With a brief commercial for a program called Storm Stories.
I've met some great people through the blogs I frequent, and so many of them try to take blogging a step beyond it's boundaries. NorEaster is doing a great feature this month called Storm Stories... where others share their stories of going through a storm, be it in their past or in their present, and how they have endured and hopefully triumphed.
He invited me to share my story so I did a short post that is going to be up on his site today. I'm posting it below, but encourage you to go to Nor's site and read the other Storm Stories for yourself. After this month is over I'm pretty sure no one who is struggling or suffering will be feeling alone. We all have storms, it's just nice when we can share an umbrella.
***** ***** *****
"If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain."
Yep, I'm quoting Dolly Parton. But that little sentence pretty much sums up my day-to-day life, because in my body there is a constant rainstorm raging. A storm of debilitating disease, pain, limitation and progression. At 35 years of age I have found myself homebound and having to give up every freedom and ability I used to treasure and enjoy. I can count on my hands the number of times I stepped foot outside of my house in the past year, and all but one of those times were for doctor appointments. There isn't one function that my body can perform without medication and my ability to do something as simple as type this post changes on a dime.
I have no career, no husband and kids, no financial security and no potential to change any of those things.
And I've never been more at peace in my entire life.
I've discovered that when everything is taken away... when nothing is left but the core of who you are... that's when you have to make a choice. I can either hide inside and let the fear of getting struck by lightening paralyze me, or I can stand out in the rain to be washed free of everything but the comfort of a God who would never let me fall. I choose every day to be washed free.
It's not easy, but it is simple. I put up with so much rain everyday, but the rainbows I am given are fantastic. I have food, shelter, clothing. I have friends who love me, not despite all of my limitations, but with them. I write everyday on my blog and people show up ... it has been a connection to the outside world that I didn't realize was missing until it fell into my lap. I have an obnoxiously cute, spoiled and ornery pup who keeps me company 24/7 and brings joy to my otherwise quiet days.
I am so blessed, people.
But the reason I am happy is because I choose to look at my blessings more than my burdens. The burdens are persistent; the pain is relentless. I walk with crutches and it takes me longer to get up out of a chair than it does for my friends to get up and walk the length of my condo and back. But I know that if God didn't have a purpose for my illness He would have taken it away from me by now. So I take it humbly and pray that if He has a purpose for me, I am paying attention so I don't miss the opportunity to serve. I'm ok with not knowing why this is happening to me because I know He knows why. It's not about me, it's about what He can do with me... my job is simply to pay attention and enjoy the rainbows.