Candace J. Jackson

My name is Candace, and I’m from Houston, TX. I’m 36 yrs old, and have been officially diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis for 8 mos, although I’ve been exhibiting sporadic symptoms for 20 yrs, and chronic major symptoms for 6 yrs. The pain and stiffness of this disease, and the severity of my other autoimmune diseases (I was diagnosed with moderate, advanced Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis 2 mos ago) have prevented me from continuing to work in my dream vocation as a hospital chaplain. Ironically, after having suffered three small bowel obstructions (including a bowel perforation), a recent drastic weight loss, two sacroiliac joint fusions, a spine surgery, and multiple other major abdominal and musculoskeletal surgeries, I’ve found myself on the other side of the hospital bed, week after week, since the age of 30. However, my daily struggle with severe clinical depression and my constant excruciating pain and illness have both blessed me with the opportunity, as well as the obligation, to back my intellectual assent to my faith with the rubber-meets-the-road, difficult daily action of placing one foot in front of the other. I feel a responsibility to not give up–not to a husband or to children–but a responsibility to Christ Himself. Since only He knows how much pain I deal with on a daily basis, I feel that with each day I choose to say “Yes” to my life, I’m also saying “Yes” to Him. “Yes, the sacrifice of Your life on my behalf matters more than anything…more than the worst pain I feel on my worst flare day.” As long as I can remember His sacrifice, I can continue to make my own. I have Ankylosing Spondylitis, but it doesn’t have me. I’ve already been spoken for.

Blessings,

Candace J. Jackson

God’s gifts put man’s best dreams to shame.
~Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Texas, United States of America

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One Response to “Candace J. Jackson”

  1. Dear Candace,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us.
    Sincerely Cookie

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