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Kristie Michaelson

May 21, 2012

After 12 very difficult years, 6 blood transfusions, hundreds of iron infusions, home health care, and many other difficult challenges, I was finally diagnosed with Chronic Lyme’s Disease. Through this I lost my marriage, my ability to take care of my young children, my independence, and the freedom to serve, my world came crashing down. 

I felt like Job. 

I spent most of my life serving and reaching out to others; this is what gave me joy. I was no longer able to do the things I loved, the people I loved were gone and I was left alone fighting for my life.

I was devastated.

Caring for my self was difficult; I became homeless & felt helpless.  My only anchor was what was planted inside my heart so many years ago. A convert at the age of 14, I knew God loved me & that through Him I could do all things. I anchored my trust completely in his tender love & mercy. I surrounded myself with favorite scriptures & positive thoughts to give me comfort and strength.

Embracing my new life, reality of what was, was a hard road.  I felt like a burden to those around me. I was in need of everyone’s help. I often felt weighed down with no purpose.  On one occasion my aid took me to a public pool for therapy. I noticed a lady in the pool she appeared troubled. I went to her and asked if she was okay.  She smiled, replied, “I need help to my chair."  I was touched by her genuine plea for help. I learned that she had MS.  I felt compassion for her. I forgot my struggles and helped her to her chair.  She was so gracious about allowing me to help her. She gave me a gift--a heart filled with joy.

I had a new outlook.

I realized that there must be a receiver to every giver. Each one is needed.  God knew we would need each other, one to lift the other. He wants us to love each other no matter what side of the wheel we may find ourselves on.  It takes both sides to move us forward. When I first was stricken with illness, I recall one morning feeling as if I was dying not just physically but emotionally. I had lost the ability to take care of my children & they were going to leave and live with their father 6 hours away.  My heart was broken, my spirit felt shattered. As I laid there my soul ached. My three year old son at the time had gotten out of his bed & crawled up into mine. He sat next to me as if he had an important message to share. I will never forget the intent in his eyes, “Mommy, I saw Jesus & Heavenly Father He wore white with red on it”.  I pictured the Savior in his white gown & red robe. “He told me to give you...”what he described as a gold chain with a heart hanging from it, then he burst out, it said “LOVE Mommy! He said to love everyone around you." Tears filled my eyes as I realized HE knew what my heart needed.  HE sent his love through my three year old son’s pure heart to remind me that I was loved and to love others. This became the great healing balm in my life. Perhaps not to heal me in the way I had desired but to help me heal in the ways he knew I needed.

Like Job I did suffer indescribable pain on every level,  I tried to follow his example of endurance, forgiveness, love, patience, long suffering, sacrifice, I trusted God & clang to hope.  My life today has been so richly blessed. I still struggle with many health difficulties & challenges but I am happily married, I am raising my children, & finding opportunities to serve.

A willow statue of a little boy holding a gold heart in his arms remains in my home to remind me that God’s love never fails.