that in all of God’s infinite glory and beauty, before I was born, He felt that something was missing and He created me. The same with you. He created each of us so special and unique. When the world looks at us, they may see that we are somehow flawed yet when He looks at us, He sees beauty and wonder. Just as I marvel at a night sky full of shining stars and sometimes lose my breath trying to take it all in, He looks at me, at you, at all of us the same way. If I had never gotten sick, I don’t think I would have the same faith and understanding of who God is and how He loves.
We are perfectly imperfect. Every scar is a sign of courage and fortitude. Every challenge is an opportunity for a battle to be won. God loves us so furiously and with such passion that He gave us His all. He gave us Jesus. It is through that that we can be confident in our beauty and uniqueness. We don’t have to strive to be anyone but ourselves. It is when we accept this love that we are able to turn around and love others with a furious love. And that my friends, is a love that will change the world.
With that acceptance that comes with living boldly and loving furiously, we can learn to live fierce and confident. We can hold our heads high and embrace who we are created to be, chronic illness and all. We can rock whatever hair color, makeup look, or outfit choice because we are beautiful. We are strong. We are fierce. We are total rockstars and badasses (Yes, I am a YPW and use the word badass. Jesus was a total badass and sometimes we need to be one too). It took me a long time after I got sick to not look at my body as an enemy so I had to change my way of thinking. Out of this change, the Chronic Style series was born. Skillet has recently released a new album (and it is AMAZING) but the first song that grabbed my attention was called Stars. The chorus states:
If you can hold the stars in place, You can hold my heart the same. Whenever I fall away, whenever I start to break. So here I am, lifting up my heart to the One who holds the stars.
I know that stars has become a recurring theme in my life and learning to love and accept myself the way God created me. Some days are harder than others but every day we must make a choice.
what we can do to make a difference
When we choose to live boldly, love furiously, and feel fierce, we can grasp onto every shred of hope and squeeze every ounce of joy out of every minute of our lives. We can pour out our hearts in times of despair and know that our words do not fall on deaf ears. We can reach out to others and show them love, grace, and acceptance like no one else because that love, grace, and acceptance was first given to us. Together we can leave the world better than we found it because together we can raise our voices to call for awareness, education, and resources for those battling chronic illness. Together we can stamp out ignorance towards invisible illnesses and those who “don’t look sick.”
Together we can live boldly, love furiously, and feel fierce.
Will you join me?