Today we welcome a guest contributor to the Faith Encouraged community, Christina Kampas. From time to time on the weekends, we will be featuring guest writers on the Faith Encouraged blog.
May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace as you trust in Him. Romans 15:13
I am 25 years old and landed a corporate dream job, only to realize that months later my health would take a turn for the worse. I luckily still work full-time, but my days are riddled with extremely low blood pressure (think 60s/40s), heart rates in the 200s, and nausea so bad I can barely make it to the bathroom on time. I also never imagined I would be filing for FMLA at age 25, but again, here I am. It would be easy to give up and honestly, sometimes it is all I want to do, but through the power of prayer I push on.
If you are anything like me, then you understand what it’s like to bury your emotions and “save them for later”. Also, if you are anything like me, you know this can come with consequences. I have had a lot on my mind lately and often find myself waiting to deal with issues at another time and am awfully good at convincing myself to do so. For years, I have been dealing with quite a few health issues that we simply could not put a name to, which can be discouraging. Because of this, I just kept trying my best to keep doing what I was doing, now knowing that my health would eventually get worse. Within the last few months, I have had names given to what I’ve been struggling with for years: gastroparesis (stomach paralysis) and Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia. Both of which are caused by a disorder of the autonomic nervous system and both of which come with their own mile-long list of symptoms. Even though I have been dealing with these ailments for years, having a name put to them changed my perspective of them. It made it more real and along with that, made it harder to deal with emotionally. By finally having a name for what is wrong one would assume that it would bring along a sense of relief, but honestly, it did cause relief but knowing that both of these issues are incurable also brings on various emotions. Emotions that I did not want to deal with and simply saved for later. These emotions I am still wrestling with, often finding myself up throughout the night not knowing what to do and realizing that I need to approach these emotions head on and deal with them, yet I still keep avoiding them.
As these emotions started to weigh more heavily on me, I began to search for ways that would help me cope when I was ready to deal with what I was experiencing. I spoke frequently to my parents and my parish priest and it helped me realized that all I need to do is pray. For some reason, God gives us these trials in life for a purpose. That in itself can bring about inner peace. Something else I have learned on this journey is what to actually pray for. For so long I had prayed God would heal me of all sickness, but I was not praying for my doctors who treat me or the treatment methods I was trying. Utilizing the tools that were right in front of me all along has helped me tremendously, especially prayer and regular Holy Unction. Even though things can and are still difficult, and uncertainty is part of dealing with illness, I do know that I can rely on the power of prayer and that is enough to give me hope.