All of a sudden I was having difficulty walking without getting short of breath, could not pay attention in my meetings, and began to feel as though maybe it was more than just a cold... maybe pneumonia or something like that. After my second meeting of the day, in which I sat chilled to the bone wondering how I was going to make it through my afternoon class, one of my friends told me he was not going to let me go to class. I remember being shocked and thinking, "Thanks but I will be the judge of that" but for some reason instead of saying that, I agreed and he walked me back to my apartment on campus. By the time we reached my apartment, I was having a hard time walking but with a little help I made it to bed. However, I was unable to fall asleep despite desiring nothing else but to escape and sleep. Since I could not sleep and I couldn't stand to do nothing, I decided to drive myself to a nearby walk in clinic. After the doctor performed an exam, he looked at me somewhat startled and confused. He said he was concerned with the symptoms I told him about but that my lungs were completely clear and my vital signs were normal. Normal is now a word that I hate, but I will talk about that another time. So he sent me for a chest x-ray thinking I must have a form of 'silent pneumonia'. I remember thinking "Okay, I can handle that. Some antibiotics and I will be fine!"
However, that was definitely not the case. It is six months later and I am getting used to the startled confused look. Antibiotics could not fix this and I couldn't just return back to my life.
And so my life has been completely changed. I spend almost all of my time in bed - not because I choose to but because I cannot do much of anything. I should be graduated with my Bachelor of Science in Nursing but I'm not. I now look through the window and watch life continue on. The sun remains faithful and rises and falls each day. The birds are singing. People are doing what they were doing - but I am not. That is my new reality: where I dream of what life is beyond my window.
Yet I still have life. I still can smile, smell flowers, dream, and love. My life just looks drastically different from that which I could have ever imagined. God has met me in the most amazing of ways. He has ever so faithfully and lovingly held me through the deep valleys and also allured me into a closer relationship with Him.
So here begins my story - my raw life with its joys, struggles, and questions. Times when I meet God and times when I cannot seem to find Him. Times when I dream of all I wish to do one day and times when I cannot even dream. I want to be real with you and this is not so I can gain sympathy but rather so I can share what my reality is. In sharing parts of my story, I hope you may be touched, challenged, and even changed. However, not because it is my story but because of Him - my Father, Savior, and Healer.
Therefore, behold, I will allure her [Israel] and bring her into the wilderness, and I will speak tenderly and to her heart. There I will give her her vineyards and make the Valley of Achor [troubling] to be for her a door of hope and expectation. And she shall sing there and respond as in the days of her youth and as at the time when she came up out of the land of Egypt. - Hosea 2:14-15