II Corinthians 12:9-10

"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities... for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong."
II Corinthians 12:9-10

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Does Scoliosis Matter?

Of course scoliosis matters. Right? I mean, it has affected my life in so many ways since I was 6 years old. Doctors appointments and x-rays every 3-6 months, braces 23 hours a day for six years, a huge surgery with a long recovery, and now permanent rods and screws with no more slouching for the rest of my life. I would say it matters a lot.

But does it really matter?

I used to believe it did, so much that I devoted myself to blogging, emailing, participating in webinars, interviews, and even incorporated scoliosis into my master's thesis. Every year I organize a benefit concert, and my friends and I have raised a couple thousand dollars for the Ronald McDonald House Charities that helped us during my surgery.

So what has changed?

The longer I live, the harder life gets. And my life has not necessarily been an easy ride, although I wouldn't change any of it. You build relationships, and then get hurt. You love people, and then lose them. But that's a part of life-- a part that reminds us that there is more than this life right here and now. I have a friend who passed away from ALS. My grandma lived with diabetes, kidney failure, and many other health issues, and last year she went home to be with God. And then a couple months later, a high school student at my school and church was diagnosed with leukemia, but the battle ended only a few short days after.

Seeing all the loss and heartache around me makes me wonder why I would devote myself to helping those with scoliosis when there are life-threatening diseases that I could help fight against. Living with a crooked spine or rods and screws seems so trivial now.

And so I stopped. I stopped thinking about scoliosis, about getting involved and helping people, just so I could think about what I wanted to accomplish in my short life.

My decision? It may change. It may grow. I may completely throw it out the window. But for now, I have decided that I actually have no control. In the end, it doesn't really matter what I do. The fact is, people still die. People still suffer. We all have our own experiences, and I am not called to be the hero. I do believe that God purposefully gave me scoliosis, because He knew I needed it, AND because I would do something about it.

Lately, I've come across so many people with new scoliosis diagnoses. No, it's not cancer. It's not immediately life-threatening. But it is scary. It's unknown. It's painful. It's emotional. It's a path not traveled yet. And these people need someone who's been there. And that's what I've been called to do.

I can't save lives... (except when I donate blood. And then I save 3. LOL) But it's the quality of life that I can have an impact on. That's why I have decided to continue my efforts to help those with scoliosis. That's why I will keep putting on these benefit concerts for RMCH. I want to give both children and adults the opportunity to be together during times of hardship and trauma.

But even that doesn't ultimately matter. When your life is over, good or bad, pleasant or painful, it's over. You can't change it. The choices made here and now affect where we spend eternity after death. And this is what truly matters. I am going to keep using scoliosis as a way of sharing the Truth with those around me. Eternal life matters. And you can only have it through Jesus Christ.

So... does scoliosis matter? To me, yes. I consider it a gift from God (although a painful, annoying one!) that I can use to help show others the way to eternal life with Him. And THAT matters most!