As I sit here and look at my swollen body, think of my scarred kidneys, my shopping bag full of medication, my calendar filled with numerous doctor’s appointments, and my fragile emotional state, I can’t help but to ask God, “Why me?”  Why is this happening to me?  I have been healthy my whole life then in my prime, I am hit with a chronic disease that is still a mystery to the medical profession and is wreaking havoc on my body and my life.  I feel left out of the life I see others living, the life I thought I would have by now.   My social media timeline is filled with my friends and former classmates -all in their late twenties to early thirties -getting married, having kids, getting advanced degrees, taking their careers to the next level, getting pilots picked up, writing books and traveling.  While my life seems to be at a standstill, with every step I make forward, lupus always seems to pull me two steps back.  I feel like I am in a chronic Purgatory and my future looks grim, I can’t even begin to think of a normal future with husband and kids.  It so easy for me to feel defeated when I hear the doctors talk about me “never having normal kidney function” or often saying the words: cytoxan, dialysis, transplant, and infertility.  I am actually considering freezing my eggs.  I just sit back and ask myself how did my life get to this?  What is the purpose of this?  Life is hard, it has its challenges, but what do we do when it seems like life is giving us more than we can handle?  

For me the solution is looking beyond myself, and my current situation and finding comfort in prayer and meditation.  There is power in prayer.  I have seen the power of the ultimate physician when mortal doctors can only sit back in awe of His work.  I started to see this disease not as something to destroy me, but to help me rebuild others and myself. Whenever, I would start to feel horrible about myself, or what was going on in my life I would volunteer.  It always helped me to put my life into perspective, and see that things could be worse and that there are still a lot of good things that I could do in the midst of a bad situation.

That is what has been for me, a light that gives me hope in the midst of my darkness, a simple answer to my question, “Why me?” and the simple response is “ Why not me?” I am a storyteller by nature, a thespian by birth, and often time art imitates life, and God has given me a story to write that has taken me- from NY to DC, to Bosnia to Nigeria, Texas and so many places in between.  He has promised me a happy ending that I must believe in, despite what I see now, and a platform with the talent, to share with others and encourage them to do the same.  Why not me?  I have seen how much I have grown not only spiritually but also emotionally and mentally as a person.  I am using my outspokenness for a worthy cause, and have become a better advocate for myself when dealing with my own healthcare in the process.  My empathy and compassion for others has evolved, and I now consider the person instead of their situation.  I have completely changed my eating habits and outlook on health and life, and I am not sure that would have happened without this diagnosis.  I am more determined to go after and achieve my goals in life, because when faced with your own mortality, you realize that tomorrow is not promised to anyone.  So why am I procrastinating to do anything that I want or have been convicted to do. Why not me? Most importantly I have learned that no doctor has the last say over my life, God does, and when He says-

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. Jeremiah 29:11
Believe Him, be obedient and trust that things will turn out better than you ever could have imagined.  I write this to encourage you with whatever you are going through that this is just a season, but seasons do change.  I know that when you are going through the pain and agony the last thing you want to hear is, this too shall pass.  So I say embrace and accept where you are, cry if you want to cry, scream if you want to, question God.  I did all of it and a lot of cursing and tantrum throwing, but when the reality of my situation set in, I decided to choose hope, faith and God. And it is well with my soul.