“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is a phrase that most people use when they have gone through many hardships but still come out on top, much like me. From dealing with the struggles of depression to being diagnosed with a kidney disease, I’ve had to endure a lot of challenges in life that did not take me but shaped my faith and made me the woman I am today.
One Friday night, I was sitting at home watching television while my mom was out having a “hot mom night.” I noticed my ankle was swollen. I thought it was odd because although I did play sports, I did not recall hurting myself. After the fiftieth call to my mom, she rushed home and took me to the emergency room. Never in a million years did we think they would tell us I had to be immediately transported to Texas Children’s Hospital by ambulance because my kidneys were not functioning properly.
At the tender age of 13, I was diagnosed with Nephrotic Syndrome Kidney Disease. I was no longer a normal kid who could eat whatever they wanted; I was limited to a liter of liquid and 1000mg of sodium a day. I also had to take over 20 prescription pills each day which caused my face to swell up—I looked like I had acorns in my cheeks. Although this shook up my world, it did not kill me but made me stronger.
No one really talks about the transition from college to starting your career. I didn’t automatically get a job just because I graduated. I also went to college out of state and was away from my high school friends for four years. Unfortunately, we grew apart. Upon returning home from college, I was miles away from all the friends I had spent the last four years with. Needless to say, adjusting to adulthood was not as easy as it looked in the movies.
I went from having my own apartment to having to move back in with my family. I started to feel alone. Before I knew it, I slipped into a deep, dark depression. I cried every day for months at a time, sometimes I didn’t even know why. There were days when I just lay in my bed and did not utter a single word. However, there was a little light of hope in me that realized I needed help. While I had already been going to church regularly, I decided to also seek out a therapist. After many sessions, a lot of prayer, and not being too prideful to take medication, God and therapy had me back in a healthy head space. There were some days I thought depression would be the thing that killed me, but it made me stronger.
I have always dreaded “that time of the month.” From the sickness to the pain, it was the worst seven days of my life every month. Year after year it got worse, but I just thought that was how it was supposed to be. Finally, I got tired of dealing with the pain and talked to my doctor who informed me I had fibroids. We tried birth control. I even had a hysteroscopy to remove some of the fibroids, but the pain persisted. So, my doctor recommended a laparoscopic surgery to check for endometriosis, and sure enough, I had that too. There were some days the pain was so bad it felt like I was dying, but it did not kill me; it made me stronger.
In 2 Corinthians, 12:9, it says, “I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ power may rest on me.” So, maybe it is not about realizing what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger—but realizing what makes you weaker. Because when we are weak, God is strong. And because God lives in us, His strength does too. That is what we need to carry us through.Leave a Comment