I think my immune system just hates New York City.
I mean, for serious, I used to be a healthy individual. Didn't get sick very much, and certainly not the type of sick that would keep me out of work or class. A sinus infection or two a year, and done.
You know what I think changed it all? Mono. I got mono spring of my junior year. That pretty much sucked hard core. But, I basically did a whole lot of nothing for 6 months... interspersed by a week or two here and there where I thought I was better and then trying to train for a marathon (oh how silly I was)... I actually got 5 weeks into that and then one day was running and just stopped dead in my tracks, unable to continue because I was so utterly... tired. And I knew I had relapsed, and it was just time to simply stop.
From that point onward, I got sick more frequently, so it seemed, but in college, it was never a big deal, because I could just hit the snooze button, skip class, and get over whatever bug happened to be in my system in a day or two.
Oh but not now.
It's ultimately frustrating to have been in New York for 7 months and (excluding my little ovarian cyst debaucle) gotten no less than 5 colds/sinus infections/flus. Yes, I have had all of the above. Um, hello, what the heck? This from the girl who eats regular and healthy meals, runs regularly, sleeps 8 hours a night, doesn't smoke, and only drinks socially. Um, give me a BREAK here. I now kind of get what Paul was talking about in 2 Corinthians...
"To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." ~12: 6-10
It's almost kind of a literal example of that. There's no particular reason that I keep getting sick, in fact given earthly standards, I should probably be a very healthy individual. But, if the only purpose (which it may or may not be) is to remind me to put my trust and find my joy in God and not how my body may or may not be functioning, then I guess that's my 'thorn.' I mean, we all have them, right, those "things" that we just can't get rid of, not matter how much we try... it may be something tangible like a literal sickness, but often it's something more like pride or jealousy. Just when we think we've put it behind us, overcome that struggle, it just sneaks in there, when we least expect it, and forces us to redirect our gaze from ourselves, and back to God. Humbling? I think so.
I've been learning a lot about several of my "thorns" lately. And it's not been so easy. But God continues to show me grace and patience, and in the end, that is worth more than anything I can obtain here on earth.
"Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." ~Romans 5: 3-5