NOTE: I wrote this post some time near the end of last year (2013). I am astounded at what the Lord has done in such a short time and am overwhelmed at his grace and mercy towards me. There is a small update at the end.
And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” (Job 1:21 ESV)
My disorder has manifested in a strange way. The tips of my finger are usually raw or crusted over with a “scab” as the skin underneath attempts to heal. It takes a LOOOOOOOONG time before my finger is healed as the skin usually flares up again before it’s had a chance to heal. At the moment I only have two fingers which have recognizable fingerprints. When this first started happening it struck me as a scary thing to not even have fingerprints! One of the few things that are overtly “ours” as human beings is our fingerprints; they’re unique.
Chronic illness, tragedy, and death, has a way of bringing us into an identity crisis. How we have known ourselves has been drastically altered and we feel “lost”. For many months going through the more trying moments of my disease, I struggled with knowing who I was. I unknowingly found a lot of my identity and value in the things I was able to do (such as cleaning, cooking, etc). I couldn’t do any of these things for a few months. I could do very little for myself during this time as well. My dear husband, who deserves a whole volume written just for him and how he has served me during this time, often had to help me get dressed and frequently help me wash my hair. I asked the question again and again, how is it even of any benefit that I exist any more? I prayed many time for God to please let me not wake up.
I discovered apart from Christ and his redeeming power, I didn’t have the will to live. In the eyes of the world, who values people for their ability to produce, I was worthless. In Jesus, my life is worth something. Only HE can redeem this train wreck of a situation and make it something beautiful. It doesn’t matter what I have the ability to *do* because in Christ, it is all about what he can do. Any good that has come out of this illness has been because of what he has done and the abundant grace that he gives. I can’t even begin to fully understand all of what he is doing, but I trust that is for my good and will be for his glory.
As I patiently wait on the Lord through this, I will turn my face to him, like the flower does towards the sunlight, and keep my eyes fixed on the glorious treasure that awaits me when this is all over. Jesus. Forever.
A picture is worth a thousand words so….
I still have very very mild flare ups, but I have found more natural alternatives to steroid creams that have proven very effective for me. I had a bout with skin eczema on my arms beginning at about 8 weeks into my pregnancy, but my hands have been largely ok excepting very mild flare ups when my diet is less than ideal for more than one meal in a row. I suspect my arm eczema was due to unknown environmental factors and hormonal shifts that happen rapidly during the beginning of pregnancy, but *really* I have nothing to tie it to conclusively. The eczema on my arms has left me with patches of lighter colored skin (which gives me a nice spotted puppy look), but has been more or less completely gone for about 6 weeks now. You also might note the lack of wedding band – it just doesn’t fit any more 🙂 my fingers are so un-swollen, it just falls right now. Until I get it re-sized, it’s kept in a safe place so I don’t lose it. DaddyScott and I are doing fine lol.