It’s Been Rough, But God’s Been Gracious

I’d like to write a blog post telling you about how great I feel now that I have been on treatment for about two months. I’d like to tell you how happy I am and how I feel confident everyday. I’d like to tell you a lot of things.

But, the sad truth is that life is still pretty rough and it likely will be for a while.

It's Been Rough, But God's Been Gracious

Yes, I have had some good days interspersed amongst the bad, painful, horrendous days.

Those good days make me smile. When things are good, I have energy and I feel more like myself. It’s delightful!

But, the bad days still leave me hurting. They leave me questioning. They leave me suffering.

My prayer life has been changing since my health took a decline back in February. During some points of this health journey, I couldn’t pray. I didn’t feel like God was there. I could barely process a thought, let alone speak words in prayer.

Now, though, God has been meeting me. It’s amazing, actually. I always knew I could go to God during hard times and he would be there, but I had never been to a point of sheer desperation like this before. Now, I literally need  God’s strength to get me through the day.

I’ve started doing something that’s helped me keep [better] perspective (because, let’s be real, I can still be irrational and feel completely hopeless pretty often!).

During times when I grow discouraged, I take inventory of the ways God has shown up and provided during desperate times. Here are some of the ways that while it’s been rough, God has been gracious to me:

heart-3 Many nights I don’t sleep well, but some of those sleepless nights are the times I feel most connected to God.

heart-3 I may not have a husband or a family at home to take care of me, but I have an amazing boyfriend who sacrificially cares for me in my weakness as much as he can.

heart-3 A diagnosis didn’t happen right away, but traveling and finding a specialist meant getting treatment for all of the issues in my body in addition to Lyme – a huge blessing!

heart-3 Mustering up enough energy to get out of bed is a challenge, but I’ve had more days with better energy levels lately.

heart-3 I may have had to use vacation and sick days that I wanted to save for the future, but I have a wonderful boss who has been understanding. He has worked with me to find solutions so that I can get the treatment I need while still doing effective work.

heart-3 Crying may be a daily occurrence, but who doesn’t feel a teeny bit better after a good cry?

heart-3 Living paycheck to paycheck has become my norm (which I never thought I’d have to do!), but there’s been enough to take care of my needs. During times when I was coming up short, friends blessed me (sometimes, unknowingly) with produce from their garden or groceries. It was amazing to me how God has provided at the right times, even when I didn’t even ask.

heart-3 While the Lyme die-off reactions have caused my emotions to go haywire, in the past few weeks I haven’t has as many problems with limbs falling asleep!

It's been rough, but God's been gracious

I could probably go on and on as I start remembering ways that God has been gracious to me in this season, but I’ll leave it right here.

Through this period of my life, God has been teaching me some crucial lessons that I want to hold on to and never forget.

While I was texting with a friend yesterday, I shared this with her and I’d like to share it with you because I believe it’s something we all need to remember. I think it sums up the core of what I’m feeling as I recognize how God has been gracious.

I said, “I think we’re most content when we live our lives with an abundance mindset. We know that there’s enough and God will provide because He in Himself is enough, but sometimes our natural tendency is to be frustrated because we don’t have what we want. But we actually have what we need right now when we put our hope and trust in Christ.”

Praying that you, sweet reader, think about the ways God has been gracious to you despite the true suffering you have experienced.

Finding Hope Through the Fog

14 thoughts on “It’s Been Rough, But God’s Been Gracious

  1. Aww…I’m so sorry that you are struggling with this. Reading your testimony of God’s faithfulness though, I know that you will be a witness to many.
    I too, have an autoimmune disease, but we found it quickly at the onset and I haven’t had to deal with the hard stuff like you. I hope you find remission quickly!

    1. Thank you, Rebekah! God is definitely faithful and I’ve been blown away by what He’s done in my heart. I’m sorry to hear that you also have an autoimmune disease. It’s great it was found early, but I’m sure there are still some hard times!

  2. I’ve had so many times when I’ve felt the same way you did. There are moments when my anxiety is at its worst, when it grabs the hand of its best friend named depression, that I feel so alone. Then there are days when I pray and feel truly connected. I make sure to pray every night regardless of the connection feel. Even if I feel no connection, at least I’m trying to establish it.

    1. I’m sorry you’ve had to experience anxiety and depression. It’s so not fun! I really like what you said about trying to pray regardless of the connection. That’s something I’ve been learning is beneficial, too. God does meet us even if we can’t always feel Him.

  3. I couldn’t agree more! I don’t have a chronic illness, but my family has recently gone through a difficult season as well when we said goodbye to our sweet foster daughter after nine months in our home. I think I have learned more in the last two months since she left than in the nine months that we had her!

    1. Oh, Suzanne! I’m sorry that you’ve had to go through this difficult season. I really admire you and your family for doing foster care, though. Foster care is an important ministry and actually something my boyfriend and I hope to do once we are married. The thought of having to say goodbye to children you have loved would be incredibly hard, though. I will be praying for your family during this season.

  4. Great post, Emily — I’m sorry you have to go through all this, but your attitude and writings about it are so encouraging! I follow a blog – – written by Rebecca, who I believe is also in treatment for Lyme Disease. She is a great encouragement to me in my chronic illness, and I think she’s written some books/devos specifically for those fighting Lyme Disease. So I thought I would pass that along — prayers for healing and strength for you! Have a good week!

    1. Hey, Jessica! Thank you for reading and for your kind words and prayers. I truly appreciate it. Thanks so much for sharing the blog. I will definitely be taking a look at it!

  5. Emily, I love the way you’re determined to find God’s grace and goodness in the face of your disease. It’s such a good reminder for all of us, no matter what we’re struggling with! Thank you.

    I had the honor of co-writing a friend’s book about this very thing. She was also an Iowa girl who trusted God despite a difficult diagnosis. If you haven’t read Sara Frankl’s blog, you’ll find so much encouragement there: (And of course the book is also encouraging, but I promise I’m not trying to sell you something!)

    1. Hi, Mary! Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words! God keeps changing my heart and I love it! My desire is truly to have other women experience the same kind of transformation.

      I will definitely check out the blog and also the book that you co-wrote. Actually, I remember hearing you talk about it on a video for the Hope*Writers Summit!

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