By Kaylee Sergeant

Psalms 34:18 NIV “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” 

The number of times I have been brokenhearted is hard for me to count and I can guess that the same is true for you.  One area I remember vividly, relates to the medical issues I have had starting from a young age.  I am going to have to condense this story quite a bit, so if you have further questions, I’d love to talk to you about it!  At about four or five, I began choking on food at random.  My parents took me to the doctor who said that we just needed to wait it out and see what happens.  He suggested maybe it was just allergies and it would go away when I got a bit older.  So, we suffered through it for nine years until I finally became angry.  Over time I began to see that my life was dysfunctional because of this choking issue.  I was nervous to go to friends’ houses, parties, and other social events, because I never knew when I would choke on something. Things needed to change. 

Finally, we went to an allergist who discovered I had tons of allergies and recommended I get purge them all for six months or so.  So, I became practically all foods free, all in the hopes of fixing the problem.  Unfortunately, it didn’t work, and I was pretty thin because, at this point, I viewed eating as a deep inconvenience that only made me scared and anxious.  Beyond my eating issues, I hardly slept, which created a lot of irritability.  To say that my spirit was crushed is hardly touching how I felt, my heart was continually shattering like a mirror being slammed against the wall.  I felt abandoned by God, why would He let me suffer like this?  I am fifteen!  I should be healthy and normal.  

After trying the allergies route, my mom was talking to a friend who mentioned, somewhat out of the blue, we should try a certain GI specialist.  At this point, we were at the end of our rope, so we decided to try this doctor out.  We walked into the doctor’s office, expecting little help.  After listening to my plight, the doctor said seven magical words: “You have come to the right place.”  After an endoscopy (putting a camera down my esophagus), three esophagus stretching procedures and taking medication daily, I am now fully functional and can enjoy food like everyone else!

As hard as all of that was, looking back, I can say I am thankful for that time in my life, because it caused me to feel a deeper empathy for others. I can relate to people with health issues and be that person who cares for the broken-hearted. Through the lovingness of others and God’s guidance, I made it through this eleven to twelve year challenge, stronger and kinder.

I want to challenge you to write down one time when you found yourself broken hearted (which may even be right now). When or where did you see God pull you closer to Himself?

Prayer: Dear God, help me to look for your hand when I am crushed in spirit and need you. Keep my eyes open so I can see your help and love so that even during the tough times, I can be encouraged. Thank you for staying by my side during these challenges and loving me through them. Help me to trust in you, even when I can’t see what you’re doing. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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