I haven’t posted in a while because I’ve been feeling pretty low. Most of the time it’s pretty easy to forget I have Crohn’s. In fact, many of my friends didn’t even know. That’s because I haven’t had a serious bout with it for twenty-one years. But this summer it’s given me some trouble, and I ended up undergoing surgery this week.
This whole episode has gotten me remembering last time I dealt with this. Last time I was eighteen. Last time I was deathly ill. Last time surgery came only after five years of struggling with pain, malnourishment, diarrhea and “accidents” at school, bouts of depression, classmates who (usually unwittingly) made hurtful comments, missed school, missed social events, even missed high school graduation. Last time there were a lot of tears, a lot of questions, a lot of anger, and a few fears.
But last time I also had a section of scripture that came to mean an awful lot to me. It’s Psalm 116:1-9: “I love the LORD, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live. The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came upon me; I was overcome by trouble and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the LORD: ‘O LORD, save me!’ The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. The LORD protects the simplehearted; when I was in great need, he saved me. Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you. For you, O LORD, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before the LORD in the land of the living.”
I’ve done a lot of rereading of those verses lately. God was faithful when I was eighteen. He brought complete healing so my college years were nothing like my high school years. But this last round of Crohn’s got me thinking how faithful he’s been in the twenty-one years since. I’ve gotten married, had three children and, apart from a few years of arthritis (another Crohn’s goodie), enjoyed almost perfect health. As the doctors have been telling me all week, twenty-one years with no bowel trouble is unheard of!
Of course there have been other blessings; those are just the biggies. But the last two decades haven’t been struggle free, either. I’ve dealt with some things I’d never want to travel through again. But looking back, through the good and the bad, God’s been faithful. He’s the bedrock I’ve stood on, I’ve cried on, I’ve danced on. And even as Iran seeks nuclear weapons, as socialism creeps over America, as scientists scream climate disaster, that bedrock isn’t cracking. It’s as solid as ever, and the promises He made are still true.
Twenty-one years ago, Crohn’s was the vehicle God used to first make me aware of his faithfulness, to demonstrate it in a way I couldn’t miss. Sounds ironic, doesn’t it? But it’s true. And this go-round I’ve been wondering if God meant this as reminder, a look back, a refocusing on Him, because that’s definitely what it’s done. Physically, it’s been a walk in the park compared to last time, though my responsibilities are much greater. This challenge hasn’t been more than I can handle, my husband’s been a peach, I have a wealth of friends pitching in, and I’m already on my way back to full health.
God sure is faithful, isn’t he?