My knees hit the cold, hard ground and within seconds I’m on my back, staring at the popcorn accents on our bathroom ceiling through streams of salty tears.
Amid my crying, a shrill voice whispers words of sorrow and despair into my already weak mind. This is the beginning of the end of life as you know it, the voice says. Accept it. You’re a degenerate.
No, no, no. I cannot accept it. I will not accept it.
“What is happening to me?!” I scream loud enough the neighbors can probably hear me sobbing now. “Jesus help me! Please help me!”
One month ago, I’d bragged to my husband about how strong I felt. The combination of physical therapy, healthy eating, supplements, spiritual disciplines, essential oils, and the lower stress lifestyle I’d committed myself to were finally paying off, and I felt the strongest I’d felt since my Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos diagnosis in 2015. Perhaps the greatest victory of all was that I finally believed in the complete healing God had spoken over me in 2017.
In this season of healing and flourishing, hope seemed to flood my horizons. Doctors revealed treatments that could bring some level of healing to my degenerated bones and joints. The She Found Joy ministry experienced a new season of growth and excitement. And after months of praying for God to align my heart’s desire for children to His will for my life, my fearful, unsure heart finally opened up to the possibility of having kids again.
And then life fell apart.
Hurricanes take out entire cities, but for me, it was the perfect storm of adverse treatment and drug reactions, weather systems, a hard fall, and a doozy of a bacterial infection that threw my system into complete panic mode.
Overnight, the muscles I’d worked so hard to strengthen became incredibly weak, leaving joints and bones with nothing to hold them in place. I tried to “pull myself up by my bootstraps,” as so many of us often do, but my efforts to keep up the status quo of my life only made my health spiral further into peril.
Rest, My daughter. Remain in My love and trust in Me.
“Ok, God,” I prayed. “I trust You. I’m going to keep believing and rest in You. But as I do, please help me overcome my fear and unbelief. Help me keep my eyes fixed on You.”
Despite my decision to deliberately rest, within days I could not get out of bed, get dressed, wash my hair, put lotion on, eat, write, or do anything that required movement without experiencing intense pain, subluxations, and fatigue.
Where is your God now? The shrill voice taunted me.
Images of wheelchairs, surgeries and not being able to participate in the things I enjoy – swimming, cooking, hiking, writing, and speaking – flashed across my mind.
Who are you to think you’re going to have a baby? The voice pushed further. You can’t even take care of yourself. Your husband has to dress you. What makes you think you can take care of a crying child?
Day and night, fear – our enemy who prowls around like a lion, looking for souls to devour – assaulted my mind with the worst insults and nightmares you could imagine. But as the waters raged around me and fear tried to pull me under, I just kept holding tightly to the One I’ve come to love and trust more than life itself.
If you feel like the deep waters of life are too much for you to handle on your own right now, you’re right. They are.
We cannot and do not survive and overcome the waves of this life on our own (Romans 8:37). We need the rescuing help and grace of the Lifeguard, Jesus Christ, who is never off duty. We need Him to carry us in the currents of His love and multiply our faith so we can become stronger in Him.
I know what it’s like to try to navigate a high-sea battle on my own and lose faith. I know what it feels like to give in to fear and be sucked into the undertow of despair — because that used to be my story.
I don’t know about you, but I’m done trying to swim through this life alone. I don’t want to rely on my own efforts to fight the waves and silence the enemy. Heaven knows, I’m not strong enough to take on the brunt of the world by my little self.
I want to trust and rely on Jesus with every fiber of my being, even when life falls apart. Because greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4). I’ve seen and lived enough life to know this to be abundantly true.
Whatever waves you are facing today, friend, know this: They are no match for those who are courageous to live by faith. You don’t have to dwell in doubt or let fear have the final say. Look it straight in the eyes and shout, “Not today!” Press into Jesus and keep your eyes fixed on Him.
The journey of faith may be full of unknowns, but with Jesus, you’ll discover that though the waters rage, you will always rise above.
The journey of faith may be full of unknowns, but with Jesus, you’ll discover that though the waters rage, you will always rise above. - @lauren_inspires: Click To Tweet