Frustrated. Defeated. Sad. Angry. What else can I feel when I’ve stumped another doctor? When I’ve cried all my tears for the day pleading with God for it to be different? When I can’t seem to see the purpose in this?
Joyful? Thankful? Hopeful?
The Bible tells me to “rejoice in (my) sufferings” (Romans 5:3), to “trust in the Lord with all (my) heart and lean not on (my) own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5)
Sometimes that seems impossible; but Jesus says, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” (Mark 10:27)
I should probably listen to Jesus…
Not many people know, but I have been dealing with some health issues for a while now. It got really bad while I was overseas in Slovakia last year, and in April I was finally diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. The diagnosis brought relief, but also defeat. Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition that affects muscles and nerves. There is no known cause and no known cure. It is also a diagnosis made when pretty much everything else is ruled out, but I finally had a little hope of finding ways to deal with it and learning to overcome and get back to being normal, active, fun Miranda. I’m still working on that…
So far it seems to be two steps forward, one step back, one step forward, three steps back, four steps forward, one step back, etc. in this process of healing and figuring out how to deal with this piece of me. After a few good weeks of therapies and different appointments, I was feeling a little better and was pretty hopeful, but today was one of those five steps backwards kind of days…
Basically my muscles get super tight and tense anytime I do physical activity and cause a lot of other referred pain and fun stuff, so after a beautiful day of snowshoeing on Saturday, I have been feeling pretty rough. Today we tried lots of different therapies to try to get my muscles back to “normal.” Nothing worked, and I ended up hurting more than when I arrived. The doctors are confused and don’t know why my muscles are so tight and won’t relax, and I am frustrated with my body…I want to run! I want to hike! I want to be normal! I don’t want to be weak and broken!
I found myself questioning God’s plan for me in the midst of this during a teary drive home today from the doctor, and 2 Corinthians 4:5-18 comes to mind:
“For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11 For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death is at work in us, but life in you.
13 Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, 14 knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. 15 For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
2 Corinthians 4:5-18
I am a jar of clay carrying the treasure that is the good news of Jesus Christ. I carry around the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may be revealed in me! I am broken and weak so that others won’t see me, but they will see Jesus (the only reason I’m still standing) in me.
Today I needed to take a step back and remember the fact that God is faithful. I needed to take stock of the good this suffering has produced: the things I’m thankful for, and the good that has and will come out of my brokenness.
-I am thankful that my fibromyalgia is not debilitating and I can live a functional, pretty much normal life.
-Through times of pain and confusion, I have grown closer to God than I had even thought possible before.
-I have already gotten to use this part of my story to encourage and lift up others who are suffering in different ways.
-I have a great team of doctors around me for the first time who really listen and validate what I feel.
-God has allowed me to be thankful and feel joy even on one of the hardest days I’ve had in a while.
I hope my processing through this post can be encouraging or thought-provoking for others! It’s a little bit disorganized (like my thoughts at the moment), but I love that God has given me this newfound love for writing to express and share what He is teaching me with others.