In March of last year I became quite ill and would develop sore throat after sore throat, fatigued beyond reason and unable to do most things. I paid the doctor’s office a visit and was tested for strep, and of all things, mononucleosis.
The next day, morning dawned and I was sleeping late. The phone rang and Mom answered it. “Your daughter has mono,” were the words that came over the line.
Mom knew what this news would do to me. Mono for the third time? Impossible, the doctor’s say. Yet mono it was.
She got ready for work, slipped into my room and told me to just rest and sleep. Her face looked unusually concerned, yet in my groggy frame of mind, I did as she suggested without thinking too much about it.
A couple of hours later, she phoned. “The doctor called this morning,” she said. “You have mono.”
Initially, I wasn’t shocked or alarmed. I was glad to have something to blame for the most torturous sore throat ever known to man. But as the day wore on, I began to realize what it meant. Months of illness. Months of debilitating fatigue. Months of feeling as though an invisible weight was strapped around my chest, sending me plunging into the relief of the nearest couch.
Some days I felt so physically weighed down that I would seek the floor for relief, but received none.
My spleen, liver and pancreas were all slightly enlarged due to the illness and I had to be careful lest they rupture. I could locate each one by the pain.
Mornings were the worst. My back and neck were stiff and aching considerably. For three weeks the torturous sore throat lasted. My lymph nodes were swollen and felt as if they were slowly, but surely strangling me.
Each night, I would collapse into bed and ask God to please just take away the sore throat. It felt terrible. It looked worse. The pain was unending and nearly unbearable without constant liquids.
And for four solid months I was more an invalid than I was before. As I began to gain a bit of energy, I started to do more. I would go out, lasting only one or two hours at the most. I slowly planted the small garden I had dreamed of those four months.
Then I had a relapse. I thought that this time I was down for the count. Five more long months of illness awaited me. And right now, I am still in recovery, a year later.
But during my illness, I had an “old” confidence. I had a confidence in my God that He would see me through. I knew I had traveled that road before and I had made it then and could do it now. It wasn’t a newfound faith, which comes when we are emboldened by the strength of God in a new situation, it was an old assurance that I had been down that same path before and made it beyond.
I knew it was bad. I knew it was painful. I knew of the struggles I would face. Yet I had that old confidence that He would be with me again this time, through each day and each night.
“The old confidence” might best be called faith. And faith only grows stronger as it overcomes each battle. And it creates a reassurance of God’s presence and power each time another battle faces us down.
Why did He allow my body to activate the disease within me again? I don’t know the answer to that. But I do know that I made it through not once, but twice before and could do it again by God’s grace.
I had that “old confidence.”
"The fruit of righteousness will be peace;
the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever."