Looks can be deceiving.
Until recently, what most people didn’t know was that everyday I have been fighting an unseen battle with chronic pain and the bouts of anxiety and depression that often accompany it.
The birth of my first child — one of the greatest days of my life — was also an event that marked a pronounced shift in my health. As one doctor put it, the trauma of childbirth “flipped a switch” in my body and triggered my autoimmune disease — a frustrating and hard-to treat condition where the body basically attacks itself.
This unwelcome new reality first showed up in the form of interstitial cystitis, a painful, debilitating chronic inflammation of the bladder lining. Over the years, I have also developed migraines, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism and chronic lower back pain.
After going to doctor to doctor to doctor, I have found little relief. The endless cycle of getting my hopes up, feeling deceived and disappointed– and in some cases worse off than when I started — has left deep emotional wounds too. This journey has affected my family and friendships, my security and my joy. It has sapped every ounce of my strength.
Honestly, it has challenged my trust in a compassionate and loving God that is truly working for my good.
I couldn’t imagine that anyone could truly understand what I was going through — mentally, physically and spiritually. I didn’t want anyone to feel sorry for me. Who would believe I was so sick anyway? I looked fine. And so I kept my battle private — sharing my pain, doubts and struggles only with those closest to me.
Then God began to do something in me over this last year. This past year has been a stretch of brutal, unrelenting pain. I have been struggling not only physically, but mentally and spiritually. I’ve doubted God’s love for me. I’ve questioned how He could love me and yet allow my pleas for relief to go unanswered.
Still, despite my doubts and questions, He began to challenge me to come out of the shadows. To share my pain with others. Not just for my sake, but for theirs. He began to open my eyes to the reality that I was not the only one carrying around an invisible wound.
Maybe you’re out there today looking great, but feeling completely debilitated. It might not be physical. Maybe you’re grieving the loss of a spouse or a child, a broken or difficult relationship, a prodigal child or a history of abuse.
Just because a wound is life-threatening doesn’t mean it isn’t life-altering.
Whatever your hidden wound might be, you might be asking, as I have many times: What do we do when our mourning just never seems to turn into morning?
This new turn in my ministry is the answer that question. After more than three years of full-time mom ministry with Mothering from Scratch, God has made it clear that He’s leading me into a new season.
My journey through this seemingly endless valley of pain and disappointment has recently given way to a renewed faith in God’s goodness even though I don’t always understand His ways. He is showing me how to choose hope, joy and freedom — moment-by-moment, over and over again. He wants you to know that He’ll do it for you, too. You’re not alone, my friend.
Whatever your struggle, whatever season you’re in, I look forward to providing you with spiritual refreshment for your thirsty soul.
For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul.