Bear with me if this gets long!
You have been such a close friend of mine for eight years. Eight years
! And a friend for longer in that time than even my beloved husband!
You were among the first to greet me when I joined the CAA community. Even as a teenager dealing with so much in high school - things that I now, as a young adult, have names for in terms of mental illness. You stuck with me in the pain, in the struggle of it all, and through the suffering everything brought to me, all the while living with your own health issues.
At the time, I only knew bits of your story. But as the years have passed I have only come to know it more and walk beside you...if only as an internet "stranger" turned friend. I wish I could be there in person to hug you and hold you when the doubt and anxiety gets to be too much...to be, in the very least, available to talk face to face when you need it most.
But here I am, available to you through written word, which is often the best I can do in hopes that I could always offer you encouragement when you need it.
Dear sister in Christ, you're not alone. You're not walking this walk alone; you have friends that love you very much, though none of what we have to offer compares in the slightest to what our Heavenly Father provides. We all stand by your side.
You, dear friend, are covered by the blood of Christ. Even in the darkest days, He has your back.
Life often feels cruel, especially when it veers off into a course we never expected. You and I...we didn't expect to live our lives "sick"...yet here we are. Which perhaps gives us greater ability, power, if you will, to spur each other forward (see Hebrews 10:24)! This isn't, of course, limited to the two of us, but expands to those who understand what it means to be sick/broken/etc....which really, can apply to anyone is some way. We all live in a fallen, soulsick condition, after all.
You are not alone.
Remember the words of Hebrews 10:39 -- "But we are not those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls." and also continuing in 12:28-29 -- "Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire."
I think with where you're at, you still live these verses. It may not be how you would expect, or how you'd want, but you still live and love and encourage in a way that I've seen in very few others. Your work is not in vain, dear sister.
At the risk of repeating what I've said many times before outside of this thread, as well as things that just now come to mind --- We are but vapors (James 4:14), but God is your strength (Phil. 4:13), He is sufficient in your weakness (1 Cor. 12:9), He will fight for you (Exodus 14:14), He is your shepherd (Ps. 23:1), He is your rock, your refuge, your shield (2 Sam. 22:2-3), He is the sound of gentle blowing (1 Kings 19:12), He is Alpha and Omega (Rev. 20:6), He is I Am (Exodus 3:14), and all things hold together through Him (Col. 1:17)!!
God is still on the throne. He reigns. Hold fast to the truth found in Scripture and praise Him. Faithful is He who calls you (1 Thess. 5:24).
You are loved, dear friend. You are not alone. I stand beside you, as do many others. And our God, especially, for He knows most intimately what you need and desire. For what it's worth, your 30th birthday is a wonderful milestone in your life's journey thus far!
"The Grace of the Lord Jesus be with you." - 1 Cor. 16:23
With love in Christ,
praying grace and peace to you,