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Beautiful Beyond the Pain (BBTP), the Alexandria Davidson Foundation, LTD. was started to raise money to help send kids and teens to camp with others who suffer from chronic conditions. Alexandria Davidson was only 21 when she died due to complications with Chron’s disease in 2014. BBTP not only sponsors children for camps but gives adults an outlet to come together, not to gripe and complain, but to freely express our pain and not feel dismissed just because we don’t “look sick.” It has not only reminded me that there’s always someone who has it worse but that their pain doesn’t negate mine. I’m human and it’s ok to admit that I’m hurting. It’s a beautiful group that encourages everyone to keep fighting, keep the faith, and know we were given this mountain to show it can be moved.

Now, I’m looking real tore up in this pic lol but I posted it to show a real situation for a real blog. 3 days ago, after 6 months and 3 doctors, I got a cyst removed from my ovary that had been causing me ridiculous pain after I kept being told “nothing’s wrong” and what I felt was “normal.” I admit that as a child, I faked being sick often. It was my coping mechanism to deal with the things going on around me. If I was “sick,” then people were too concerned to fight or I was put away (whether in a room or hospital) so I wouldn’t be around the fighting. However, as I got older, of course that stopped but unfortunately, real illness set in. Cancer, dialysis, down syndrome, physical disabilities… These are typically visual illnesses in patients so they “look sick.” You can’t see diabetes, asthma, allergies, gallstones, endometriosis, cysts, Chron’s disease, etc. Just because you don’t SEE it, doesn’t mean it’s not there. Be sensitive to that. It used to devastate me to hear people say I was a hypochondriac or looking for attention. Thankfully, I’ve grown to understand everyone will not understand everything, especially something they don’t experience. I wanted this out there because I want the world to know behind pretty smiles and encouraging posts are real people with real issues but an even bigger and more real God!

At 25, I’ve now had 2 surgeries and I’ve been in 3 car accidents causing a herniated disc. I’m on allergy/asthma control shots and maintenance medications. Was some of this caused by personal choices? Absolutely. Do I believe this will be my life always? Absolutely not. As a matter of fact, I’ve come off some medication and don’t have to see certain doctors anymore. Is God still here? You bet money He is! Is He still in the business of healing? Go ahead and put your money there to! WILL He do it? Well, that’s not my business. My business is knowing and believing He can. Whether or not He decides to is His business and His business only. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 says, “even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” Since God brought this scripture to light in my life, I’ve realized that this is my thorn. It’s my portion. It’s the area of my life that He uses to remind me of why I so desperately need Him and cannot operate in my own ability, no matter how capable I feel. More importantly, it’s the area He uses to show others that yes life gets hard and you get weak but at THAT moment, He’s RIGHT there to be your strength. So, I delight in my hardships and weaknesses, because I know He’s using it for His glory and for my good.