I’d gone into the doctor’s office for a persistent irritating rash under my eyes and on my neck. I expected to hear eczema or some other small, albeit annoying, diagnosis.
The doctor walked in, took one look at me and sank to a seat. She paraded through all the diagnosis I’d hoped to hear, but she knocked down each one.
She was so calm it was unnerving. Just like the eye of the hurricane.
“Lupus. I hope it’s one of the other autoimmune diseases, but I think it’s Lupus.”
I blinked hard against the words slamming into me. Those little annoying rashes were a sign that my body’s defensive system was intent on destroying my own body. And Lupus? That would mean my immune system was doing it in a big, immensely life-altering way.
I spent two days trying not to think about it; praying that she was wrong; fighting off the tears; trying to figure out the why of things.
Early morning a few days later I got the news that I do, indeed, have an autoimmune disease…but it isn’t Lupus.
Who would have thought you could celebrate having an autoimmune disease? But I do.Tweet This
The even crazier thing is that just a few hours after the phone call, I read the only reason St. Paul stayed to preach to a group of Gentile strangers is because of a “bodily illness”*. His life (and theirs!) was redirected in an amazing way because of sickness.
And all that reminded me of Don Perini at a conference a week ago when he said that the moment we are feeling weakest, when we’re confronted with the greatest resistance, we should celebrate. Why? Because all that hardship shows we’re about to do something great.
I don’t what’s about to happen. I don’t know my final diagnosis. I don’t know what my life will look like over the next few weeks.
I do know that I’m called to tell stories, to be open with my life, and to trust that the one who shaped me knows what he’s doing.
So if you’re in a place where, like me, you’re wondering what it’s all about, take heart. I daresay something great is about to happen as well. It may not be what you expect, it may not feel as nice as you’d like. But the ending will be amazing.
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