This post by Stephanie is full of truth and beauty. May it draw you closer to Jesus today!
I remember the mountains were the hardest thing to let go of. As their peaks faded into nothing, so did I. My car carried on for miles, with unfamiliar music, and unfamiliar land filling our eyes and ears. The only thing left of me were the two boxes bouncing around in my trunk—a box of books, a box of clothes, and a pair of sneakers.
Although the following days were filled with a million tears, fights with myself, and a desperate grasp for survival, I never fully grasped how much I lost in that car ride over the mountain. Not until today, anyway, when I opened four boxes full of pictures, writing assignments, and childhood mementos—most of those, things I wasn’t sure I’d ever see again.
For three years, I wasn’t allowed back in my house. We had Christmas in a Wendy’s once, and another time at a hotel. I was quarantined from every moldy building, humid atmosphere, and any public place that used chemical cleaning products. I was told to move to the desert and to make a new life because if I ever wanted to be healthy, then I was never coming home.
I have a disease few people believe in, but one that alters my life every single day.
Somehow, after those three years, I did become a miracle. Today I live in a humid climate in an old house on the edge of a mountain range. Last month I spent 30 minutes in my childhood home for the first time, and I went through my grandma’s old jewelry with my sister—just like a normal person. I’ve started a real office job that requires more physical and emotional energy than I ever thought I’d regain. I’m thriving in this healthy person world. And today, I opened those four contaminated boxes, and I remembered for a moment what used to be.
A friend of mine texted me recently about her husband’s recovery from a kidney donation. Something prompted me to answer her with these words: he’s making a stronger soul through having a weak body. I never thought about it that way before.
Life will never be the same for me—not after Lyme, and not after all the things I lost to it. I’ll never look back to the regular college experience, and I may never remember those stereotypical days in my early twenties when my body was indestructible. But there’s something I’ve been noticing about chronic patients—people like me, Eliza, and others.
We may live weak in body, but in our weakness, we are gifted with the amazing opportunity to become strong in spirit. My sick friends, though limited, are some of the most driven, hardworking, and resilient people I know. Their strength and endurance never ceases to inspire me, and their appreciation and contentment for the simple things in life is overwhelming for their age.
Perhaps God didn’t make a mistake when He picked out some of us to make stronger souls through having weaker bodies. Perhaps He didn’t choose this for us out of punishment, but out of a greater love. I’m thankful for Chronic Illness because by taking everything away, it’s given me more than I could have dreamed.
Stephanie is a professional writer and former journalist who has a heart for sharing raw stories and encouraging authors to write for Jesus. Although she grew up reading books, writing them became her accidental passion. She’s currently pursuing publication for her first novel, Reaching Home, while working as a Junior Literary Agent for Cyle Young. Stephanie spends her quiet moments immersed in poetry, or blogging about her adventures with God. She’s is a believer in hard work, audiobooks, chocolate, and dreaming big. To connect with her, visit http://www.stephaniekehr.blogspot.com