Sickness a Catalyst?

Posted By on Aug 15, 2012 | 12 comments

I’ve been sick a good portion of my life.

Nine life-threatening illnesses, sick.

Sepsis, renal failure, ARDS…the list continues. Some of these words I never knew existed until I laid comatose in the ICU several years ago. But this tidbit of information, if I had the choice, I’d rather not talk about.

Let’s be honest. Who wants to be known as the sick girl?

Yeah. Didn’t think so.

Happy, healthy, stick-your-tongue-out fun girl, now that’s a cooler title.

Then diseases happened.

For many years, I would have given my right pinky to rewind life just to be normal one more time. Only, my normal looked selfish, prideful, and pretty much unusable for any kingdom purpose.

(Sadly, these things can creep back in when my humanness seeps out.)

It’s amazing how quickly an illness ignites your relationship with God. Corrie Ten Boom once said, “You may never know that Jesus is all you need, until Jesus is all you have.”

It took being back-flat in the hospital, sipping breaths through an endotracheal tube to realize He is all I really have. The stuff of life will forever get me down. Politics. Bills. Disputes. Housing repairs (which I might need to start another blog just for this category—did I mention our roof is now leaking? Ha! I have to laugh and praise God for sending our marriage group to Band-Aid our dripping ceiling).

Life is there. Surrounding me, compacting me on all sides.

That’s where Jesus comes in.

Deuteronomy 31:8 promises, “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

That’s a hard verse to swallow when you’re staring illness in the face. But if this sin-filled, redeemed body can offer any insight, it’s this: life is short.

I only get so many years to leave a legacy, to reach out to my neighbor, to live for Christ.

But the best news is: eternal life is, well, eternal.

One of my all time favorite quotes that grabs my heart and squeezes pretty hard each time I read it comes from Jon Courson’s Application Commentary:

“‘It’s time to go home,’ the Lord said to Hezekiah through His prophet, Isaiah. “I’m taking you home and sickness is the tool I’m using.’ What if the Lord came to you and said, ‘Set your house in order, I’m taking you home.’ Would you panic? Or are you walking with the Lord in such a way that you would be at peace about it?’”


I did a big huffy-sigh after reading this the first time, because this means surrendering everything and trusting in God’s sovereignty that maybe my sickness was my catalyst to see life differently.

Then one Sunday morning, my pastor spoke right to me. I mean, there were other audience attendees, but his message clearly had my situation written all over it. Pastor Dan said God put a calling on my life. Me? The person who can feel shamefully inadequate at times.

He gives us all gifts and we’re supposed to use them.

Am I listening? How many more hospital visits and CT scans and rounds of antibiotics can my body take before finally giving out?

God only knows.

Nine days ago, this reality hit home when Jason’s father passed in the night at age sixty-four. Deep moans escaped my body learning this news.

Life. Is. Short.

You live, you die. What’s it all really for? This survivor thinks it has everything to do with God, and not so much about the stuff of life.

Some of you know bits and pieces about my story. This video gives a sneak peek into a portion of my illnesses. And since pictures are worth a thousand words—this clip Jason and my brother-in-law, Shawn, created for my survivor party is my helpful reminder to be thankful for just a leaky roof.

Has anything ever reminded you how short life is?

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