Over a year ago, I began to notice strange symptoms. I started questioning my own health. I had several doctor’s appointments, but my symptoms were so broad no one seemed to be able to put the pieces together. I have been told everything from herpes to fibromyalgia, and everything in between all with negative test results. I decided I would stay persistent and do my own research. After months of looking into each mysterious symptom, I came across Behcet’s Disease. As soon as I saw those words, I just knew that is what I had. I told nurses and doctors, and all of them told me that disease was much too rare. To fully understand how tiring this process was I ask that you read Health Update and Biopsy Day, located under My Health Journey category.
A week ago, I visited the dermatologist to get a biopsy of an oral ulcer. This test would give me the answers and reassurance I had been looking for. Today I got the call saying that the test showed positive for Behcet’s Disease. At first, I felt happy that throughout this process I did not let anyone discourage me or change my thoughts on my own illness. I was also very happy that the tests can stop now. As time goes on, it is starting to hit me that I was just diagnosed with a chronic illness. An illness that for the rest of my life will pop up when I least expect it. Behcet’s is a very rare disease. According to the American Behcet’s Disease Association, it is estimated that 3-5 / 100,000 people have Behcet’s Disease in the United States. However, I am not upset. I understand that God gives us all certain struggles and there must be a reason he gave me this one.
I hope this inspires people not only to listen to their heart, but also to never give up. Trust me, if I can get through the tough situations that have came my way in the past year, you can get through the hardships you are facing right now too. Remember, God has a bigger plan for us than what we can even dream of so these trials are just to shape you into the person He created you to be.
“Always be joyful and never stop praying. Whatever happens, keep thanking God because of Jesus Christ. This is what God wants you to do.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
As a young teenage girl, I found myself in love with someone who was not the right person for me; like I am sure all of us have. I gave and gave and gave. My fault was giving too much. I poured every once of love, attention, and patience I had into this relationship for almost four years before finally one day I looked into the mirror and saw an unfamiliar girl.
Four years prior, the girl I would have seen in the mirror was full of light and self-confidence. She was bubbly and child-like. She believed she was a gift from God. Although she was quite fun, she was a cruel girl who had no understanding of people’s feelings. Four years into the future it was the same girl, but with many changes. This girl was scared. She had spent so much time feeling vulnerable she had no idea what it was like to feel secure. She was torn down. She had given so much that she had nothing left. She was a fool. She let people hurt her and somehow always let it slide. She was insecure and had issues with self harm. This girl had a long road ahead of her. Like trying to put a square peg in a round hole (old southern saying,) this relationship and many other aspects of her life would never work out because they were trials God had planned for her since the beginning to turn her into the person she was destined to be. After ending that relationship, the girl sought out God in a way she never had before. She felt her whole life needed a clean sweep and that is exactly what she did. Everyday she woke up early with a goal in mind, clean out the dressers, organize the shoes, paint the furniture, etc. While preforming these cleansing tasks, she would listen to peaceful Christian music. When she was done, she would read her Bible and make very descriptive notes almost to the point where she rewrote the New Testament. Within weeks, she could feel the damage of years being erased from her mind and body. Self-harm was never again a thought. Self-confidence came from within. Security came from saying, “God has my back.” Still far from perfect she looks back, not with fear, anger, or resentment for any of the past people that attributed to her downfall. She looks back gracefully and thankfully. Soon these faults she once thought she had, became some of her most treasured aspects of her own personality.
I love my child-like nature. No matter how much it may be perceived as naivety, trust me I am far from it. I love that I give people the benefit of the doubt because most people are so quick to judge. I love that I am a generous person because I get that from my mother. I have no problem admitting now that I am a lover, not a fighter and that is not a bad thing. Every experience you have with love will help you find your true self in the end. Just because something does not work out with someone does not mean either of you are bad people. Some people just are not made for each other. Some people are just in your path so you can learn more about yourself. Never be discouraged by disappointments in life because God has a bigger plan than what you can even dream of.
Now, love has several different meanings and facets, like a tree with never-ending branches. Love is reading my Bible. Love is a long conversation with my mother. Love is typing on this computer. Love is having a paint brush in my hand. Love is my boyfriend reminding me to do the things I love to do. Love is the sound of my nieces laughing. Love is trusting I will not be hurt again. Love is understanding people’s flaws as a deeper definition of themselves. Love is ignoring snoring. Love is praying for those who have hurt you. Love is being surrounded by family. Love is looking in the mirror and knowing I am so much more on the inside. Love is being sick and thanking God at the end of the day for your health. Love is praying for your family, friends, and neighbors. Love is embracing my true self. The truth about love is, classic tales of love, such as Romeo and Juliet, are shallow examples of what it can be. God is love. Love is everywhere and I am so thankful to have found it.