Take a step into my life and thoughts for a moment…
About a week ago, I was wrapping up my day and getting ready to go to bed. As my mind wandered, I took a sharp breath in and realized I hadn’t taken my MS pill for the night even though I’d finished dinner two hours ago. Mentally, I kicked myself for forgetting. Grumbling, I stood up and went to go retrieve it. As I poured the pills into my hand and put them back in, save one, I stopped to look at it for a moment. I looked at the little blue pill in the palm of my hand. Amazing. That little thing was helping keep my MS symptoms at bay. Thoughtfully I recalled the days after college graduation when I couldn’t even stand up properly. I recalled the day in the hospital when the doctor was talking to me about treatment options and I groaned at the thought of having to choose between injections, plasmapheresis, or different types of pills. It wasn’t a hard decision really, when I chose pills. It came rather fast because I just needed to get on something and more injections just didn’t sound fun. Snapping out of my reverie, I walked into my room and took the pill.
A few nights ago I was changing my insulin pump site. It is part of my regular routine every three days. As I put the needle in position over my skin, I paused, took a deep breath, and relaxed my muscles. I’ve found it hurts less often when I relax that part of my body before I insert the needle and cannula. As it shot in, I groaned. Ugh. This one hurt anyway. Great. I looked at it to see if blood had accumulated in the cannula. It hadn’t. That was a good sign. Maybe I just had to let my nerves calm down. After all, I had irritated them. I sat down gingerly for a few minutes to see if the shooting pain would subside. It did and didn’t. The shooting pain was gone, but there was definitely an ache around the insertion site. As I tried some insulin delivery, I felt some discomfort. I sat down and sighed. In all seriousness, could I deal with this discomfort for the next three days? I’d almost rather do that than have to try and insert another one. I decided it was a little too uncomfortable for three days so I took the site out and tried it again. It started bleeding as soon as I removed it.
Today I got home from errands. Boy, I was feeling nauseous. I just wanted to climb into bed for a little while. I was so tired. Was it because I had one day off out of 5 days? Or was it something else? Coupled with the nausea and headache, it felt hauntingly familiar to the days before I was diagnosed with MS. I don’t know. Then I realized, what was my blood sugar? I hadn’t checked it in a while. It was high. Relieved that it was just my blood sugar, I gave myself a correction dose of insulin before I went to take a nap.
I go through these little annoyances on a daily basis. So much to think about. So much to be careful about. So much worry. When I feel sick, I’m thankful it’s just a cause of my blood sugar being off rather than it being a relapse of MS. Deciding between poking myself again or dealing with a little discomfort is a normal occurrence. That’s the thing. Once treatment is started, people assume that everything is all good, that you’re cured for a little while, that you don’t have to worry anymore. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.
You know, it’s the same thing with faith. People assume that once you become a Christian, everything is just peachy-keen. If you’re a Christian, life’s problems are solved, life becomes easy. That’s not true either. If you are a Christian, you can attest, life is hard. It’s difficult to be a Christian in this world. In third-world countries, our brothers and sisters are getting slaughtered for no reason. Have you had people make fun of you because you’re a Christian? I have. Do I still stand behind my faith? Yes, absolutely. I know what Christ has done in my life. I know that Christ has gotten me through some very difficult times and brought me out of dark places. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that once you become a Christian, life gets easy. It should get harder. It’s hard to live by the Bible’s standards, by God’s standards, in this world. None of us are perfect. We will never live up to God’s standards. Luckily, Jesus did. And He died to save us. He died to save you. He died to save me.
What being a Christian does do? It enables a person to live in freedom. It enables a person to be unchained from their sin. It enables a person to know that Christ is present in a fallen world. Don’t you see it every day? I do. I go to work and take care of patients, take care of heartbroken people, take care of drug addicts, take care of alcoholics, take care of diabetics who don’t try, take care of people in denial. It happens every day. I see how blessed I am in this life. Every day I go home, I know that God has my back. God has given me so much in my life. Every day I wake up and can walk, I thank God. Every day I wake up after having a low blood sugar in the middle of the night, I thank God. Every day I take care of a patient who has had a bad go of things, I thank God that He has taken care of me, or put people in my life who have taken care of me.
My life has been far from easy. I have been a Christian my whole life, with some ups and downs. I have never been closer to God than I am now, after going through the hard times. If you want an easy life, Christianity is not the way to go. Living the way God wants you to live is not an easy task. I long for people to ask me what God has done in my life. I ache for people who haven’t experienced the freedom of Jesus. I feel sorry for people who think they have to get through life on their own. I don’t know how they get through life without Him. If I had to do my life over again, with no changes, without God? I’d be in such a dark place. What’s the point of life? God gives me life. It’s not an easy life, but it’s something I feel way deep down. My life is going to be used for something. God has a plan, He’s not finished with me yet. I have daily struggles. I always will, whether it’s from my diseases or from something unrelated. But every night I go to bed knowing that God has my back in this difficult life. And that is what makes life bearable. That is what makes me want to become the woman God intends for me to be. With that, I can weather any storm.
“It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.”
-2 Samuel 22:33
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice in as much as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.”
-1 Peter 4:12-13