I started as a missionary in Mongolia, I am now a college student with severe chronic pain, and I will always be fighting the good fight of faith.
At age 22 while living in Mongolia I developed a severe chronic pain condition that effects every aspect of my life. Continuing this blog reminds me that life's challenges are stepping stones meant to lift us, not roadblocks meant to defeat us.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
I've realized several things these past few weeks.
1- My situation isn't changing, and might not for a long time. 2- That's depressing. 3- I can't keep life on hold or just wait for this illness to go away, 4- but I can't live life like I used to.
I mentioned a while ago that I was starting a new mission, separate from mongolia and full time missionary work. Before I left I was busy busy busy, working while going to school, volunteering for work experience, playing volleyball a decent amount, camping and hiking on the weekends. Then I started this blog as an energetic, totally excited sister missionary who had a crazy strong desire to serve the Lord and the Mongolian people. While getting ready to go I remember sprinting during every gym time and trying to get physically exhausted in order to handle sitting at a desk for the rest of the day studying. While in Mongolia I was lucky to have a companion who was williing to get up at 5:30 a.m. on preparation day so we could play soccer with the Elders. Then we would sometimes run to appointments so we could fit more lessons in a day. Some weeks we would stop by several homes on the way to church and pick up as many people as we could. We stood out enough in our skirts and everything, sprinting in the ger districts and trying to hold onto our bags I'm sure made people think we were crazy. ;) Sorry about the trip down memory lane, its just that I didn't realize until now how much we define ourselves by what we do. Our accomplishments, our hobbies, how we spend our time and what we love to do make up our identity and how we would like the world to see us. I love being known as an athlete, it embodies what I truly love to do. I really enjoy working with people who have developmental disabilities, I value their friendship and it is a very rewarding and fun job. I love hiking, camping, being outdoors, and taking pictures of beautiful places. This is who I am. But now......... the things I do are vastly different. In a way I have lost what I thought was my "identity". (at least temporarily, I don't think my illness is permanent but it is definitely choosing to hang around longer than I'd like). Its been a rough week pain wise, but besides that I was trying to understand why I was mourning so deeply and completely. I had lost some months of my mission and time in Mongolia, that was really sad, but I was lucky to have the time I did. I still have my wonderful family, and good supportive friends. I have knowledge about the plan of salvation and my Savior, so why was I so blue? Along with the things I've realized lately, I need to add that
5 - I am mourning for the loss of myself.
If we are defined by what we do, then I really don't like who I am now ;) (couches, movies, trying to sleep, pain control.) But that isn't how it really works, right? Each of us is more than just what we do. So i'd still like to write about my new mission; the mission to take control of this illness instead of letting it take control of me.
Mission Impossible? I think not, for with God all things are possible.