In 2014, I got pregnant with my second child. Everything went well, but after her birth, I developed my own health issues. I experienced migrating pain and twitches that doctors couldn’t figure out. As the years went on, my list of symptoms increased. Eventually I had trouble holding a conversation, and was in so much pain that I couldn’t walk to the bathroom on my own. Every test was normal, and doctors began to question my sanity.
After two and a half years, I was diagnosed with Late Stage Lyme Disease (aka Chronic Lyme), which presented another set of problems. I learned that the disease is highly controversial, and navigated an underground world of Lyme treatment. Nothing was covered by insurance and communicating with doctors was often difficult and secretive.
My journey with Lyme tested my faith in ways I never dreamed and I had days where I wished I could sleep away years of my life until this was over.
It was in this hard time that I learned the peace that comes with surrender of control and trust in Jesus, one hard step at a time.
After a year and a half of treatments, I began to see major improvements. But the turning point for me was when I addressed my mental state and acknowledged that I would never make progress if I didn’t believe I could.
I could continue to be a grump about everything that was going on in my life, give up, quit, sleep away the days, be bitter and angry, and self-pitying. Or I could choose to live in the freedom of gratitude, love, joy and peace despite whatever circumstances were in front of me.
While my mindset wasn’t the cause of Lyme, it certainly wasn’t helping it. I read book after book of others who went through hard times and read of their successes through self-care practices like using a gratitude journal, or getting outside into the sunshine everyday. I saw a pattern of positive thinking and physical healing in my body that I couldn’t ignore.
In my journey of pain and suffering, I realized that changing my mindset also meant a deep dive into what I believed about my capabilities and an awareness of my need for spiritual growth.
WHAT I BELIEVE
Each day is still a battle, but I have the reminders of how far I’ve come and the hope he set in my heart to keep living life—not merely survive it.
Here’s what I’ve learned I believe, and what I want to share with you through writing this blog:
- God wants to use you in any and every season.
- There is more than one way to fulfill your purpose/calling.
- Spiritual growth only happens with intention.
- God still speaks, we need to learn to listen.
- Miracles still happen, we need to look for them.
- Self-care is not selfish or anti-Christian, and we can’t help others if we aren’t taking care of ourselves.
- Times of solitude and the practice of being still are needed for personal reflection and spiritual growth.
- There’s peace and progress in simplification; multi-tasking and busyness don’t always equal success.
- The best growth usually comes from hardship—try to see the silver lining in everything.
- You have a story to tell and everyone’s story matters!
While I may not be successful in conquering each and every day, my vision, my goal, my choice—is to live life with intention. Intentional living doesn’t mean you’re doing life perfect, it means that you’re living life with purpose.
If you are feeling trapped in your own hardship, I want to encourage you. To let you know that you are not alone. You are not a lost cause. Your circumstance doesn’t define you. You are braver and stronger than you think. Let’s take back our lives together by stop waiting for things to get better. Today is the first day of your new life—stop putting it on hold.
Survival mode is not the way to live–hope and joy are found in intentional living!
You’ve got this!
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