Friday, September 26, 2014

Undiagnosed, but not Ungrateful

5 and a half years ago, I sat in the doctor's office anxiously waiting to hear my diagnosis.

I didn't know what I had or what was causing the painful symptoms.

All I knew was that, whatever "it" was, it hurt and I wanted to know why.

I started running track in the spring of 2009.

Like any other teenager, I experienced the normal pain you get after you've worked out.

But, I also began to notice another symptom that none of my peers experienced after they ran.

24 - 48 hours after exercising, my brain would tell my right or left leg that it was heavy, like dead weight. I could move it just fine, but my brain would tell me otherwise. The signals in my brain were right that my leg hurt, but wrong that my leg was heavy.

It was so weird and abnormal especially for my age.

So, I told my mom about it and off we went to the doctor.

I honestly believed it was nothing that a simple pill couldn't fix.

But then, I found myself going through a series of tests and multiple trips to specialists all to have them say, "I don't know what's wrong with you."

That's been my life for the past several years…doctor visits, MRI's, Nerve Studies, etc.

It's been 5 and half years of "I don't know's."

This spring, it began to wear on me.

I began to get frustrated and upset.

Point blank: I just wanted answers.

I remember driving home one night thinking about this journey I have been on and wondering how to make the most of it.

It was in that moment I was reminded the LORD commands us to rejoice.

"Rejoice, always." {1 Thess. 5:16}

"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice." {Phil. 4:4}

"Rejoice that it's not cancer, lupus, MS, ALS, etc."

People come to the doctor and they are actually diagnosed with one of the aforementioned diseases. I haven't been. All of my tests have come back 100% clear.

"Rejoice that I am the ultimate Healer."

Know that whatever I have, whatever is causing the problem, the LORD can and will ultimately heal me. It just might not be in my timing or in this life.

"Rejoice that I have used this for good in your life as a witness to my name."

Through this whole process, I've been able to talk with people and share my story with them. I don't know how many people have been impacted or will be impacted because of this problem I have. But, I do know that the LORD will use it for His glory in someway.

"Rejoice. Always."

Rejoicing isn't possible without thanksgiving either.

side note: this is my current lock screen for my phone

Rejoicing produces thanksgiving and vice versa.

I need to be thankful that this is not life-threatening.

I need to be thankful that it doesn't hinder my day to day life.

I need to be thankful for parents who care enough about me to take me to the doctor.

I need to be thankful for insurance that covers the expense of tests and multiple doctor visits.

So, as I continue to walk through this process, I need to constantly remind myself to rejoice and be grateful.

Maybe one day I'll find out exactly what's wrong with me.

Until then, I'll continue to embrace the life God has given me with complete joy and thanksgiving.

* * * * * *

"That suffering nourishes grace, and pain and joy are arteries of the same heart… Can I believe the gospel, that God is patiently transfiguring all the notes of my life into the song of His Son? Take the pain given, give thanks for it, and transform it into a joy that fulfills all emptiness." 
– Ann Voskamp – 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A Note On Your Calling in Life

As I was studying the Word this morning, D. A. Carson had the following to say about 1 Corinthians 7.

"Unlike pagans and secularists, we cannot make our chief joy turn on marriage, prosperity, or any other temporal things. There are responsible ways for Christians to enjoy these things, or mourn, or be happy–but never as if these things are ultimate." {taken from For the Love of God Vol. 1}

I think often, especially in the Christian homeschooling circles, we place marriage as the end goal for young women. We think that we should raise our daughters to become wives and mothers. When, in reality, that's not what we should be preparing them for.

No, I am not opposed to marriage in anyway. I think marriage was created by God as an earthly picture of His relationship to the church and for the advancement of His kingdom. But, when we elevate that to a higher position than following God's call on our lives, we have a problem.

photo credit: pinterest 

I have learned over the last few years, that my goal in life is not to get married and have a family.

My goal in life is to know God and make Him known in whatever capacity He has placed me.

So, if the LORD chooses for me to have a husband and children, I will gladly accept them.

But, if he doesn't, that's okay.

No where in the Bible does it state that we are less of a man or a woman if we don't get married.

We were created by God to glorify God as an individual.

photo credit: Marvelous Things Photography

Elisabeth Elliot sums it up so eloquently…

"But we do not choose gifts, remember? We are given them by a divine Giver who knows the end from the beginning, and wants above all else to give us the gift of Himself. It is within the sphere of the circumstances He chooses for us – single, married, widowed – that we receive Him. It is there and nowhere else that He makes Himself known to us. It is there we are allowed to serve Him."

So, my charge to you today is this: Serve the LORD wherever He placed you because everyday is truly a gift from Him.