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Saturday, August 13, 2016

"…Only God Knows the Prognosis”

I was unexpectedly hit with a debilitating, progressive and (currently) incurable illness, Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis in 2012 at the age of 48 years old. For someone like me who was extremely independent, never been sick before, near the top-of-my-game professionally, spiritually-comfortable and called myself a "health fanatic," I was totally blind-sided, in disbelief and devastated.

I kept the diagnosis very private for almost a year. I only confided in my very immediate family and a few trusted friends, who I put under a "gag order." I could not utter the words "MS" without breaking-down in tears. I needed time to "wrap my mind around it."

After listening to my lengthy, emotional, fake-confident rant about it, my wise minister and dear friend, Bro. David Jones, Jr. calmly replied, "Janette? You are grieving." 

I paused...and asked what this meant.

He explained, "You are grieving the DEATH of life as you knew it. You are experiencing the Stages of Grief, which are: Denial; Anger; Bargaining (with God); Depression; and Acceptance. You are learning to adapt to a "New Normal." 

This was a profound revelation to me!

I realized that I was allowing it to "consume" me and overwhelm my life. MS is just something I manage, it's not who I am.

This rocky, uncertain "Health Journey" I am on continues to affect me more spiritually, emotionally and mentally, much more than physically.

One day, while driving to worship, this quote came to me so strongly that I had to pull over to write it down. It has become my primary life theme that I repeat to myself every day. 

I pray it encourages you as it does me...