My name is Luke Moja. I’m 30 years old, and recently moved back to Colorado Springs after living with my parents in Georgia and Florida for the past several years. I’ve started doing some work for Boundless in a volunteer role.
If it seems a little weird that a 30-year-old guy just moved out of his parents’ house and is only doing volunteer work, I understand. Not exactly chick magnet material. The truth is, I’ve been dealing with chronic health problems the past several years and have been unable to live what most people would call a “normal” life.
I started developing health issues when I was in college. It started with some minor digestive problems, but while I seemed to lose a little strength and stamina, I was still functional and didn’t stop my normal routines. However, halfway through my senior year I totally crashed. I started experiencing severe fatigue, brain fog, unexplained weight loss, mood swings, insomnia, and other crazy symptoms. My previously active life where I enjoyed playing sports, working out at the gym, running, surfing, and hiking was suddenly a thing of the past.
I went from doctor to doctor looking for any explanation for why I had suddenly started feeling so bad, but found no answers. One cardiologist thought I had heart problems and suggested I might even need a heart transplant at some point, but thankfully further testing revealed that my heart was fine. I would often get a vague diagnosis like “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” or “Irritable Bowel Syndrome,” but no reason for what caused it or what to do about it. Some doctors even suggested it was all in my head and told me to go eat some ice cream or find a pretty girl to take my mind off my symptoms.
I started doing a lot of my own research and consulting with more natural and alternative practitioners. Certain dietary changes, supplements, and medications helped me improve some, and I started to feel like I was on my way back to health. Because of everything I’d been through, I wanted to help other people in similar circumstances, so I applied to chiropractic school and was accepted. It seemed like I had a plan for the future and life was getting back on track.
But God had a different plan. A few months before I was scheduled to start chiropractic school, my health completely tanked again. Soon I was feeling worse than ever. Not only was I experiencing all my previous symptoms, I began having anxiety and panic attacks that seemed to come out of nowhere. I could hardly tolerate any food, and eventually lost so much weight that I weighed barely 130 pounds. I’m almost six feet four inches tall, so it was not a pretty sight. I was hospitalized for four days with severe dehydration and bradycardia, an abnormally slow heart rate.
As things continued to spiral down, my family and I desperately prayed for answers. A few years after this second major health crash, I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease. I went through several weeks of intense treatment that included IV antibiotics and high-dose Vitamin C. While I did improve after this protocol, I certainly wasn’t healed, and still experienced symptoms.
My diagnosis with Lyme was about four years ago. Despite continued treatment, I still struggle with my health. The fatigue, digestive problems and anxiety haven’t completely resolved. I still can’t exercise, and sometimes the fatigue and inability to concentrate can get so bad that even activities like reading or playing the guitar can be a challenge.
It’s hard for me to describe how difficult it’s been to spend basically the entire decade of my 20s dealing with debilitating health problems. While my friends and peers have been starting careers, getting married, buying houses and pursuing hobbies, I’ve spent much of that time unable to work, attend school, be active, or have much of a social life at all.
Many times over the past several years I’ve found myself getting angry at God. It’s easy to ask, “Why me? Why so long? Couldn’t I bring more honor to You if I were healed? Couldn’t I glorify You more if I could get off my parents’ couch?” I’ve tried bargaining with God, praying things like, “God, if you’ll heal me, I promise I’ll (insert highly spiritual and world-changing thing here).”
I’ve also tried many times to take matters into my own hands. If God won’t heal me, I’ll just figure it out myself. Maybe if I research more, I can find the perfect diet, supplement or medication that will be my magic bullet. Maybe there’s some secret sin that I need to discover and confess, then God will heal me. Or maybe if I pray the perfect combination of words in the perfect order, it will unlock my healing like a cheat code in some ‘90s video game. This thinking added more stress, which only made my health issues worse.
Why hasn’t God healed me? I don’t have an answer to that question. And God doesn’t owe me one, either. For now, I just have to trust the words of Isaiah 55:8-9, that God’s ways and thoughts are higher than mine. And Romans 8:28, which says that God is working all of this together for good.
One thing I know for sure — that a lot of good has already come out of my battle with chronic illness. Before I got sick, my faith was, even though I hate this word, lukewarm. Today my relationship with God is much stronger, and I spend time in His Word and prayer every day. I’ve also gained a lot of knowledge about health and wellness that I can use to help others someday. While I’m still a work in progress, I’m learning to surrender to God and trust Him. To depend on His strength to get me through each day. And to truly mean it when I say the words, “Not my will, but Yours be done.”