I thought the most difficult part of this…ugh…blog *cringe* would be recounting my childhood pain and challenges. But oddly enough that has flown out of my heart and into the computer with ease. I’ve had some teary-eyed moments as I type out experiences no child should have to endure, but it’s not hard for me. What I am struggling with is writing about my current life, what I refer to as my “Re-Deal”. I’m searching inside of me trying to understand why I am shying away from sharing my re-deal with you all, and I’ve yet to discover the reason. I guess baby steps are a good start, so I’ll tell you the story of the beginning of the rest of my life.
My life changed at the age of 17. The complete story of how and why it changed you will read about in a few weeks. Sorry not going to give it away just yet, sort of the climax of my entire story! But indeed it did changed. I was pain-free for the first time in 13 years, and it wasn’t drug induced. This was nothing short of a miracle. Disorders like the one I have don’t go into a full-on remission. All I had wanted for the past two years was to live pain-free but I didn’t think I would achieve that without death. But I was wrong, my life had just opened up in a way I never thought it would. I now could envision my future. I could have dreams and goals and it seemed I would have time to accomplish them. I also now had some regrets I’d have to live with.
I don’t want to give away specifics as I have plans for certain stories but I had written off a lot of things in my life as impossible. They were impossible because I was certain I wouldn’t live past 21, that’s what my doctor said when I was 14. When adults know they are going to die they usually try to spend as much quality time as possible with the ones they love. They want to make good memories, cherish every moment, and leave the earth knowing they lived a good life, one of purpose and meaning. But when a teenager realizes they are going to die, and die young, well… Their choices are a little less about other people and more about themselves. Or at least mine were from 14 to 17. Because of this “death sentence” I made some terrible decisions. I lived life recklessly, I deceived my parents and misused their trust. None of my choices were ones God would have been proud of. God was so far from my mind and heart, I was mad at him. It hadn’t always been like that though. I was cool with God and was willing to do his work through my pain until I realized I didn’t get to stick around very long. I was so angry. I felt like he used and abused me. Where was God’s love in taking me away? Did God not see my value? Because of this anger I began to associate with people I shouldn’t have, I put myself in places I shouldn’t have been, I turned to recreational drugs and drinking. Why not right? I was going to die anyway and I really didn’t care if Jesus welcomed me into heaven or not…
My motto during those years was “Play hard, Pay for it Later”. And I did pay for it. My muscles were wasting away and the pain was so bad that a mixture of Methadone, Oxycontin and muscle relaxers didn’t cut it. My kidneys were on the border of failure, my liver was struggling, and paralysis no longer only affected my legs but occasionally my arms as well. I was growing tired of this lifestyle, but I still had a lot of anger in my heart.
But a change happened inside my heart eventually. I remember laying in my bed unable to move my legs because of a hard-partying weekend, the anger filling me up. I called out to God (in my head) asking him why? Why are you going to let me die? Why do you not love me? I would have done anything for you, and you’re going to let me die! I know God spoke to me then. It was the first time I had listened long enough to hear an answer in years.
Its strange trying to describe God talking me. It’s not really words, but feelings that have an interpretation. God never said I was going to die before age 21, a doctor did. God never said I had to leave everyone I loved, or that he didn’t value my life… I did. It was all me, not God. Instead of coming to him with my feelings, instead of praying for guidance and peace, I jumped to anger. I had forsaken him, he had never forsaken me. God still loved me, and I was ready to make it up to him but first…I had to throw up. I’m not joking, I really did. It wasn’t from a hangover either, it was from feeling God’s presence so keenly that it overpowered me. I hadn’t felt something like that in my entire life.
I began to take steps to change my life. I started with getting rid of the toxic people in my life which meant I was left with 1 friend (I love you K) and the next step I took lead me to my eventual remission, or perhaps it was a healing. The hardest part of this multi-step process was clearing my conscience and this meant coming clean to my parents. I know what I told them broke their hearts and brought disappointment, I am sure of it. I had lied and deceived them, and broke their trust. But they loved me just the same and commended me for being so transparent and honest. To this day I am grateful for their unconditional love, trust, friendship and support.
I shared this with you all in hopes that you won’t let anger keep you from blessings. I never would have gotten my re-deal if I didn’t let my wall of anger fall. I would have died before the age 21 and it wouldn’t have been God’s doing, it would have been my own. God did have a plan for me and he executed it perfectly…as he always does.
Not everyone believes in the same God or shares the same beliefs but I think we all can agree together that anger does nothing good for a person. If you are holding on to anger, I urge you to let go of it. Don’t let anger rob you of possible joys. Life is too short waste it on an non-productive emotion.