life with multiple sclerosis

five years ago tonight,
i sat at my floral-tablecloth-covered kitchen table.

my father-in-law was at my sink doing dishes.
I told him I should really get up and help.
he told me to keep sitting.

i kept sitting.
the MRI paperwork in front of me stared back,
haunting me with its results.  

the world seemed to go on around me as I watched.
shock.  I think it's called shock.


{five years and two days ago}

i stood in my 5-year-old's room, finding clothes for him to wear to church.
dear friends were picking the kids up;
my leg wasn't working well enough to attend.

I hobbled around downstairs with a make-shift cane,
wondering what in the world was happening.

friends came.
they prayed with me in our entryway.

although we didn't know what was wrong,
I think our hearts sensed the severity.


{five years ago this afternoon}

i sat in the doctor's office,
a dear doctor I had come to know and love through various pregnancy difficulties.

I fully expected to hear about some minor blood clotting issue.

she came in the room.
she skipped any of the usual pleasantries.

your MRI report came back,
she began.

and then it would be the first time we would hear the words we never expected to hear.

multiple sclerosis.

for months after  those words
I would jolt in the middle of the night,
instantly awake.

my first thought would be 
it was just a dream.

and then I would realize it wasn't a dream.
the weakness and tingling were an all-too-vivid reminder of reality.

and yet,
the deeper the pain,
the deeper our reality of faith becomes.

the beloved apostle paul said to the church in philippi that what had happened to him - imprisonment! - had really only served to advance the gospel.

and my heart beats a similiar prayer.  
Whatever happens to me, may it only serve to advance the gospel.

five years from now,
whatever happens to me....
more symptoms or not....
if I can use my left hand or not...
if vision gets worse or not....
if spascity gets worse or not....

{may it only serve to advance the gospel}.

I am humbled to bear such a disease. 
may I walk worthy of this disease called multiple sclerosis,
walk worthy of the calling to which He has called.

whatever happens to me,
may it only serve to advance the gospel.


 when I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, 
one of my worst anxieties revolved around the possibility of losing the ability to walk.

now, i realize that would only be a blip;
 a blip in this life that is only as a vapor of air.

for even if I don't walk in this life,

i look forward to running on streets of gold someday.
streets of gold, with my Savior, with a resurrected and glorified body.

and oh, hallelujah what a day that will be.

multiple sclerosis are no longer scary words to me.
the Lord is the author and creator of life;
he is Surely the Sustainer of life, too. 

 the Lord gives, and the Lord takes away, 
Blessed be the name of the Lord.


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