Tammy Rotzoll: Finding God Through Chronic Illness
I've known about God my entire life, but it wasn’t until 12 years ago that I began a relationship with Him. Prior to this, I had no idea there was actually a difference. After a recent move, I felt God pulling me towards him; urging me to discover who He is. As only our amazing God does, just a couple of months later, He told me exactly where I needed to begin, by way of a gift from my sister.
I had no idea when I was untying the beautiful red bow and carefully unwrapping the gorgeous paper, that Christmas morning, that I was about to embark on the most important journey of my life. A journey to a beautiful relationship with God. Since God was so adamant in his urging, I decided I had better go all in. I bought a prayer journal, pulled out my Bible and started taking notes about what He was teaching me. I now know that the force with which he was pursuing me was because I was about to enter some of the hardest years of my life. He had a lot to teach and knew that without Him, there was no way I would survive.
When a year into this relationship I was hit with a migraine, I had no idea my life and the life of my loved ones had completely changed forever. This one migraine turned into a chronic condition; one that forced me to leave my job. One that took us down a very difficult road of both marital and financial strife. (I could write a book on what not to do when you get a chronic illness!)
In the midst of the physical and emotional pain, I was broken and desperately trying to find the person I was before the migraines. I can look back now and confidently say that God was not only with me, but had a beautiful plan even in the midst of all the mess. When I was left with nothing but God, it’s where I learned to lean on Him, to trust Him with everything in our life. Quite frankly, I’ve grown more in these years than I have in any other time in my life. It’s where I found that it truly is possible to live a full, joy-filled life, even with a chronic illness.
When I thought I had lost my identity by leaving a job and people I loved, it was in that beautiful mess that God showed me he would still use me and wouldn’t waste a moment of my pain; and that is where Footprints of Inspiration was born. As someone with a servant’s heart, it’s hard to lose something you believe is tied so tightly to your identity. I’m happy to say that I can now work from the comfort of my home, just steps from my bed when I need to lie down. More importantly, God is still using me to sow into others.
It’s as if he was telling me, “Oh no, no, Tammy! You’ve been sowing into your patient’s lives for so long, now I’ve got something bigger planned for you.” And oh, how right he is! Now I have Footprints of Inspiration which allows me to reach women all over the world and mentor them in their Christian walk.
Through this chronic illness, and most importantly Christ, I’m learning the importance of self-care and how crucial it is to my health. I love learning about our incredible God; and nothing brings me peace quicker than grabbing a hot cup of chai, opening up my Bible and diving into His word.
Also, as a lover of the beach, my husband and I pack up the trunk and head to the beach every chance we get. I find so much renewal sitting in that beach chair listening to the sound of the waves crashing against the shore. There’s nothing like soaking in the soothing melody and smells of it all.
God has multiplied my ministry this last year with A Faithful God Podcast. Each week, I bring a guest on the show, and we have fun talking about God’s glory, even in—especially in—the hard times. We strive to bring inspiration to others to help them see that it really is possible to have peace and enjoy our lives, even in the pain.
I’m also a lover of prayer journals and right now I’m working on publishing my very own which will launch sometime this winter! However, most days, you can find me sitting behind my desk, surrounded by our three fur babies just living the life God created me for!
To learn more about Tammy, please visit her blog at www.FootprintsofInspiration.com.