We have passed the two-year mark since my treatment for Graves’ Disease.
At this time two years ago, I was spending three weeks in isolation. Those were some of the most difficult days I’ve ever experienced … and yet it was a time that the Lord used to draw me closer to Himself and to reveal Himself to me in new ways.
I get asked all the time how I’m doing and that question is becoming more and more difficult to answer. I don’t look sick anymore and new friends don’t even know.
I have made huge progress and am functioning and going on with life. I am so thankful. While autoimmune diseases don’t go away, they can be managed. I’m thankful that we’re finally at a point where we’re “managing.” And really it’s more than managing. I’m doing so much more than I was able to a couple of years ago. But behind the scenes, it’s still a battle.
This will probably always be a battle I will fight. Some days are good. Some days aren’t so good. I will probably always live with chronic pain, walk slower and think slower. I may have to sit (or lean up against something) while I talk to a friend rather than stand. I have to manage my energy and rest more. And there are little things that have changed – like I can’t grow out my fingernails. But for the most part these are things that no one would even notice.
An old song – “You Carry Me” by Moriah Peters – came on the radio the other day and I realized it said it better than I could …
“Feels like it’s been miles and miles. Feels like it’s an uphill climb. Sometimes I get weary on the way. But when I look back at where I’ve been. When I look back I’m sure of it. I was right there in your arms and I can say:
Every moment of my life. God, you never left my side. Every valley, every storm. You were there, you were there. I don’t need to know what’s next. You’ll be with me every step. Through it all, through it all I can see you carry me.
There are days I wonder if you can fix the mess I’m in. Times when nothing seems to go the way it should. But then I look back on every season I can find there’s 10,000 reasons to trust that you can work all things for good.
Through the wind and waves. Through my worst mistakes. Through the times I thought I walked alone. You were holding me. You were whispering ‘I will never leave you on your own.’
Every moment of my life. God, you never left my side. Every valley, every storm. You were there, you were there. I don’t need to know what’s next. You’ll be with me every step. Through it all, through it all I can see you carry me.”
I honestly don’t know what tomorrow will hold. I never know what I will wake up to or if I will even be able to get out of bed. The reality is none of us knows what tomorrow holds. What I do know is that I experienced Him in the valley and He never left me alone. And because of that I can trust that He will continue to carry me through whatever I will face tomorrow.
Carla Villanueva is a married mother of four who lives in Wylie, Texas. She has the great fortune of being the older, wiser sister to Sealy News editor April Towery. She blogs at keepwalkingthepath.wordpress.com.