Friday, October 21, 2016

When You Are Told You Have A Rare Disorder

"So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day."
 ~ 2 Corinthians 4:16, ESV ~

Over the past 40 years I have been wasting away on the outside; but so have you. Some of us will waste away bodily quicker than others. There is no real reason for this except the number of days we are allowed on this earth. That is God's business. He is the one who numbers our days (Job 14:5). It's what we do with them that counts. It's how we live them and use them that matters.

We can spend our time in worry or we can not lose heart. We can choose to look to Christ and believe that, "through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies" (2 Corinthians 4:10, NLT).

The point of this life is to become more like Him. An amazing glory will be revealed in us after; for all of eternity (2 Corinthians 4:17). I can use my difficulties and weakness to let Him shine bright or rebel and complain. I hope to be a light.

A diagnosis is a tool. And I am thankful for it. I am not sure if it is even exactly right. And it is scary to think about what it means. However, after 18 years of this often invisible suffering, I am the same person, I have the same medical issues that keep repeating themselves so with a diagnosis or not, I am the same person. A new understanding of the diagnosis brings in new tools through medicines that may help prevent further problems. Or it may not because they just don't know a lot about it or they could be wrong. Yet, I will not lose heart, instead hoping to shine His light.

With this wasting-away body of mine, I will try the best I can to care for it with what knowledge I have of eating right (yet research on this changes often)! I will go to the doctors and try the things they say. Do the tests they want to do but it won't change me. As I go, I can be a light. It will bring me in contact with a new group of people. And I will not lose heart by His grace.

It is also truly renewing me inside because I am losing the idol of approval. This disorder is an invisible disorder. Much of the time I am well but that can turn at any moment and we are still trying to figure out that trigger. I feel so strange going through the motions of some potentially dangerous disorder when I feel fine. Our bodies are so complex! I cannot even understand it yet, so how do I expect others to? Yet, I will not lose heart. God is in control of even this. He knows the number of my days and He knows yours too. No matter the trouble or diagnosis, He is renewing you on the inside day by day. In this we can rejoice! That is what matters most -- to be more like Him.

Father, help us to trust you with the unknown and the hard. Help us to not lose heart as we are outwardly wasting away. Thank you that you are indeed renewing us inwardly day by day. What a blessing it is to know this and be reminded by your word. Help us to hold fast to it when we are tempted to doubt. In Jesus Name. Amen.

~ Angela Parsley

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