Have you ever wondered how God can use hard situations in your life to do awesome things? I’ve been experiencing that in a few different situations recently, especially with the pain in my back.
I finally received and understood the diagnosis my doctor gave me this last week. I hadn’t written about it here yet, honestly, because it’s not really what I wanted to hear. After my second MRI on Wednesday, it was confirmed that I have an autoimmune disease that affects my bones and joints. (The picture here is of me getting ready for my MRI.) It’s not something that they can just treat for a little while and it will go away – this is something that will affect me for the rest of my life.
The basic symptoms are pain in random joints on my body (usually my back) and stiffness from when I wake up until usually 8:00 or so in the evening… Then I start to move around a lot easier. The normal logic for something like this is that, if you’re in pain, you should rest, which is what I did. If it hurts to move, you shouldn’t move, right? Well, because this is an autoimmune disorder and not just a tweak in my back, the more I move around, swim, and even exercise, the better I feel, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt to do those things.
God is still working!
God’s been using all of this, though. For most of this experience, God has given us a peace that He is moving and taking care of us. When we were in church on Saturday and Sunday, that was visible to everyone who talked with us. Lots of people in our church are praying for us, and we could see how they were even encouraged by how God is giving us peace through this.
That’s not to say that it hasn’t been an emotional experience. There have been days when I’ve asked the “Why, God???” questions and prayed those prayers similar to Job or David in the Psalms. This week in particular has been very taxing on us as a family. The treatment that they recommend costs about $1000 a month, which is basically an impossible sum for us, and that’s discouraging. Katya also has been having trouble with her thyroid and back, so we need to get her back to the doctor to run some tests and adjust her medicine.
Joy in the midst of (back) pain
We’re really trying not to let this thing slow us down. Katya and I still go on dates, have fun together with friends, and try to have people over every once in a while. I have my ups and downs with how well I’m feeling or how well I can walk, but it’s been generally better the past two weeks. This past weekend, we were even able to go to Kolomyya (a city about 3 hours away by train) and visit some friends. On the way back to L’viv, we were able to witness to a man that rode in our train compartment. The coolest thing was that my conversation with him started because he asked about why I have a crutch with me! God uses everything for good. If people get saved because we are going through this, it’s definitely worth it.
Pictures from our trip:
A lake that we walked around
The pain wasn’t that bad that day, but the cane/crutch did help!
Katya found a little lion statue and took a picture
Katya and I in front of the Painted Eggs Museum