Restoring My Soul is a blog designed to offer spiritual encouragement and inspiration for those suffering from chronic illness, specifically chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. As a Christ follower, I desire to share how God has used illness in my life to serve Him and others in spite of the suffering. My goal is to share what comforts and inspires me to keep going and I hope it will encourage others along the way. I am called to be a servant of Christ in spite of my circumstances. It isn’t always easy, but He has promised sufficient grace.
I am a 37 year old stay at home mother of five. I live in the Panhandle of Florida along the beautiful Gulf Coast. I’ve been happily married to the love of my life for 15 + years. I’ve had chronic fatigue syndrome since 1995 and somewhere along the way I also developed fibromyalgia. I have dealt with these syndromes for my entire adult life. It is all that I know. I’ve heard it said that if you want to write about something, you need to “write what you know.” Well, I know chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia and I strive to know my Saviour more everyday.
I have five beautiful children and we had them all in the span of six and half years. I don’t really recommend that plan, especially for someone who has CFS and fibro, but they are wonderful blessings in our life. I have 2 girls and 3 boys – their ages are 9,8,6,6, and 3. For the most part, I had really great pregnancies and my CFS and fibro symptoms were much milder when I was pregnant. This could explain why I had so many kids in such a short amount of time!! My husband, Tony, is my best friend. He is my greatest support system through this journey of illness. When we dated, I was not sick. The illness showed up during our engagement and our whole married life has been shadowed by these syndromes. He is an amazing person and rarely, if ever, complains of the struggles and challenges I face. He is quick to jump in when I don’t feel well and even though he can never understand what I go through, he has great compassion and sympathy for me. I also have very supportive parents who live in the same town as we do. I could never have become the mother of five kids without their help and encouragement. The task of raising children is hard all by itself, but add in some CFS and fibro and it is near impossible. I live by the grace of God everyday and am blessed to have such a wonderful family that loves and supports me.
I have a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education and a Master’s degree in Vocal Performance. I am a semi-professional opera singer – meaning I sing professionally when I have the time and energy, which these days is rare because I am in the throes of child rearing and managing my health. I have enjoyed teaching music lessons in the past, but my passion is performing on stage in opera, musical theater, or anything that requires costumes, stage make-up, a big stage, bright lights and an audience. I often grieve that I cannot live out my passion fully because of my illness. It’s hard to let that go. I do however, regularly sing at church in the choir and as a soloist and I am thankful to be able to participate in that ministry.
My goal for this blog is very simple. I want to bring glory to my God. I have had this illness since 1995. Long enough to know A LOT about it. Long enough to grow weary of the daily routine. I need a new outlet to express myself and I need a reason for this illness to make sense in my life. God has allowed this illness for a reason and I aim to fulfill its purpose. I want to help those who are on this same journey of uncertain health and hopefully provide some encouragement along the way. I want to empathize with those who are suffering and offer support where I can. I want to bring attention to chronic illness so the research will continue. I have great hope that in my lifetime there will be a known cause and cure for both CFS and fibromyalgia, but until then I am on this God ordained journey. Let’s travel together.