Recently, my friend, Jeff, found a 1988 video clip of me. Initially, I laughed at my mega-sized eyeglasses and big, curly hair. But, a realization hit me soon after: this was the pre-illness Kathy just 15 months before being stricken with Post-Viral Neurasthenia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Little did she know that soon she’d be struggling with poor health for 18 years.

I found myself wishing I could go back in time and warn the younger me of what was coming. I thought how great it’d be if I could let her know that she’d get through it. And, that eventually she would regain health through an amazing miracle.

But if time travel were possible, would this be a good idea?

If I’d known of my impending illness, I would’ve lived in dread for those next 15 months. And once disease struck, I would’ve gone through the suffering without faith and without growth. It would’ve been almost two decades of an agonizing waiting game.

Instead, by not knowing if I’d ever be healthy again, I

  • increased my hope in the Great I Am;
  • learned to relinquish control and allow family and friends to help me;
  • discovered that I was not defined by my career; and
  • reordered my life priorities.

In facing that uncertainty, I was molded into the person I am today. Eight years after my healing, I revel in how my body moves, how it easily counteracts gravity’s pull, and how I can hike, practice yoga and kayak with muscles that once barely had the strength to hold me upright. My spirituality permeates every activity I engage in. My belief in God transcends faith: it’s a firm knowing of the existence of the Most Supreme Being. It’s freed me from worrying about the future.

Some individuals visit psychics regularly to discover what’s coming. They don’t want to be surprised when life takes them in an unexpected direction. The obsession of wanting to know what’s in the future can stem from fear and impatience. Fear they’ll end up alone, won’t land that ideal job or attain their dreams. Impatience comes because they want it now, and if it isn’t going to happen right now, they want to know when it will.

Faith in a higher power means putting our hopes in the Great I Am. In realizing that everything we experience prepares us for something down the road. That everyone goes through extended periods of suffering. Faith gives us the tools to endure and the ability to grow.

Some may think that a future different from what they desire now would be disastrous. But that isn’t the case. What the 27-year-old me wanted to achieve never came to fruition. But I’m a different person than I was then. And, I’m very happy with whom I’ve become and what I’ve accomplished. I would’ve never dreamt of the life I have today. And that’s the way it should be.

My writing critique group said this post made them think about genetic testing. I want to clarify that I’m speaking about relying on psychics instead of faith. While genetic testing is learning about the future, it can provide information about potential disease that the person can take steps to prevent.