Sometimes we’re called to do hard things. Other times, we’re picked up by the leg and tossed head-first into them.
Two years ago I never suspected the events that were about to pounce on me. I was the most popular kid at church, the leader of my youth group, and a straight-A student. If you had asked, I would have said that I was a Christian and loved God. It would not have been a lie.
But deep in my heart I had unsurrendered dreams, fears, and questions… things that whispered and scurried in the dark corners of my mind.
Meeting my Enemy
Enter the Hulk.
I began to show the first symptom, hypoglycemia, in autumn of 2014. Time passed and more symptoms began to materialize and escalate in intensity. I would lose all my strength and collapse. I would develop heart palpitations, chest pain, and muscular pain. I spent about a month on my bed and couch.
Friends melted away, including my best friend that I had grown up with. For the next year, I darted and bounced between doctors like a pinball. Most of them said I was crazy. The mental counselor said I wasn’t. It was the worst year of my life.
Finally in early 2016, I was diagnosed with a form of adrenal insufficiency. My Hulk now had a name.
Why do I call this sickness “my Hulk”? Because adrenal insufficiency mainly affects your hormones, so it plays lots of tricks on your brain.
My Hulk takes all my negative feelings and magnifies them by 100. A sad moment becomes cripplingly depressing. An annoyance transforms into a rage that makes me want to smash through walls and injure people (I never have, by the way). My Hulk snatches all my fears and desires and makes them terrifyingly 4-D nightmares.
In other words, all those timid little dreams, fears, and questions from the alleyways of my mind have grown up now. And they’re taking over town.
Like Bruce Banner, I wrestle with my inner Hulk and try to keep it together. But often I am forced to hide away in order to keep myself and those around me safe from my violent emotions.
Facing the Hulk
Earlier I said that sometimes we’re thrown into hard things. But what we do in them proves whether we are warriors or cowards. I tried to ignore the things recently brought into the light by the Hulk. It didn’t work.
But then I turned to Jesus, and let Him pick up the pieces of my broken life. He reminded me that He had already overcome my fears. He picked up my shattered dreams and gave me glorious new ones. He helped me learn to trust Him with the big questions of life.
So I had to make a choice: would I let the Hulk define me and keep me down? Or would I use his ugly green self as a springboard to higher ground?
By God’s grace, I vouched for the springboard to higher ground.
It hasn’t been easy. The Hulk is still there, and will be for a while according to the doctors. Sometimes I give in to the Hulk’s taunting and believe his lies. But Jesus is always there to remind me that, step by step, I am a conqueror in Him.
So maybe that’s what I want to say with all this… our hardships are actually “power moments”. You will find Jesus like never before. You will find yourself doing things you never imagined you could do.
Nowadays I am well on my way to recovery. But from this experience, I have acquired a pocketful of jewels that will aid me in life. Even today, I am discovering new ones along my path.
And all I can say is,
“You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness, That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.” (Psalm 30:11,12 NASB)
I ❤ this. Really well written too. Thanks!
Thank you so much! I hope this was a true encouragement for you. 🙂
Instant share. Great job Josue!
Thanks, man! I appreciate it. 😀
This is really good! I can relate too. Not exactly to your specific situation. But I guess everyone has a Hulk at some point. Thank you!
You’re absolutely right. I think this is something that can transfer to whatever your situation is. Thank you and keep looking up!
This is absolutely inspiring. Thanks for writing, Josue!
Thank you! God bless. 🙂
Wow…thanks so much for sharing! What a testimony!
” our hardships are actually “power moments”. You will find Jesus like
never before. You will find yourself doing things you never imagined you
could do.” – This really got me! It’s something I needed to hear! Thanks again Josue!
I’m so glad it could be of encouragement to you!
Really inspiring Josue! Thanks for writing!
Thanks so much! 🙂
Thanks, Josue. You aptly described the “Hulk” specifically to the illness you are facing and its resulting negative manifestations. Nicely done! In a general sense, all humanity faces the Hulk and it is “self”.
You’re absolutely right! Thank you!
Woah! This was good. I’m learning to rest in Jesus myself and it is so freeing!
Yes, yes, yes!! You’re absolutely right. 🙂
Thank you, Josue. Like others have said, every one of us has our own “Hulk” to battle. Even us adults aren’t exempt. But God is right there beside each of us, more than willing tog give all of us complete victory.
You’re right, God does want to give us complete victory in all our trials. Thank you so much.
Thank you for writing this Joshua! It was a needed reminder. Very well written!
Thank you! Praise the Lord. 🙂