….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.
by Rebekah S. Palmer
I HAVE NO HEALTH
I HAVE NO JOB SECURITY
I HAVE NO HUSBAND
I HAVE NO CHILDREN
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
Check out this Cystic Research Foundation here.