A Lesson in Walking By Faith

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CM June picFor more than 12 years, I have been suffering from Hypothyroidism, which means I have an under-active Thyroid gland. It is not uncommon, but it has been tricky to find just the right medication and dosage to regulate it. Low iron and adrenal fatigue have not helped my situation.

This January, I learned that my health took another turn for the worse, and my Hypothyroidism turned into an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s. The more I researched, the more I realized that my journey back to health was going to be a long one.

And this made me lose heart.

My health became a preoccupation, and I became anxious and discouraged. Will this keep getting worse? What can I do to get better? How can I focus on my health without it taking over my life?

I ended up on a roller coaster of emotions. I took my medication and supplements like clockwork. I followed my eating and exercise plan to a T. But then I’d swing the other way. Since I wanted a quick solution and was not looking at my health as a long-term goal, I grew discouraged after only a few weeks. I became overwhelmed by all that I was trying to do for my health, on top of my normal mom duties and household tasks. I regarded myself as unsuccessful, and negative thoughts prevented me from persevering in my quest for true holistic health.

I cried out to God, “How can I be a good mom to these six children when I am battling fatigue, weight gain and brain fog? Why are You allowing this? What is Your plan in this? It seems so unfair to my kids, Lord.”

“We do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed every day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, because we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen that are not passing, but eternal.” —2 Corinthians 4:16-18

God responded with this verse from second Corinthians. He started with the command, “Do not lose heart.” And he continued, “Yes, this is an affliction, Sarah. It is hard and burdensome. But it is a slight moment in My eternal perspective.”

As I conversed with God, I discovered that Hashimoto’s is my current cross. How I handle it will result in something that I cannot see right now.

God also led me to realize that I was looking at “the things that are seen.” My low energy, my weight struggle, my foggy brain, my feelings of failure, my thoughts of not being the mom my kids deserve.

But God invited me to focus on “the things that are unseen that are … eternal.” It was a lesson in perseverance, constancy, trust and dependence on God. It was an opportunity to be more charitable and patient with myself.

More than anything, God was encouraging me to not lose heart over this. He reminded me of His message in John 16:33. “In the world you will face tribulation, but be of good cheer; I have conquered the world” (John 16:33).

My conversation with God led me to share my feelings of discouragement, failure and doubt with a dear priest. And his response confirmed what I was hearing in prayer to be true. He reminded me that our faith is deeper than our feelings and stronger than our circumstances. Our faith tells us that when we look up at the sky and see nothing but gray clouds, the sun is still shining above those clouds.

I am still at the very early stages of my journey with Hashimoto’s, and I am far from perfect in how I am accepting my cross. But with each baby step, I am walking more by faith and not just by sight.

Copyright 2015 Sarah Damm.
Image copyright 2015 Sarah Damm. All rights reserved.

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About Author

Sarah Damm is a Catholic wife and mother of six children, living in Minnesota. She spends her days running errands, cooking meals and helping with homework. She and her husband Greg strive to weave the Catholic faith into their daily lives as well as into their family celebrations. Sarah blogs at sarahdamm.com. In addition to CatholicMom.com, she also is a contributor for WINE: Women in the New Evangelization.

6 Comments

  1. I totally get you, Sarah. I have the same thoughts all the time, and often wonder if I am meant to have a short life and what then of my youngest child? And grandchildren? But, ultimately, I have to give it up to God. And then I take it back and worry, and then I give it up to God again. We’re human. Don’t be hard on yourself.

    • Oh, Barbara! I totally understand giving it to God and taking it back again … I try not to beat myself up, but then I think, “Why do I STILL struggle with this? Haven’t I learned by now?” Let’s pray for each other! And our children!

  2. I totally know what you’re going through, I was diagnosed with Hashi’s 3 1/2 years ago and I am still struggling. I am however, way better than I was and I choose to be thankful for that instead of concentrating on the difficulties. I homeschool my 3 children and do all the other wife/mom duties and some days I can barely keep my eyes open due to my fatigue but I’m also trying to remember this is my cross and I should accept it with open arms. (Some days that’s easier said than done) I would like to let you know I will keep you in my prayers as you begin this journey, I truly believe it’s the prayers of my family that has gotten me this far! Also, if you need someone to bounce things off of, questions, complaints, tears or cheers, feel free to contact me. I by no means have all the answers but I have been at this a little while
    God Bless you, it sounds like you all have a positive outlook on keeping the faith and that’s a great start!

    Blessings,
    Tara

    • Tara, thank you so much for your kind and supportive comment! I truly appreciate your words of encouragement! Until this week, I didn’t know anyone else with Hashi’s. Now, I have “met” you and one other woman, and just knowing others going through the same thing makes it feel less lonely. I have hope that eventually I will find the right combination of medication, diet, etc. I just have to be faithful to persevering! Thank you for your prayers, and I will keep you in mine as well!

  3. Dear Sarah hang in there.I to have Hashimotos, have been on thyroid medication for hypothyroid since age 6. I guess in my early thirties it changed to Hashimotos. As my health ever evolved I developed fibromyalgia, followed by raynauds,sjogrens,celiac and NOW systemic lupus.Yes….I am a autoimmune nightmare.Meds have been hard since I am an allergic person as well.I am now late fifties just wait for menopause yee ha. BUT my advice pray pray.Go to mass as often as you can.Mary u doer of Knots ,the Divine Mercy,Enthroning my home to the Sacred Heart , Novena to Holy Spirit this keeps me going.Beside my bed is a photo from a book 8×10 of the face of Jesus from the Shroud of Turin.I promise you our Lord felt far worse that day then I ever did.We are not alone.Pace yourself,stay active!!! Water aerobics in a therapeutic heated pool will help.You might feel alone,but once you get out there it will be an epidemic.I take levoxyl and cytomel and we are subbing one day for synthroid.Its like chess you will learn the game and the moves.If you haven’t seen a Endocrinologist who specializes in Hashi it is well worth it, if nothing but second opinion, and review your treatment plan. Pax Christi!

  4. Mary McCarthy on

    Hi Sarah, thank you for being so transparent and for sharing your struggle. We have a responsibility to take care of our bodies (just as well as our souls!) and I pray that the Lord will direct you to the best way for you to do that, whether it be exercise, nutrition, lifestyle, etc. Also I serving the novena to Our Lady, undoer of knots, it really helped me last summer with a critical prayer intention!

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