Living With the Thorn of an Unseen Illness

More labs for my Natalie today. Since Spring her life has been doctor visits, labs, tests and again more doctor visits and tests. It’s so hard to watch your child who once had an abundant amount of energy and life become stricken with an overwhelming weariness that causes her to not be able to stand. Natalie was diagnosed with POTS – Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome which makes it difficult for her to stand up without passing out. For today’s post I won’t go into a lot of specifics but you can check out this POTS overview of what she deals with daily. Today’s post is not the typical post showing a fun project, but rather a raw and honest peek into my life and heart at this moment.

My heart aches as I recall times of feeling this same weight of weariness. I’ve struggle for years working through extreme fatigue and pain from fibromyalgia. After years of not receiving that healing answer to my prayers I just used the “mind over matter” approach. I was convinced I could just keep going if I just believed enough. Usually to find myself collapsed at the end of the day so tightly clinching onto whatever energy I had until it became too tiresome and painful to hold it all in and I would finally exhale and breathe. Oftentimes I would cry out to God, “I can’t do this! Why Lord, why does it all have to be so hard? What am I doing wrong? Please take this from me! This is so not fair!”
The first time I really read 2 Corinthians 12 my heart sank because I didn’t want it to be true for me. I didn’t want this weariness and pain to be as Paul calls it “my thorn”. Have you ever done that? Read a passage and pretend you didn’t because you didn’t want to admit the truth within it? I couldn’t get past the thought of fibromylagia perhaps being my thorn forever by my side. Instead I focused on finding the right doctor, eating the right foods, taking the right supplements or medications. If I could just keep going, moving, searching and praying through the pain I could find the answer and I would be healed. After all a loving God wouldn’t want this for me, right?

But now here I sit with a daughter and realize this goes beyond me. I had to go back to this very passage that brought me so much fear and try to learn from the Apostle Paul what boasting in weakness means. Something he “gladly” did. What does that mean for me… for my daughter?  Because, one thing I’ve finally resigned to after almost 15 years (I’m a bit stubborn) is that my thorn was here to stay and instead of living in fear trying to cover it up I needed to uncover God’s grace and mercy within it and allow His power be shown through it.

I’ll admit I’m still unfolding it’s truth for me and I’m not sure I always like what it has to say. But what if this is exactly where I am suppose to sit… Right here in this weakness… in this pain… and even someday (not there yet) gladly boast in it so that the “power of Christ can completely enfold and dwell” in me. What if I’ve been running from the very thing that will bring the strength and comfort I so desperately have cried out for?

So for now, even though it still stings, I am pouring myself into what I once tried to escape from. I am soaking in it and claiming it until it becomes true for me. One thing I like to do when trying to understand a specific passage is to read it in different translations. Reading this passage in one of my favorite translations, the AMP {Amplified Bible} begins to bring some light… and hope. The word “enfold” as used here can be defined as “swaddle”. If I’m completely honest the times I’ve cried out to the Lord I was really beckoning Him to gently hold me tight so I would know everything was going to be okay. So that all I had to do in that moment was to breathe, to let go and rest in His safe arms just as a newborn is effortlessly swaddled by a loving and nurturing mother. Wow, that makes it so much easier for me to breathe today.

For the first time I am looking forward to what the Lord has for me as the Spirit unfolds the meaning of this passage. Dear Lord, show yourself to me… in the midst of my weakness may your power be made perfect.

… but He has said to me,
“My grace is sufficient for you
[My lovingkindness and My mercy are more than enough
—always available—regardless of the situation];
for [My] power is being perfected
[and is completed and shows itself most effectively] in [your] weakness.”
Therefore, I will all the more gladly boast in my weaknesses,
so that the power of Christ [may completely enfold me and] may dwell in me.
~ 2 Corinthians 12:9 (AMP)

Touch The Edge Studios -

Blessings and Happy Stampin!
Anita Haines
Stamp With Anita
Team Leader/The United Stampers of America


“Every time I go to work, I end up at a party!”


7 thoughts on “Living With the Thorn of an Unseen Illness

  1. Melissa

    Anita such a very amazing post . You put in to words what I could not . While we walk different journeys we are learning the same lesson . Mine came to a head back in March when cancer was a huge possibility and the threat on my life . More so because my special needs child needed his Momma.
    He literally flatten me face down before him because my need of him was so great . Hard times but drew even closer to my Lord . While my son is not my thorn his illness and struggle are . Healing not answered . So like you I ask ” What now ? When the thorns are not removed . What do I do now ?”. What does God want?. All I know is to hang on truth . Even when the words are blinded by my tears. It all points to persevering and being obedient to Him in all you do . Hanging on to him and curling up on his lap and letting him hold you . It’s letting your love ones hold you . Your friends and so on . Hold tight Anita. Thank you for posting and praying for you and your daughter and family .

    1. stampwithanita Post author

      Thank you Missy. It’s a bit scary putting myself and my family out there. We all are sometimes walking such difficult journeys in this life. As a friend once said, she wished we could all have signs on us that say, “Be gentle with me today, I am going through…”. I wonder how different life would be if we could all have a little more grace for one another. Praying your journey today brings some grace to you and your family.

  2. Tamara

    Thank you for your story!
    I am suffering the same “thorn” and another one.
    It is really true; God makes beautifull things out of dust! When we are weak, God can show His greatness! I have experienced so many great things, that never would have happened without this situation.
    God can do great things through you!!! Look at what you have put done here! And He will be with you always! He will be your strength!

    Hug, Tamara.

    1. stampwithanita Post author

      Thank you Tamara for you kind words. He truly is our strength. May you continued to be be blessed and strengthened by Him.

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