The finished painting.
We finished up our "Canvas" series last week at Epic. I must start out by saying WOW! This series really moved something deep inside of me. Last week we talked about God's Glory. This meant so much to me. Most people live thinking about what if. What if I got sick? What if I lost my house? What if, what if, what if. However I...I live in the what if. I am sick. I have a genetic lung disease. To make it even crazier I just learned recently what my genotype was. A genotype is the type of gene I have that actually created Cystic Fibrosis in my body. My genotype is rare. To even get deeper into my genotype.....I learned that there is ONE mutation in my genotype that causes my Cystic Fibrosis. Most people have hundreds of mutations.....therefore causing it harder to find a cure for those types of genes. However mine only has one. This was exciting news, yet at the same time, it really made me reflect. There is one tiny little mutation that kept me from being normal....from being well.....from being like everyone else. Yet God saw fit for that one mutation to exist. This news was very bittersweet to me, as I am sure you can tell. So close to have having a life completely free of disease. That was not God's plan though. That was not what was painted into my canvas. Instead I have red paint in the middle of my canvas. Sometimes it makes me stand out among others, sometimes it makes life a little different from those around me, but all in all it is mine, my canvas, my life, and it is precious to me. Several years ago I learned to start giving God glory...and not just when things were going well. It makes me think of the song by Casting Crowns, "I Will Praise You in this Storm". That sums up my life. When I can no longer breathe on my own, when I no longer can depend on my body to carry me any further, that is when I will stretch my hands to the sky and praise God like I never have. My suffering brings me closer to God. It is through my disease that I have come to have a relationship with God like no other relationship I have with anyone else in my life. It is through this I have come to know a love so powerful that even time cannot touch it...for it is an eternity of love. My body is broken. It will let me down. That I am sure of. Each one of us will encounter death at some point. Our bodies are not meant to carry us all the way. However my body may be broken, my spirit is not. God gave me the spirit of a fighter. That is where His glory is.....in the fight. I have such a strong will to live, to move forward, it would take an army to stop me. God is always there, pushing me forward, moving my feet when I am tired, breathing air into my lungs when I can't, and holding my head up so I don't miss a single second of this incredible journey. It sounds so amusing to think of it. I stand 5'1 and on a good day weigh 120 pounds and I have the face of a child. Yet I truly consider myself a warrior. Life is not bad. I am actually very blessed, and seem to find myself sick less and less. Yet through health, sickness, and everything else I give God all the glory. If not for Him and His immense love for me and for all of us , I would not make it out of bed every morning, I would not be able to take care of Peyton, I would not even be able to set here three months out of the hospital typing this blog to you. He is the reason I breathe. I understand I don't always get to be well. I have to be sick sometimes. That is part of my canvas, my story, my life. Yet I trust His will and His way. Who knows me better than my Creator??? Who knows more about what I need and don't need?? I pray daily that He breaks me down and uses me so that I can serve Him. My life has to have holes in it for His light to shine through. Being sick is never easy for me. It is never something I will get use to. However knowing that even one person could see God and His true glory just by hearing my story or seeing my life makes every single second of it worth it. Every hospital stay, every blood draw at 2 am, every time I ever cough up blood...it is all worth it. He takes every negative in my life and turns it into something positive. How amazing is that?? I am not a preacher or a saint. I am just a woman with a divine love for my Creator. I am blessed that He opens my mind daily and feeds me more understanding each step of the way. It makes me have to stop and say through all the disease and suffering, life is truly beautiful.