My faith has grown throughout the past few years, especially since having children. Never before though have I felt that I was consistently witness to miracles happening all around me every day.
In less than two weeks, I have met a score of women from around the country and the world who have taken me from a place of desolation and despair to confidence, hope and even joy. These women that I have met through the Road Back Foundation are either patients, mothers, or spouses of people who suffer from scleroderma and rheumatoid arthritis. They have each found their way to the Road Back Foundation and many of them (or their loved ones) have achieved partial or complete remission from their illness.
The main thing about getting your body back into a steady state from rheumatic disease is that it is not a quick fix. It is a slow burning, life long process of approaching and hopefully achieving remission that must be maintained forever.
Perhaps due to the lengthy and unpredictable nature of the process, these amazing people are fully invested - not only in their own situations but also in being there as a true emotional support for each other. Never have I seen such selfless kindness shown by so many in such a short time. I have never had such a powerful and immediate response of love from total strangers who are moved to act on my behalf. I am overwhelmed.
I received a letter late last night from a woman who recovered from scleroderma over the course of five long, difficult, committed years. She had been given only months to live when she found the AP, and was deep into the process of an excruciating death from multiple organ involvement. Through the AP she found a path to healing and she bravely took it. Her patience and commitment to the process, despite setbacks along the way, is awe inspiring.
Even more amazing, she offered to be there for me throughout anything I may face in my own journey in the coming weeks and months, with the understanding that I will pay it forward.
I read her message with tears in my eyes and felt as though I have been placed directly into the core of a comet or a lightening bolt. I have suddenly become part of something vital, life-changing, life-saving. I can't wait to begin to heal so that I too can give this kind of unconditional support and caring to another person just like me, someone scared and overwhelmed that needs a little gentle guidance toward achieving health and remission. I can't wait to pay this forward.
I believe that sometimes we are placed in situations that are difficult to understand (at least at the time) to help us grow in ways we could not possibly have imagined. Two weeks ago I would never have imagined that I might have a serious rheumatic disease, and I certainly would not have fathomed that close at hand were a band of angels waiting to watch over and guide me through the process of finding all that I will need to heal.
My biggest wish right now, other than the yearning that underpins everything (please let me stay alive to nurture and guide my children into adulthood) is that I will be a (living) angel for others too... that I will be able to powerfully give to others this same gift of hope and help. Where there is hope, there is everything.
May this blog bring hope to you. Much love.