How do you debrief a summer that was full of new friendships and new experiences, amazing memories, life-changing God-moments and sweet ministry? No idea.
But I'll try.
This summer was #blessed .
But in all seriousness, God did really cool things in my life this summer and provided me with so many opportunities. My faith was strengthened a lot and I learned to continually depend on God and lean into Him for my strength; especially on the days when I was so tired that my eyes burned just from having them open for so long and my feet ached from standing and my brain was so foggy that I could hardly manage a simple conversation. God provided me with the strength I needed. He lead me and brought peace to my soul in every situation and challenge I faced.
If you're reading my blog, you're likely wondering about how my health was this summer because that's usually the main topic of this blog. The non-sugar-coated, brutally honest truth about living with a chronic illness. I would say that overall, I felt quite a bit better than I have in a long time. Probably because I was a lot more active which I realize now was super exhausting while I was doing it but was really beneficial for my muscles and joints. They ached a lot less at the end of the day or at random times during the day when I stayed active. I also continued my gluten-free, dairy-free, corn-free, peanut-free, pistachio-free, plum-free diet (with the exception of a few cheat days so I could indulge in all things cheesey like poutine and nachos). In the process of this diet that I started back in April to manage my Lyme Disease symptoms; I have actually lost 25 pounds! And my digestion has improved drastically and I have a lot less symptoms when it comes to stomach pain. So praise God on that one!
There were a lot things to celebrate about my health this summer and a lot of little victories that I am thankful for. That's not to say though that there wasn't struggles; because there definitely was. As someone with a chronic illness, even if we are feeling overall "pretty good", that mostly just means that we are feeling like we aren't in constant-unrelenting-pain. There were a few days in particular this summer where I barely got out of bed and I did make a few hospital trips (three, I think). I came down with a bad stomach flu once, had two really bad Lyme flare-ups and ended up in the hospital because of an ovarian cyst that is still giving me a lot of problems right now. Thankfully, my bosses and friends at camp were extremely understanding and supportive when it came to my illness so shout out and thank you's to everyone at camp who helped me out this summer by getting me things I needed, finding me bath tubs to soak in, driving me to the hospital, preparing my special dietary restriction food and for all the prayers that were said for me and my health. I wouldn't have had such an amazing summer without all of you (You know who you are ;)).
And now, I am back home, settled in. I've been purging through my bedroom bit by bit and I am hoping to put together some care packages to donate to local families or people in need. If anyone is interested in helping me out with this, please let me know! You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on facebook if you know me personally. Also, if you know of a specific family or individual that is in need I would love to talk to you about finding what they need to help them out.
Thanks for taking the time to catch up on my summer! Looking forward to hearing about all of your summers. Sending prayers and love your way.