In my last post on Lyme, I explained what it was like physically, mentally, and emotionally as the bacteria started wreaking havoc on my body. I purposefully left out the spiritual aspect, for multiple reasons, the main one being space. There were just too many words to be said about how Lyme has effected my relationship with God/ what I have learned through this trial so far.
I was all set to attend the Word of Life Bible Institute, which I thought God had led me to, when the Lyme symptoms became life-altering. The idea that when God leads you someplace, maybe it’s not for the reason you think was hard to swallow as I navigated the tough decision of saying no to attending school and experienced the awkward situations involved with pulling out of the commitment.
Next, the fact that God was allowing this to happen to my body hit; He wasn’t protecting me from the bacteria that wanted to destroy my body. That’s the way I saw it, at least.
God did not correct my thinking the way I expected. Another lesson in God’s ways being higher than my ways.
What I wanted was for God to assure me right away that He was in control and was protecting me. From my perspective, that would probably have meant healing me outright. God had a different plan. Instead, I entered what felt like “the valley of the shadow of death.” (Psalm 23:4) During that time, John 3:16 became more real than ever before. The hope of salvation was placed in front of me. God showed me that my hope to get back to good health, to get a college degree, to get a job, and to serve Him were not where my hope should be. My strong hope should be that one day when I die I will be with Jesus. My well-being, in light of eternity, is not that big of a deal..
Being torn away from my plans humbled me so much that I was scared to make any strong statements on any type of future plans for a little while, no matter how small. (Probably a good practice to implement, though.) Along with the lesson of this life not mattering so much, came that fact that my life didn’t have a great deal of weight; God is the one that matters at any and every given time in history. I am a goal oriented person so this lesson on how nothing I accomplish matters if not done for, and by, God shook me to the core.
Something I wrote in my prayer journal during that time is, “You don’t want beautiful actions nearly as much as You want our choice of Yourself.”
I also pulled these quotes out of my journal from during those difficult days:
“I can be brought low by Him who strengthens me.” -John Piper
“But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the One who lifts my head.” -Psalm 3:3
At my lowest, God met me. Even when it felt like He was not protecting me, He was my shield. Like Job in the Old Testament clearly shows, God had complete control over how much would be allowed to “go wrong.” I am so thankful that I had God to turn to in that dark time and I hope to take these lessons learned with me, even after Lyme stops being such a defining part of my life.