When I was a child, my favorite "holiday" was Easter. While most children said Christmas or their birthday, my thought was that Easter was the best thing ever! I loved the thought that someone could die and come back to life 3 days later. I wondered if people that I loved close in life could come back after three days like Jesus did. My thoughts were that Christmas celebrates Christ's birth, but Easter - celebrated his life, death and his rebirth. Three things in one - Why wouldn't it be my favorite "holiday?" As an adult, I realize that my thoughts were oversimplified, but I'm still child-like in that thought. We get to celebrate his life, his death and know that after three days - Christ Has Risen!
How does this relate to my Lyme story? Well - over the course of the last 18 years, there have not been many times where I have asked the question, "Why me?" Let me repeat that last part. There have NOT been many times where I have asked the question, "Why me?" I would say a handful at the most have I asked, "Why me?" When I do - the answer is simple - Why NOT me? I've always said that if my journey could change or affect one person - then it was worth every bit of my struggle.
I finally received my diagnosis a little over six years ago. I've had my highs and I've had my lows. Sometimes those days come on the same day. I have made some courageous friends over the course of the past six years. Some I already knew and some I would come to know. Some of those friends only lasted a short season while others have lasted through the entire journey. One thing has remained the same through my entire journey. My faith in God. I have no doubt that if it was His will then I would be cured, but He's not done with me yet. He has plans for me.
Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Many years ago (17 years and 7 months to be exact), He gave me Lyme Disease. He altered the course of my future, but my future was already planned. He knew that this would be my world. He also knew that I would not see the long term picture unless I had this thing long term. Now I know some people won't agree with me and some will outright argue with me that God didn't give me this, but you know - I believe different. I believe that each of us have a path that God plans out (even before we are conceived). Controversial I know, but this is my belief.
Over the course of the last 18 years I have been the rock to my friends with Lyme Disease. I have helped countless people and I have stood strong when others would have crumbled. I have over 30 Lyme friend's phone numbers in my cell phone. Some of my Lyme friends are the best friends someone could ask for. I'm not sure that they would have been placed in my path if I had not contracted this illness. My Lyme advocacy efforts are high because of my degree in Social Work. Why did I choose Social Work as a major? When I was in the hospital the first time, the kindest person I met was the Social Worker through the duration of my stay. I felt a kinship with her and that lead me to my major. Those four years taking counseling, advocacy and Social Work classes helped shape me to be the person I am today.
Plans for me were made before I was born - I believe in the hope and a future that God has planned for me.
Why me? The answer is simple. I am capable of doing the advocacy and awareness work that needs to be provided for the state of North Carolina. I am capable of discovering the people I need to surround myself in order to create the big picture. God has a plan for me. And I thank God that Christ has Risen!