One might think with all the detoxing, eating so well and anti-bacterial treatments, my pain levels would be great. Unfortunately, I can’t yet proclaim I’ve been healed from Lyme disease or my co-infections. But I can attest to gaining patience and obedience when it comes to waiting for healing. You might ask How do you gain patience when every cell in your body feels like it’s under constant attack? There are several things that have helped me get through the last few months.
- Books – My good friend Tim at Life Fitness Academy recommended a book called Suffering and Sovereignty of God. To my great surprise, my wife already read the book this year so we had a copy in our library. It took me a while to start it but once I did every time I had to stop I couldn’t wait until the next time I could continue reading. The authors discuss their own sufferings and I can relate to their questions and what they went through. There are so many Scripture references that it made me seek out those passages, read them, and think about them. When I read about Joseph’s suffering in the Old Testament or Paul’s suffering in the New Testament and realize suffering has been around for such a long time, or that God can allow suffering for a greater glory we don’t understand, my short life comes into perspective and it helps me be patient.
- Family – Often I overlook this one, but I gain so much patience by just watching those around me. My mom has taught me patience without ever saying anything. When she was only a few years old she unexpectedly caught the polio virus, leaving her with partial paralysis and the use of only one leg for the rest of her life. Growing up with a mom who always walked with crutches and never complained once to her children is not only astonishing, but it helps me see that if she can get through it, I can have more patience for my suffering. Even if I suffer the rest of my life, I still had 30 years more mobility than she ever had. To this day, my mother has more energy and spirit than any other woman I know at her age. Who would think someone with a lifelong disability could always be on the move? She’s an avid shopper and I often joke with my brother or sister about how mom can out-walk us all. It’s humbling to think that she raised 3 kids, went back to school, and took on a new career later in life while patiently realizing she could not physically do what most moms do.
- Knowledge – If this disease has taught me anything, it’s that there is hope. Perhaps not for a cure in the short-term, but hope that my Lyme and co-infections will go into remission. Hope that others with Lyme can experience relief. Hope that others with similar auto-immune diseases can feel like they are making progress toward healing. Reading so many studies and articles, and listening to doctors and specialists has shown me that there are a lot of conflicting reports out there. It can be frustrating sorting through what is right, what is wrong, and what we just don’t know. However, every time I read an article or listen to a speaker talking about how they have seen progress with a patient or have experienced relief themselves, I gain a little more hope. Along with that hope I gain a little more perseverance. And with that perseverance I acquire a little more patience.
Lately I’ve realized how much our society trains us for the quick fix. “Take these pills and come back in a month”. Who doesn’t want the most immediate path to feeling better? I’ve fallen right into the trap of impatience and doubt when it comes to healing. Maybe that statement should be, “Eat like this for a couple years, give your body the time it needs to heal, and don’t worry about ever having to come back”. That’s the kind of healing I want. One of the hardest things to deal with when going the natural route is the patience and discipline it takes to get through to the end and not settling for the quick fix. If taking that route, whether it’s 1 year or 10, gives my immune system a chance to get back on track, I’m opting to be patient for a little while longer.