Hi friends. Two years ago I was introduced to a book titled “Choose Joy” by Sara Frankl. Sara suffered from a disease that later left her homebound as I am now. I both read and listen to her story over and over with tears streaming down my face because literally every word she writes I can relate to. Even though she is with Jesus now and we never had the opportunity to meet, I feel we are soul sisters and kindred spirits. For those friends of mine who want to know exactly what I’m dealing with when I’m too sick to explain, this beautiful book will give you the perfect explanation. Sara’s words are like pages from my own personal journey.
If I’m being honest, the past few days for me has been brutal. Severe pain, nausea, and migraines abound. However, the Lord gives me nuggets of encouragement through His Word and from Sara’s book. I’m so thankful the Lord sent this story my way. He knew my heart needed it. I’ve been feeling like my brain is in a fog from my sickness and medication so instead of trying to write what I feel I decided to share a bit of what I’m dealing with through an excerpt from Sara’s book. While this might not be proper blog etiquette in sharing a chapter from a book, I feel it’s okay just this once and I’m sure Sara would not mind. However, I urge you to go buy her book. You will be so inspired by her journey.
The words below are from Choose Joy by Sara Frankl. Buy your copy here.
“If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.”
Yep, I’m quoting Dolly Parton. I love that quote so much you’ll probably hear me say it more than once, because that little sentence pretty much sums up my day-to-day life. In my body there is a constant rainstorm raging—a storm of debilitating disease, At thirty-five years of age I have found myself homebound and having to give up every freedom and ability I used to treasure and enjoy. I can count on my hands the number of times I stepped foot outside of my house in the past year, and all but one of those times were for doctor appointments. There isn’t one function that my body can perform without medication and my ability to do
something as simple as type this post changes on a dime. I have no career, no husband and kids, no financial security, and no potential to change any of those things. And I’ve never been more at peace in my entire life. I’ve discovered that when everything is taken away, when nothing is left but the core of who you are, that’s when you have to make a choice. I can either hide inside and let the fear of getting struck by lightning paralyze me, or I can stand out in the rain to be washed free of everything but the comfort of a God Who would never let me fall. I choose every day to be washed free.
It’s not easy, but it is simple. I put up with so much rain every day, but the rainbows
I am given are fantastic. I have food, shelter, clothing. I have friends who love me, not despite all of my limitations, but with them. I write every day on my blog—and people show up! This blog has been a connection to the outside world that I didn’t realize was missing until it fell into my lap. I have an obnoxiously cute, spoiled, and ornery pup who keeps me company 24/7 and brings joy to my otherwise quiet days.
I am so blessed, people. But the reason I am happy is that I choose to look at my blessings more than my burdens. The burdens are persistent; the pain is relentless. I walk with crutches and it takes me longer to get up out of a chair than it takes my friends to get up and walk the length of my condo and back. But I know that if God didn’t have a purpose for my illness He would have taken it away from me by now. So I take it humbly and pray that if He has a purpose for me, I am paying attention so I don’t miss the opportunity to serve.
I’m okay with not knowing why this is happening to me because I know He knows why. It’s not about me; it’s about what He can do with me. My job is simply to pay attention and enjoy the rainbows.