IMG_190131 Days Walking Through Chronic Illness

day twenty~nine

“Brokenness. We don’t want it, but we’ve all got it. When our brokenness is surrendered to God, restoration begins and beauty blossoms. He restores our wounded hearts with His unconditional love.”

Broken into Beautiful~Gwen Smith

Three days of heavy rain in the south. Three days of dark and dreary. I watch as a young cardinal sits on the deck railing, as if it doesn’t bother him at all.

I found the darkness fitting, as I write on why I chose chronic illness as my subject for write31days. 

I plugged in the lights on my “year round tree,” to brighten the dreary day. Fingers poise over the keyboard with a heavy heart.

There is a darkness that surrounds chronic illness.

***Nearly 1 in 2 Americans have a chronic illness. About 31% of sufferers are adolescents. 60% are between the ages of 18 and 64. Depression in the chronically ill is 15~20% higher. Divorce rates are high. It is believed that 70% of all suicides occur in the chronically ill, with more than 50% of these occurring in patients 35 and under.

October is also Dysautonomia Awareness Month, marked by the color turquoise.

Currently only one million dollars is designated for research.

“The cures we want aren’t going to fall from the sky. We have to get ladders and climb up and get them.” Michael J. Fox

The well known actor has Parkinson’s Disease. 30~50% of Parkinson’s patients suffer with some form of Dysautonomia.

When people see me on a my scooter, or ask why I carry around mega amounts of G~2 Gatorade, I tell them, “I have P.O.T.S.” Rarely have I run into someone who has even heard of it, let alone know what it is.

The fact is, there are one million confirmed diagnosed cases in the United States. It is believed there are three million undiagnosed cases.

I sit in a crowded waiting room at Duke’s Dysautonomia Clinic. I can name several people from my own small hometown who suffer with P.O.T.S.

I hear the hopelessness in the voices around me. See the dull expression in their eyes. Fatigue and pain etched on their faces. Folded into themselves with a heavy weariness.

I am broken. Physically. My burden is heavy and days grow weary.

We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. 

2 Corinthians 4:7 NLT

Yes, I have grieved. There was a bought of mild depression, when I realized the honeymoon was over. I was now facing a new way of life. Every. Day. Permanently.

Chronic: constant, continuing a long time, having a long duration~The Dictionary App 

No, this thing is not going away. The daily~ness of walking through it, a daily thing.

I have a powerful hope with which to fight this beast. A great treasure, that comes from inside. A light. The Light and power of God.

But mightier than the violent raging of the seas. 

Mightier than the breakers on the shore~

The Lord above is mightier than these!

Psalms 93:4 NLT

In the raging seas, the daily~ness, there is One who is mighty, fighting for me. Along beside me.

This is why I chose 31 Days of Walking Through Chronic Illness.

It’s personal.It is my story.

I also want to give you hope. Show you that even in the raging storm, peace can be found.

…Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who ask you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…

1 Peter 3:15 NIV

We are but fragile jars of clay…empty and broken…waiting to be filled with Hope and Light and the power of God.

As I finished up this post, the dark and dreary had faded away. The rain gone. Sunshine peeps through. I unplugged the lights on the “everyday tree,” blew out the candles, and pondered this.

Once again, I am awed by the Grace that meets me in this place.

What started as dark and dreary and heavy, through the power of God within me, turns to hope and joy and peace, full of Light. The Light.

Gifts of Grace

Tammy Mashburn

***The above referenced statistics and facts come from publication  and Dysautonomia International