Vulnerability is Messy

I just want to talk to you guys today. I just want to get some stuff out there. I write this blog for a multitude of reasons, but one of them is that I want you to know me personally. It’s easy for you to know me, to know what I do, what I think…but for you to truly know me, you have to know my inner thoughts and my heart. I have trouble sharing that with people sometimes, even my family, so I find it easier to write it out. I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback about this blog, and I appreciate that so much, but the main point is for people to really know me. I want you guys to feel comfortable talking to me, comfortable coming to me if you need to talk. For that reason, I’m going to share some vulnerable things about me today and about one of the main struggles of my faith walk.

I’ve had people tell me that I have such a strong faith, and I smile and thank them. But, honestly, there have been so many times, more than I can count, where I really don’t. I like to act as if I have everything under control. In high school, that’s what I did. College was really a time where God met me where I was. There were so many things out of my control, I absolutely needed to rely on God. I had so much family stuff, so many hard things that I couldn’t control, I literally had no choice but to rely on God. And, He proved faithful, like He always does of course, and got me through it, got my family through it. And I can’t take any credit for that. High school and college are so different. I ended college filled with hope and knowledge that God will take care of me. But when my MS surfaced, I feel as if I reverted straight back to my attitude in high school.

It’s a different story with my illnesses. I know you guys are probably sick of hearing about them, but it’s where my weaknesses always come to light. I’ve taken care of myself for as long as I can remember. I’ve never had that “party stage”, I’ve never done things lightly. I’ve always had to be strong. And,

I have a confession to make.

Trusting in God, trusting in His plan has never come easy to me. I struggle with it on a daily basis. My mom has always told me that she truly believes God will heal me someday from my diseases and that she prays for that. I love her for it, and I smile and nod, but I don’t believe it. It’s really hard for me to believe that. I’ve done things on my own for so long. In a sense, I’ve resigned myself to knowing that I will be taking care of myself for the rest of my life. With my diabetes, it was easy to think that because the actions I take during the day dictate what my blood sugars will be. If I fail, my blood sugars fail. There is a direct correlation. So, whatever happens in my future, if I end up on dialysis, that’s my fault. But, with MS, it’s such a different story. I can’t control it. I don’t know when the next flare will be, I don’t know if it will eventually change to progressive MS.

A couple of weeks ago, I went through a flare. It certainly wasn’t as severe as when I was diagnosed last year, and definitely not hospital worthy, which was a blessing. But, the headache and nausea were much the same. I felt like my head was swimming. So, naturally, I panicked. I went to the doctor, got an MRI, and waited for results, sure that I would have more lesions. The results came back with no new lesions. Great! Right? I had the strangest reaction. I went home and I cried. I don’t know if they were tears of relief, or tears of embarrassment. Tears of stress? They felt more like tears of embarrassment. I had people worrying about me for goodness sake! I called off of work! Was I inflating the symptoms? Making them up? I felt like I had made a big deal out of nothing. I’ve never made a huge deal about my diabetes. I didn’t necessarily realize that I can have relapses without having an exacerbation of my MS, where new lesions develop.

Two nights ago, MS was on my mind. Again. I watched a video where a man had a choir sing to his wife for their anniversary. She had MS, and was in a wheelchair. I watched another video on youtube about some people living with MS who were mothers. I had to turn the videos off. Naturally, I started thinking about where my life would be with MS in 20 years. I sat on the edge of the bed and started crying. I let myself feel that impossible fear and those tears for a few minutes. Then I stood up and walked into my bathroom, leaned on the counter, and looked at myself in the mirror. I stopped my tears and shoved it all down. My mini breakdown lasted only a few minutes, and then I went back to bed to try and sleep before work the next day.

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I tell you these stories not to muster up pity, or make sure you know that I still struggle. I tell you this to expose one of my greatest vulnerabilities in my faith walk. I often don’t actually believe that I’m going to be cured of these diseases someday. Yes, God can do it if He wanted (I truly believe that), but it hasn’t happened. I honestly find it so hard to believe that God will take care of me. I say it often, that I know God will take care of me, but in real-life, I’m not always so sure. I’ve taken care of myself with these diseases. Yes, God has given me peace about it, but many times that peace is short-lived. That fear that I experience when I think about my future? If I truly believed God was going to take care of me, I wouldn’t have that. I would be looking into my future and smiling. Maybe that’s why I have trouble sometimes starting and ending my day with God. God meets you where you are. Except, I won’t let him meet me at my deepest fear and at the time when I feel betrayed. I think that’s because deep down, I think I can take care of it myself. There is no magical cure that will make me better. It’s not like I can take a pill for the rest of my life and be cured. God doesn’t physically speak to me. So, yes, I have a hard time trusting God to take care of me. He has done it with so many other things, but my diseases are so different. I don’t even pray for my diseases to be cured. I hardly include them when I do pray. There’s a sign right there. And I have a lot of work to do. I always will.

Where is your heart? What do you truly think? What is preventing you from an unguarded faith walk with Jesus? Just take some time to think about it. We all have our things. I just wanted to share with you one of my greatest weaknesses. I hope it gives you encouragement to try and fish out some of your own. And I am always here to talk if you need it. Thanks for reading!

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

-Hebrews 11:1

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