I mentioned two days ago how I discovered that I can run again. Now I’m running all time just because it feels so strange and wonderful to move through space so quickly. I can run! My legs can actually take me places!
I didn’t even know this kind of progress was possible! Many people told me with great confidence that I would get well eventually but I wasn’t at all sure that they were right. At 20 years old, I could feel my body failing fast and I was not stupid. Deep down inside, I knew the reality was that very few severely ill Lyme patients are able to reclaim vibrant health. I had only heard of one or two success stories and neither of them were completely well. The best I could hope for was a new normal.
I could barely walk during this time and had to call for help just to take the few steps from my bed to the toilet. When it was time for an appointment Brett would pack up my wheelchair and carry me to the car. It was my great grandfather’s old wheelchair that my great grandmother had lent to us. The irony was not lost on me. My great grandmother was 94 and somehow, I, at 20, needed that wheelchair more than she did. It was almost too much to bear.
Still, I was so thankful for that wheelchair. Because of that wheelchair, I was actually able to leave the house occasionally; not only for appointments but also for rare visits to Hobby Lobby. Hobby Lobby was the only public place I could go because it was never crowded and the music was quiet enough that I could block it out if I wore earplugs and earmuffs. It was the best thing that happened all week when I could go there.
The weakness, the sound sensitivity, the crippling pain… it all made my world so very small. It hurts my heart to even think of it… that bed, those four walls, that feeling of being trapped inside a body that was trying to kill me. Hobby Lobby was the biggest place I could go.
Just look at me now!!! I can run!!! I’m free!!! My world is the great outdoors; vast deserts and wide-open prairies with no walls to stop me. I can go anywhere my two legs will take me.
I feel like just like Amahl, the poor crippled boy who finds healing in the beautiful Christmas opera, “Amahl and the Night Visitors.” One day three traveling kings stop by Ahmal’s home looking for a place to stay. The kings tell Amahl and his mother about a mysterious child king that they are seeking:
“The Child we seek doesn’t need our gold. On love, on love alone He will build His Kingdom. His pierced hand will hold no scepter. His haloed head will wear no crown. His might will not be built on your toil. Swifter than lightning He will soon walk among us. He will bring us new life and receive our death, and the keys to His city belong to the poor.”
When the poor crippled boy hears this, he is so moved that he asks his mother to let him send his crutch to the child king. In that moment, he discovers that he’s been miraculously healed and begins to sing “I walk, Mother… I walk, Mother!” All who are present respond in astonishment and then Ahmal sings joyfully, “Look mother, I can dance, I can jump, I can run!”
I remember being moved to tears when I watched a video of this scene from my sickbed. The mysterious child was of course the Christ who came to bring good news to the poor, heal the sick and set captives free.
My tears were bittersweet as I watched Ahmal dancing. I always believed that because of Christ my future healing was certain but I also knew there was no guarantee that it would happen on this side of heaven. Watching Ahmal filled me with hope because that was my future too but it also made me wonder, how long would I have to wait? Years? Decades? A lifetime? How I longed for that day!
I never could have imagined that it would come so soon or that it would be life threatening allergies and a desperate experiment that would finally unlock this prison of illness. Mold avoidance? Clean air, camping and lots of showers? It’s almost absurd. Wonderfully, beautifully, joyously absurd.
Note: For my readers who want to know the details of what we did on Day 63… We set up our address at America’s Mailbox, picked up our organic latex mattress and Brett finally had a chance to get some work done.
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Ana, I see the joy of the Lord in your face in the photo above:) I am praising God for this miraculous healing journey “experiment,” He has brought you to.May 19, 2017 at 8:05 pm
I am so glad He led you and Brett to find mold avoidance and even sent you two angels in Sarah and her husband.
May you get stronger and healthier everyday sweet Ana. Oh how Jesus loves you!!
Aww…. Thank you so much Denise. 💚May 20, 2017 at 7:46 pm
Reading this Ana, was so encouraging it left me in tears. The feeling of starting to live life again must feel wonderful for you, God is truly, one by beautiful one, answering prayers for you. Praying for you continually and constantly.May 19, 2017 at 9:07 pm
Soli Deo Gloria
Thank you so much Natalie! This is so sweet! He really is, isn’t he?! 💚💚💚May 20, 2017 at 7:47 pm
Yes. Yes He isMay 20, 2017 at 8:36 pm
Ahhh, this is amazing! Praise the Lord!!! I could just sense your joy reading this post. I pray He continues to heal you completely!May 19, 2017 at 9:32 pm
Amen sister! Thank you so much for reading and showing your support by commenting. 💚May 20, 2017 at 7:47 pm
~ I Am Free ~
Break me away from invisible chains
Open my eyes to feel hope in the rain
No more a captive to shadows I’ve cast
Give me the sky, let me taste it at last!
Cast away sorrows and fear-stricken pain
Show me the cross of my Healer again
No more to carry the weight of my doubt
Give me a moment His praises to shout!
I am free!
From the chains you can’t see
I am free!
From the wounding in me
Can’t you see?
I’m not bound by the past
Can it be?
I found Heaven at last!
And, it’s here every day
In the small simple ways
There’s a Savior nearby
Giving grace for each sigh
And I’m only just me
But I’m free!
Ruth MeyerMay 20, 2017 at 3:10 am
May 20th, 2017
Beautiful Ruth! Thank you for sharing!May 20, 2017 at 7:49 pm
So HAPPY for you Ana!!May 20, 2017 at 7:19 am
😊May 20, 2017 at 7:49 pm
That is so incredibly encouraging Ana! So happy for you!!!May 20, 2017 at 8:01 am
Thanks so much Hannah!May 21, 2017 at 1:38 pm
Loved reading this post, Ana! We are rejoicing with you and continuing to pray!May 20, 2017 at 11:50 am
Thank so much Alex! 😊May 21, 2017 at 1:38 pm
Wow! God is so good! What a miracle! I can’t believe you can run either! I can’t imagine how you must feel! It must be oh so freeing! It reminds me of a song from a play that says “I will spread my wings and finally breathe!” (Here’s the link to the song if you want to listen to it: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B4Y3gMYGqWKSQ3U4NG9aT2UxSmM) It’s not necessarily a Christian song, but it’s lyrics are so good! Especially in your case of newly found freedom! 🙂
Love and hugs,May 20, 2017 at 4:29 pm
A YWW Student
I know who you are. . .LOLMay 20, 2017 at 5:56 pm
It is Erin! It’s amazing! Thank you so much for the lovely song. Love and hugs back!
P.S. I’m sorry your comments keep getting caught in spam. I’m not sure why but I’ve been approving them as soon as I see them. 🙂May 21, 2017 at 1:44 pm
Wow, praise the Lord, sis!
This post definitely made me smile… Much 🙂
Thank you for sharing this journey with us all… God is so good💕
Blessings and Shalom to you both💞May 20, 2017 at 4:42 pm
Aww…💚💜💙 Thank you so much!May 21, 2017 at 1:37 pm
Amazed. I know how freeing running is I have been a runner for years now and I still get taken bacm by the freedom I feel in running I can only imagine the feeling of freedom and hope you feel. God Bless you Ana.May 21, 2017 at 3:27 pm
It was so amazing! 🙂 I miss you cousin! 💚May 21, 2017 at 4:38 pm
This is AWESOME!! 🙂May 21, 2017 at 3:56 pm
😊May 21, 2017 at 5:45 pm
Wonderful, Ana! Praise God! 😀May 21, 2017 at 5:16 pm
😀May 21, 2017 at 5:46 pm
I remember seeing you at Hobby Lobby while I worked as a cashier there and talking to you for a few minutes before the store closed. I am SO glad you are feeling better, Ana. I no longer work at Hobby Lobby and live in Pittsburgh PA with my hubby. We will continue to pray for God’s healing, life and joy to flow through your body! ❤️May 22, 2017 at 5:02 am
So happy for you, Ana!!! Praying that you continue to find healing!May 22, 2017 at 11:17 am
Thanks so much Amanda!May 23, 2017 at 4:46 pm
Amen!!!! I am so glad to hear of your progress, Ana! Praise the Lord, and I pray that you continue to move forward! Run your heart out, my friend!! 💕May 22, 2017 at 1:21 pm
Leslie! It’s so good to hear from you! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. And thank you so much for your prayers! ❤️May 23, 2017 at 4:47 pm
I don’t know you but was at New Life with your family from 2013 – 2015. The way your family praised and prayed for you and conducted themselves over that time was such a witness to me. So glad to read that you are doing much better! Will continue to pray for God’s healing so that you can keep running for Him!May 23, 2017 at 1:11 pm
Aww… Thank you so much for reading praying and commenting Neann. I’m so glad my family was an encouragement to you during that time.May 23, 2017 at 4:50 pm
I’m really really happy for you! I’ve been keeping an eye on your journey for quite some time now and to see God rising you up to do things I’ve meanwhile taken for granted again is a wondrous thing!May 27, 2017 at 6:28 pm
Aww… Thanks so much for commenting Kayla!May 27, 2017 at 7:06 pm
Dear Ana,May 27, 2017 at 6:38 pm
I loved seeing this picture and reading your post. This is wonderful. And if you can run, you can dance!
Aww… I sure hope so! The problem with dancing is the dance studios. I could definitely dance again in pristine air but not in contaminated building. My secret hope is that I’ll find a pristine studio someday in a good location or maybe I’ll have to start a company that only rehearses outside. Haha! 😉May 27, 2017 at 7:05 pm
Ana! I too have a chronic illness ( not lyme, but it affects most systems in my body) and i agree that running is truly an amazing thing! In July i couldnt walk but by the grace of god today i was able to successfullly run 1 WHOLE lap around a running track. It may not seem like a lot but it was a huge victory for me! 😀 Your posts are encouraging to other people going through chronic health issues, like me! Keep running!!!May 27, 2017 at 6:40 pm
Wow! Ally! You’re so brave! I know what a HUGE milestone that is! Amazing! I’m so happy for you! Keep fighting. ❤️May 27, 2017 at 6:56 pm
How encouraging! So happy to hear of your progress and see this picture! God continue to Bless you both!May 28, 2017 at 5:25 pm
Ana, I just wanted to take a moment and tell you that I love reading your blog! Thank you so much for opening up and writing about your journey – you have no idea how much it blesses people. This post is very encouraging. My fiancé has dealt with a chronic health condition since he was young, and even though it is mostly in control now, there are still hard days. So I just wanted to express how grateful I am for your candidness about your own journey through health and how you and your husband cope with day to day life. I am praying continually for your healing!May 29, 2017 at 10:10 pm
I almost forgot the shear joy of the moment I realized I had just walked 2 miles in a day. The difference between severe chronic illness and “regular” life is so hard to explain, you sum it up beautifully.
For anyone considering mold avoidance, the results can be truly nothing short of miraculous.
What a blessing.
Thank you for writing this blog. We’re one year into mold avoidance now. Hearing from someone else who “gets it” is lovely ❤️
MollyJanuary 22, 2023 at 6:44 am