For whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith. (1 John 5:4)
I knew things were not right. Things were happening that I could not explain. My speech was becoming a little slurred at times. I couldn't remember patient's names as well as before. Some of my joints were randomly swelling. I remember the day I became scared that there was something really wrong with me. I was sitting in a bible study, and my good friend, Nancy, was leading the study...I went to ask her a question and I could not recall her name---at all. It just wasn't there. It took my brain what seemed like an eternity to remember that her name was Nancy. Then, about a month later, I awoke to find my left knee was three times its normal size. I was having trouble walking, but thought perhaps I had injured it while working out. The swelling did not go down, in fact it grew worse, until I finally found myself in an orthopedic office having tests run to see what I had done to my knee.
My knee was fine, no injury, no arthritis, nothing. The PA looked up at me and said, "I would like to get you checked for Lyme Disease." I agreed and went to have the full blood test that afternoon, and two days later she called me and said, "You have Lyme Disease and I recommend you go see an infectious disease doctor, as I feel it is late-stage Lyme." And in that moment everything in my world changed. There was a spinal tap, a PICC line was put in for daily IV meds that I would give to myself every day for a month, and there was fear, a lot of fear. Three weeks into the IV meds I was in the ER with pancreatitis. The PICC line came out, but my body was a mess. There was talk of them taking my gall bladder out, to which I said, "No." I developed eczema over 90% of my body as my system fought to deal with the residual damage done by the IV meds. Every organ system in my body was affected.
And so the fight began. The fight of faith, the fight to get my body back, to get my health back. And it was here, on the days and the nights that no one saw or experienced but God and I, that I found victory. Something happens when medical science fails, when the medications did not solve the problem, but rather made it worse, when you are so ill that breathing seems like a full time job that you are not getting paid for, when you are up at 1:00am because the pain and discomfort is so bad that all you can do is lie on the floor in your bedroom and cry out to God. It was here that God met me: in that space where I wanted to give up, but I just wouldn't.
I started to pour over His word and I started to believe it, not just read it. I personalized it and began to speak it out loud. I worshiped like I was already healed. I dove into prayer like I was an Olympic swimmer. I encouraged and prayed for other people who were struggling with illness. And I got up, I showed up, I fought through the fear, through the lies that told me that I would not get better, through people telling me horror stories about other people they knew who were dealing with late-stage Lyme Disease, through skepticism from family and friends who were not open to the alternative methods of handling Lyme Disease that I chose to employ.
And I trusted God. I trusted Him like I never had before. I found out that He can be trusted. When it makes no sense, when it hurts, when you are so sick that thoughts of dying cover you like a shroud. He can be trusted. So, don't you quit. Choose to press in, to press on, to believe despite what you see. We live by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7)
'They' tell me that I will always have Lyme Disease. It's been over a year now since I was diagnosed, and in that time I've learned that it doesn't matter what 'they' say; the only thing that truly matters is what He said, and our victory is found in Him.
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November 2018. Anne Marie Hawke
qUIET IN CHAOS
Quiet in Chaos is a blog about nothing, everything, and all things inbetween…it’s a space, an ellipsis, a deep pause. Life can be chaotic, and often needs more moments of quiet…So join me as I share and give through the written word, the place I find my Quiet in Chaos…