In the months between my second hospitalization for Migraine in February 2006 and my wedding in July 2006, I changed email providers and had to choose a new email prefix. Big decision, I know. ;) It used to be "HopeinGod". But that prefix was already taken with my new email provider and I had to choose something different.
I probably should have been putting my energy into planning the wedding, but stopping and thinking about my new email "prefix" became important. I thought about who I was at that moment and what I most wanted. I wanted to fly. I wanted to soar. Flying meant freedom. Freedom from anything that was holding me back. Freedom from pain and nausea and dizziness and side effects of medication. Freedom from anxiety and panic attacks. Freedom from disappointment. Freedom from failure. Freedom to go, to do, to be. No limitations. No boundaries.
The daily unrelenting pain that had begun in October 2005 was still fresh and new to me. I had never known pain like this before. Instead of going about my life with enjoyment, I was in a whole new world of figuring out how just to make it through the day. I had a new set of limitations. I was not working and although somehow the wedding planning was getting done, I could not imagine being able to walk down the aisle to marry the nerd :) of my dreams. My fight was day to day, moment to moment to keep getting through the symptoms that go along with Migraine and to keep holding on to the hope that tomorrow would be a better day.
What got me through the hospitalizations? What gets me through all of the long hours and minutes and days of excruciating pain, and through facing situations that I am not strong enough to endure? What gives me motivation? What gives me encouragement? What tells me that when it looks like all is lost, it really isn't? What gets me through suffering when it is down to me alone without a computer, without my husband, without my friends or family or forum buddies? What gets me through when it is me versus the darkness?
My faith. It is a faith that I have questioned. It is a faith that I have struggled through. It is a faith that has challenged me. It is a faith that I have almost given up on. It has been a faith that has brought me to my knees in tears and to hoarseness in anger. It is a faith that I sometimes do not understand. It is a faith I have wrestled with.
My faith in God, in Jesus, tells me there is hope. I have sat alone on the floor of my kitchen screaming through tears at God. Where are You? Why have You left me like this? Why don't You heal me? Why do You let me suffer?
According to Hebrews 11:1 in the bible, "Faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you cannot see." It is a definition of faith that pushes the boundaries of how I understand God and His connection to my suffering.
Hope. At times I have questioned that too. At times, with a worn down body and a worn out spirit, I have yelled at my husband, "THERE IS NO HOPE! WHY DO WE KEEP TRYING?! I AM DONE." At times, in my despair, all I can see of my life is that I am nothing. I lay in my bed. I am totally dependent. Not contributing. Stagnant. No purpose but to endure. Daily pain. Suffering.
"There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off." Psalm 23:18
My well of hope for myself has often run dry and I have had to dip into the hope of others: the hope of my husband, my family, my friends, and my forum family. I have been sustained by their hope for me when I had none left.
Fly with hope. This is the email "prefix" I chose. I am still figuring out what it means for me. I am not free from my suffering when I have hope, but it definitely gives me a sense of freedom from the despair that suffering can bring. Hope keeps me going and gets me through.
"Those who put their hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on the wings of eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:31