Bridget Gazlay recently started writing a monthly column for her community newspaper and she is able and eager to share it with us too. So often we only see the losses that can accompany our diagnosis of a disease, but just as Bridget shares, you never know the possibilities God has in store for you, even within the illness itself. Lisa
By Bridget Gazlay
According to Gallup’s daily poll of 1500 Americans, 54% felt our economic outlook is getting worse (February 2, 2011). There is no doubt about it; these days are hard. And being that I am a young single person it’s even tougher – especially since I am also chronically ill.
My life has many ups and many downs, but my life is never dull, that’s for sure. I am also an Administrative Assistant, author, fabric artist, and aunt! In spite of challenging times, my life is so blessed. My hope is to share my heart and blessings with you over the coming months.
My biggest goal is that from my adventures, you would be encouraged to follow your dreams no matter what obstacles come your way. These first few columns will give you an introduction of who I am and how I got to be a 35 year-old author and artist.
I am able to work full-time and in light of Michigan’s job market, I feel so lucky to have a great job. There was a point in my life when I thought I would not be able to provide for myself. At the age of 19, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, a chronic illness affecting the nerves and muscles. More is coming out about that these days, but some symptoms include intense muscle pain, chronic fatigue, and headaches.
At that point, I was having trouble getting my college work completed, and having been an A-student, I found this very trying. With lots of prayer and family support, I did graduate from college with honors. To me, that was miracle number one!
Today, I still battle chronic fatigue and pain, but I now also endure Irritable Bowel Syndrome (stomach issues), kidney stones, Endometriosis (have had three surgeries), nerve damage in my left arm and leg, and now arthritis in my hands and feet. There are days when I feel so much older than I am. But it’s during these times I often see God work the most in my life. One of my favorite life passages in the Bible is from Isaiah 40:30-31 (NIV) which says:
“Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
I never thought I would be able to work full-time, let alone be an author or artist, but here I am today and I am so amazed! I would not trade my life for anyone else’s as I have learned so much and gained so much – some of which you will hear about in this column.
May you leave with Hope for Today!
Bridget Gazlay resides in the beautiful West Michigan. She struggles with Fibromyalgia, Endometriosis, IBS, arthritis and migraines. She works full time but writes and designs fabric cards as she is able. Bridget’s prayer is for readers who come across her writing or fabric cards to see that she allows, “God’s creation to be my inspiration.” You can reach Bridget at: firstname.lastname@example.org or www.pfccreations.com. Make sure to check out her new blog: www.pfccreations.com/blog.