My husband and I met just over 16 years ago. We fell fast in love. We married a year after dating and quickly began living the American Dream. We have two children, one daughter in the teen world, a son who is approaching it quickly and two dogs, who add much excitement to our lives. We also live with this uninvited, most obnoxious fifth member of our family, called disease.

You see, what happened in my life and marriage is something called illness, the chronic, incurable kind of illness. My husband was diagnosed with a disease called Ankylosing Spondylitis, which is just one big fancy way of saying he is in a lot of discomfort and pain.

This disease causes much disease in our lives, but we are learning to live with it day-by-day.

When my husband received his diagnosis just over a year ago, it was a relief in a way because we finally knew what was wreaking havoc in his our lives. Several years prior, we knew something wasn’t right. He tired easily and was often in pain, which made life very hard for him and us. He was a practicing physician {and quite an amazing one at that}, which demanded a lot of him mentally and physically.

It was becoming too much and something had to change.

With much prayer, guidance, wise counsel, faith and hope, we decided it was time to hang up the stethoscope. One key factor that you need to know, our family doesn’t look like the average family of four. My husband is twenty-two years older than me. Crazy, right? We think so too! So, for him to quit with a ah-hum, “young(er)” {insert wink} wife and two kids, it just didn’t make sense and wasn’t part of our plan! How would it work? Well, this was and still is the million dollar question. The other thing you need to know is that I am a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice. I help people deal with emotions, like grief, pain and how to deal with transitions in life and guess what? We were {and are} in a major life transition and I couldn’t fix it!

This is where Hope enters the scene and lots of it.

The Unshakeable Kind.

Paul tells you and me about in 2 Corinthians 1:7. He says:

“Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.”

You see, I am a woman of strong faith. I believe that if it were not for my faith, belief, hope in and love for Jesus Christ, I would definitely not be where I am today. This has been a journey Like. No. Other.

We were forced, by circumstance, to a place none of us wanted to be.

The serenity prayer has become my mantra. In fact, it hangs on my bathroom wall as a daily, often hourly, who am I kidding, minute to minute reminder of letting go of that which I have no control. Wow, to type those words is chilling.

Why did I want to write this you might ask? That is actually a really good question if I do say so myself. Let me take a moment to answer.

I want to share this Great Unshakeable Hope that I have, that you can also have. The best part is that it is free!

I have become well acquainted with disappointment, sadness and heartache over the last year, yet in each and every single moment I have not been alone. How ironic that a doctor and a therapist {both healers} would meet and then later face a giant, called disease, the size of Goliath together. It has tried to wreck our marriage and our family, but we have chosen to stand strong and confident, knowing we are not alone and certainly not fighting this in our own strength. This free gift and Great Hope is Jesus and He is The One who deserves every single bit of the credit.

So, thank you for meeting with me for a minute and hearing about my struggles. I pray that it encouraged you just a bit and helps you to know that even in the depths of despair, you are never alone.

There is One who cares and wants to know all about your pain.

Will you share with Him?

Sarah Littlefield

Sarah is a wife/mom and licensed marriage and family therapist. She thrives on helping reunite families, as well as helping people heal from whatever it is holding them back. She views her calling as a wife, mom and therapist as a gift from God and considers herself a avid learner and student of the life He's given her! In her free time she enjoys exercising and being outdoors, but mostly spending quality time with her friends and family. She enjoys reading and learning about all things therapy related and has a special interest in the area of neuroscience.