It’s 3 pm on a Tuesday afternoon and I am doing what I LEAST like to do in life…lay idle on a couch–sick. I have decided to finally write about something that I’ve kept hidden away like a dark secret because I just discovered something profound in the midst of this healing process….Love truly does heal.
Ya see, I’ve been battling a nasty autoimmune disease called, “Lupus” for quite some time now. I was formally diagnosed over three years ago when a doctor noticed symptoms on my body that he had seen on his wife, who has been battling Lupus herself for over a decade. But, prior to this, I had been through the ringer with every doctor under the sun (including the famous Mayo Clinic, specialists, and ER visits) trying to discover what in the world was causing all these horrible symptoms that Lupus brings. It mimics so many other health complications, but can be best described as feeling like a really bad flu with a bunch of added yuck that accompanies it, like rashes, bruises, and bumps all over, as well as cuts and sores in the mouth. Not to mention being CRAZY cold all the time (maybe sometime I’ll get to the place where I tell you all about my eskimo-outfits I wear to keep warm ; ) (You can read more about Lupus here: http://www.lupus.org/resources/impact-of-lupus-on-the-body)
People have asked me why I’m not more vocal about my daily battle with Lupus and honestly, the answer is because of my own pride. (Ok and also included are the misunderstandings, frustrations, and judgment that comes from well-meaning people, as to the “why” I’m sick and not healed, yet? Please graciously note…this really is not helpful.) We want people to think that all is well in our world and losing the control over my own body in this way has truly been the most humbling experience of my life. I laid in bed yesterday weeping with a dear friend kneeling next to me holding my hand while I expressed to her how this is NOT at all where I saw my life being at 40 years old. Especially as a former Division-1/semi-pro athlete who is such a dreamer and has lived a very active life, yet now, it often feels like…I’m a prisoner to my own body. And, honestly, many days…I yearn for heaven, my true home where I know there will be no more tears or suffering and I get my new body—YEEES, Lord!) But, until then…
The days of my hiding are over.
I’ve decided to brave and share with you more about my experiences of battling these yucky health challenges, as well as some ways to help. Why? Because I know there are so many others suffering in the same way, who also needs some encouragement and love.
One of my closest friends, Vanessa Gargano called me yesterday while in the thick of my despair to encourage me and just love on me in my affliction. While I was choking back tears because of my embarrassment of feeling so weak and broken, she said these life-changing words to me: “Lara….you just need to be LOVED.” And, it was in that moment, I discovered a powerful medicine to aid the human soul in the midst of sickness. And, that is–LOVE. Love from others. Yes, a love from God, but coming through the hands and feet of people. A practical-love that truly does bring healing.
What is the best way to help someone in their suffering? LOVE them. Love them through a phone call, a text, a visit, holding their hand while they cry, make a meal for them, bring them something sweet (besides yourself, of course ; ), make them laugh, help them with paying a bill, go to the store for them, reminding them of better days ahead, and SO much more! THESE WERE ALL WAYS MY SWEET FRIENDS BROUGHT HEALING TO ME IN MY SICKNESS THESE LAST COUPLE OF DAYS…through their love.
LOVE truly is what brings healing to the sick.
I encourage you to be an aid of healing to those in your life that battle health challenges by loving them through your actions. Don’t be afraid to reach out to them to offer your help (because if their stubborn like me, they probably have a hard time asking and at times, receiving too!) I am so very grateful for the love shown to me by loved ones…it has TRULY made ALL the difference!
Signing off for now as…being healed by love ❤