Some days, I wonder: What does “living in pain” mean to the general population – those who are not living with it?
My own fear of what others would think kept me from writing about this adventure in chronic autoimmune disease for a few years now. It’s been far too long. So, if I seem overly excited to share the high’s and the low’s, know it is because I don’t want to hide. I don’t want to be alone. I don’t want to be misunderstood. And most importantly, I don’t want those of you struggling to be misunderstood either. It has taken me 19 years to share my story without putting up my defenses.
You see, for so many of the years that I have lived in pain, I have also believed that I deserved to be in pain. That pain was part of my calling. Pain is not a part of anyone’s calling. Healing is. It is in healing that I am learning self-love over and over again. Every time I stray from it, I fall back to my knees. It is in healing that I am learning God’s great plan for us. We are to be a blessing on every path we co-design and take. We cannot receive what we have not earned. There is a new part of me that believes my pain has lingered for so long because I haven’t been a blessing. I have not been sharing the autoimmune adventure, and in suffering in quiet, others keep suffering in quiet too. God isn’t punishing me, but I haven’t fully stepped out yet so that I can live in the light that he wants for me.
Some pretty profound thoughts for a Wednesday night, I guess. But after writing them, I feel at peace. God’s plan for us includes building and serving our community. This is mine. Unlabeled, yet at one point defined by motherhood, holistic wellness, a need to learn more, a passion for “virtual self-love ministry,” an entrepreneurial spirit, brokenness, and re-designing life – especially in an autoimmune approach, my community is composed of those on a similar path. Yours should be too. I don’t say this to exclude… but to honor the words I have been given again and again: Find your flock and take them to higher ground.
Find your people. Be with your flock. And adventure with them toward higher ground. It will change your life…
It’s changing mine for sure.