Friday, April 3, 2015

My Body Groans

If you have read my blog for any extended period of time, you know that there are no lack of posts regarding my health. There's absolutely no question that my body is falling apart and is, well frankly, kind of a mess! :)

I never intended for my blog to be filled with so much health-related info, but the reality is that it's a huge part of my life: what I deal with, what I have to process with the Lord. It's my "thorn in the flesh" ... and I have pleaded with the Lord to remove my ailments an embarrassingly high number of times more than three times.

In the last 3 years, I have been "lucky" enough to be diagnosed with 3 diseases...none of which have a cure, and all of which researchers say "the cause is still unknown." Crohn's Disease. Endometriosis. Female-Factor Infertility {which I do know is linked to issues related to the first two}.

Some days I can laugh about it; I mean, it is fairly ridiculous if you think about it. Three incurable diseases in 3 years. Ummm...what?!? How is that even possible? It's like an over-dramatic {and terribly written} movie script. 

But some days are just hard. It's overwhelming to think about how much my body just doesn't function properly. It sure feels like I am falling apart, and my body is in fact breaking down. Doctors are always finding something that can ultimately be linked back to these diseases...vitamin deficiencies. elevated cholesterol. fatigue. ovarian cysts. hyperprolactinemia. migraines. pseudo papilledema {remember that??}. body aches.

I often ask Mike if he will take care of me when I have cancer too, because I am at an increased risk for colorectal cancer from Crohn's, ovarian cancer from endometriosis, and skin cancer or hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma from Humira {which I take for Crohn's}. Please don't misunderstand me; I know that cancer should not be taken lightly. And my diseases {though incurable} are not currently killing me. I face long-term complications because of them, but I do not have terminal diagnoses. And I am so thankful for that. But this is nonetheless my reality. I don't have the best odds, and I don't have the benefit of a normal healthy life. I'm not a doomsday crier, but at some level I have to face facts.

So why a post with all this doom and gloom? Because it's a reminder to me about how my body, like the rest of creation, groans. The misery, brokenness, pain, and suffering of this world is just a reminder of sin. When sin entered the scene, so did death {and disease, pain, illness}. Which reveals the ugliness and gravity of sin, but oh, the preciousness of redemption and hope!

"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies." {Romans 8:18-23}

My body {literally} groans as I wait in eager anticipation for the glory that awaits. And because of Jesus' saving work on the cross, I will one day have a new body, free of disease and pain. But even more than that, I get the best inheritance of all: Jesus. This suffering is but light and momentary, so I can endure it with patience and hope. 

Without Crohn's or endometrioisis or infertility, I don't know how much of the depth and intimacy with my Savior I would know. I don't know how much I would long for heaven. I don't know how much of a comfort I could really be to others. I certainly wouldn't know the true depth of my own helplessness and the perfection of His strength. On the hard days, I can rest in the knowledge that He understands my pain and suffering, provides comfort now, and has such an incredible hope and redemption waiting for me.

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