Swimming in the Sea of Suffering
The sea of suffering is a peculiar place to be. It's quiet and feels far away from friends. The water is so dark, you can't see your hands. It has a way of changing time and perspective.
Some days, I can't shake how cold and merky the sea in front of me is. Some days I feel like I'm drowning. Some days, my own sea called chronic lyme disease feels like a never-ending spiral of pain and sadness.
But in some form or fashion, light always ends up breaking through. Another miracle in the form of God's grace to allow me rest, another miracle in the form of restoration of relationships I thought were broken. I'm no longer in a wheelchair like I once was, and getting my life back little by little, inch by inch.
I still have my visits to the lonely sea of suffering. But each time, I get stronger. Each time I learn. Each time I get clarity.
Pain and suffering inevitably change a person. It can make people jaded and make them lose their spark. It's a common question to ask, "what good could possibly come from this terribly sad sea?" In my own lyme journey, here's what I can say. Some of the gifts in my life have only come out of complete brokenness.
Here are some things lyme has taught me: I learned to be still.
I learned to stop relying on my own strength.
I learned how to say no.
I learned a lot more about God's character and myself - about what I want out of life & why I'm here.
I learned to embrace my life just as it is.
I let go of fake friendships - a decision that has been so life-giving.
My heart is more genuine. And 2947397 other blessings like I share in my book - all blessings that I don't see how could've been possible had I not swam in the sea of suffering.
If you're reading this, I can only imagine the seas of suffering you have swum through. The days and nights you never want to relive. All the agonizingly painful experiences. How is your heart? Is it broken? Who in your life is willing to step into the dark places with you and hold your hand while you weep? Who is your support system? These are questions I believe are crucial to ask as we heal from lyme disease. Support is a necessity. If you feel like there's no one who cares, which can easily happen when you're chronically ill and isolated, know there IS support for you. Some people actually can understand what you're going through. We are so much stronger together.
The tides are changing, my friend. One day you will look back and realize how far you've come. One day you will dance on a beach, and the sea will be so far behind you that you won't be able to see it anymore. You won't be surviving; you'll be thriving. You'll be filled with new life, and you'll be well. Try to imagine what that will feel like and let it sink in. So, here’s to a future we cannot fathom. Here's to healing together.