Dear Chronic Illness,
You and I have had a rocky relationship the last nine years. I have cried out “my body hates me” more times than I would like to admit as there have been moments consumed with defeat and betrayal. Everything I thought my body was supposed to do seemed to fail. I lost my ability to conceive and carry a child at the age of 26. I spent my first three wedding anniversaries recovering from surgery. My joints can no longer support my love of running and the open road. Every trip and event has to be planned to factor in distance, walking, fatigue from travel, are there gluten-free options, yada, yada, yada. Spontaneous is no longer a part of my vocabulary. I feel like I have lost so much.
I have also gained.
My faith has been strengthened. I have learned what it means to have hope, faith in the things unseen. Even when I feel that God is silent and wonder what His plan is, I know in my heart of hearts that I believe that He is working and He is in control.
I have learned so many lessons from my illness and that I am so much stronger than I could have ever imagined. I am a fighter and refuse to give up, even though I have had to face reality of a new normal. While life had taken me down I road that I never would have imagined, I am learning to be confident in who I’ve become in spite of it.
I have learned first-hand the depth of the promise my husband and I made on our wedding day. I am so lucky to be married to my best friend who I feel compliments me so perfectly and I truly feel he was created specifically for me and to walk with me through this. It has not been easy and I won’t pretend that illness has not brought its share of challenges into our marriage but we are committed to each other 100 percent and the vows that we made before God and our family and I think that helps us get through those hard days.
I have also met so many amazing people that I would not have otherwise had the chance to meet. I am blessed to have several ladies in my life who have gone from acquaintances to friends to dear sweet sisters. When I started this blog, I never imaged that anyone would ever read it much less how lucky I would be to build relationships with so many amazing readers. The online support community I have been able to be a part of has really helped me stay positive, learn about my illnesses and feel empowered, and really grow as a person.
So, chronic illness, you have taken a lot from me but I have gained so very much in return and being able to list out all of the many blessings I have received as a result make everything worth it. You may have broken me but you have not defeated me.
I will not give up.