Hi everyone! I’m so sorry I’ve not been posting for so long. I’ve tried so many times to get a post ready, but I’ve been horribly busy, and a lot of things got in the way.
“Hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?”
Today I want to share with you a part of my life that I am struggling with. You probably already know, but I’m ill, and I have been for almost a year now. I got mononucleosis (glandular fever) last July, and while I was recovering from it, which takes months, I got bacterial meningitis (I was in hospital over my 16th birthday). When I came out of hospital, there were a lot of odd things happening to me; one of them was that I felt like my personality was different, and I wasn’t sure who I was. It was scary, but I thought it was an aftereffect of the meningitis (since meningitis affects the brain and nervous system) and that it would pass eventually. But over the next few months, while some things got better, most of them got worse, and I was eventually told in February that I have M.E. (myalgic encephalomyelitis), which is a [usually] permanent neurological (brain/nerve) disease with an unknown cause. At first, I was happy to know nothing worse was wrong with me, but then I had to learn to cope with the fact that I may be ill for the rest of my life.
I couldn’t understand why God had let this happen to me, although I knew He must have a reason. I was angry for a while, and then I realised that was silly. But I was still confused and afraid of the future; I didn’t know what would happen to me.
Since then I’ve slowly been getting worse. I have to stay in bed often, because I’m too weak to walk farther than the bathroom, and if I try to do more it makes me more ill. My muscles are starting to waste away because I can’t use them enough, and I’m in pain most of the time. And since the illness affects my brain too, sometimes I can’t understand what people are saying, or form a reasonable sentence. This is part of the reason I haven’t been posting.
All the time, I get new symptoms, and some of them are pretty scary. Once I had to stay in hospital overnight because I had a seizure that lasted for an entire hour. And three times now I’ve had a bad headache on one side of my head which made me go numb down my entire left side. The doctor thought I may have had a small stroke but he couldn’t tell.
Recently, I found out that my doctor thinks I probably have multiple sclerosis, which is worse than M.E., and always permanent. This really threw me, and I had to deal with wondering why God had allowed this all over again. I started to lose hope of recovery, and faith in God to take care of me. I still loved Him and knew that He loved me, but I stopped trusting in Him, and just last night I realised that I had given up on my life. I’d been living on “autopilot”; forcing myself not to care what happened to me because if I cared, I wouldn’t be able to bear the fear and uncertainty.
But then yesterday, I saw my aunt, and she said that maybe I will get better. I knew that it wasn’t what the doctors have said, but I wanted to believe it with all my heart. The problem was, every time I tried to believe I could get better I started crying, because I was afraid that if I hoped to recover, I might have to go through the pain of realising that I may not recover all over again.
I realised last night that I can’t carry on without hope, but I was afraid to have hope because I didn’t want to face the disappointment of a false hope. I kept telling myself that I had to choose between trusting my aunt, and trusting the doctors, who should know better. But then I suddenly remembered that God says He will take sickness away from us, and heal us. Jesus died for our sins and sickness. So God doesn’t want me to be ill – and He says that we must put our trust in Him. So now, I am choosing between trusting the doctors, or God – which one seems more reliable this time? 😉
I realised something today that I have been forgetting for a long time: with God, there is always hope. And we don’t need a reason to believe in that hole, either. Romans 8:24 lays it out beautifully: “Hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?” What this verse says is that when we are at our lowest, and it looks like nothing could save us from our situation, that is when we have the most hope. Because – it’s true – if we already had what we needed we wouldn’t have to hope for anything! So we are never without hope. And right now, when I feel like my life is hopeless, I’ve realised that truly I have more hope now than ever before. It’s still hard to me to trust completely in God when everything looks bad, but I still know that even if it doesn’t feel like it, there is and always will be hope, and I have a reason to believe that God will protect me and take this illness away from me when the time is right. I know things are going to be okay.
If you’re going through anything bad right now, and it feels hopeless, remember that you always have hope, especially when you can’t see any hope, because if you could see your hope, it wouldn’t be hope, ’cause there would be nothing to hope for!