I Am a Blessing – Part 4 of My Cystinosis Series

….Now what? A master’s degree in teaching? Would that even make sense for my life if I couldn’t even work an eight hour day and was currently seeking employment for part-time teaching work?

In my mental and emotional confusion resulting from actually succeeding in possessing a finished Bible college degree without severe health complications putting me in hospice type care, I returned home, albeit most reluctantly. I was recuperating from a gallbladder removal surgery. During this recovery period, I was contemplating my enjoyment in the written word as I finished a certificate in writing for children and teenagers through a correspondence course out of Redding, CT.

For the next seven years, I dwelled and abided in my health weaknesses, my vulnerability, and my realistic neediness. I felt my loneliness, my poverty of spirit, my depression, my anxiety, my hurt, my lack, and my pain. I was the poor, the blind, the naked, and the unlovely. And I became the blessed. Blessed because I finally began to start healing emotionally and mentally from childhood sexual assault as well as the way I had been spiritually, verbally, and emotionally abused as a queer, disabled female.

I really began to see Jesus because in His decision to wrap His divinity in human flesh, I saw the harshness and ugliness of my own faults and failures. In repentance, I began to embrace the beauty of brokenness because my Savior was broken for me on that symbol of suffering: the cross. That cross that hearkened back to my mother’s wisdom in my childhood: everyone has a burden to carry hear on this earth.

Where was God in my joblessness, purposelessness, partner-lessness, and sickness? Right inside my heart, where He had been since the day I asked as a small girl laying on the cold, hardwood floor; throwing up the phospho cysteamine I had been administered for the treatment of nephropathic cystinosis.

Now at age 30, I don’t see God in outside circumstances; for outside circumstances often cause me more sorrow than peace, joy, or love. Instead, I see God in the spiritual, as a Spirit. He worked in the in betweens of my life and through the lives of others who saw me in the spaces of time and place. And I am blessed because of this: Cystinosis is normal to me, making me different, yet the same in humanity. I too have needs as all other humans have needs. And I am blessed.

Real Blessings

by Rebekah S. Palmer

I HAVE NO HEALTH

you’re blessed

I HAVE NO JOB SECURITY

you’re blessed

I HAVE NO HUSBAND

you’re blessed

I HAVE NO CHILDREN

you’re blessed

I HAVE A BROKEN SPIRIT

you have humbleness

I HAVE A BROKEN HEART

you have compassion

I HAVE A BROKEN BODY

you have a bold will

I HAVE A BROKEN MIND

you have a thoughtful perspective

YOU’RE BLESSED

Check out part 1 of My Cystinosis Series here, part 2 here, and part 3 here.

Check out this Cystic Research Foundation here.


To learn more about cystinosis, check out our partner the Cystinosis Research Network here.
Rebekah Palmer

Rebekah Palmer

Rebekah Palmer is the author of two books published by Aneko Press: A Letter to my Friend and A Letter to Myself. She also has poetry included in the anthology Strength: Lives Touched By Cystinosis. She is a rare disease news curator for her blog Cystinosis Society. Please visit her author profile on Goodreads and her author page on Facebook called Jairus Daughter to ask any questions or to reach out.

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