This is a season where I have felt put through the wringer. One that has been filled with a lot of questions and doubts and lies rising to the surface as a I navigate my autoimmune disease. I’m at a low point in the journey right now. A place where it is hard to sense hope. A place of rumbling. Of not being able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It is hard and exhausting and most days my body isn’t cooperating in the way that I want it to, but I’m realizing that there is something necessary about the rumble. About the times in between jumping into the next stage of the journey and seeing the place to where it leads. There is a purpose to the not knowing. To the darkness. It feels like a whole bunch of stretching and growing and walking through fire. A lot of wrestling and resisting at times on my end. But the rumble is a necessary part of the process.
In many ways, I have felt like I’m at wits end lately. To those that don’t know the complexity of chronic illness and walking through anxiety and depression, I can’t don’t know how to accurately describe what it is like to be a complete captive to your body. To be unable to do even everyday sort of things but yearning to in the deepest way but your body just gets in the way. It is hard not to feel defeated a lot of the time. It is hard to not feel like chronic illness has won. Here I am at a time of my life when I should be living it to the fullest as I embrace the last couple years (ahem, year and a half…) of my twenties, but dealing with my health right now feels like a full time job.
And there have been so many times when I have just sat down yelling out to God that it isn’t fair. That it isn’t fair that so much of my life feels like it is being robbed from me right now as I take charge of my health but really feel like my autoimmune disease has taken charge of me. I’m grieving for experiences that will never be mine again–the ease of just going out to restaurant. A massive part of social interaction that is just gone. My quality of life is being taken from me right now and I hate it. I hate it and yet I feel like in some ways this is the story that has always been mine and I’m just weary of it. From the very beginning–robbed of the things that I want the most. A mom that was taken from me in the most gruesome of ways along with the sweet babe she was carrying which led to a life growing up as the only child. My youth robbed of experiences that shouldn’t have happened as different dysfunctions played out and I just had to grow up quickly. Walking through a massive healing journey in my early twenties and then having my autoimmune journey backpack right off of that. It’s just been so, so much.
And I’m tired.
And it’s not fair.
Not in anyway.
So much life feeling like it is being taken from me after so much life that has already been taken, and I’m crying out to God and wanting to know why? Why is life so unfair? Especially now, after everything else I have already had to walk through?
And He answered me. As I cried out and told Him all of the things that have happened to me that have felt so unfair–in the stillness after my anger had cooled I heard His quiet voice inside my spirit saying, “Kelly, my death wasn’t fair.”
With that truth, the darkness got just a little bit lighter. Because it wasn’t fair. It wasn’t fair in anyway that the Sinless One was beaten and bruised and battered and hung on a cross–the most humiliating of deaths, with the weight of the sins of the world upon His shoulders. My sins. All the fallenness of our lives. He came and preached freedom and salvation and instead we killed Him. And thank God, thank God, that death could not hold Him and the grave could not contain Him. That day when the whole earth turned dark in mourning as the Son of God poured out His life and nothing about it was fair.
But neither was His willingness to go through with it to begin with. Neither was His walking right toward the one who had betrayed Him and giving Himself over to their hands. Even after humanity made a mockery of His love in the garden, He still decided to make a way. This great love that carried the weight of the world so that I never have to. A reminder that as dark as my circumstances seem to me at times, I have no idea what utter darkness really is. That as heavy as my trials are, there is One who has born every single one. His hands outstretched on a cross but still beckoning all to come. To come to Him and be saved from it all. A love that is so unfair in its enormity but that He offers to each and every one of us.
Life is hard and it isn’t fair. Living in a fallen world is exhausting and heartbreaking and so entirely overwhelming. And sometimes things happen simply because the world is fallen and there is no rhyme or reason to it but it doesn’t mean that He still cannot make it good. It doesn’t mean that He still isn’t standing there in the storm with us.
Yes, life is unfair, but so was His death. His death that conquered all and has offered us a freedom that at times we cannot taste but it is still very much there. A love that is all consuming and life-changing. He has made Himself present in our very trials. Every tear we cry–He cries them with us. Every sleepless night–He is awake beside us. Every time we are betrayed–He is betrayed, too. And sometimes the good in the ruins is merely His presence there with us, but my goodness, He is there with us.
No, life isn’t fair. But neither is He. Neither is His love. And thank God for that.
This season. It’s the necessary rumble. The place where I am not meant to see the light at the end of the tunnel but still trust that it is there. It is the place where faith is shaken so that more faith can be made. There is nothing that is within my control. Nothing that I can cling to. No little ray of light. So I will cling to Him. Because the darkness is as light to Him. And He is here speaking His love over me. Cultivating a beauty deep within here in the dark soil of my heart that will one day push up from beneath the ground at just the right time and beautiful fruit will be born and a testimony will be made. And it will all be worth it.
And with that, I am learning to thank Him for my story even when I want to hate it. Because He is here. And He is good.