As many of my readers know, I have a set of core beliefs, convictions that have undergirded me in my journey with ME. Without them, I am not sure that I would have survived ME for these past two decades.
One of those core beliefs is that I have been put on this earth for a reason and for a purpose. I am not here by happenstance, by coincidence, or by accident. I have been brought into this world with a specific purpose and a particular job that only I can do.
It is this one conviction that drives me to meet each new day with hope and with determination. It is also this belief that pushes me to bring ME into the conscience of our global society and to reach out and do my part in helping those within the ME community.
With ME now affecting my eyes and my vocal chords, I am finding myself repeatedly being challenged at my core. The thought of losing my eye sight or the ability to communicate verbally has been a constant battle since it started last year. This new struggle repeatedly reveals to me whether or not I truly believe what I say.
Despite that I always come back to that core conviction that no matter what ME does to my body, it is not in control of my destiny.
This struggle has also caused me to think, not only about what I have lost as a result of living with this challenging illness, but also about what I have gained.
So often I find myself focused on the losses that I have suffered as a result of having ME. This is an unfortunate part of being human and of living with a misunderstood and devastating illness for sure.
Lately, however, I have been pondering what I have gained as a result of living with ME. What have I learned at the hand of ME? What things have come into my life that might not have if I had never gotten sick?
I have even visualized God standing before me offering me two choices. One: a complete healing and the ability to get back to a normal life. Two: continue living with ME and all that entails.
Now I won’t even pretend to insinuate that I would not quickly and excitedly choose door number 1! I mean, come on! It would be a no brainer in that moment.
And yet, I wonder. I’m currently reading this book by Randy Alcorn and in it he talks about asking an audience to list the worst things that happened to them in their lives and the best things that happen to them in their lives. Overwhelmingly, many of the things that were on their bad list were also on their good list.
I think I would have to agree. While I would have chosen, and would still choose, any other path but ME, if I had been so afforded the chance, I can’t say that my entire journey with ME has been bad.
As the result of the nature of ME, I have had to learn to let go of so many things that were nothing more than extra baggage. I have had to learn to cope, process, analyze, become adaptable, flexible, peaceful, quiet, and on and on.
Perhaps, however, the most notable thing that has come my way as a result of this journey that I have unwittingly found myself on … is YOU.
If it were not for ME, so many people who have become dear to me, who have captured my heart, and who have become a part of my daily life and prayers, would not be.
I would not have known the pleasure of getting to know each and every one of you. I would not have learned how to share my struggles with you, nor would I have learned acceptance and understanding.
I would not have received the thousands and thousands of prayers, good wishes and ((((hugs)))) that I have come to accept as a normal and routine part of my life.
I would not have been given the privilege of becoming part of your life. I would have never had the opportunity of listening to you as you share your struggles, or being afforded the experience of providing my shoulder for you to cry one.
I wouldn’t have come to understand the idiosyncrasies of ME through the sharing of stories, testimonies, and struggles.
I would have never come to understand and appreciate the hidden heroes who live among me, fighting, striving every day to make it one more day. Your tenacity is my inspiration.
You are the greatest gift that ME has ever given me. Without ME I would never have met you.
And with YOU, my life would have been dramatically different.
Thank you for coming into my life and making it richer, vibrant, and complete.
I cannot imagine my life with ME without YOU in it.