I’m 25 year old Youth Pastor. I live in New Jersey with my wife and Labradoodle. Was experiencing symptoms for several months, was told that it was “just stress.” After months of having 5 Bowel Movements of watery stool a day, my primary care physician finally referred me for a colonoscopy where I was diagnosed October 2010 with a mild case of UC.
An interesting thing about me is that I try to enjoy as much of life as I can. I grew up in a small town, with small minds and desired to go out and see and experience the world, even in my young age. From the time I was 18, I have lived in mud huts in Africa, on a boat on the Ganges river of India, backpacked through Europe, sky dived and ran a Spartan Race.
For several months I have sensed the calling of the LORD to transition out of civilian ministry and pursue a life of Military Chaplaincy, leaning primarily towards Army. I have had the privilege to meet several Military Chaplains, read tons of books and resources and truly sensed being called that direction, it was the first thing I was excited about in a long time.
I was about 40 lbs over the weight requirements, so I began a strict diet/exercise regime to make the requirements [and lost 12 lbs in one month], I began talking with an Army recruiter and filling out the TONS of paperwork. I even told my family and close friends I was moving this direction, in which they were all proud and honored [even though I wasn't even a boy scout]. My grandmother told me that my late grandfather who was in the Navy would have been very proud!
The details are blurry now that I write, but it was brought to my attention that having Ulcerative Colitis disqualifies one from serving in the Armed services. I couldn’t believe it! I e-mailed my recruiter twice and never heard anything back, typically he responds within 24 hours. I am disappointed and saddened, since I really thought this was the direction I was supposed to go.
Even though I am not 100% sure if I am exempt form military service forever because of having UC, I can’t help but feel discouraged and disappointed at this news, particularly since its something I’ve been working so hard towards for several months and was setting my hopes high on serving my God, my country and our fellow servicemen.
How do you deal with the disappointments that life brings, particularly when it involves UC, something that you cannot control? Even though I am trusting the LORD and His will and provision for my life, I am disheartened and discouraged by this news.
Thank you for taking the time to read and understand.
written by David
submitted in the colitis venting area