Choosing my Disorder

I was 13 years old, sitting in my choir class, when I realized something weird was going on in my body. It was an ‘unexplainable’ discomfort that I only felt at the time in my diaghram, usually when I sang. I thought I was having bowel movement issues at first. While riding in the car, this weird discomfort would go ballistic. I reacted in a way that resembled a seizure. My mom was completely freaked out so she took me to my primary doctor. He could not diagnose me.

A sinking feeling I never had before began drowning me.

He referred us to a neurologist, which freaked me out more because I discovered in that moment something was imbalanced in my brain. The nice doctor was able to quickly diagnose me with Tourette’s.

I want to delve deeper into my disorder. It causes physical pain, but the mental pain is much worse. The first couple years were rough. I was bullied, people would mimic my condition (tics) and my want to leave the house was becoming a huge chore.

I feared being close to people because my arms would flare without warning. Singing became almost impossible because it would be hard to breath or react to my tics because if I didn’t, it would cause huge discomfort. My arms, legs, stomach, and eyes feel pain every five seconds. Like muscles spasms 24/7.
I watched a girl move her stomach really fast in class, as mine does constantly, and laugh at me with her friends. In the middle of class.

I feared being laughed at and hearing jokes like, “why can’t you keep still? You got Tourette’s? Wow, you’re so weird!” I felt alone. Outcasted. Depressed. I wanted my life to be over. It became too much for me my junior year. My dad had to tell me to be confident and accept this disorder as a part of me, or rejection would destroy me.

Overtime, I chose to live life with my disorder. I helped a young girl with her own disorder when she wanted to commit suicide one day. That moment made me realize that this disorder is a way for me to have a positive voice in a dark world.

“Perseverance”.

This past month has been a whirlwind of changes and growth. God has revealed so much to me in what my flesh is still desiring and what my spirit needs to desire. This morning I read this powerful “sticky statement” (a statement that sticks out the most in an author’s piece or work) and it struck the rift I have been feeling in my spirit right out: “God leads us all into situations, circumstances, and experiences that break me, but mold me into a better version of myself.” We all can agree trials and tribulations are down right awful. None of us like the feeling of disappointment, failure, or my favorite word this week: perseverance. Today, I want to write to you what I have learned from our friend of the bible James, and how trials should be counted as “great joy” in our personal walk with God.

I entered into the dating arena again with hope in my heart and excitement in my brain. The last relationship I had been in was almost 2 years ago! I have been fresh out of the game for quite some time. I will tell you on a personal note that the last 2 years of being single were the best couple years of my life. I grew so intimately with God, learned heavily about forgiveness, and I found a love for myself I never knew I had instilled within me. I prayed for months to share what I learned with the opposite sex (of course, a relationship). God eventually did lead me to someone who was incredible. His mind, body, and soul attracted me so profoundly. I desired to be in this persons’ presence, sadly, more than I did with God. The relationship abruptly ended, and I surprisingly did not leave the relationship empty or broken. I felt two things I have never felt in my life over a break up: hope and peace. I quickly began to understand and truly see how much work God has done within my heart when I had to endure multiple trials of perseverance. James, incredible book of the bible, teaches us that very thing.

James 1:2-3:

Take Hope When Tests Come

My Christian brothers, you should be happy when you have all kinds of tests. You know these prove your faith. It helps you not to give up. 

What a bold statement, right? “Be happy when you have all kinds of tests”. I am currently enrolled in school, and I can gladly tell you I do not find any joy in tests. In fact, I LOATHE tests! But… what would be the point if we did not have tests? How would I be able to see if I understand what I am learning and able to retain it if I do not endure tests of learning? The same exact principle is used when it comes to our faith. We are commanded by our Lord to read His word and apply to our lives so that when we do enter into “trials of tribulation” we can have a hope that surpasses all worldly understanding. We can have joy in knowing that we can endure all attacks because of the living Spirit inside of us.

James 1:4

Learn well how to wait so you will be strong and complete and in need of nothing.

Patience is one of the most used words in the bible. We are called many, many times to be patient. I sometimes like to explore many different versions of the bible, and one version replaced patience with “long suffering.” Wow! My mind immediately went to the cross. Jesus endure an immense amount of long suffering. He was so faithful to God’s will, even though He was in great anguish. That powerful, loving example is what Jesus expects of us. Waiting is an act of obedience; trusting God to do the possible when contradictions around us say impossible.

James 1:6

You must have faith as you ask Him. You must not doubt. Anyone who doubts is like a wave which is pushed around by the sea.

Trials are stepping stones in our faith. We must endure pain and tribulation, so that we will rely on God more and more. Just like the butterfly must complete the whole stage of metamorphosis, we must endure the whole trial of perseverance. We must allow God to mold us into His perfect character!