Joy in Adversity

For most of the last twenty years I’ve hung drywall and pulled joints.

It’s helped put a roof over our heads and food on the table. I’ve taken a lot of pride in my work and the way that I relate to people on jobs of various sizes, and I’ve taken pride in my physical endurance that I pushed to the limit; at times unnecessarily.
Last August I found myself, after several painful days of sleeplessness and no food or water except by IV, an emaciated shell, in a diaper for fear of soiling myself sobbing at the hospital window for the wonderful green trees I could see, and I thanked God sincerely for amazing beauty in small blessings. I was grateful for having a private room if only for one night where my wife could stay with her own bed, and for a father who stayed at my side when I was afraid to be alone.
It’s been a steady stream of small blessings that saw me get Remicade when nothing else worked and government funding to help pay for it and a network of supportive friends and family. To learn what real hardship was like in the cancer ward where I spent the night because there was no room anywhere else.
I came home to find my second youngest son look at his week, skinny father as if he was a stranger in the house. I found myself falling as I tried to climb up the stairs because of all the muscle my body had eaten when there was nothing else left.
It’s six months later and I’m slowly getting back to work. I’m working things out inside to see where I go from here. I’m turning forty this year! and I’m wondering what the next forty years might be like living with ulcerative colitis. Will I pass this on to my children, and if so I pray that they find strength in God as I did and do.
Our lives are filled with bumps and turns, and Ulcerative Colitis can be a major bump, but that’s what makes us who we are, and we can rejoice if it brings us closer to a mother or a brother or a friend or our faith or to understanding ourselves a little better.

“Not only so, but we also rejoice on our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Romans 5:3,4.


Remicade and Immuran

Paul534’s story is now entered into the 2011 Ulcerative Colitis Writing Contest!!! You Can Join too, click here for details

submitted by Paul


4 thoughts on “Joy in Adversity”

  1. Your story..very encouraging, and something I needed to hear. Thanks for sharing-I sometimes catch myself wondering what all of it is for, day in and day out fighting the same battle over and over…though I know all well that it is to serve a greater purpose-His Glory…Thanks again for posting the scripture.

  2. Hi, thanks for your story. I agree, since my son was diagnosed with UC(he’s 6 yrs, old diagnosed april 28, 2010) and the death of my mother(Oct. 26th 2009;age 68-she was on dialysis for over 10 years)I have drawn myself closer to God to help me and my son get through all this heartache. I know not everyone is religious or spiritual, and I respect that,I do, but, for me, these hardships and past hardships in life(there have been many)have taught me that prayer is very powerful and God will always be there for us if we just believe and ask for his help. I truly do not believe I would have been able to come this far without him or his love. :-)

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