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Do You Remember?

One of the most powerful weapons you have against the devil is a good memory.

If he did it before, he'll do it again.

I Didn't See It Coming

It's September 2008, and I'm sitting in the darkness of an underground garage on my cell trying to explain the diagnosis I just received to a husband who told me less than a week ago he wanted a divorce.

The doctor called it "scleroderma". I could barely understand it myself, but the tests didn't lie.

The presence of antibodies was prevalent enough thought the condition have to be present, but my symptoms didn't correspond to the condition. My rheumatologist was baffled. I can still hear his words:

"You're too healthy for this."

"I would rather tell a patient they had cancer than scleroderma."

Tens of thousands of dollars spent. Dozens of specialists. A divorce on the horizon. And now, this. A condition that couldn't be identified on one hand, and a diagnosis that didn't make sense on the other. I didn't see this coming. I asked God, "

What am I supposed to do with this?"

For years, I had been able to hide my suffering behind what felt like multiple thorns in my side except for in one area - the discoloration of my face. I wanted to suffer in seclusion, but my skin wouldn't let me. It was a thing where people knew something was wrong, but couldn't put their finger on it.

"Are you okay?"

Happy or sad, joyful or mad, these words stalked me daily.

Blood on the Page

All of this was happening simultaneously as my responsibilities in ministry grew. The count of my tears did, too. My only escape, my only solace, only peace during those dark years was God, a pen, and some paper. This was the beginning of my blood on the page.

Years had passed and (praise God) no new scleroderma symptoms presented. Even my skin began to clear, but I knew I needed to get checked just in case. The doctor came back in the room with my results seemingly angry. In my flesh I was thinking, "Why you mad? I'm the one with scleroderma!"