I've always been one who enjoys anniversaries. Who doesn't love a reason to celebrate? Of course I was that over zealous girlfriend who pointed out the mark of every month John and I had been together - happy 51 month anniversary, honey!
But today marks the one year anniversary of my rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis, and I am not reaching for the champagne or planning a special night out. This anniversary is not something I feel even the slightest inclination to celebrate. RA hasn't done anything in the past year to make me feel lovey dovey. In fact, I'm still very angry at this disease that has become my lifelong companion.
So while I may not be picking up a greeting card while I'm out today, I am pausing to reflect. And that reflection has led to more feelings of gratitude than I expected. Instead to falling into a bitter rut that, I have to admit, I often feel very justified in, I am reminded of God's faithfulness and provision through it all.
This is not an easy road, but we were never promised easy. What I've come to realize in this past year is that I have a choice: I can be a whining, negative person whose favorite pastime is to complain about this plight I've been given to endure, or I can use this platform I've been given to be a light and I can rest assured that I do not walk alone.
I have been promised a plan that God Himself has ordained. How absolutely amazing is that? And yes, RA is part of it, as crazy as that seems to me some (most) days. This was not a fluke, an accident, a cruel joke. He knows the plans He has for me, and those plans involve hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). My heart is pounding as I read that passage again. What comfort! What a gift! What a challenge to rest in that even in times of struggle.
So here's to the next year, you crazy disease. I have high hopes for finding a medication regimen that makes you an afterthought and for finally making Dr. J laugh at one of my jokes.