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Stolen Identity

Like I said originally, when all of this started I was leading a very busy and active life. Gradually though, I was not able to do all the things I had been doing before.

Believe it or not, one of the first things to go was my ability to sit and read. I had such bad headaches all of the time that to sit and read a book was impossible. I would wake up in the morning and open my Bible and cry because all of the words just blended together and hurt my head so bad. My housemate, Natalie, started leaving one piece of paper on the table for me each night with a verse on it. I would find it in the morning and meditate on that verse. For a while all of the papers laid out on my bedroom floor so that I would see them every day (they almost covered the whole floor) but now they are in a scrapbook.

Obviously, with the ability to read gone, school was out of the question. I called my school and put a hold on my studies. That was really hard because I had these grand plans of where I wanted to be by the end of the year and I saw them dashed to pieces.

There came the day when I could no longer work out or run. I love running. I never realized how much of a stress release it was for me until I couldn’t do it anymore. Call me crazy, but there were days when I literally sat and cried because I couldn’t go out for a run.

Although my license hasn’t actually been taken from me, Ohio law says that you have to be seizure free for six months before you can drive so I was not and I am still not able to drive and had to either walk to work or rely on others for rides (which, by the way, is very humbling.)

There were days when I felt like my job was being taken from me. When I wasn’t able to do it as well as before or I had to leave early because I felt so bad. Days when my boss sent me home to rest because I looked like death warmed over and he was concerned. Everyone was so gracious to me but I WANTED to be there and I WANTED to do my job well!

And I felt empty. Like everything I loved to do in life was taken from me and I didn’t know who I was anymore. And that’s when I realized it. That’s when I realized that instead of my identity being in who I was in Christ and what he has done, it was in all the things I did everyday. It was SO hard to admit that to myself because I desperately wanted my identity to be in Christ! And I cried my eyes out because I realized that I had been putting other things before Christ. But once I found the truth, once everything was taken away from me and Christ was the only thing I had left, it was easy for me to see what I had been doing with my life.

And, you know what? It was freeing. It was freeing to realize that all I had to do was turn to Christ and I could rest assured that forgiveness was already there for me. That his grace was ready and waiting for me and I could take refuge there. And there were days when I felt helpless and empty and didn’t even know what words to pray anymore, but he brought me through it and became the strong tower and refuge that he is described as in the Bible.

Psalm 61:1-3

“Hear my cry, O God,
listen to my prayer;
from the end of the earth I call to you
when my heart is faint.
Lead me to the rock
that is higher than I,
for you have been my refuge,
a strong tower against the enemy.”

(You are currently reading a post in a series called The2016Story. If you have jumped in in the middle and would like to start at the beginning, click HERE.)

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2017 in The2016Story

 

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Living the Good Life

I know this series is called The2016Story, but for it really to be impactful, we need to go back a little bit further than that.

From about summer of 2015 to April of 2016, my life was awesome. I seriously loved it. I was finally getting to know people at church and getting involved there with the young adult group. I loved my job, the people I worked with, and the ministry we have. And, I was in the best shape of my life. I woke up early every single morning and worked out. I convinced several friends to join me most days and we had a blast doing it! I did tons of running (which I love) and ran my fastest times and farthest distances ever.

Life was busy with friends, work, and church. We (my housemates and I) had friends over to our house most nights for games, a movie, or just to sit around and talk.

With all of this going on, in September of 2015, I decided I wanted to finish my degree online and I started classes. I woke up every morning at 4:30am so that I could study, do devos, and exercise before work in the morning. There was no way I wanted to give up time with friends so I went to bed a little earlier but still around 10:30pm. Six hours of sleep is fine, I told myself. And I did it every day, no exceptions. Everyone told me I was insane.

Do you know what? I liked it! I actually like to get up early and I like to be busy. I finished a year of college in 4 months and I was thrilled! I didn’t feel worn out or stretched thin. 

How was my relationship with the Lord, you ask? Well, you know, it was…good? Whatever that means. Kind of bland, but who cares? I was so busy and had such a strict schedule that I knew it would get better. I just needed a little more time in the day. I just needed to push a little harder. Maybe get up a little earlier so that I would have more time.

Pretty much I felt invincible.

 
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Posted by on January 7, 2017 in The2016Story

 

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