Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Difference a Year Can Make

This week, I sat in the waiting room of my GI doctor for my 6-month check up. As I sat there waiting to be called back, I was struck with the realization of the difference a year can make. This time last year {give or take a few days}, I was waiting in the same room, but my heart was filled with fear and questions. I had been diagnosed with Crohn's disease just weeks before, had been on a steroid regimine to reduce inflammation, and was waiting to talk with my GI about what life would look like moving forward. I had no idea what was ahead and was having a hard time processing all that was happening. I was so scared, and it took everything in me to hold back the tears.

As I sat in the waiting room a year later, the appointment felt routine, and I was much more confident about what I was facing. The strangers from a year ago had become familiar faces, nurses and a doctor whom I have grown to trust. And the news was a lot better too; my GI said that as far as Crohn's patients go, I am doing really well, and they are going to continue digging for answers to my medication expense. I praise God for His care in my life and for my progress. My 6-month check ups can now become yearly check ups, and I am so thankful for continued health.

It certainly hasn't been an easy year, and there are still times when I struggle with the sickness the Lord has allowed in my life. It is certainly discouraging when my medication price increases {which it did again, recently}. But I was reminded yesterday of how faithful He is to walk us through the difficult things of life. I am grateful for how much better I feel after a year of treatment, and for the ability to even treat my disease. And I am humbled every time the Lord provides {this time, a raise and a bonus that will help us pay for my medicine this year. Another Ebenezer Stone.}

I believe this is a "thorn in my flesh," as it certainly keeps me humbled and dependent on Jesus. In my hours of doubt and discouragement, I can draw courage from Paul's example.
"So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)
I pray every day for a cure {a lot more than Paul's 3 pleadings!}, but for now the Lord has said "no." So for now I lean on the same promise that He gave to Paul: His grace is sufficient for me. I pray that I can learn from Paul's example, that I can be truly content in my weakness and use Crohn's as a way to boast of the power of Christ.

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