Choosing to Hope

January 17, 2018

I’ve continued my detox treatments these last two weeks and I’m starting to see some progress. Unfortunately, I’m still not enjoying the nearly symptom-free status that I was enjoying in the fall. I’ve been quite tired, spending a lot more time in bed, and dealing with episodes of pain and nausea.

It’s been really hard for me to know how to respond to this relapse. This is still the best winter I’ve had since my Lyme diagnosis. But going from almost 100% healthy to struggling again makes me feel fragile and unsure of the future. It can be confusing and I start to wonder:

Should I keep living as though I’m going to fully recover? Should I go back to just trying to manage my illness and be the most faithful sick girl I can be?

It’s not easy, but I’ve decided to live with hope. This means I’m accepting the current reality and making the adjustments I need to make. I rest when I need to rest. I do my treatments. I ask for help when I need it. But I’m still living as though I’m going to recover.

As a Christian, I believe that Christ came to save and to heal and that at the end of time he is going to do away with evil and suffering once and for all.

Sometimes when we’re busy remembering God’s sovereignty over all things, it’s easy to forget that God’s ultimate will for us really is healing. So, in an effort to remember this truth, I’m going to live like that healing is on it’s way and hope that it arrives sooner rather than later.

Living with hope is a practical choice too. After all, if you’re hoping for something beyond your illness, you’re more likely to do things that will lead to health than if you just give up.

This means I’m still hoping we will have a family someday. I’m still hoping to get over my mold sensitivity enough that we can make friends and maybe even welcome foster children into our home.

It also means I haven’t given up my dream of getting back in ballet class. I decided that every day of this year I’m going to do something to move me closer towards that goal. So far I’ve succeeded. Even tiny things count, like reading about anatomy and working on my alignment. There were a couple days when the best I could do was just get out of bed to do 20 relevés (heel rises) and then go back to bed.

It might take me years. But then again, I’m not God and I don’t see the future. After all, I never could have predicted that six months of mold avoidance would reverse Lyme symptoms I didn’t know could be reversed. Horrible things happen all of the sudden but good things can too.

By the way, Brett and I made a beautiful PDF of my favorite resources for suffering souls. I created the content and he made it look fancy with his superduper graphic design skills. It’s available for free to my email subscribers. Click here to sign up and receive 5 Resources for the Suffering Soul.

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  • Mom and Dad

    ¡Vamos Ana! Your persistent hope and trust in God is so encouraging and inspiring. And, yes, may your full healing arrive sooner rather than later!
    Love, Mom and Dad

    January 17, 2018 at 8:55 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Aww! 💕😊 Love You! 😘

      January 18, 2018 at 3:39 pm Reply
  • Ashley

    Thank you for your honesty and also your determination…. hope can be hard and scary when struggling with “chronic things”. I admire your resolve and it reminds me to trust God and have hope…. this verse has been rattling around my head for the past 12 hours

    I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living! – Psalm 27:13

    I hope it encourages you in hope and assurance.

    Praying for you today

    January 18, 2018 at 7:16 am Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Thank you Ashley! It’s definitely scary! Thank you for sharing that verse. Such A beautiful expression of hope. 🙂

      January 18, 2018 at 3:40 pm Reply
  • Ruth Meyer

    Hope is a precious thing, though often misunderstood (I think). Having hope is not the same as feeling hopeful. Hope, for me, is an knowledge, an understanding, an assurance. I know God cares for me, and sees me where I am, and wants to hear my prayers and carry my burdens. I understand that I am weak, and struggle, and have much to learn, but I also understand the slow road to change is often filled with opportunities, not just for me to be blessed, but for me to be a blessing to others. The journey is what you make of it. I am assured at all times of God’s love, and truth, and purpose for my life and through all aspects of my life. He has a plan, even when I can’t see it. Even when I’m afraid, I have full assurance that God is with me, and wants to bring me safely to the other side.

    January 18, 2018 at 7:41 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Amen. Thank so much for sharing Ruth! 💕

      January 19, 2018 at 4:25 pm Reply
  • Naomi Brignola

    It is such a hard balance to find! I think you’ve got it right though…you don’t have to be in denial and pretend you’re not sick, neither do you have to get stuck in a ‘I’ll be sick forever’.

    God doesn’t want us to live in fear, hiding under a blanket.
    Neither does He want us to constantly feel like we aren’t measuring up if we aren’t constantly pushing against our limit, and going over it.

    Being near to Him is all we need in order to get peace.
    “You will show me the path of life;
    In Your presence is fullness of joy;
    At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11

    We can, really, already thank Him for healing us, because He will someday. And in the meantime, He gives us His presence!

    January 19, 2018 at 1:50 am Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Exactly! I like the way you said that. Hope is different than denial.

      January 19, 2018 at 4:25 pm Reply
  • Mary Taylor

    As always, such courage Ana! I agree with Psalm 27:13 “I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living” but add vs 14 “Wait for the Lord; be strong and let yor heart take courage; wait for the Lord! Continuing to Pray for you!

    January 19, 2018 at 8:19 am Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Amen! Thank you so much Mary.

      January 19, 2018 at 4:26 pm Reply
  • Jennifer Finklea

    You do have a future! Hold onto Hope! Jesus is your Healer! You can have a life after Lyme Disease and your mold allergies can be fixed. I do Brain Integration, which can help with both. My son had Lyme Disease and could barely walk he was so weak, but now he’s doing great. Pleases contact me, I would love to help you.

    January 20, 2018 at 1:37 pm Reply
    • Leebee

      I would love to know more about this. I am extremely ill with CIRS, lyme, metals, mcs, etc. I’m homeless and have no where to go and no way to do avoudance, no support system, etc and trying to survive in another toxic place (14th or 15th in almost two years) I’m fearing for my life and really really need some help. It’s frustrating to know what I can be doing to feel better but unable to do it alone and with no resources. I’m desperate and sending put an SOS anywhere I can and saw your comment. I dabbled a bit in brain retraining but couldn’t give it my full attention with bouncing around trying to stay alive and I gave up. I don’t know if what you’re talking about is the same or not but thought I would ask. If anyone else sees this please if you can help me in in a bad situation and very bad shape. Thank you so much.

      October 4, 2019 at 3:34 pm Reply
  • Kimi Harris

    I love this, Ana! I think you have every reason to hope. Look at how much progress you’ve made already! I love you, and am thinking about you today. 🙂

    January 20, 2018 at 4:48 pm Reply
  • Jen

    I’ve struggled with the same question – do I live as though I’m going to fully recover or just try to be a faithful sick person? It’s hard to hold on to hope as the years drag on. Thank you for this encouraging post!

    January 21, 2018 at 10:08 am Reply
  • Nanette Fenn

    Ana, I have hope for you!! I really do. I think you body has proven things to you. I think, for you guys, “Spring is coming!” Spring will bring more clean air opportunities to you, and more comfort to do things that will be healing. You are still on your way! Hugs.

    January 23, 2018 at 6:22 pm Reply
  • Andrea Vik

    After about a year of strict mold avoidance,I started relapsing as well. What is helping me now have more energy (sometimes even better than when we started mold avoidance) is bee venom therapy. I think for me all the stress of mold avoidance made the Lyme start coming back! I don’t know if this would work for you but wanted to pass it on!

    February 9, 2018 at 11:48 am Reply
    • Ana Harris

      This is so interesting Andrea! I’m really glad to hear it’s helping you. Thankfully I’m doing better now that we’re in a different apartment and I’m really focusing on detox.

      February 9, 2018 at 12:14 pm Reply
  • Eileen Westrum

    Have you heard about this Lyme cure? Stevia sweetener is supposed is supposed to simply work, it needs to be an extract of the plant, not the crystals found in a grocery store. Here is a link to some research:

    February 22, 2018 at 2:19 pm Reply
  • Essie-Marie Weigt

    Thanks for posting, Ana! I Love hearing your updates. You look gorgeous in the picture, FYI! 😍

    February 22, 2018 at 3:19 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Aww! Thanks Essie! 🙂

      March 2, 2018 at 5:47 pm Reply
  • Stacey

    Thank you Ana for writing with such profound wisdom. Must be the Holy Spirit! This one hit me right when I needed to hear this. xo

    March 2, 2018 at 4:24 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Aww… I’m so glad to hear that Stacey!

      March 2, 2018 at 5:47 pm Reply

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