I love the sound of a ticking clock. The sound of time slowly passing by. For me it's a reminder that I'm never stuck in one horrible moment. It always passes. Time never stops, and the ticking continues. It's calming to know that a bad second always passes with the next second, and it is our choice as to how we want to react to that second. That ticking clock is my reminder that through it all, I should always take time to breathe and soak in the fact that is life.
I don't consider myself suicidal. I've seen loved ones in a suicidal state of mind, and I know that I'm not there. I hope to never be there. I’ve felt overwhelming anger, sorrow, and pain throughout this illness, but who am I to tamper with life and death when God is at the helm of life and death itself? I cannot think to take my life when I know my Heavenly Father will call me home according to His divine timing. With that in mind, I do believe that being home with my Heavenly Father would be more desirable then the state of life that I have now. I have spent days flat on my back in pain, praying that God would call me home, and yet I'm still here. I'm still here, fulfilling this life of mine that I don't quite understand yet.
What kind of life is spent at home suffering pain, fatigue, anxiety, depression, loneliness, and the ache of watching someone you love suffer the same? What quality of life forces rest and demands a life sentence of crushed dreams? Why must I suffer so? Why must I endure such a heavy burden? Some days I feel as though I know the answer to these seemingly simple questions. Other days my heart neglects to understand anything at all. I've learned so much, and yet the suffering continues.
Why must I keep fighting? Why is it my obligation to be someone when my illness stole my quality of life? Why do I feel so pressured to do things that I just can't do right now? Why must I keep living? Why? These questions seem to buzz through my mind on a daily basis. Who am I? Where am I, and where am I going? Every person has to ask themselves these questions at one point. For me, the answers seem more complicated than I’d like them to be.
I know one thing for sure, I’m here for a reason. God loves me, and He needs me here for a very specific reason that I am completely unaware of at this present time. Through my suffering, I’ve learned so much, and He continues to teach things I would not know otherwise. This illness prepares me for my future, which gives me all the more reason to keep fighting, all the more reason to carry on in faith, and all the more reason to live. With that said, these are my reasons to live:
1. To be alive is a gift.
When we receive a gift, we make time for it. We treat it with a sense of wonder and respect. We treasure it. We show gratitude. We appreciate the thought that is put into it. So even when life is hard, should we not treat it the same? Should we not treat it like the gift it is? I for one, am not the perfect example of this, but the thought that life is a gift gives perspective that the average person would otherwise never consider.
Life is a gift given to us from the Almighty Creator. Every breathe I take, despite my disabilities, is a gift from God. My moments of joy are a gift. The people I love are a gift. This illness, believe it or not, is a gift, a divine gift sent from God. Sometimes I consider what life would be like if we treated every morning like Christmas morning. How exciting and joyful life would be if we thanked God every day for the gift that is life. Sometimes I don’t want to be here anymore. I want to go home to my Heavenly Father, I want the suffering to end, and I want peace. Despite my suffering, I know I’m here for a reason and I’m determined to fulfill that reason before I journey to my eternal home. That gives me ultimate desire to keep living even through suffering.
2. I live for my family.
I cannot express the gratitude I have for my incredible parents. I know that I am one of the reasons why my mother fought so hard to live, despite the pain she suffered from this awful disease. In return, I must fight for her now that it is my turn to drink the bitter cup. We need each other. Young people in my generation sometimes fail to see the treasures of wisdom that our parents hold. We fail to see how precious it is to keep a relationship with our parents, even long after we have grown into adulthood. As I have suffered with my parents, I have come to know and love them on a greater level than I ever thought possible. We need each other, we understand each other, and we lean on each other for support in times of trial and affliction. I love them dearly. I have a will to live because of them.
3. I live for my future family.
Someday, I want to fall in love. I desire to love and be loved so deeply that nothing could ever tear us apart. We tend to think in today’s society that the kind of love that exists in books does not exist. The reality is that true love is so much greater than the kind of love that is portrayed in books. True love is kind, understanding, compassionate, patient, long suffering, and eternal. One day I will find the man I am looking for. One day I will find a man that will make all the bad dates, horrible relationships, and all the heartbreak completely worth it. One day I will find a man who will marry me for time and all eternity. A man that will be the rock of our household and the patriarch of our family. I fight this disease for that man. I continually strive to be a better person a little bit every day for that man. I come closer to my Savior and my Heavenly Father so I can have a grasp of eternal love and love that man right. As I dance with God, someday He will let the perfect man cut in. I live for my future husband and children that I will someday love and cherish for time and all eternity.
4. I live because life is beautiful.
butMy hands burn, my neck glands are swollen, my head seems to make the room spin at times, and I have open lesions on my skin that bleed and hurt. My stomach hurts, my hands tremble, and my legs feel weak and distressed. My heart feels heavy and my lungs seem to fight my desire to breathe at times. My symptoms are real, and I feel anything but beautiful. Life feels anything but beautiful. My gut and my brain tell me to stay in bed, while my heart screams to come out of this prison and do something useful. Where’s the beauty in starring at the blank white ceiling day, after day, after day. Where did my joyful motivation go?
Despite all of these sore hardships, the beauty in life is still there. You simply have to open your eyes and look a little closer than you have in the past. There’s the beauty that lies in the bright blue skies on a clear summer day. There’s the beauty that comes from walking barefoot through the grass and soaking in the sweet rays of the sun. Beauty that comes from looking in the mirror and knowing you’re a child of God, who loves you beyond any capacity that any human could ever imagine. Beauty that comes from looking past my pain and seeing the love and blessings that rain down on me despite my hardships. The beauty that comes from knowing that God is real and God is good. Life is beautiful. We will all suffer in this life, but we can do it! We can make it! We can strive for the glorious and reach for the stars! Life is incredible. Life has a certain hidden beauty that you have to suffer through in order to see. I live for the beauty that is life and beauty that comes from the glorious connection that we can have to the Heaven’s and the earth that the Heaven’s created.
It’s going to be okay. Yes, you will struggle and things will be hard. But it’s going to be okay. God is with you. God is amazing. It’s going to be okay. There are always reasons to live.