It’s amazing how well absolute truth fits into my life. I have always been one for facts. Growing up, I excelled in my science and math classes. I enjoyed doing labs, and even the dissections were fun. In fact, I wanted to be a veterinarian up until 9th grade, when I almost passed out watching the surgery and realized that the blood and gore wasn’t for me. I think my love of science is one of the reasons why I have done so much research since being diagnosed with EDS, and why I find it so fascinating. I was discussing a bible verse with a friend and mentioned my EDS while talking about what the verse meant to me. I ended up having to explain what EDS was, but I started off by saying, “EDS is one of the coolest disorders ever.”
While I wouldn’t wish EDS on my worst enemy, I do find it so fascinating that something as small as a protein called collagen, something so many people don’t even know about, can be defective in such a destructive way to the human body. Before my diagnosis, I didn’t even know about connective tissues.
I have battled chronic pain for about four years. It all started the summer after my freshman year when I fell off of my horse at fair. But it wasn’t until the summer before my senior year that my pain reached the point that I felt the need to investigate. Until then, I had been seeing a chiropractor bi-weekly. I felt like this was containing and managing my pain, but in reality, it was doing the opposite. I spent a majority of my senior year visiting specialists, and going through different physical therapies. Most doctors didn’t offer much insight. My x-rays and MRIs came back without any clues as to why I was experiencing emergency room level pain every day. Every single one told me that my pain was all in my head. For the first time in my life, I didn’t want to trust the facts. The fact was that my pain couldn’t be seen. My pain had no real cause, and there was no real solution. Everything pointed towards what those doctors were telling me. My pain did not appear to be real. And yet, I knew that this could not be the answer.
I gave up with doctors the spring of my graduation. My pain might not have been getting better, but at least it wasn’t getting worse. That was when all of my GI problems started. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t drink, and I could barely get off the couch. Once again, I was thrust into the world of doctors who were struggling to come up with an explanation for this. And they honestly should not have found the cause of anything. I was sitting in the hospital, awaiting a small procedure. One random doctor was filling in for my current doctor. That one random doctor waltzed into my hospital room, asked me if I was hypermobile, and then declared that I had EDS and my stomach issue was something called gastroparesis. Having dropped that bomb, he walked out of the room, and I waited another hour for my procedure. At the time, I don’t think he knew about my chronic pain. Obviously, he had looked over my chart. But, so had every other doctor who saw me for these issues.
I remember being a little bit put off by him when he said that. I’d been tested for EDS in February and had tested negative for EDS. Of course, he was talking about hEDS, which can’t be tested for. I wasn’t sure that he was right, and it wasn’t until I was diagnosed with gastroparesis that I realized he might know what he was talking about.
It’s crazy for me to look back and see how far I’ve come since then. But it’s even crazier to look back and realize how many doctors I didn’t believe so that I might believe one in the future. A majority of my doctors told me that my pain was all in my head and that it could simply be fixed by physical therapy. One doctor told me it was EDS, and that I just had chronic pain that didn’t show up on charts or tests. I knew that my pain wasn’t fake news, and I knew that there was something my doctors weren’t looking at. There was an absolute truth, and I just had to find it.
“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'” – John 14:6
If you love Marvel, you’ve probably seen Infinity Wars. No spoilers here, although I highly recommend bringing emotional support with you if you go to see it. I took a history of Israel course this year, and we spent about a week studying Elijah. Now, most church people know about Elijah and the contest at Mt. Carmel between Yahweh and Baal. One of the things my professor mentioned was that Baal was essentially the Thor of Canaan. As a result, for the remainder of my class, I pictured Chris Hemsworth anytime someone mentioned Baal, but I also began doing some research because that thought intrigued me. A majority, if not all religions during Biblical times were polytheistic, fertility religions. Basically, people worshipped multiple gods with the hope that those gods would give them bountiful reproduction. They wanted fertile ground, fertile wallets, and fertile women (not necessarily in that order). In the contest between Baal and Yahweh, Yahweh proved that He had control over all these things. Of course, most civilizations believed that this wasn’t possible. They had one god dedicated to certain areas of growth. They had a god of the sun and a goddess of the sea and a god of grain. There was a god for death and a god for fire.
And then you have Yahweh. This single God professed to be the only God, and not only that, but this God had control over everything. This religion was completely different from any other religion. One of the biggest differences, however, was when that God came down to earth, assumed the position of a human, and died for all of humanity’s sins. This religion was completely different than any other religion. Even today, nothing is like Christianity. And yet, finding Christ in today’s world is almost as difficult as finding EDS. Christ is everywhere, but He is often overlooked or misjudged. And we can blame social media or Hollywood for that, but the truth is that it doesn’t really matter. There are people every day who haven’t heard the truth, and as Christians, it is our job to show them, Christ. After all, it is only by the grace of Christ that any of us can be saved.
Love You With The Truth by Casting Crowns
“It’s not about religion or earning God’s forgiveness
Or magic prayers or new behavior
It’s all about your heart, He’ll meet you where you are
Turn from your sin and trust in Christ as Lord
Jesus is the truth, the life, the way”