18 Months

When I returned to the Northern Rivers I told myself I wanted to be well enough to return to work within 12-18 months. It seemed impossible, but I’ve always been a goal setter.

When I returned to the Northern Rivers my life was falling apart. The chronic pain had rendered me useless. I thought my life was going to be the endless pain cycle and an unproductive life… Which I came to accept.

When I returned to the Northern Rivers I thought I had lost everything – my health, my job, my husband, my independence, my ability to process information effectively and the list could go on. I was broken, rejected and hopeless.

The last 18 months have been horrible. They’ve also been filled with healing, joy, peace and love.

By the grace of God I found my purpose and worth in being His child, not in my abilities and work. I found healing from 15 years of mental illness. By the grace of God I can now manage pain I’ve had for over 4 & ½ years and becoming healthier day by day. By the grace of God I know I am loved and valued despite my short comings (and there are plenty). I’ve been able to continue to minister to Children.

By the grace of God I’ll be moving to Brisbane to return to vocational ministry and moving in with one of my dearest friends (also known as my heterosexual life partner).

By the grace of God I lost everything that was important to me so I could be reminded of how blessed I am that the perfect Shepherd found and rescued me. I have a greater understanding of the New Creation and suffering. I’ve learnt to come before my creator, hopeless and able to rely on Him.

I am so grateful for my wonderful friends and family. I am thankful for the illnesses that taught me resilience and gave me a drive to persevere. I am thankful for the pain clinic that taught me how to manage my illnesses while gaining control back over my body.

I am grateful for the grace of God that allowed for healing since returning to the Northern Rivers, 18 months ago.

I’m grateful for YOU

So often I try to justify my discontentment, especially since my life since November last year has been horrible, probably the worst 8 months ever. I reached 3 and ½ years in chronic pain and reached my highest weight ever. I felt like I’d lost everything important to me. I’ve been unemployed, left some and I failed at study as I moved back home, mooching of my family and held the stereotype that has. I’m sad I’ve left my good friends behind in Sydney, I’ve been rejected and felt isolated. Reuniting with family in February and old friends has been the only constellation.

Nearly halfway through the year, I can now see that constellation was not a constellation at all. How ungrateful I’d been. I’ve realised the reality is that I am loved. But it’s real, true (and almost unconditional) love. My friends and family have continued to love me and persevere with me despite the inconvenience and trouble I can be. I realised I have more close friends than I can count. So many wonderful ladies who have been continually supportive, empathetic and non-judgemental. They’ve listened to me and given me wise advice. I’ve laughed and laughed and cried and then laughed some more. I’ve been able to have Skype dates, Facebook chats, coffee dates, dinner dates, chocolate feasts, movie marathons and phone conversations. Really. How blessed am I. When I’ve been in my darkest moments God has continued to provide light in the form of family and friends.

And how could I forget unconditional love from my wonderful creator and king? His never ending grace and kindness has never faulted.

I AM grateful. I MUST be grateful. Because in all the darkness, God has given me light. This light is not at the end of the tunnel, but throughout as my frends and family help me hold onto hope and grow as I eagerly await the New Creation. No more sickness, no more sadness, no more sin.