As I look back on the last 25 years, this last year, but the last 4 weeks in particular, it’s incredible to see the thousands of tiny things that had to come together to get me here. I am where I always dreamed, but never thought I could get to. Battling debilitating chronic pain for 25 years, I always asked God for the pain to go away, but I thought healing me completely was too big of a job! I thought it was just a part of me and that’s how my body worked!
This past year has been filled with joy and pain and doctors and a gigantic surgery and laughter and huge life changes and a million other little things. When you’re walking through the valley, you tend to feel the most alone, but, it’s there that God is closest to you. Coming out of the last 6 months and being permanently pain-free for a full month now, I know I am a completely changed woman. I finally know what HOPE is. I feel beautiful and alive and I couldn’t have dreamed of a better life than where I am right now.
Gratefulness changes how you see everything. After my complicated surgery in April, I really expected to be healed. I was grateful, don’t get me wrong, but going through the last 6 months of a massive infection, I am a million times more grateful, because I get it now: I get to feel emotion and care for people, I can feel God with me, not just know He’s there. I get to love those around me, get to know them and let others get to know me.
For 25 years, I have been purely surviving and I knew if I let people in too close, they would realize my suffering and I couldn’t handle that. So I hid and smiled and survived. Now, I have never felt more free, more alive and more ready for what this year holds. 2018 is going to be my year, just watch!! This is what HOPE looks like and I wear my reminder of that everyday!