About a year ago I was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis. No matter how hard I've tried to erase it or keep it out of my life... It always comes back and somehow contributes to the person that I am today.
I'm just now realizing... (After two rounds of physical therapy, over six months of occupational therapy, about 20 visits to the rhematologist, three "x-ray days," one MRI, a kidney ultrasound, a biopsy, close to twenty "labwork days," literally passing out countless times, and hundreds of follow ups/med checks...) that this is NOT a bad thing.
In fact, I am now willing to accept and be okay with my diagnosis. I look at how much I've grown in faith, I look at how much I've grown as a person... And I realize...
It's a huge blessing.
Who would have ever thought a year ago that those words would be coming out in this blog post?
"How can you say that?" "You really believe God planned for you to be sick?"
Those are probably the two most common questions I get asked. And so today, I'm answering both of them once and for all.
1.) I can say that my diagnosis is a huge blessing because I've met incredible people throughout my journey! Some of my doctor's are my best friends and the blog/Twitter friends I've found who deal with the same things encourage me on a daily basis to get up, get moving, and do something that matters. Because of my health journey, I have a more determined spirit. I'm more thankful for the little things in life. I realize just how blessed I am and realize that things could be so much worse.
2.) John 9:1-3 says this:
As he went along, He saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him." Jesus said it right there... He created me with a plan in mind. He bought me with a price. I truly believe that in Heaven, I will be healed. But because I am here on earth to help build His Kingdom, there will be struggles... And because I will overcome those struggles with the help of my Savior, He will use me to speak to and help others along the way and through their own journey. That's not called punishment, that's called purpose!
A year ago, this wasn't my attitude at all. But, it feels so good to say that I've finally accepted my purpose, answered my calling, and am in the midst of working hard to become the best me I can be. My realization... I can be changed by the obstacles I face... But I REFUSE to be reduced by them.
I'm making HUGE strides in my physical fitness right now! Last summer/fall I wasn't allowed to run... THIS summer/fall, however...
I realize that to some, this isn't a big deal... But to me, it's incredible progress and I'm learning how to be proud of the new me. The changed me. I'm learning to be comfortable in my own skin, and finally, I'm learning how to push the limits just the right amount. Little by little, one day at a time.