Everyone has a struggle in this life. Some come and go, while others may linger for months and even years, but there is always hope. This month I had the honor of interviewing a very close friend of mine, Rain, regarding her health. She who has been one of my biggest inspirations not only in the struggle with health, but in life. I have never known anyone so positive and brave.
What illness(es) do you have? Most of my health issues are very hard to diagnose, but as far as we know, these are the things I have/had: I was born with a heart murmur, later I was diagnosed with Orthostatic Intolerance/hypotension, and then Lyme's Disease/Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, yeast overgrowth, severe environmental/seasonal allergies, food allergies, heavy metals in my blood, scarlet fever infection in my throat and sinuses, weak liver and kidneys, vocal cord dysfunction, and scoliosis.
Can you give a brief description of the illness/symptoms you have? Fatigue, dizziness, stomach and chest pain, back pain, overall aches/pain in arms and legs, migraines, brain fog, nausea/acid reflux, weakness, allergy symptoms. (Note: some of these are chronic but I don't have all of these 24/7, praise God!)
How long have you been battling it? I was diagnosed with Orthostatic Intolerance when I was 16 and Lyme's Disease when I was 17. ( So, about 4 years since the diagnosis/first treatment)
How much did it change your day to day life? It completely changed my everyday life, but our God is so much bigger than our day. Even though I lost a lot of friends, and had to give up a lot of my hobbies and dreams, God has given me so many blessings and I am thankful for every trial that has drawn me nearer to His heart. <3
What were some of the biggest changes you had to make? My family and I did Martial Arts and opened a ministry school; I helped teach twice a week, I was very passionate about it but had to quit Martial Arts after my first trip to the hospital the summer I was 16. I'm an extrovert, so that was hard getting used to not socializing very often. (But God really used/is using this time to teach me how to rely on Him)
What was your initial reaction when you were told/diagnosed of your condition? Relief that I wasn't crazy/it wasn't just all in my head. There was also disappointment, fear, burden.
What's one of the hardest things about having this illness? Realizing some people will never understand, even if they try to and love you dearly. Also, isolation from being on bed-rest/unable to leave the house very often.
Is it hard for others to understand what you go through on a daily basis? If so, why do you think that is? Yes? It's not something somebody can really understand unless they have been through something similar them self. (Although even if somebody doesn't understand, it's amazing when they still show compassion!! :) )
What's something you want people who don't understand what you go through to know? The battle with our health is real.
Do you know anyone with the same illness as you? I met/have acquaintance with a couple people with similar issues. And have some amazing friends with their own set of health struggles.
In what way have they helped? That silent look of understanding, when no words are necessary. Just knowing there are others out there who have a daily battle with their health too.
Do you feel that even though this is hard, that God has a purpose for you through it? Absolutely!! Jeremiah 29:11, Romans 8:28, 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, Isaiah 14:24 & 27, Proverbs 19:21, Psalms 33:11, Psalms 138:8, Psalms 139:16, and so many more bible verses tell me that God created me for a specific purpose. Nothing can happen to me (or you!) that has not already been filtered through his hand. He can use anything for good, no person is too weak, too broken, or too scarred for God to use them.
Would you say you have a mostly positive outlook through this process? I try to stay positive, but I'm only human and I often stumble.
What helps you keep it that way? My Savior and Best Friend: Jesus Christ.
“The joy of the LORD is your strength.” ~ Nehemiah 8:10
“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Are there some verses that helped you through this struggle? So many. But the first three that come to mind that I haven't already named are:
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” ~ Matthew 11:28-30
“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not grow faint.” ~ Isaiah 40:31
Where else do you draw inspiration from? The amazing people the Lord has placed in my life: My family who loves me and takes care of me. My friends (Jade, Megan) who bear with me and encourage me when I stumble, and who never give up on me. My passions art, painting.
What would you say to someone who is struggling with the same sickness? There is a warrior inside of everybody. Use this to bring the warrior inside of you out!
What would you like to say to anyone struggling with any illness, disability, etc? Never give up! And never let go of Jesus, he will be the One constant thing in your life you can always count on and will never lose. :)
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” ~ Romans 15:13