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A year ago today, I graduated from Ohio Christian University. Diploma in hand and nerve insight, the next few months that followed, would become some of the most challenging times in my life.

What began as a small stomach ache, quickly transformed into a cluster of ER, Dr., and specialist visits. Finally, getting diagnosed six months later, I remember crying on the bathroom floor in pain. I still agonize over the girl I see in the mirror, which is now a hollow shell of the bright spirit she used to be. I gruesomely experience the never-ending gnawing of multiple said diagnoses that have shattered my identity.

Physically, spiritually, mentally, socially, emotionally, and relationally, it is a troubling sea within our hearts when Satan tries to tell us that our struggles define us. When the clenched ridden teeth of lies whisper to us that those medical conditions are who we are and all we’ll ever become.

But today, I want to encourage you with some wise words a dear mentor said to me: You are not a diagnosis, nor are you your condition. You are not your struggles. You are worth so much more than all the prescriptions that have been prescribed to you.

David tells us in Psalm 61:2, “from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint.

Lead me to the rock that is higher than I,” (Psalm 61:2, ESV). Even when you don’t feel like speaking, allow your suffering to lead you to the rock, which is far above and beyond any prognosis you could ever develop. 

You are not your diagnosis, but you are a child of the King who calls you to higher places than you could ever get to on your own. This suffering is not meant to define but refine you, because you have a story to tell. You have a name. You have a purpose. And though pain has a voice, it doesn’t get the final say. 

“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,” (Romans 5:3-4, ESV).