“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you.”
Although the words are meant for Jeremiah, I can't help but relate to them. This year has been a struggle; I have been battling pain and other health issues and finally got answers in March. To say that the road has been tough is an understatement.
I finally got the word from my rheumatologist; yes, I now have one of those, that all of the crazy tests she ran came back with answers to why I feel the way I do. I have been diagnosed with things I had no idea existed, rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. I am also being treated for Lupus because one of three panels came back positive. So this has been my journey for the last few months. I will admit it is not easy to be the face of Christ when the pain is ever present and you are easily annoyed.
I got the first call that something was wrong in February, while at the Los Angeles Religious Ed Congress. I had just chatted with Lisa Hendey and had my picture taken with her. I had a missed called from my doctor and I immediately told my husband I need to go to the sacred space and spend time with Jesus. Two days before Congress I had seen the doctor for intolerable pain and tremors; the test results were in. That evening when I got home, I had another message from the rheumatologist saying I had an appointment the following week. I just stared at the machine because I called my doctor too late in the day for answers and now I had this message and it was Friday night. I had to wait until Monday to get some answers. Saturday, I made it to Congress and walked up to the sacred space and spend a good portion of the morning with Jesus. I didn't know what was going on with me; I had two messages from doctors and what they had to say was going to affect me; that was something I did know.
That morning in that sacred space, I cried. I cried out of fear. I was scared. I didn't know what it all meant but I needed to cry. My body hurt, I was experiencing tremors, and I could barely walk so in my head it wasn't a good sign to have two messages from doctors. After spending time and talking with Jesus I felt better, but saying the words “Jesus, I trust in you” was difficult. I have moments when I doubt, I want the control, and I want to accomplish things. Sadly, I forget that I am not in control and things are not up to me; everything is God's will.
Fast forward to now, July 2016. Wow, what a journey it has been. I have days when I honestly want to stay in bed. I want to sleep the day away, be left alone to cry and feel sorry for the sad state my body and mind are in. But, I pray and have learned to offer my pain up to Jesus. I look at the crucifix and think, He endured more pain than I can ever imagine for me! I use that to push through every small task from getting up in the morning, showering, and getting ready for work and throughout my workday. Some days are harder than others, but I pray. I tell myself this is the journey that was set before me, this path was chosen for me. Just like Jeremiah, I need to accept this journey and conquer it. Be an example to others; always try to be the face of Christ, even in the midst of my struggles.
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I'm sure there will be days that my body will tell me no. I'm sure that I will probably miss work because of the pain and discomfort I am in; the medication may not always work. Those days, I must also remember to pray and always remember that I was chosen for this. Why? I have no clue. Only He knows why. I will accept this journey, as hard as it is to accept, and move forward. It’s God's will, and I am his servant. I will gladly accept anything he gives me. Only He knows how this will end. Until then I will gladly continue to serve him.
Copyright 2016 Nelly Guajardo