Photo by meriƧ tuna on Unsplash

Life can throw us off course sometimes. Plans, hopes, dreams, things that we have dedicated ourselves to can often suddenly change, and we are forced with new challenges.

Health issues, lifestyle changes, circumstances can make us feel like we have lost control, that we are missing out, or that we have failed in our pursuit.

Recently, I was re-diagnosed with an old nemesis, Hashimoto’s disease, having gone through this before, I knew all of the classic signs and symptoms, but had to have a blood panel to check for sure. Well, the results were indeed confirmed, but it was much worse than I could have even imagined, and it might take a while and a few dietary tweaks to get back to being myself again. I mostly eat healthy but am slowly going on a more Paleo-based diet, adding more protein, avoiding dairy, soy, and gluten.

I also researched support groups while hunting for recipes and found one that I thought would be ideal. To my dismay, all it really turned out to be was a group for complaining. I tend to look at that with disdain because I am someone who will pose a question, but I’m looking for education and answers, not sympathy. My first reaction was to immediately leave the group after reading the posts there, but instead of doing so, I asked myself how could I help educate people and offer solutions to seeing something differently, or maybe for lack of a better phrase, without the emotional attachment. These were angry women, who were responding out of pain, out of being emotionally and physically tired who learned to lean into that pain; they were choosing to gripe rather than find a solution. When we ask for help, do we really want help in a form of a crutch that allows us to continue in that action, or do we want to educate ourselves and find a solution that will benefit us in the long run?

I have found that it is that way with life too. Do we want to continue in ignorance and decide for ourselves that it is what it is and we have to live with it and complain every step of the way? Is it our goal to remain stubborn and try to do things as we have always done them because ultimately we know best, or do we choose to climb a little higher, not embrace fear, or remain in our bubble, but rather listen to guidance, implement changes that need to be made and pivot to change course?

Yes, our own spiritual health, maybe psychology plays into this. As a woman in the ministry, I learned the true meaning of Proverbs 3:5-6 where we are told not to lean into our own understanding.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.”

Often, when we do rely on our process, we have a tendency to really react out of fear, or truly not understanding the situation. We need to learn to take a step back. How can we respond in a more positive way? That moment of diagnosis was really rather an ah ha moment, because I remembered that I had been through this before, and I recalled the resilience that was gained, this time, I am much more prepared than my thirty year old self was. Wisdom does come from age, and true experience.

I choose to learn, to research solutions, to bend and live moving forward, not stepping into fear. I select healing, and am willing to make the changes necessary to be healthy again. I do not want to sit in darkness and complain. I want to choose this lesson and turn it into a blessing, and yes, use it to help others. I want to offer hope, tempered with empathy but not sympathy.

I’m not afraid. I’m confident I’ll beat this too, not with my own understanding, but through the experience and guidance of professionals. Don’t lean, or else you might fall, instead, reach for knowledge.