At one point I shared about my faith quite frequently on my blog. I looked forward to putting together a post for Friday Words of Faith. I enjoyed sharing about the things I was learning about God through my everyday experiences with illness, motherhood, and life.
If you’ve noticed, these posts have been few and far between lately. I don’t feel as though I’ve lost my faith however it has been challenged. About two years ago, I was really wrestling with how to reconcile who God is with the devestation that chronic illness can bring. Is He the cause of my illness or did He simply allow it to happen? I was not brought up in a church that supported asking questions like this so I really had to wrestle. In the end, I decided God was not the source of my suffering, however, I had the choice of how I reacted to my suffering. I could allow it to make me become bitter and angry or I could choose to grow through it and use my experience to give Him honor. It wasn’t an easy journey but I do feel like I came out on the other side a better and stronger person.
Fast-forward to the present – I still believe all these things. I really do. However I think there is a part of me that feels abandoned. I feel like I’ve tried so hard to do the right thing. We’ve tried every treatment under the sun. I’ve seen specialist after specialist and the bottom line is that I am still in pain every.single.day. I would say that I feel God has been silent but that would be a lie. The truth is lately I’ve taken very little time to listen. I’ve closed myself off and built my own little secluded island to avoid being honest with how I feel but that needs to end.
Honestly, I feel exhausted. It beyond physical fatigue. It is an exhuastion that reached down to my core emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. I feel like I’m running a race with no end in sight. The only words I hear are “I’m sorry. There is nothing else we can do.”
Next to the exhaustion, I feel betrayal. I feel like my body has betrayed me in every way possible. I just turned 30 but feel much older. I feel robbed of my music and running, as well as many other things I enjoy, as my body no longer allows me to participate. I feel betrayed in that God would even allow illnesses like this to exist. Why would He allow His people to suffer? Couldn’t He at least give scientists and doctors the knowledge needed to develop a cure? I find myself listing off things in my head that I could accomplish if only I were healthy. I find myself somewhere between grief and despair but sometimes it is only when you acknowledge the darkness that you are able to see the light.
It is in this honesty that I find relief and peace. In pouring out my heart, I have created room for God to pour His Spirit in me. I realized that I do not need to know all the answers to feel the peace only He can offer. I once heard someone say, “It may not be well with my circumstances but it is well with my soul.” I just need to lean on Him and He will carry me through it. The road might be rocky and the road might be long but I have a promise that I do not have to travel it alone. It is time for me to come out of hiding and allow myself to be in His presence.
One of my favorite songs of all time is called “I Believe in Love” by Barlow Girl. I often call it my “life song” as it truly fits with where I am in life. One of the verses says, “Though I can’t see my story’s ending that doesn’t mean the dark night has no end. Its only here that I find faith and learn to trust the One who writes my days.” So here I am standing in the midst of my own personal chaos choosing to say that I believe.