“The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” -Psalm 18:2

October 7th is a day I’ll never forget. I woke up from my 8th kidney stone surgery to being told that a total of 45 stones had been removed off my kidneys between this procedure and the one a week prior. The surgeries were successful, however this was not the end. I had hoped it would be.

October 7th was the day I was diagnosed with a kidney disease. It was a hard day for our family, but we were thankful to have my family and friends right by our side that day. It’s a rare disease that literally produces more and more kidney stones over time, and gradually lessens the kidney’s overall function over time. We had prayed for answers for years, and here it was. Of all the news I thought I’d hear, I never expected that. Something unpreventable, possibly genetic, and something untreatable.

I’ve had issues with kidney stones, surgeries, stents, and appointments for almost 15 years. I’ve been one of the youngest patients in the urology centers and surgery centers for over a decade. “You’re so young to be here!” Is a phrase I’ve heard numerous times from many sweet, elderly people. I feel pretty out of place whenever I check in for an appointment, am in the waiting room for an x-ray, or go in for a procedure. I’ve had some really great conversations with some older folks that I’ll never forget though, and that makes things a little easier. “Honey are you having kidney stones? Have you tried cranberry juice? Cutting out calcium? I’ve had a few throughout my (80+ year) life.” Trust me, I’ve tried everything out there possible for kidney stones. I laugh every time I see cranberry juice or look at a kidney bean. I’ve heard all the stone jokes. The looks and comments after sharing that I’ve had now over 80 stones removed are memorable, sometimes funny, but always ends with that feeling of, “What’s wrong with me?” I can find the good in almost any situation, but there have been many nights I’ve been awake wondering what’s happening with my kidneys.

After wondering for so long why I’ve had so many stones and surgeries, I was thankful for an answer finally. Although it was tough news, it seemed to be something I processed ok.

Then I went in for a follow-up appointment and X-ray this past Friday. It was a rainy, chilly afternoon. I was by myself, but it felt a little more lonely. The doctor looked at X-rays, went into more details about the disease, and walked me through a bit of what the rest of my life will look like. I won’t lie, I listened to only part of it. As he called me one of his few, very young patients with kidney disease, I bit my tongue. Yikes. This was harder to think about than I realized.

I cried a lot on my way home. I already had a texts from a couple family members and close friends who knew about today’s appointment. God really has blessed me with many caring, thoughtful people who check in at just the right times. They encourage and remind me that things will be ok, that God is in control, and that our bodies are just temporary. I forget those things sometimes.

While this has been a tough week, I am reminded that God will never leave us or forsake us. He is good, no matter what, and our bodies are weird things we just live in while we are on earth. Diseases, aches, and pains are not to be feared. They are to remind us that He is all powerful, and He took every pain, hurt, and sin to the cross for us.

I’m thankful for that. Every day may not be a “rock party” and we may not always feel like rockstars, but that’s ok. God is good no matter what.