Faith in the face of crushing disappointment

The news came when I was at an all time low. For me, it really couldn’t get any worse than this: in the midst of loosing a significant portion of my worldly goods, recuperating from a accident, I become more ill from an infection that invaded my body.

I screamed “God, I can’t take anymore!”. I’d had enough. Or so I thought.

For that period in time, it was just one thing after the other and it seemed that just as I was getting a handle on things, something else happened which threw a spanner into the works. I was crying all the time from both physical and emotional pain and though I had the support of family and friends, it seemed as though no one truly understood the depth of my pain.

What did I do?

I knew I had to get back some sense of normalcy: things were chaotic because everything was happening all at once. It seemed as though my time was  spent putting out fires and I could hardly catch my breath before something else happened. Normalcy came in the form of recognising that there were things I had to do each day which would help me get better, step by step.

So I focussed on getting healthy – going to the medical centre weekly for my treatments, taking those pills religiously, praying and meditating. Dropping out of university, which was hardest because it felt like I was giving up. However, I physically could not go to school so it made no sense. Remaining in contact with the friends I made there allowed me to continue to feel as though I was a part of the system. Focussing on getting better so I could return gave me a goal to work towards.

I focussed on the positive: This was hard when my foot hurt to the point where medication no longer dulled the pain and I would wake up screaming from the pain. I panted – took deep breaths and forced myself not to think of the pain until I fell asleep from exhaustion. When I was awake and in pain I reminded myself that feeling pain meant I was alive and that I still had my feet. My hair would grow back. The things I lost would be replaced, over time. I had friends and family who stood by me and did their best to make me as comfortable as they could in spite of the fact that they too faced enormous challenges.

I acknowledged that it would end one day: it could not continue forever. Just as seasons change, I knew that this period in time would pass. Going through it was hell but it would get better. I was going through and growing. My life had changed for the better. I realized who was important, that some relationships were transient, things were just that – things, and were no more important than the value I placed on them.

Today I’m faced with a challenge but having gone through that, I realize that I have the strength to make it. I survived being broken and battered, physically, emotionally and spiritually. I will overcome.

 

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