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When poor health makes you question God

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By Luke Grayson

On a good day my faith is shaky at best, When everything is crashing down around me, I spend a very large portion of my time cursing God.

Since I was a kid, I have always been told, “It will get better. Just have faith and God will make it better. Or, “God will never give you more than you can handle” this is just a part of God’s plan, there is always a reason.”

I spent most of my teenage years saying, “Screw that, this is just sheer hell.” 

So far this year, I have been saying that more than anything. There have been more bad days than good, by a long shot. 

A bit of a backstory:

I have multiple chronic, mostly genetic, disorders that have caused me to be in and out of the hospital and see hundreds of specialists since I was about 8 years old. For a while I was considered in remission, or in partial remission. These times made it a little easier to be able to attend school and hold down a part-time job. Growing up, I was told that I would probably never be able to do the same things as my peers, but I tried to be “normal” even if it meant being sick or in massive pain for days after. 

“First do no harm”

This last month alone, I have been sicker than I have ever been in my entire life, landing myself in the hospital for eight days. No one knew if I would be alive by the end of it. When I went into the hospital, I couldn’t spell my own name or answer any of the simple questions. I was immediately put in an isolation room and hooked up to multiple machines. I still can’t remember much from the weeks leading up to it or the first five days there, just what my partner has told me.

A month since I was discharged from the hospital, there are still no answers as to why I became so sick out of nowhere. And there are still no answers as to why I am still not getting any better. My doctor is baffled, but he keeps running tests because he believes me that something is wrong, unlike the other providers in his office. When I saw him he saw a different person than he has ever seen — someone with little hope, depressed, and despondent. Normally I would be making jokes with him, and be snarky, draw while waiting for him or while we were talking. He told me that it breaks his heart to see me like this, that he wants to see the old Luke again. He said he will figure this out, and figure out how to make it at least manageable. 

As I have gotten older my conditions have gotten worse and become more progressive. More diagnoses have been added. I always knew it would happen eventually, but I hoped I would at least be able to stave it off for a few more years. But that’s not what has happened, it hit full force again when I was 19 and has just gotten worse over the last five years. I cannot work, and am reliant on many many medications, braces, and a cane most of the time, if I can even get out of bed. I am waiting for a judge to agree that I am sick enough to be considered disabled.

I am considered a “frequent flyer” because of how many times I have ended up in the emergency room the last two years. This year alone, I was admitted for two different day procedures, including an emergency surgery.

Lately, I have spent a lot of time questioning God, the universe, whatever is up there, if anything at all. “God will never give you more than you can handle” feels like a jab at my entire life.Why me? Why all of this? What did I do to deserve this life? This illness, this life that has never felt fair, this string of crisis after crisis after crisis. What kind of supposed, loving, caring God would do this? Shouldn’t “First, do no harm” apply to God as well?

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About Luke Grayson-Skinner

Luke Grayson-Skinner is a 20-something, disabled, nonbinary trans-person who has been in Spokane since 2012 and is an advocate for the LGBT community and for transgender people.
They are also a slam (performance) poet who went to Atlanta for National competition in 2016 as a part of a team representing Spokane, and continues to be apart of the local writing and arts communities.
Luke doesn't currently know what faith-base they "belong in" but grew up in an Evangelical church that they left when they moved to Spokane and has attended an open and affirming UCC church off and on since they were 20.
Luke uses they/them pronouns.

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