This week's devotion comes from JJ. May the story of her walk bless you beyond measure.
When you think of health issues you generally think of someone who is older right? Mine started at 15. At 15 my family and I packed up and headed to the beach. Made a pit stop by the bank and as my mother got back in the car the next thing I remember is waking up in an ambulance. I had no idea what was happening. Upon arriving to at the hospital I learned I had a seizure. To hear my brother tell it I just stood up and fell over in the car. They weren’t sure I was even alive at that point. Thankfully it was just a seizure. I never realized how much this incident would affect my life. My first thought of was “Are we still going to the beach?” I suffered another seizure about 6 months later, while driving my first car. I was with a friend of mine, I fell over on her, she told me to stop - she thought I was playing, when she told me to stop I put my foot on the brake and the car stopped. She ran into the closest business and asked for help –we were 16 so she left the car in drive and ignition on and me unconscious at the wheel. I still thank God for the angel he had sitting on the brake of that car until someone came out and got it in park and turned it off. At this point I was sent to a neurologist and started taking medication. That is when things really changed for me. It seemed to take me forever to get used to this medication, I would barely make it through school before I’d come home at sleep. I was so tired all the time. I think the hardest part for me was the emotional toll. Not any of my friends had any idea what I was going through – they couldn’t relate. I was 16 so I already had the normal drama any 16 year old goes through. It was tough. But I never questioned why – I knew I was not alone.
Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Fast forward 9 years I have been on medication this entire time and at my annual visits to the doc we discuss tapering off my medication and seeing how I react. I love this idea, who wants to take medication all the time?! I am at the beach with my girlfriends I am out to dinner; it is my turn to order and the next thing I know an EMT is in my face asking me who the president is. I had another seizure. It had been so long since my initial ones I thought it would never happen again. It crushed me. I realized then I would be on this medication for the rest of my life. And I was okay with that, I just didn’t want to go through the feeling of coming to and not knowing where I was ever again.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Praise be to the God and Father of our LORD Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
A few years later I am pregnant with my second child and my knees start to hurt when I get up from a squatting position. I was super pregnant so I just thought all the extra weight was hurting my knees. After I had my child the pain did not ease up. When it got to the point that I was limping just to walk I finally headed to the doctor. I was given medication that helped but not enough, the pain came back. I was referred to an orthopedic, that temporarily helped but the pain returned again. After numerous, visits I was referred to a rheumatologist, I was diagnosed with Psoriatic arthritis. I was 30. This one hit me hard. I didn’t just have a temporary problem that could be fixed I had another diagnosis of something that was not going away.
Two years later I went to the eye doctor because my vision seemed to be getting worse in my left eye, I thought I just needed a new prescription. Only to learn I had tons of inflammation in my eyes and it was causing me to lose my vision. So not only do I have arthritis which is defined as painful inflammation and stiffness of the joints. But the inflammation has spread to my eyes and I only have two of those. This one probably scared me more than anything. I really turned to God in a way I never had before about my medical condition. I find I forget to pray for myself a lot. I seem to remember to pray for others but when I need something I forget I can pray for me too. I spent a lot of time in prayer over this one and in the end I was not only rewarded with the diagnosis but I was rewarded with a rejuvenated prayer relationship with God.
Romans 12:12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
It took about 6 months but I finally got back to where I needed to be and quit having blurry vision from time to time. It was such a blessing for me to get through that scare but I often think of all the ailments I have had at such a young age. But trials and tribulations do not discriminate. Not against your age, not against your religious beliefs, or anything else you can think of – but the one thing trials and tribulations cannot do is keep you from drawing closer to God. Instead of wondering why or thinking it shouldn’t be happening to you I encourage you to spend your time and energy praying and getting closer to God in these times. I promise you will come out on the other side better than you ever thought possible.
James 1:12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.