I often struggle with the idea of why this happened to me when my sickness has no known explanation. When I ponder the whys and the hows, it creates anger and frustration rather than anything constructive or useful. I have accepted that this is no one's doing and I'm now finding purpose in who I have become. This transformation continues to challenge my faith in ways I'm still trying to understand.
It is a common belief that if you are faithful to God that you will be blessed with good things and no harm will come to you. However, the Old Testament is a book largely about people who prove their faith despite suffering.
Psalm 73 v26-28: "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my potion forever,...I have made the Lord God my refuge."
Most of the Disciples lived hard lives with pain and suffering. The Apostle Paul, one of the most faithful to Christ was arrested, brutally beaten, prosecuted, and put to death by the Romans. If those closest to Jesus suffered, what excludes me from my suffering? The bible does not teach that those faithful to God will live a life of bliss. Instead it teaches that persistent faith in the face of suffering will comfort, provide hope and strength.
It is another common belief that everything happens for a reason. This idea was hard for me to grasp because I was comforted in the fact that God wrote this into my life and must have a plan for me. However, as Adam Hamilton examines in the book "Why", this would mean that God willed it, and actually caused it to happen. He uses examples of 21,000 people dying of hunger each day, women being raped and babies being taken away from their parents. I don't believe it was God's will for these things to happen. However, in a world where tragedy and suffering occur, God creates purpose in these situations. Through our hardships we develop character, compassion and a deeper understanding for the world we live in. "... all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28)
Throughout my journey I have come to realize a deeper understanding of myself, the world we live in, and my relationship with God. God resides in the compassion of a friend, the tenderness of a caregiver and the generosity of a community. Though my body may appear weak, this is the strongest I have ever felt.
"For when I am weak, I am strong" (2 Corinthians 12:10)