The post was originally shared in October of 2015, nearly one year into recovery from my pancreatectomy/auto islet cell transplant, a huge operation with a 3-5 year estimate for recovery to find a new normal in a permanently changed body. This was right at two years after my Whipple and all the hell that followed… pancreatitis that quickly turner chronic, 300+ days without eating a single bite of food, 24/7 feeding tube, total debilitation essentially stuck in a bed at age 20-21 and so much more. You can read more about that time here .
It was actually in that dark valley that this blog began, four years ago. A bit of my story was recently shared on the Medical Medium Instagram and Facebook pages and as a result, I’ve been getting many kind, encouraging, curious messages from people around the world who are facing complicated sickness and looking for answers.
I ran across this post, written in October of 2015, and the Lord nudged me to share these words again. Thank Jesus I am no longer living in this extreme level of suffering with every minute feeling impossible. I am still struggling, facing the task of learning how to live again, follow my dreams and thrive, all the while caring for a body plagued with ever present health challenges. Re-reading these words was an encouragement for my heart and I pray they will be for yours as well.
My friends: don’t give up.
“Eyes filled with tears, heart heavy with hurt, body ravaged by immense physical pain, soul overcome with depression. This overwhelming depression seems to set in deeper as the days slowly drag on. Hopelessness, worry, anxiety…. Complete loss of interest in all things. Total lack of intrigue in everything that can always spark the interest of my constantly curious spirit. What on Earth will, or could, make this sadness go away?
I remember, oh yes– nothing but the presence of my Savior.
Nothing but the love of the One who truly loves.
Nothing but prayer, meditation, praise & reverence to The King.
There are no quick fixes, there is no miracle drug to rid me of these feelings. This I know.
I also know-believe-experience the healing power of prayer. And I know-believe-experience His strength equipping me at my weakest. And I know that if I seek Him, I will undoubtedly find Him.
If I open that Holy book, I’ll find answers. Prescriptions for the pain.
I’m infinitely thankful for the healing that has already occurred, how far I have come from that horrid spot at death’s door. But things are crazy hard. Every day. Every minute. Too many times, every second. And I’m simply tired of clawing in this deep pit only to fall back down. And knowing that two years is but a fraction of the years I still have ahead…many more years of this stand still life, this trapped feeling, this miserable suffering.
These years do not even compare to the eternity that awaits. The beautiful bliss where my Savior waits for me, where my room is reserved inside My Father’s House.
Even knowing-trusting-believing this truth, even armed with a solid faith-understanding-peace… I’m merely human. I feel though many times I would rather be numb. And my joy in the Lord does not override all else though I wish it did. I’m not perfect. I’m not superhuman. I’m just like anyone else and we all have a breaking point.
I hit mine at various times almost daily.
Even Jesus–the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, the living God– struggled with the struggle. Even Jesus, the perfect Messiah, the one equipped with supernatural strength, begged the Father to take away His horrendous path of suffering. He sweat profusely, beads falling like drops of blood, while praying in the garden, hours before his arrest, that God would make some other way, some other way that didn’t involve an unfathomable death of epic proportions.
“36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” 37 And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch[a] with me.” 39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”
42 Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” 43 And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44 So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again. ”
Our Savior set the ultimate example of reverence, faith & total trust. Though he was overcome with sorrow, even to the point of death, He still prayed whatever happen would be in line with God’s Will. It’s not our will but God’s which we should desire and pray for. We know that ALL things work together for our good, that He has reasons beyond our understanding for allowing pain to take root in our lives, & that His way, His time is always best.
It’s all easier said than done.
And even on the days that seem to be never ending misery, there is still joy that seeps through the vacuum of despair. Likewise,the days full of hope, joy, & smiles are still met with suffering. On this Earth there are rarely times of 100% pure goodness and no trial. Nor are there times of 100% suffering without His blessings & love shining through.
It’s okay to hurt.
It’s okay to mourn and cry and shout and feel hopelessness and desperation and anxiety and worry and nervousness and like things are totally unfair. It’s okay to wish for things to be different and to ache for old times when life felt bright and happy and blissful. It’s okay, and actually good, to feel whatever way your heart is urging you to feel.
BUT, you cannot stay there.
Feel, cry, get it all out. Just don’t stay in that place. Pick yourself up, cry out to Jesus, open your Bible to messages of hope, trust in the promises of beauty to come and move forward. Arm yourself with the courageous, warrior spirit that lies deep down inside. You may have to fight this seemingly impossible fight each and everyday. I certainly do. And though it flat out sucks, you CAN do it.
Whatever you do: Don’t give up. Do not give up. Wake up in the morning grateful for the opportunity to breathe & live even if the day that lies ahead brings only pain. Please don’t stop fighting. Do not quit. I promise, through it all, Our God works to heal.
I love you all, & pray that courage finds you on this day.