September 29, 2015 will forever be a defining day in my personal history. I don’t remember his exact words, but I remember the tone of the neurologist’s voice, the hurried way he explained the images on the MRI, and the agony of watching my husband crumble under the weight of the news. I had never met anyone with Multiple Sclerosis up to that day (or so I thought). I used to read Stephen White novels where the main character’s wife struggled with MS. Did she end up in a wheel chair? I couldn’t remember as I consoled my husband and let the weight of the news begin to sink in. All I could see was an image of Annette Funicello late in her life, struggling with MS.
An hour or so later, I sat alone in a hospital bed. My husband had hurried home to grab a few things and help my mom get our children to bed. I needed to update our extended family and our dear friends who were praying for us, but I couldn’t form the words. I remembered a scripture I’d been praying in the weeks prior:
“Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.” ~Psalm 22:3 ESV
I had prayed that no matter what preceded the “Yet” in my life, I wanted to always be able to praise God in response.
As I sat alone with my thoughts, my heart turned to praise and I worshiped my creator. I prayed that God would take this disease and use it for His glory. That if I were going to go through this, that He would use me to help others and ultimately use it for good.
I decided then and there that I was never going to be defined by this disease. I was never going to let my joy be robbed or let any fear keep me from enjoying my life. Over time, “Not Today, MS” was something my husband I would say to one another to encourage one another. Then as God did some incredible, crazy things in my life like melt 180 pounds off my body and help me to run two half marathons, “Not today, MS” became our anthem. No matter what my future may hold, I refuse to be defined by this disease or let it control my joy and happiness. As long as I can run, I will run. If I can’t run, I will walk. If I can’t walk, I will crawl. If I can’t crawl, I will rock a wheel chair like no body’s business.
One of my favorite scriptures says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” ~John 10:10. The enemy can and will use every trick he’s got to steal our joy and destroy us. My mission is to choose each day to have joy and to hopefully share that joy with others. No matter what you’re facing in your life, you have a choice… Let the enemy take you out and make you think all hope is lost, or say NOT TODAY and let Christ help you find your FULL LIFE.