As a child I was raised in a moderately religious home, both of my parents were Christians and attended church a few times a month. I was brought up in the Lutheran church, baptized at the age of four, took my first communion at eight. I would say that around age five was when I really began to be interested in church and religion, I had always said I was a Christian but at five I finally understood what that meant. It wasn’t until age eleven that I got really interested in it; this was when my family switched from our more strict Lutheran church to an Assemblies of God church. Between eleven and twelve my interest in religion soared! I was at church 2-3 times a week, in bible studies, praying and reading my bible at home; I had never felt more close to God.
That’s when everything began to change, at twelve I was faced with a life threatening autoimmune disease called idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, ITP for short. My body had turned against its self and my immune system was killing off all of the platelets in my blood. This may not seem like a major issue but your platelets are the clotting agent in your blood, without them a small bump on the head or a paper cut to the finger could be fatal. I was hospitalized for over a week until my platelet count was brought up to a safe level, after I was released I had to go to the U of M every day to be sure that I was at least maintaining the level I was at or gaining more. In the chaos religion got put on the back burner, I still prayed on occasion but was not able to attend church or my bible study. I didn’t blame God for this sudden change, but I did wonder “Why here? Why now? Why me?” I had just begun to turn my life over to Him and suddenly I was faced with the chance of losing it. It took me almost a year to recover from my illness, that was when I began to realize that it was by the grace of God that I was still here.
It took some time before I was comfortable returning to church, but in time I went back to my youth group, the support I had from them was amazing! I got my life back on track and began to try to pick up where I left off. I have still not reached that connection I felt at eleven again, at seventeen my faith is something I struggle with, but ever morning I still wake up and chose to serve God thru my words, my actions, and my life. Every day I thank God that by his grace I’m alive, and because of this I chose to serve him.
Psalm 56:13: For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.