Forever Changed by Illness

My life has been forever changed by illness. I was born with a cleft lip and palate and had many surgeries as a child. This made me a resilient and self-sufficient young woman.  God knew I would need a special journey to make my heart new.  He started renovating my heart in my late 20’s when I become sick with an autoimmune disease. My autoimmune disease causes systemic inflammation, arthritis, seizures, and the list goes on. I have had over 30 surgeries.

God has used suffering to strip away the damaged parts of my heart.  Living with a chronic illness is unpredictable and isolating. It has been an incredibly painful but I would not trade it.  My faith has been tested!  During trials I have more questions than answers. In seasons of good health, I can fall into the sin of thinking I am superwomen who doesn’t need God.

I am continually learning to say “Yes Lord.”  It is hardest in the midst of a trial.

God has never fallen short of keeping his promises.  He lifts me up when I feel hopeless. Gives me peace when I am worried. He pulls me down when I think I am superwoman.  Through every trial God gives me the strength to let him remodel a new area of my heart.

God asks one thing of me- “Anna say yes.”  When I say yes, he leads me and teaches me exactly what I need in that trial or season. I cannot tell you how many times I have been great a great hold of despair and he arrives saying, “Take my hand and say yes.” As promised, he blesses me with peace and joy.  He gives me the strength to persevere through all circumstances.

I love the journey God has given me, even if I am never healed of suffering.

It has given me a very small glimpse of the joy we will experience in heaven.  That joy encourages me to persevere to be more Christ-like. The Lord continues to teach me how to suffer and experience joy in community.  God is the Great Carpenter.  Who better to say yes to?  My heart is all yours Jesus! I will hold on. Carry me no matter how ugly or pretty it gets!  I long to trust you with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding.

Anna Thurmes

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Categories: Stories