Irreplaceable

One of the sadder parts of having a chronic illness is when you question your own self-worth. When you’re in your twenties and chronically ill it’s really hard seeing all of the people around you traveling the world, working towards their dream job, and having fun in whatever way they see fit — whether that is going out with friends late into the night, playing sports and working out, or taking a spontaneous road trip with a big group of friends.

Some days it’s hard for me to do anything other than rest, and sometimes I have to cancel plans at the last minute because my autonomic nervous system decides that I shouldn’t be comfortable enough to do an activity. This becomes especially heartbreaking when I feel like I’ve let my loved ones down by not being able to do something that they want to. It sometimes makes me wonder why they choose me to play the special role of “best friend” or “girlfriend,” instead of someone who can be carefree and fun all the time. My chronic illness is probably my biggest insecurity.

My cardiologist must literally be an angel, as he has been so kind and comforting since the beginning of my illness. Since we have gotten to know each other, anytime he looks at my heart on an echocardiogram he looks puzzled and then says, “Krista, your heart is too beautiful for this world” with the most genuine smile on his face. It makes me tear up because I know he’s talking about something different than my physical heart — as that often beats a little too fast for its own good. He is instead referring to the core of my being. This little comment serves as a reminder that just because I sometimes feel broken or like I don’t have an as important purpose in the world as others does not mean that it’s the truth. I know other people who are sick or have struggles that make them different, and they have become even more incredible because of what they’ve been through. During times of loss, we often gain a new sense of empathy, a new appreciation for life, and a great deal of strength we never knew we had. Hardship can make us bitter, or it can be something we use to connect with others and help make them feel less alone. This is the sole reason I write so openly about my own struggles.

God puts people on this earth and lets them have hardship sometimes, not because He doesn’t love us or has forgotten about us, but instead because He wants us to glorify Him in all we do — that includes using our own heartache to lift up others. Sometimes our purpose is greater than fulfilling our own dreams.

My heart was broken. Yes, now I have an awesome boyfriend, wonderful family, and friends I know care deeply about me, but at 22 years old I had to give up my dream to live in a big city and write for Seventeen magazine and begin the fight to get my life back. Since that day three-and-a-half years ago I have chosen to push forward, even when I don’t necessarily feel like it, and never give up hope. There are a lot of things I haven’t done that I would have loved to do. I wanted to live in New York City again and I wanted to have an incredibly fast-paced, spontaneous job because that’s what I have always enjoyed so much. I love interviewing people and learning more about their stories, I love keeping up with teen trends and offering my advice to young women, and I have always wanted to make a positive impact on the world starting with our youth.

But God has a different plan for me than the one I had for myself.Β I can’t handle the stress or physical pressure a job in journalism has, but I can handle being vulnerable and toss aside my pride to show people that they are absolutely not alone in the world. I can handle publishing my deepest thoughts on a platform like this, even though not everyone will understand everything that I write about. Perhaps most important, though, through my struggles I have learned to love others deeply — whether or not I am their cup of tea and whether or not we have similar beliefs or values.

I still have days where I feel insecure about the way my life is with POTS, and I wonder when it will be my turn to actually live like I’m in my twenties. When I start feeling like this, though, I try to take a look at the people around me and notice how many people choose to open up to me and choose to make me an important part of their life. It isn’t because we can go out and have a wild night together or because I am able to get them into exclusive VIP parties. The people I am important to love me because of the way I love, and because of who I am as a person. There are certain “Krista traits” that are unique and special to the world. My power is that I love in a way that is irreplaceable to those who receive it. I will do anything for the people who are closest to me, and I will never turn down an opportunity to show love to those who need it, even if it means sacrificing something on my end. I strongly believe each and every person on this earth has their own qualities that are absolutely irreplaceable too.

journal

My favorite way to show love is through writing.

Somehow I think a lot of people will be able to relate to this post. I think we all have our own insecurities, especially in a world where it’s so easy to compare. If I have learned one thing from having a chronic illness, it’s that people love those who are genuine and themselves. We are all so different from one another, but that’s what makes the world such an amazing place. People don’t have to have a chronic illness to be able to understand some of the things I have dealt with, such as insecurity and loss. There have been so many times where someone very different than myself has reached out to me and been able to relate to something I have written in their own very different life. We are all humans with the same basic feelings and a desire to love and be loved. Just because you feel broken sometimes doesn’t mean you are not valuable to this world and loved by so many people — some of which you haven’t even met yet.Β Never doubt your self-worth just because you are different. The best way to make a lasting impact on the world is often because of the differences that you have to offer.


Photo Credit: Audrey Denison

36 thoughts on “Irreplaceable

  1. sonofabeach96 says:

    Great post! I believe the same thing: that we ALL have a purpose and we ALL have a “skill” that makes each of us uniquely ourselves. And, ending up taking a different path than we “planned” for is not all bad. Keeps things interesting, and we usually end up right where we needed to be in the first place, whether we knew it or not. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  2. tarnishedsoul says:

    I absolutely love this post. The inspiration behind your words is so encouraging and I think you have a way of making everyone see that moving forward is the best way to handle life.

    Trust me…you’re valuable…especially to someone like me! I’m glad to be a follower and I am thankful to be able to read your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. CJ Staryk says:

    Hey there, while my illness is mental and not physical, it definitely drags me through the gutter. It has stopped me in my tracks many times. I do have to say that goals, dreams do change. You give up on one by choice or chance and, if you’re looking, something else opens up. I’ve also noticed that many people that I think have everything together, may not, if you closely enough. It’s just a crazy world.

    Liked by 1 person

    • singleinthesuburbs says:

      I’m sure of that. Illness is illness; it’s all so difficult to deal with! I’m sorry you’ve had to go through so much, but I hope you’re able to find a silver lining and the positive in it all. We certainly aren’t always able to, though, and that’s okay too. ❀ I'll keep you in my prayers and am around if you ever need someone to listen!

      Like

  4. The Anti Cover Girl says:

    You are gold. Thank you for always writing and being unaftaid to be vulnerable and for always trusting God. I love your blog because those who don’t have the pleasure of knowing you in person can feel your love from thousands of miles away. Love you and your big heart Krista ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • singleinthesuburbs says:

      You always know how to make my day, Audrey. You are the BEST friend a girl could ever ask for, and I am so blessed to have you in my life. Thank you for always being there; I treasure our friendship so much! ❀️❀️❀️ Can’t wait to get together to exchange stories soon! πŸ˜‰

      Like

  5. Myka says:

    You are so talented, Krista! I love your raw posts. You’re incredibly relatable. And you’re right, even though I don’t have a chronic illness, I feel like we’re more alike than we are different. I wish you lived closer so I could bring you a cup of tea, or blow dry your hair for you! πŸ™‚ LOL. Thank you for opening up. For being real. & being my “friend.” And hey, I know looks aren’t everything, but just an FYI – I’d never know you aren’t able to work out, you’re bangin! .xo.

    Liked by 1 person

    • singleinthesuburbs says:

      Aww you happen to be one of the sweetest people I know, so I am so glad we are friends too! πŸ˜ŠπŸ’• We’ll have to let each other know if we ever travel to the other side of the US, haha! Thank you for being so kind, though, you totally made my day. ☺️ Have a great Wednesday girl! ❀

      Like

  6. fkregieblog says:

    this post touched me in a raw place. i love the inspiration you provide for all in similar situation and those who love them. in particular, i love these words: “Just because you feel broken sometimes doesn’t mean you are not valuable to this world and loved by so many people β€” some of which you haven’t even met yet.” i am glad i met you through this forum, it’s inspirational reading your posts. the good Lord will keep you safe, Krista. you’re in my prayers.

    Liked by 2 people

    • singleinthesuburbs says:

      Thank you so much, I appreciate you taking the time to read and reach out to me! ❀ I'm sorry you feel you can relate to some of this, as I know it's so hard (I still struggle with it some!), but you'll be in my prayers as well. I think sometimes it helps just knowing that things can and will get better, and that we often have more support than we realize. Praying for you, friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. mandibelle16 says:

    This is really wonderful it made me feel like there are people, well you at least, can relate to what I go through as well with Chronic Fatigue. I’m glad you are so centered and wise at 22. I was 23 when it all began for me and I felt the same things with my friends all through my twenties. Now I’m nearly 32 and there are still times I’m disappointed I miss things or my friends don’t even think to ask. But generally, they andmy family are the best and like you I’d do anything for them. Thanks for such an uplifting piece! πŸ’•πŸ˜Š

    Liked by 1 person

    • singleinthesuburbs says:

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read! Mandibelle is a sweetheart; I was touched she cared enough to share my post. I’m definitely not always positive, but I try my best to get through difficult situations and gain some sort of wisdom from them. Life is hard, but it’s a little easier when you learn little lessons along the way. ❀

      Liked by 1 person

    • singleinthesuburbs says:

      Thanks so much Paul! I’m looking forward to following you now as well. πŸ™‚ And i agree with you completely; everyone has flaws, so you just have to choose which ones you can and can’t live with.

      Like

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