This blog has taken me about a month to finish. The past few weeks have just been one thing, after another thing, trying to get me down and keep me down. My life has been pretty much like the picture below. Although at times I have been frantically trying to get myself to somewhere that I feel safe, I have now learnt to relax a little because the sharks cannot get to me while I am in my boat. Anyway, here is the blog I have been struggling to write.
Since telling people about my genetic testing results my life has been filled with meaningful and challenging conversations. People I have had D&M’s with before and others I have never had a deep conversation with. Some conversations ended in tears as the weight of how crappy this life has been, not just me but other people. Other conversations have been really encouraging and some conversations have been hurtful.
The question that has been asked a few times lately is, how did you get to where you are so quickly?
Before I was asked this question I had never really thought into it much. But the truth is I have already been through something traumatic, something that I thought was going to be the hardest thing in my life. In the days/weeks approaching the appointment to get my results I was scared and emotional but I reflected on where I had been and what I had to go through to overcome that challenge.
Back in 2013-2014 I thought I was not going to be able to survive my struggle. I could not see any hope in my situation, I was overcome by fear and in a really dark place. I remember in the week leading up to getting my result, I was in tears as I felt like I was going back to that place that I worked so hard to get out of. It was in those moments I had to choose and believe that God was with me then and He is with me now, and that I can use what I leant back then and be triumphant in whatever was ahead of me.
In 2013-2014 I struggled massively with anxiety. It all started while my husband and I spent seven months travelling around Europe. We were about three months into our trip when I started to get these overwhelming and anxious feelings. I could not rationalise why I was having these feelings so I just ignored them, well at least I tried to. But the continual struggle to ignore my feelings and just push through and do things lead to me becoming physically ill. I was tired and wanted to sleep all the time, I would be out of breath just walking up the slightest hill. My muscles would ache, I started feeling dizzy all the time and I just kept feeling worse and worse. We went to the Doctors where I expressed my concerns that it could be anxiety but they wanted to do some more investigations as they thought my symptoms were too physical. But shortly after we returned back home to Australia, it became very obvious it was anxiety.
I just could not fit into normal life again. I did not like driving by myself, going to shops by myself or going out just in general. I did not even like the thought of walking a few hundred meters down the driveway by myself. Just the thought of doing any of these things made me want to hide under my bed and cry. I knew I was the only one who could get myself to overcome these feelings. There were lots and lots of tears as each day I took one little step after another. From walking down the driveway, to driving up and down the dirt road, to driving into town, to actually driving into town to get out of the car…etc, etc.
How did I get through this? This is where some of you might go ‘meh’ and stop reading but I encourage you to keep on reading.
If you believe in God, you must then believe in Satan, the Devil. This is what I thought but I have recently learnt that apparently 60% of Christians actually do not believe in the Devil.
Anyway, during this time, I read a devotional called The Battlefield of the Mind. In this book I learnt about trusting God, that He goes before me and will work things out for my good. I learnt to be in control of my emotions, thoughts, words, decisions and actions; and to be conscious of my weaknesses and Satan’s corresponding ploys. Satan will use your weaknesses against you, he will put thoughts in your mind and feed off your negativity. If he can keep your attention diverted until you are dead, he will be able to get you to do to yourself what he does not have the power to do to you.
If you are a follower Jesus, then Satan has no power over you. Satan wants to take you to hell, but if he cannot do that, he will try and stop you from taking anyone to heaven.
So many people get down when bad things happen in life and choose to hate God. People want miracles in their lives but you cannot have a miracle without a problem. The ‘thing’ is not the problem, it is the way you think about the thing that is the problem.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39
It has been said to me, “wouldn’t you rather die now then have to live through that.”
I was stumped when this was said. This gene is just one out of 20,000 that make up who I am. Struggles are part of this life, they are guaranteed. But God gives me hope for an eternity free of suffering and pain.
Before I even had the appointment to have the blood taken to test, I wrote this in the notes on my phone:
“If I found out I have this gene how would I change the way I’m living knowing that one day I wouldn’t be able to do the things I love. Would I spend more time with family and friends, would I play the guitar more, would I take up jogging although I hate running… and then I think why would I wait to find out if this gene will one day take over my life. Why not live like tomorrow isn’t promised today?”
In the last few weeks I’ve been fighting not to go back to that dark place of having no hope. I have had voices yelling at me that my life is still fear based. Choosing to trust God and practice all the things I have learnt is not just a once of thing. Every day I wake up I have to choose what will I believe; the lies of the devil or the promises of God.
P.S. I still hate running!