At last the time has come for me to start sharing my endometriosis story. It’s been 2 years since I last wrote in the blog and I have to say that I have missed writing! In the past I have started writing my story several times but life kept getting in the way. These past two years I’ve had a laser focus on finding an endometriosis specialist, receiving treatment, and recovering and managing the aftermath that endometriosis has left behind. Not only have I been battling endometriosis but I also have been fighting interstitial cystitis and pelvic floor dysfunction. Through this journey I have learned to discern the voice of God. No I don’t literally hear the voice of God, but I do physically get a pressure and sensation in my chest along with a passing thought that doesn’t feel like my own. I have briefly mentioned this experience of being led by the spirit years ago but I realize I should share a little more on this.
To someone who doesn’t understand being led by the spirit, it can sound like some mystical experience from a movie. The truth is it’s an act of will to first listen and then discern the voice of God. It is something I continue to work on because let’s face it, we all at one point have thought God was leading us in a certain direction only to realize the hard way that WE were leading instead of God. Believe me, it is better to already have this process down before you go through trials and tribulations but life doesn’t always work out that way. Honestly the first step of hearing God is easier than the second step of waiting for his word to come to pass. A true test of faith is hearing God’s promise and waiting until he fulfills it. It’s in the waiting that you are at your most vulnerable to try to make your own way. It is in the waiting that your faith is tested and stretched beyond what you thought was possible.
Let me explain it this way, when you exercise a muscle it is actually broken down, repaired or replaced, and rebuilt to be a stronger version of itself, capable of holding more weight. That muscle still needs to be stretched daily to maintain its flexibility and circulation and function within the body as a whole; it is the same with our faith when trials come. If you allow yourself to press into the waiting and not try to control the situation you will come out of the other side a better version than what you were before. Your faith and spirit are broken down, rebuilt, repaired, revived, and restored better than before. You will be capable of going through the next thing that life throws your way because God is showing you how to endure and persevere.
James 1:2-8 comes to mind as I’m writing this and I feel it sums up what I’m trying to convey perfectly:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
It’s one thing if I was healthy, happy, and had never experienced anything remotely difficult in my life and was sharing that we all should be happy to go through trials. That simply is not the case. I have lived through several traumas and have been able to overcome them with Jesus so I would say that I am not a stranger to experiencing life’s hardships. However, it wasn’t until I lost control over my body that I was completely humbled before God. Getting sick really forced me to completely depend on God in a way that I have never experienced before. There are a slew of emotions and feelings you have when God allows you to get chronically sick; this experience isn’t always pretty and the emotions and feelings often come in waves. I do not recommend telling someone who is chronically ill that they should be joyous because they are sick. Here’s a hint, it probably won’t go over very well. We all have our own timetable of working out our spiritual understandings, acceptance, and experiences with God. Please respect everyone’s process and try not to make any harsh judgments of someone else’s experience with chronic illness.
Through all of this I have learned to hope like never before. In fact waiting for the other shoe to drop was a specialty of mine. I’m happy to share that one of the most devastating times in my life has also been one of the most joyous, educational, eye opening, and clarifying times of my life. I have learned to hope against all odds and I owe it all to chronic illness.
Really, I owe it all to God.
This scripture from Romans 1-5 says it all for me:
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoiced in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
To be at peace at a time when it seems inconceivable to human reason is such a gift from God. I am so grateful for this opportunity to share my experiences with you all. I quickly realized I have a lot to share when in just 3 days I hit the 10 page mark with the end nowhere in sight! I will be publishing these posts as part of a series called Chronic Hope in the near future. I will also be making YouTube videos on my channel very soon as supportive content. For now, I hope you enjoy reading about my journey as much as I enjoy sharing it with you.
Please remember that with God we can flourish no matter our circumstances.