this year i have promised to be more vulnerable and honest with you.
i have promised to be bold and brave.
i have chosen to have the hard conversations no matter the cost.
and i am willing to write about things i have been unwilling to write about before.
if you know me you know i get sick a lot. i was the kid that missed a million days of school + who became bff's with her doctors. if i had to narrow my health down to three topics it would be:: genetic disorder. brain tumor. immunosuppressed. and those of course all branch out into much more complicated stories of their own. because when it comes to health problems nothing is easy. i am complicated + confusing + if someone handed you my charts you'd be shocked i'm still breathing. that is just how it is. it has always been this way + i think it always will be.
true story:: there have been so many times doctors have brought other doctors in just to see me. one time at the dermatologist they were fascinated by my genetic disorder + my mama + i just laughed. it's typical. i'm unique. that is the bottom line.
and you know what? that is okay. because this is my story.
last weekend i was spending time with a family i am growing to love more and more here in alaska. saturday afternoon as i was sautéing balsamic brussel sprouts in their kitchen + coughing up a storm from my bronchitis - one of their kids asked me about being sick. i quickly glazed over it + he simply stated "well why don't you just get prayed for and get healed?" he quickly dug his hole deeper + followed it up with "maybe God is testing you?" his mom yelled into the kitchen for him to just stop talking hahah.
he meant no harm. and i took no offense because he's a 14 year old boy + their brains are mush. plus. he wasn't the first person to ask me this in my life. i wasn't surprised or caught off guard. people have often asked these hard questions.
oh how i wish it was that simple though. to just get prayed for and get healed. how glorious would life be if that happened every single time!? but then again ... it wouldn't be simple would it?
i explained to him that if i was healed - i wouldn't be me. i wouldn't have my story. and i wouldn't be able to minister to the people i do. i told him that people have prayed for healing for me - but that God's plan isn't for everyone to be healed. i wish it was. but i am not the author of my story. the Lord is. and His story is perfect. even if that means i have to live in an imperfect body that turns on itself every once in a while.
i started to imagine it though ... if i had been healed. like. completely healed. what would life look like?
yes. life would have been much simpler had i never been sick in the first place. if i was born + was a completely healthy baby. if i never got a brain tumor. if my genetic disorder didn't decide to pick me as it's culprit out of the blue.
i could sit here + scream + cry + tell you that it's not fair. that i deserve better. that i deserve a new body. right now. but i won't. because that isn't how i feel.
because if i had never been sick there would be some other kind of battle. maybe mental illness or a broken family. or one of my siblings or parents could have been the one with chronic illness. and let me tell you. i could NOT handle that. i would pick a brain tumor + being stuck in bed sick every few months over just about any other issue. i would consider myself to be strong + brave + able to push through just about anything. but in all honesty - the minute someone else i love is sick or in pain i panic. i tell them [ go to the doctor! what if you are dying? you need bloodwork! ] i am a great patient + not a great care taker when it comes to sickness. i'll take it - spare the rest of them i say!!!
now. hear me people! this isn't to say that the Lord hasn't healed me at all. He has. He has performed absolute miracles on me.
[ for instance:: when i was born they told mom + dad that i would be blind and deaf and need oxygen and a feeding tube the rest of my life. they said i may not walk or talk + a million other "she will nevers" BUT! HELLO! they were wrong! i have crappy vision + extraordinary hearing. my lungs can produce a scream better than the movies + decide to develop pneumonia all in one week. i don't have a feeding tube + i never shut up + i walk just fine. again. the doctors aren't the authors. GOD is the author. HE has the final say. ]
all i'm saying is that I haven't been COMPLETELY healed.
but what i'm beginning to realize is that isn't what i would want anyway.
our trials make us who we are. and i think i've always known this - it's just more apparent in my adult life.
wouldn't you agree?
maybe you have suffered from an eating disorder or depression. maybe you went through a sticky divorce or one of your kids has walked away from God. maybe you are battling cancer or lost a child. whatever it may be - despite the hurt and pain and terrible times. can't you look back + see what God was doing? see that His intention wasn't to harm you? see that your faith has grown despite the unimaginable being your reality?
maybe you aren't there yet. you are sitting there going [ she is off her rocker. slow your roll shelby. you are so wrong. i am in the middle of a mess. God is no where. ]
but i promise you ... one day you will get there. you will realized that your faith has been refined in the fire. that the Lord showed up in the loss. that beautiful things come from the biggest battles. and that GRACE is all you see.
the Lord's plan for my life has never been to give me a perfect body here on earth. His plan for my life has been to ALLOW me to live in a body that battles itself. so that HE can show up + shine through me anyway. despite the imperfection.
because after all ... that is what we all are ... completely imperfect.
so i don't want to be healed. because that isn't the plan.
i just wanna live a life that the Lord would be proud of.
i just wanna shine.
shelby elyse taylor