I think I have seen enough to make my diagnosis.” Those are the words I heard in December of 2012. After a lifelong struggle with unexplained symptoms, I was diagnosed with a genetic disorder called Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) and learned that my body makes defective collagen. Collagen is found all throughout the body, and therefore my entire body is affected, making me prone to dislocations and bruises. While I can do some fun tricks, like scratch my ear with my toe, I can’t unload the dishwasher or go for a walk without risk of a dislocation or fall. EDS is painful, frustrating, and scary.
Sometimes, I just want God to tell me why—that is the universal question after all. Why? Why am I suffering? Or better yet, why does anyone suffer? I have friends who are transplant recipients or cancer survivors, and I know those who have bipolar disorder or autoimmune diseases. Some have kids on the autism spectrum or spouses with depression. These friends have, like me, cried out to God for relief. For healing. For answers. And we’re all still waiting.
Who’s at Fault Here?
During my journey to diagnosis, I often wondered if my symptoms were my fault. After all, sin has consequences. Everything God created was “very good,” but the Fall came, and sin messed everything up.
Jesus’ disciples were aware of this when they met a blind man in John 9. They asked Jesus, “Rabbi, why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?” (verse 2).1