I was so lost many years ago back in 1987. I was not physically lost I was spiritually lost. I cared nothing for my life. I drank to ease the physical pain I had been enduring in my body because of my illness. It is called Proteus Syndrome. This illness is extremely rare with only 200 documented cases around the world. Have you heard of Joseph Merrick, the Elephant Man? I have the same illness he had. However, it effects the appearance of the body differently. For instance, my legs and feet are much bigger than normal legs and my upper body is much smaller than a normal adult. I’ve been through 22 operations throughout my life and it never gets any easier. Why am I telling you all this, well it’s to tell you we all have a brokenness within ourself. I often cried to God, why did you do this to me? Why did you make my body this way. I was very angry with God. I was very angry that I was chosen with a body that needed so many operations and attention from the Medical Field. I could not escape my illness, my disability. It was a part of me. My personhood developed around my disability. By my 25th birthday I had had it. I was ready to give up. My two knees had severe osteoarthritis and desperately needed my knees replaced. The pain in my knees at this time was pretty much unbearable, for when I walked it was bone on bone. Each step was like walking with knives sticking into my knees. My doctor at that time had to find an orthopedic doctor who would be courageous enough to take on a challenge like myself. It took my doctor a year to find him. So, in the year 1987 I prayed to God asking Him that if He could give to me two new knees, I would give my life over to Him. Well, God took me up on my offer and my life has been His ever since. He said yes to me. Every single day I thank God for embracing me. I learned to Love when I opened my heart to Him. My life took a complete change after my yes. I think of Mary, the Mother of God, and how She too was asked if She would embrace God and birth the Son of God. She teaches us everything we need to know about Love with Her saying yes. She teaches us that God our Creator also waits patiently for our yes. When I opened my life to God, a healing took place in my soul. There is a peace in my heart and soul I carry each day. It is the peace of God. Remember when Jesus, after His Resurrection, visited His disciples, with each visit Jesus would always say, “Peace be with you”. God gives us His peace when we say yes allowing Him to walk with us each day we have on this earth. Life has not gotten any easier since I gave my life to Him. There is a cross we must carry with our acceptance. Our cross is present at all moments of daily life but He promised to help us with our burdens. Remember in the Gospels Jesus spoke of the yoke the beasts of burden had to carry on their shoulders as they plow through the fields. The yoke was made for two, walking side by side of each other. Jesus walks right beside us in a spiritual way, helping to carry our burdens. This means Christ Jesus will never leave us. He will be with until the end of time. When we’re lonely He’s there. When we’re frustrated and angry, He’s with us. The gift of grace is an energy given to us for the strength we will need to carry our Cross. I’ve experienced through all my struggles and suffering that I have a deep seated peace and love within myself that carries me through the day. And I know that when you open your heart and your life to the Holy Spirit you will experience the deep love and peace of God.
- Your brother in Christ,
Hermits of the Holy Cross