Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Lie I Believed

I have struggled most of my life with believing a lie that I am weak. Several factors in my life have contributed to that lie, especially health problems.

At four and a half years old, I was diagnosed with Supraventrivular Tachycardia (SVT). I even learned how to say that long word at a young age!

"During an episode of SVT, the heart's electrical system doesn't work right, causing the heart to beat very fast. The heart beats at least 100 beats per minute and may reach 300 beats per minute. After treatment or on its own, the heart usually returns to a normal rate of 60 to 100 beats a minute ("

I remember having these episodes often as a child. They occurred so often that in kindergarten I had to carry around a heart monitor in a blue jean Hello Kitty fanny pack. I also had to take pills to keep the episodes under control three times a day. During lunch time at school, I stopped by the office to swallow my tiny nude-colored pills before heading out to the play ground. I was always afraid to run around too much at recess in fear that would create an episode - and that did happen a few times.

My condition was embarrassing and scary. But most of all, it made me feel weak. Not only did I have a serious heart condition, I was very thin growing up. Kids sometimes said things like, "You're too skinny; you have toothpick legs." This made me feel physically weak, although I was not.  Funny though, I have never even broken a bone.

When I was eleven and had just started at a new school, I underwent a nine hour surgery called an ablation to repair my heart. All was successful. However, it took about a month to recover, and I missed school. Immediately, all my new classmates knew me as the new girl who had heart surgery. Health problems. Sick. Weak.  I know now that most of them probably don't even remember that about me and it was an internal label only I gave myself, not them. It was a lie I was believing about myself.

In my teen years and some in college, Satan used my quiet, introverted spirit to tell me I am weak. I don't have a voice. I have nothing important or funny to say. It wasn't until I got to college, that I made friends who encouraged me, brought out my confidence and my voice.

At 21 years of age, I was diagnosed again with SVT plus Atrial Fibrillation, a condition when the heart's rhythm is off for periods of time. I chose to undergo the heart ablation for a second time right after college graduation. I wanted to get it over with and move on with my life. No more health problems. But my body had a different plan.

Two years later, I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease. However, I had been living with the symptoms since college. The diagnoses was a blow to me at first. With all the new medications I began taking,  I felt especially weak. And tired. And sick .

But, I have found my voice. I have found my strength. My strength only comes from Jesus. I do not live defeated, because He is not defeated. I do not live weak, because He is in me and He is strong. And the more I talk about my struggles, my health condition and not hide, I feel more empowered every day. When I feel weak, I remind myself of His truth in the bible. When I am weak, He is made strong.

I have important things to say, and I have a God who speaks through me.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Rachel,
    I am Rebecca! I too have Crohn's Disease and am a newlywed. It's so nice to know that there are other people out there in exactly the same situation. The year my husband and I got engaged, I was in the hospital 5 times and had surgery. But it surely showed me that he is the man for me because he helped get me through it. I have often thought my disease made me weak. But all that I have been through has made me realize I am stronger than I could have imagined. And so are you! And the fact that you can be so open about what you have gone through is very empowering for others. Glad that I found your blog!