My journey to a diagnosis of an autoimmune disease started early in 2017. I have not felt well since then. It’s been nearly three years. Tough doesn’t seem a strong enough word to describe this time. It’s not just the physical pain and symptoms that made it so hard. It was the waiting, the unanswered questions, the unending testing, the multiple doctors, the not knowing. It was the fight to find out what was wrong so I could just feel better.
This is not an easy fight to be in. So many times I’ve wanted to just forget about the whole thing. I’ve wanted to stop all the doctors and tests. I’ve been physically and emotionally spent.
He was with me every step of the way. When I was weak, He was my strength. When I wanted to give up, He reminded me how important I was. I was worthy of good health, and I could not give up on myself because He would never give up on me.
Through this journey, I have heard so many stories of strength and endurance — years of feeling sick with no answers why, countless doctors with no answers to give. I have learned it takes an average of nearly five years and several doctors to receive a diagnosis for an autoimmune disease, and that is just an average. So although some might get one quickly, most are searching for years for answers.
I want to encourage anyone desperately struggling for answers, trying to hold onto hope, trying to find peace and wellness, to keep going. You are fighting a battle most people can’t see and don’t understand, but there are people like us out there that do understand.
Keep fighting for you. It is so hard, but keep going.
Let me tell you something: you are strong. You are stronger than you know because God is on your side. He knows. He will not abandon you. God will never give up on you.
Before doctors found my husband’s giant brain aneurysm, he knew something wasn’t right. He wasn’t feeling right. He was getting a lot of head pain and pain behind his eye. We saw plenty of doctors and were always sent home to tough it out and use some strong ibuprofen. But because my husband knew something wasn’t right, we just kept going until a doctor finally ordered a CT scan and that is how they found the aneurysm. I don’t want to think about what would have happened had we given up because it was such a frustrating road.
Keep advocating and doing what you need to do for your wellness. You deserve answers.
After hitting one dead end after another, it’s easy to lose confidence and want to quit. But I am here today to cheer you on. You are not making this up. Your suffering is real. Your symptoms are real. You just haven’t found the answers you deserve yet. You will find a path forward. It will be physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting, but lean on Him. Stay pressed into Him.
When I think of struggling and suffering, I think about this verse:
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Romans 5:3-4 (ESV)
It’s hard to think that we would rejoice in our sufferings. Why would I want to rejoice for having a difficult, lifelong disease? How can I rejoice for pain and struggling? But I can think about rejoicing because I know God is doing something in the midst of all this. And that is something to hold on to.
Take your difficult journey and see it as an opportunity to do something with God — a journey filled with life lessons that produce endurance, character, and hope.
For those of you struggling with your health, with a diagnosis or lack of diagnosis, or with any difficult situation for that matter, know that you don’t have to struggle alone. Let God walk with you. Hold onto Him and don’t let go. Hear how others have endured and know you can too. Let these words be a voice of help and hope if you are in a darkness you never imagined. Sometimes you have to fight through the night to get to the blessing in the morning.
You got this because He has you!
For those of you struggling with your health, with a diagnosis or lack of diagnosis, or with any difficult situation for that matter, know that you don’t have to struggle alone. -Jennifer Ueckert: Click To Tweet