Despite the heartbreak of missing my second grade year-end swim party, I remained in good spirits and healed. As our small family spoke more about the details of the accident, it was evident that we all felt God’s movements that day. Leading up to (and following) the miracle, prayers rolled in from our pastor, church congregation and a family friend diagnosed with multiple sclerosis whose daughter was with me on the bike ride. I wouldn’t necessarily call it spooky, but I daresay God ensured we’d take note of that day. It was the day He entered my life and my walk with faith began.
Exactly one year later, I was baptized.
Perhaps you’ve noticed… Up to this point in my writing to help others with chronic illness, I’ve deliberately removed the majority of a faith component, premising that I’d be able to “touch” more people, believers or not. Others would often ask questions like, “how do you remain so positive?” Or, “how are you able to cope so well with rheumatoid arthritis?” I’d smile and say, “it simply takes focus. A little extra effort. I eat right most of the time, work out every day and write in my gratitude journal. I read inspirational messages and pay it forward as much as I can. I meditate and I find things to be thankful for. I have an amazing support network.”
All of those things are true. But I intentionally omitted the most significant compass, for fear I’d offend.
For so much of my adult life, and much to my parent’s dismay, admitting and following my faith wasn’t sexy or easy. My philosophy was to only reveal on a “need to know basis,” which was never. It simply wasn’t what the “cool kids” were doing. And for a young woman who so craved the approval of others, I simply didn’t have the strength to proclaim what I knew to be true in my heart. So I walked a tight-rope, balancing between my underlying faith and Lora’s special brew of live-your-life-on-your-own-terms serum.
You can imagine how that turned out.
The journey continues tomorrow.