For 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.