I had a difficult childhood, not a terrible one. I had enough to eat, a roof over my head and food to eat but I was physically, emotionally and/or sexually abused by three different males in my family (at different times). It wasn't as bad as the horror stories you hear but it was bad enough that it had a huge impact on me, how I saw myself and how I saw men, especially older males in authority over me.
I found God and Christ as a teenager and grasped onto Him with both hands, hoping for something. At 14, I don't think I really knew what I needed. Instead of seeking true healing through God's mercy and grace, I tried to turn it into a salvation by works. And if you've been saved by grace, you know that doesn't work. And I began to sink into a deep depression. At 15, I began to self-harm. Taking a lighter, I would burn myself whenever emotions would get too overwhelming. The physical pain was my way of coping with the emotional. By 17, I was on my way to becoming a hermit. I was still attending church and going to school, but that was about it. I barely had outside contact with my friends.
I began using the internet for the majority of my social needs. I got sucked into online gaming, chat rooms, the world of cyber sex and erotic literature. I eventually graduated high school and started community college but I was struggling. Just the though of moving out of my parents' home would send me into panic attacks. I wanted help and when I sought it out, some things were said/implied that made me leave my church.
I wouldn't start attending church regularly for another 11 years.
Last April, I got really ill. I couldn't keep food down. And pardon me for being graphic, but it was coming out both ends. I went to the emergency room four times before they finally figured out that my gall bladder was only functioning at 4%. I was told if I just ate a low-fat diet I should be fine and was sent home. Within four days I was back again, I still couldn't keep food down. This time, surgery was scheduled and they took my gall bladder out. A week later, I was back again. This time I was in isolation. Eventually they treated me for c. difficile. But I spent six days in the hospital, most of the time in isolation, alone.
God had me where He wanted me. I realized how much I missed that reassurance that I had had all those years ago when I was walking faithfully with Him. I was terrified those six days and I wanted my God. That Sunday I went back to church and rededicated my life to Him.
I am thirty-two years old. I have fibromyalgia syndrome, osteoarthritis, hypothyroidism and a chiari malformation. This means that I am in chronic pain. I take a total of six different medications each day. And I am content. Why? Because I trust in my Lord. He has a plan for me, a glorious one. What it is? He knows. I just remind myself that what happens here isn't going to last forever, that there will come a day when my pain will be gone. He may heal me here on Earth or He may wait until I join Him in heaven. Either way, I will be healed someday.
"For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:17-18